You are what you E-A-T. Google says so. Actually, what Google say is that there are three elements the search giant rates to determine how it will rank your website and your content.

  • Expertise
  • Authoritativeness
  • Trustworthiness

Google uses the acronym E-A-T, and you need to understand what’s behind E-A-T if you want to rank with SEO. Here’s what you need to know.

Not-that-new

E-A-T isn’t something Google just pushed out. It was introduced in 2016. E-A-T has been using it since then so its ranking evaluators can do a better job of offering searchers relevant content.

It’s not an encyclopedia’s worth of information. Basically, for Google to deem content as high-quality, your website’s content must exhibit content with enough expertise to be authoritative and trustworthy on their topic. Read what Google has to say about E-A-T here.

Expertise

Don’t worry, Google won’t require you to prove your credentials. But it does appreciate it if you explain why you are a subject matter expert. Google’s way of looking for this is by searching for relevance and detailed information.

There are a few areas, however, where Google will only consider ranking your content if it’s authored by an accredited, qualified expert.

  • Financial advice
  • Medical information
  • Advice or information on a topic that could have a potential negative impact on someone’s happiness, health, or wealth
  • High-quality hobbies

Most other content can be written by non-subject matter experts.

Authoritativeness

Google tries not to make this too difficult to achieve. The search engine is looking for content that has been written with confidence. You can accomplish this by baking up what you say with appropriate explanations and citations.

But what if a lot of your online content is generated by users? In that case, Google looks to associate relevant personal experience. An article about Chinese restaurants written by someone who used to live in China will get a higher ranking than an article that doesn’t demonstrate why it has the authority to write about the subject.

Trustworthiness

Can perfect strangers trust you? Google wants you to prove that visitors can trust the information it recommends to people who rely on these searches. If Google sends you to bad content, you’ll blame them as much as the content itself.

One important way you can demonstrate you are trustworthy to Google is to serve an encrypted HTTPS version of your website. Starting in the summer of 2018, with the release of Chrome 68, when you visit a website not using a Secure Sockets Layer (SSL), your browser throws up a “Not Secure” message.

An SSL certificate is often enough to demonstrate to google that you are trustworthy and deserve to be suggested in searches. There’s more to the benefit of SSL, and Neil Patel does an excellent job of explaining it in this article.

Be an expert, or find one

There’s so much useless content on the Internet that a Google search returns 159 million suggestions. That gives you some perspective about why Google is placing a growing emphasis on E-A-T. How long would it remain king of the search mountain if it repE-A-Tedly offered up irrelevant or useless results to users?

If you don’t comply with E-A-T, Google may choose to ignore you – unless you want to pay them for placement. Do you know what your customers want? Can you provide it to them with expertise, authority, and trustworthiness? Learn how we can help.