Here at Uptick, we like to say that Google’s product is trust. You’ll find that most people put a remarkable amount of trust into what they find in Google’s search results, believing that the engine served up exactly what they needed, and in order of importance. In fact, only 28% of people actually visit page two of the search results. Most people actually blame themselves and their search queries if they don’t receive their desired results.
Google has become the seemingly all-knowing, trustworthy place to go because of how it ranks pages of websites based on numerous factors (which change all the time). And Google doesn’t share the secret sauce for ranking, because then everyone could game the system. However, they have shared one of their current ranking processes, and it’s called E-A-T. Keep reading to learn all about it and how you can leverage it to boost your visibility online.
What Does E-A-T Mean?
E-A-T is an acronym for “expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness.”
- Expertise: It’s important to prove that you’re an expert in your field, which means expert-language needs to be present in your page content. This usually means mentioning awards, nominations, certifications, etc. to tip Google off to the fact that you know what you’re talking about. The importance of the expertise factor will vary depending on your industry, but it’s crucial for financial, legal, and medical sites.
- Authoritativeness: You need to show that you’re an authority in the field through your content as well. This is what we call “thought leadership” or being a “thought-leader.” Authority signals can include naming established companies and publications you have worked with in your site content. Reviews of your business by others also go a long way in this category.
- Trustworthiness: Just like with Google, it is absolutely crucial to build trust with the people visiting your website. If your website includes an e-commerce function and asks people for their credit card information, trustworthiness becomes even more important. Your website should include features that make users feel safe. To start, make sure to implement an SSL certificate, since at least 70% of first page results are using SSL (it is another one of Google’s scoring factors).
Think of it this way: living beings need to eat to survive. If you want to keep your site alive, it needs to be E-A-T-ing, too!
While it was all speculation when information leaked about Google in 2014, it’s now an official release by Google and says that E-A-T standards are among the top 3 considerations for page quality. If E-A-T hasn’t been on your radar until today, it needs to be, starting now!
Why is E-A-T Important for Ranking?
So why are expertise, authority, and trust so momentous when the Google quality rating guidelines do not determine all the ranking factors for pages?
E-A-T decides a site’s value. It’s top of mind for quality raters when they are judging how well a page or website provides essentials. They are looking for a good online experience and also a site that complies with their standards. As long as the raters deem a site as readable, shareable, and containing content worth recommendation, it will earn a high E-A-T rating.
An easy way to think of E-A-T is to look at it as the reason a real human person would choose one site over the competition. Therefore, E-A-T very well could have a weighty impact on how Google receives and ranks websites.
The Relationship Between “Your Money or Your Life” and E-A-T
So how does E-A-T affect the people who visit your website?
E-A-T is similar to what Google refers to as “Your Money or Your Life” (YMYL) pages. These pages have topics on legal advice, financial advice, medical advice, and other related topics. It counts as long as it includes anything that involves a user’s happiness, wealth, and well-being. An example of this kind of site would be a blog for parents needing advice or an e-commerce website that requires someone’s card information.
It is no surprise that the YMYL pages that are ranking well are also those who scored well with E-A-T. This goes back to safety and how much trust a user instills in a given website. And again, as long as a website is giving honest, helpful, genuine information to its visitors, there is a great chance that it will do well in such rankings.
You Are What You E-A-T
We have all heard that you get out what you put in, which is definitely true online. E-A-T ranks on the page level and the site level, so it’s important for you to make sure every part of your website is working to meet Google’s standards.
Tip: Google calls a page or website that’s lacking in E-A-T qualifications a “sufficient reason to give a page a low-quality rating.” If your website and its pages aren’t E-A-T satisfactory, then they are almost automatically low-quality.
In our experience, for your website to be successful and well-rounded, you need to be pleasing two audiences: your people and Google. And by creating quality, genuine, and helpful content that meets E-A-T’s standards, you’re doing just that!
Need Help with Google Rankings?
Uptick houses a team of experts in a variety of capacities, prepared and experienced in the ever-changing digital realm. Want to know if your website is doing well with it’s E-A-T Google ranking? Contact us today, and we will gladly walk you through the process.