Lately, Google has been focusing on making its search engine algorithm as “human” as possible. What this means for web marketers is that sites with high-quality, valuable content are given a higher priority and awarded better rankings than those sites that push out low-quality content that doesn’t provide readers with any value. One of the ways Google determines whether a site’s content is valuable or not is by evaluating it based on its Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness – or E-A-T. Let’s take a look at what each one of these individual factors entails
Who’s creating your site’s content? The people visiting your website are typically looking for answers to their questions, so Google wants to avoid sending searchers to websites publishing incorrect or irrelevant content, and publishing such content is a great way to kill your precious search engine rankings. The easiest way around this is to simply make sure your content is created by experts in the topics being covered. It’s worth noting here that an expert doesn’t necessarily have to be someone with formal education or training in the specific field and as long as the content you publish is factual and relevant, Google will have no reason to penalize your site.
A site’s authoritativeness determines its PageRank, a crucial search engine metric, and one telltale sign of authoritativeness is the number of people and other websites that link to your content. Think of a link to your site as a “vote” for your site’s expertise. The more people and pages link to your content, the more “votes” your site receives as an expert in the field, and the more important your site is in Google’s eyes. Put simply, while expertise is the demonstration of certain knowledge or skills, authoritativeness is the recognition of your knowledge and skills by others, to the point where you’d be considered an authority in that particular field – and Google would much rather reward an established authority over a site with thin and irrelevant content. The best, and only, way to build up your site’s reputation as an online authority is to regularly publish the expert content we mentioned in the previous section.
As we previously discussed, the content you create needs to provide its consumers with value. Whether targeting specific clients, customers, or average web users, the content you publish needs to be accurate, have a purpose, and contribute to your website’s user experience. Your site’s content also needs to be trustworthy and you want visitors to your site to trust you, along with the information you publish. In general, Google will rank a website that publishes trustworthy content its users will appreciate, and penalize websites that publish irrelevant and untrustworthy content.
How to Write Content Using E-A-T Guidelines?
So, we’ve understood the basics behind Google’s E-A-T requirements, but how can these be applied to your new and existing content? Here are a few guidelines you can follow to help Google’s search algorithm attach more importance to your site and its content.
Make Your Authors Known
Adding a name, and possibly even a face, to web content is one of the most important yet perhaps most overlooked aspects of good content writing. Think of it this way, would you rather trust a piece of content published by “Admin”, or one published by an actual person? If you’re like most, then you’ll likely agree with the latter. Make sure that every bit of content you publish for your website’s visitors includes, at the bare minimum, the author’s name. Ideally, you’ll also want to include the author’s photo and a short biography. This adds more credibility to your content while also giving you the opportunity to highlight any expert authors you collaborate with.
Be Easy to Contact
A trustworthy site is one that freely publishes information regarding the brand/business/individuals behind it and is easy to contact – and Google loves trustworthy sites. Websites that make it hard for you to contact or that refuse to tell you more about themselves just scream suspicious, so be sure to make your “Contact Us” and “About Us” pages easy to navigate to. One of the simplest ways of doing this is by adding them to your site’s main header or footer navigation bars.
Get Rid of Low-Quality Content
A quick way to improve your E-A-T is to remove or update old, outdated, or low-quality content. Remember that Google prefers sites that publish relevant, accurate content, so by hanging on to outdated content you could potentially be harming your rankings down the line. Stay on top of your content and regularly check it to ensure that the information you’ve published is still relevant and useful to today’s viewers.
Establish a Positive Brand Reputation
Any business that wants to succeed needs to develop a positive brand reputation, there’s no way around it. One of the ways in which businesses and brands can develop a positive brand reputation is by becoming thought leaders in their respective fields. By creating content that your target audience craves, you’re helping increase revenue while at the same time establishing your position as a thought leader. Thought leaders are brands or businesses that have gained a reputation as experts in their fields, with clients and customers actively seeking out such expertise. Becoming a thought leader is the ultimate proof of your authority in your field, which not only helps drive revenue but also helps Google trust you and your site.
In conclusion, Google cares about its users and following Google’s E-A-T guidelines when creating content for your site shows that you care too. If you’re interested in learning more about applying the E-A-T guidelines to your existing content strategy and enhancing your site’s overall user experience, contact the Three Marketers today to find out how we can help.