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What is E-A-T and why is it essential for SEO? Does Google matter to it?

    You probably know that Google's algorithm is designed to evaluate whether the content it collects is quality and reliable. What you don't know is that there is a group of people responsible for making sure Google does it correctly.

    That is exactly it. Google employs a group of contracting people to test the accuracy of the algorithm by manually performing the Google searches that people often search for.

    Those who check the algorithm scores are called Quality Reviewers (QRs). They were provided with a list of searches to perform the evaluation, such as “should I buy the iphone?”, They were instructed to double check the quality of the high-ranking websites for searches. that sword.

    While Quality Reviewers are only contract workers and are not employed by Google, they still undergo extensive training to know what a good search result will look like. The main resource that Google uses to train Quality People is the Search Quality Ranking Guide. The main set of guidelines that Quality Reviewers are instructed to use can be summarized by the acronym E-A-T: Expertise – Expertise, Authority- Powers and Trustworthiness- Reliability.

    The importance of EAT becomes more apparent when Google updates its Search Quality Ranking Guidelines in May 2019. Google spends a lot of time on their update guides on the EAT concept. .

    What is E-A-T?

    E-A-T is made up of three principles that Google uses to evaluate each piece of content it collects. The three principles are:

    • Specialize – Content author should be an expert on certain subject. Quality reviewers are instructed to gain technical expertise by understanding the author's experience on the topic they are writing. However, the author is not always a well-trained person on the subject they write. Maybe they have experience accumulated directly with a certain topic.
    • Authorities – The author should be a person who is well known for the topic they write or in their area of ​​activity. For Google Quality reviewers, this does not mean that the author should have 100,000 followers on Twitter, although not causing any ill effects. It is possible that their author or publication won an award in the field of activity that makes them authoritative on this subject.
    • Reliability – Is the proof we can trust the content on the site. Quality reviewers check reliability by looking at the entire site. They focus on finding security policies, editorial policies, and security updates.

    Google quality reviewers use the acronym (E-A-T) to confirm that Google ranks high quality sites above lower quality, less reliable websites.

    How does Google's algorithm evaluate E-A-T?

    We know that Google quality reviewers are required to evaluate search results for E-A-T, but does Google's algorithm really evaluate E-A-T or is it just a side effect of high ranking websites?

    It is really surprising that Google gave us the answer to this question. In an authoritative report published in February 2019, Google confirmed that these elements are part of their algorithm. Unfortunately, that report did not tell us what the exact ranking factors of E-A-T were.

    To find the EAT rating factors, we can put them together by taking notes from Google's public search links tool and checking Google's Quality Ranking Guidelines, according to journalist Daniel Sullivan.

    One important thing to note about Google Quality reviewers is that they do not directly affect Google's algorithm when it comes to E-A-T. They are here to make sure the pages Google is providing the service comply with E-A-T guidelines.

    Journalist Daniel Sullivan made a comparison with the restaurant reviewer – although the reviewer didn't cook, they would give the chef a review of whether the dish was good or not.

    This difference is important because while Quality Reviewers may not affect rankings, it is reasonable to assume that their principles are similar to the principles that Google's algorithm follows. EAT rating.

    E-A-T and YMYL

    One thing is clear from Google's medic update: E-A-T has a lot of influence on your Life, Property website (YMYL- Your Life, Your Money). Google claims that YMYL sites have higher page quality standards than non-YMYL sites because they have a greater impact on someone's life.

    When Google's Medic update was released, Marie Haynes found that YMYL websites were more severely affected than others. In a blog post, Marie published screenshots of YMYL websites showing a sharp drop in traffic due to the Medic Update.

    That's just an example, but there are many other YMYL websites that have experienced similar sharp declines.

    If you are still confused about the type of website that Google classifies as YMYL, Google has provided us with a very useful definition. YMYL's websites are “(websites) that may impact the happiness, health, financial stability or safety of users in the future”. Google also gives specific examples of these types of websites:

    • Financial transaction pages
    • Financial information page
    • Medical information page
    • Legal information page
    • Important news or mainstream / community information page for citizens to stay informed

    If your company's website does not fall into any category, it does not mean that E-A-T does not apply to you. Google says that E-A-T applies to any site it collects – fashion blogs, gossip websites, forums and satirical genre sites.

    If your company is not in the YMYL category, you need to pay more attention to what you will publish. Please make sure all the requests you make and are quoted as correct. In addition, you also want to take steps to demonstrate the authority and expertise of the authors who write the content for you.

    Google's guidelines for high E-A-T

    One of the best things about Google's Search Quality Ranking Guidelines is to give specific examples of high E-A-T websites and explain why those sites have high E-A-T. We can use those examples to redesign E-A-T.

    Websites rated by Google with a high E-A-T can be classified into three categories:

    • High reputation – famous publication.
    • Good user experience – publications help users do what they need.
    • Reference – about the website itself.

    High reputation

    Google quotes this paragraph from Wall Street Magazine because of the high E-A-T. Why? Because of its well-known authors, the content is profoundly clear, the newspaper itself has won 40 Pulitzer prizes.

    Google also listed this paragraph from Snopes for having a high E-A-T. Although Snopes is not a newspaper, Google said that Snopes still has a high EAT because "Users can trust the information on this site due to the positive reputation of the site and the high level of expertise. uncover episodes that are not in the YMYL genre ".

    Good user experience

    Here it is An example of E-A-T high from the wedding site, The Knot. This site doesn't carry traditional content, but Google still rates E-A-T highly because it has: lots of images, plus options that can be viewed by price range, style, etc. ".

    Reference

    Here, all the examples above are from famous companies. But, Google also gives examples of high E-A-T websites from anonymous companies.

    Harbor Fish and Chips is a California based restaurant that owns a website that is not modern or too sophisticated.

    However, Google says its website has a high E-A-T because it provides information about the time the restaurant is open and information and notifications to visitors. Other pages on the website provide information about the restaurant, including address, menu, other contact information, etc.This website is highly authoritative because the information given is about the restaurant itself.

    What can we draw from these examples?

    A good reputation can take years to build. If you do not have a high reputation, simply because you are not known much, but does not mean you can not have high E-A-T. You can still get a high EAT by providing a great user experience, providing well-researched quality content, and making sure your site is clear about information like who you are and why it specializes. Your subject is competent.

    Google examples of low E-A-T

    On the other hand, Google's guidelines also give examples of low E-A-T pages. There are several reasons why pages may have low E-A-T, but mainly fall into the following three categories:

    • Non-professional – The content is not quality and full of spelling errors.
    • No expertise – There is no evidence that the author is specialized in what he writes.
    • Inaccurate – There is a clear indication that the content is incorrect

    Unprofessional

    The article is cited from a low E-A-T source because it is unprofessional and contains grammatical errors.

    The article is paraphrased from another site, but there are facts and figures wrong.

    For similar reasons, Google says the article has a low E-A-T because it is full of misspellings, inaccuracies and meaninglessness.

    No expertise

    An article of the YMYL genre of financial advice with low E-A-T. According to Google's guidelines, the article has a low E-A-T because there is no evidence that the authors have expertise in this area.

    Incorrect

    The article did not mention the author, there was no citation and there was very little information about the news organization that published the content.

    What can we draw from these examples?

    Low E-A-T is not always easy to pick out. Some of the examples above have a great user experience, but if the content is full of spelling errors, Google will not rank highly. If you are claiming a benefit, it is better for you to quote to back up and not publish false content.

    How to improve E-A-T

    E-A-T improvement problem is not a one-time fix. You need to take a number of steps to improve the quality of what you publish and your entire site. These steps are all you need to do to make your website as useful as possible.

    Doing it well is thinking about the websites that publish the highest quality content you visit. What do they do that their website and content achieve high quality? Chances are, they follow some of the steps we listed below.

    1) Optimize the Introduction page and the Author page

    These sites are extremely important to E-A-T. They help Google become aware of your expertise and authority.

    Those pages explain why your company is qualified and competent in the field you operate and why content writers are experts. You need to list any awards and honors in the field you achieve. You should also link with related social media channels for both your company and the authors writing for you.

    2) Make the 'contact us' options clearer

    This belongs to the Reliability section of E-A-T. Through the Quality Ranking Guidelines, Google refers to easy contact with the company that owns your website. In Google's view, if your site doesn't allow visitors to contact you, you're probably hiding something. Those are all arguments about transparency.

    If you want site visitors to be able to call you, put your phone number in the header and footer. Use the live chat plug-in to allow visitors to chat with you. There should be a page dedicated to “Contacting Us”. Even if your website is just a blog and nothing else, it should give the reader an email address so they can contact you.

    3) Create a privacy policy

    Classify this step in the Reliability section of E-A-T. Just every website on the internet should have a privacy policy. If you accept information from credit card payments, use analytical tools (such as Google Analytics) or use remarketing tools, you need a privacy policy.

    The privacy policy tells users how you plan to collect and use their data. Google wants to see a privacy policy on a website because it helps create the belief that you don't do anything nefarious with the data you're collecting.

    Privacy policies should be placed in the footer of every page on your site.

    4) Create Editorial Guides

    If you write and publish content on your website, you should consider creating editorial guides. This step is specifically broken down in Google's Search Quality Ranking Guidelines. Editorial guides will help improve reliability by proving that you have a well-defined process for creating and editing content.

    This is what Google puts a lot of value into. If you are serious about creating content, it will not cause any negative effects when you spend time creating editorial guides.

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    5) Increase positive reviews

    A positive review on third-party websites is a signal to help Google identify that you are a trusted authority in the area in which you operate.

    6) Secure investment

    Privacy is a major issue for Google. In 2015, they announced that secure websites would rank higher than non-secure websites. In Google's view, secure websites are more reliable.

    At the very least, you'll want to make sure your site has an SSL certificate. You should also consider the security standards for your industry. Your goal with this step is to create the most reliable website possible – Both Google and your site visitors will appreciate you for that.

    7) Pay attention to your authors

    Expertise and authority make up two-thirds of E-A-T, so the other reason is that you need to value your content authors. If your trainee is in charge of writing all blog content, Google probably won't consider them to be experts. The experts in your company are people in the leadership group, or people who have been working in that field for a long time.

    If you have trouble finding those who write your blog content, you may want to consider using a hired writer. As long as the writer hiring you to use has a track record of creating high quality content, Google will probably never know that content published under the CEO name is not actually written by your CEO.

    8) Delete low E-A-T content

    Some low quality content can drag your entire website down. If your company has been writing and publishing content for years, chances are a few low-quality works have been published.

    When it comes to E-A-T, it's not always good. Take some time to find your low quality pages and remove them. You can do this by editing those pages to improve or completely remove the problematic pages.

    Time for you to do E-A-T

    E-A-T is a factor that Google takes very seriously – it has been mentioned 134 times in their updated Search Quality Rank guidelines. With such emphasis in those guidelines, you can see that Google's algorithm also takes E-AT very seriously. We saw evidence of that fact in Google's Medic Update.

    Now it's time for you to take E-A-T seriously. Creating a high E-A-T for a site won't complete in just one night, but if you build the eight-step strategy we've outlined above, you'll have a good chance to improve your E-A-T.

    Has your website improved EAT yet?

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