What is E.A.T. and why is it important to your search engine optimization (SEO)?
Well, in my best Michael Keaton voice from the movie Multiplicity, “I like pizza, Steve.” No, just kidding. That is definitely not what we mean by E.A.T. in this particular instance. Although, I DO like pizza! (Even if your name isn’t Steve.)
In the world of Google and search engine optimization, E.A.T. is an acronym for expertise, authoritativeness and trustworthiness. It is synonymous with page quality. It is Google doing an absolutely awesome job at keeping everyone safer on the internet. And 99% of the people out there have no idea that Google is even doing it.
A few years ago they came out with YM/YL. That was an acronym for your money or your life. Essentially what it boiled down to is any type of blog or website that dealt with any type of financial topic for an individual or any type of topic that could have potential health ramifications for them was scrutinized to a much greater degree than any other website. Makes total sense, right?
With the Inception of E.A.T., they have taken it many steps further. Google is now paying tons of real, live people to explore your blog or website and apply the many different parameters they have set forth to determine your level of expertise, authority and trustworthiness. The Google Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines (SQEG) go into over 200 pages of detail on everything these reviewers should take into consideration as they comb through your material.
A main point Google drives home is the fact websites and webpages should provide helpful content for the consumer. That seems like kind of a “duh!” statement, I know but there are many scammers out there. Google is just keeping them at bay.
Keeping Out The Riff-Raff!
Basically, in a nutshell, they are eliminating the riff-raff from the neighborhood. The bad guys are going to Google jail and the good guys are doing what they do. Which is providing tons of excellent content for the people who want and need it.
What do you need to do?
Some of the more common things to be taken into consideration in order to demonstrate your expertise, authority and trustworthiness are as follows.
First and foremost, is relevance. Your content must be relevant to what your readers are looking for. Search Metrics has an excellent article on this topic.
Focus on topics rather than just keywords when constructing your content. If you reader is looking for information on the great rock band, Pan-freaking-tera and your blog post is about, the awesome supercar of yesteryear known as the Pantera, they shouldn’t be stumbling across your site. Pantera is the same relevant keyword in both instances but they are two separate and very distinctly different topics.
Next, your readers need to be able to contact you. And, they need to be able to easily figure out how to do so. For instance, you’ll notice on my website, my email address is displayed prominently at the very top of every page, in bright red letters. It doesn’t get any easier to figure out than that.
In addition, I also have set up a bright red chat button on every page as well. It is extremely easy to contact me from my website.
Next, my name is prominently displayed everywhere on my website. At the time of this writing, I am the sole author on Advance Dynamix. That will most likely change in the future but when it does, those authors will be prominently named at the top of their posts as well. And, their biographies will be included too. Blog posts that are written by a person who goes by the name “anonymous” are no bueno. Your readers need to be able to identify with who you and your other authors are.
To take that point a step further, it is extremely important your website has an about page that goes into great detail explaining how and why people should be able to trust you. You should do everything you can to help them to know what experience and education you possess that qualifies you as an authority on the subject you are writing about.
Understand, any Joe Blow can say that he went to any college and got any degree on their website. That is not what I’m talking about here. Yes, of course your education listed out on your about page will be helpful. However, the experience you have gathered will play a great part of that role as well. In my mind, experience definitely outweighs education here. If your blog goes into great detail on the joys of country living, you sure as hell aren’t going to learn a whole lot about that at some fancy-dancy institution of higher education!
Another thing that will help is comments on your blog posts. Obviously, positive comments carry much more weight. It is also extremely important you respond to these comments as well.
Additionally, as with anything else, it is always important to cite your sources. If you read an article that provided a portion of information in relation to what you’re writing about, cite that article.
Of course, websites with more authority are going to make better citations than websites and blogs that have no authority or poor authority. For instance, an article on a United States Government website or an educational institution website is going to hold more authority than a brand new blog with zero authority. Obviously, citations from Google Scholar and Google Blog will carry some juice also.
Lastly but certainly not least is site security. Trust is the “T” in E.A.T. It is extremely important your site is secure. As you probably know, I use and recommend WPX Web Hosting. One of the many reasons I do so is because they offer a Secure Socket Layer (SSL) certificate setup that is included in the cost you are already paying. So, essentially, it is free. They happily set mine up for me for free and it only took them a few seconds to do so. You can see how fast and easy the install is here. (I’ve said a million times before but it bears repeating, WPX Web Hosting is absolutely awesome!) Now, you will notice my site has an “S” in the domain. It is http(s) rather than just http. This is not only a huge relief for your readers (now, they know your site is secure) but Google also loves it too because it adds one more piece to the layers of E.A.T. for your site.
I know this can seem like a daunting topic at first. Whatever you do, don’t let all of this scare you. It’s a good thing Google is doing this. It’s making the internet safer for everyone. As long as you are continually producing good, quality content and backing it up with citations from solid links such as Google Scholar and government websites and the like that automatically have a high level of authority, you will be good. Most bloggers aren’t even aware this is a thing. Therefore, they are not doing anything that I have listed above that you should be doing to help your site do better.
Thank you for giving your extremely important time up to read this. I hope you have enjoyed this post and found it beneficial to YOUR Advance Dynamix. Whether you love it or hate (or, your enjoyment level was somewhere in-between), please comment below and let me know what your thoughts are. I always strive to provide, great high-quality content that you, the reader, will both enjoy and benefit from. That being said, I also understand I don’t know it all. If have additional points I missed in this post, by all means, please post them below so everyone can benefit from them.