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E-E-A-T, or Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness, is a relatively new framework (late 2022) Google uses to evaluate the quality and credibility of online content. Paying close attention to E-E-A-T signals can help you avoid penalties and maximize gains after Google algorithm updates.

What Does “EEAT” Mean?

Experience refers to the first-hand, real-world involvement the content creator has with the subject matter. This could mean the author of a smartphone review has actually tested the phone out, or the writer of an album recommendation write-up has in fact listened to each song in the album.

Expertise reflects the author’s depth of knowledge or skill level on the topic. This can come from formal education, like a medical degree for health content, or years of practical experience, like being a busy mom sharing recipes.

Authoritativeness measures how well-established and respected the content creator or website is as a go-to source in their field. This goes beyond just the content itself to look at the overall reputation and brand signals.

Trustworthiness assesses whether the website is accurate, honest, safe and reliable. Core factors like having an SSL certificate, clear contact info, business policies, and legitimately processing financial transactions all contribute to perceived trustworthiness. Trust is arguably the most important factor of the four.

EEAT Diagram
To conform with EEAT you must follow each of the points in the framework.

Is E-E-A-T important for SEO Rankings?

Absolutely. E-E-A-T is becoming increasingly crucial as Google doubles down on providing users with trustworthy, high-quality content from credible sources. A large proportion of a site’s traffic gains or losses happen around major Google updates specifically aimed at reassessing E-E-A-T factors.

The addition at the end of 2022 of an extra “E” for Experience to the acronym underscores just how vital demonstrating first-hand expertise has become, even for topics that may not require formal credentials.

How does EEAT impact SEO?

E-E-A-T plays a direct role in how Google’s algorithm ranks web pages, especially for sites operating in “Your Money Your Life” sectors like finance, healthcare and law where trustworthy information is paramount. The higher the perceived E-E-A-T signals, the higher a page is likely to rank.

Pages demonstrating high or very high E-E-A-T produce higher “information satisfaction” scores that help train Google’s machine learning systems. Conversely, pages lacking E-E-A-T almost certainly will not rank well.

Key E-E-A-T factors like topical authority and quality backlink profiles are only reassessed and updated during core algorithm refreshes. This makes it critical to align your content with E-E-A-T best practices prior to any major Google updates to support content driven SEO.

EEAT Moz
Accessed from: Moz website

What is an example of EEAT?

Imagine you are researching safe investment strategies for your retirement savings and come across a highly informative article on a personal finance website. Here we share some examples to illustrate the core principles of E-E-A-T:

Experience: The author bio reveals they are a Certified Financial Planner with over 20 years of experience advising clients on investment planning and retirement strategies. Clear evidence of extensive first-hand experience.

Expertise: Their credentials include a master’s degree in finance, and they are a frequent speaker at industry conferences and contributor to top finance publications like the Wall Street Journal. Demonstrable subject matter expertise.

Authoritativeness: The website itself is a well-known and respected resource in the personal finance realm. It ranks at the top of search results for many money management topics and has earned numerous “Best Personal Finance Blog” awards from major outlets like the Financial Times and the Motley Fool over the years. An authoritative voice in its niche.

Trustworthiness: The site has a robust “About” section detailing the qualifications of its authors and editorial staff. There are also plenty of positive user reviews, a secure customer log-in portal, clear privacy policy and contact information, and trust seals from cybersecurity authorities validating the safety of the site. Transparent and reassuring trust signals.

Imagine looking for a potentially fatal subject like “kidney disease symptoms,” and the top results are from low-authority websites or unidentified writers who lack industry knowledge and have nothing to contribute. You won’t feel comfortable or safe enough.  This is known to Google. It makes sure websites that exhibit E-E-A-T appear first on the results page for this reason.

Example results
If you do a Google search for “kidney disease symptoms”, reputable websites like WebMD, the NHS, hospitals and kidney organizations come up first in the SERPs.

How to Optimize Content for EEAT

To optimize for E-E-A-T, we recommend the following strategies:

Leverage Internal Experts – Have practitioners within your company/niche author content and showcase their credentials and real-world experience. Cite their quotes and insights.

Build Topical Authority – Comprehensively cover every aspect of your focus topics through in-depth, high-quality content organized into content hubs or clusters.

Marketing Topics

Earn High Authority Backlinks – Actively build backlinks from other authoritative, respected websites in your industry. Tools like the Ahrefs Link Intersect tool combined with digital PR outreach can help.

High DR sites
Example of some links we have with high Domain Rating

Demonstrate E-E-A-T Signals:

– Create robust author bio pages detailing qualifications and experience

– Maintain an informative “About” page showcasing credentials and social proof

– Use schema markup to reinforce E-E-A-T for Google

– Cite sources and reference reputable third-party sites

– Leverage multimedia like original photos/videos as proof of first-hand experience

– Secure your site with HTTPS and clear business policies/contact info

– Regularly update content to show expertise and reflect latest info

Schema Example
You can check your current Schema mark up on the Google Developers website.

 

Focus on Information Gain – Don’t settle for replicating what’s already ranking. Leverage internal experts to identify gaps and create uniquely valuable content beyond competitors.

User Feedback Signals – Encourage user reviews, testimonials and brand mentions to demonstrate people find your content trustworthy and authoritative.

While optimizing for E-E-A-T is an ongoing effort, Google shows no signs of deprioritizing these factors anytime soon. By thoroughly establishing your site’s experience, expertise, authoritativeness and trustworthiness, you can improve your ability to rank and future-proof your SEO against upcoming algorithm updates.

If you need expert guidance on implementing a EEAT for your website content, contact Phoenix Media today. Our team specializes in helping businesses optimize for Google’s evolving quality standards and cement their online authority.

  • Published on : Thursday May 30, 2024

About the author

As the managing partner for Phoenix Media, Rob brings over 10 years’ experience in digital marketing and running successful agencies in the UK, Australia and Thailand. Starting in a sales role he has covered all aspects of the agency from sales and service to technical ad operations. Reach him directly on rob@phoenixmedia.co.th

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