E-A-T Term

Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness. For example, pages that have a beneficial purpose, the amount of expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness (E-A-T) is very important.

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Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness. For example, pages that have a beneficial purpose, the amount of expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness (E-A-T) is very important.

Expertise

To be an expert is being “very knowledgeable about or skillful in a particular area”. However, possessing this knowledge alone is not going to get traffic flooding to your website from Google.

You need to understand how to communicate this knowledge in a way that engages people. It comes down to not only having the information but also knowing what your audience wants and how best to deliver the information to them.

Whenever a Googler is asking the question "How can my site improve its rankings?" the stock answer most often seems to be something like: “Create great content that your audience loves.” While this may seem like an overly-simplistic answer (and it is), it’s an answer which pretty much sums up what I’m writing about in this post, to be honest.

How do we create expert content? Well, here are a few tips to answer that question:

  1. Find out what your audience is searching for, then meet and exceed their needs. This begins with keyword research.

  2. Try to understand the searchers intent behind the terms you discover during that keyword research.

You should understand what stage these searchers are at in their journey as a consumer or as somebody getting involved in your industry. There are a plethora of situations here, depending on your exact case, but if you’re targeting, for example, a search term that clearly is for somebody who is new to the subject matter, then try not to use too much jargon and or gloss-over points that a novice is unlikely to understand.

  1. Find the balance between being comprehensive while keeping it simple. This comes down to formatting your text so it’s digestible, using visual aids or rich media like video or audio.

  2. Think about the next queries a searcher might have and have content ready to answer that, too. Suitable supplementary content should be internally linked and easy to access. It’s all about becoming the go-to source of information in your field.

Authority

Being an expert is great, but it's only the beginning. When other experts or influencers in your vertical are citing you as a source of information or when your name (or your brand) becomes synonymous with the relevant topics, then you are not just an expert — you're the authority.

Here are some of the KPI’s when it comes to judging your authoritativeness:

  • Links from relevant and authoritative websites are of course a huge factor when it comes to ranking websites and we certainly can’t discuss any framework for SEO success without emphasizing this.

Note: When we talk links, it’s all about building your domain’s authority. This means we want relevant websites who have gained authority in the space already to recommend us and there is no better endorsement that a website can get from another website owner, than a link.

  • While links are ideal, simply being mentioned in the news or on authoritative websites in your space will still boost your authoritativeness, in Google’s eyes. So, mentions are also something to strive for.

  • You can use the Moz Domain Authority score or the SEMrush Authority Score to help you understand the authority of a website.

  • Another reliable gauge of authority and trustworthiness is the Majestic ‘trust ratio’ score. If you can get a score close to 1.0 you know things are going well.

  • If your content is widely shared, genuinely and consistently across social media, this is also a sign of growing authority.

  • Building a brand is a good idea for many reasons, not least for SEO authority. Branded search volume is a good measure of how your brand authority is doing. If more and more people are searching for your brand name, this is amazing news. If they’re searching for your brand name with a relevant keyword attached, that’s even better.

  • Having a Wikipedia page for your brand and/or the people in your company is a big signal that you’re an authority. Keep in mind, getting a Wikipedia page is not easy unless you’re a recognized person/brand. However, this does come up within the Google raters’ guidelines, so it is something to strive for.

Trustworthiness

Proven trustworthiness is really important. While expertise and authority are factors that boost your rankings, trustworthiness or rather a lack thereof is what can easily tank your rankings on Google.

If you don’t reign-in any negative sentiment around your business, you will suffer on Google. Fundamentally, you need to be delighting your customers and if you have any complaints, you should address them before you end up with too much negativity attached to your brand. Google is very clear about this in their guidelines, too many bad reviews is a sign of low quality.

Positive reviews on places like Tripadvisor, Trustpilot, Facebook, Google My Business, and so on are going to really help. If you’re operating in the US, Canada, or Mexico, then you should be encouraging good reviews on bbb.org specifically. The Better Business Bureau is the go-to source for customer sentiment for Google, as referenced several times in their search evaluators guidelines.

Some ways that we can promote trustworthiness on our website are:

  • Having a clear way to make contact with the website owners.

  • Associating the website with a physical location, i.e. your office or store address.

  • Having a term of business or T&Cs page, which is easily accessible to users (usually from the footer).

  • Making sure your website’s domain is secure. Correctly implementing HTTPS is very important to Google and helps to ensure any data your users’ input won’t be intercepted by a nefarious 3rd party entity.

  • Having a privacy policy which is clearly accessible (usually from the footer).

  • If you’re accepting transactions, you should have clear refunds and returns policies.

  • If you’re selling products, try to include comprehensive specifications of the product and include any safety advice that might be relevant.

  • If you’re sharing knowledge, in general, it's a good idea to have an author biography included and to cite external sources where relevant. Linking out to authority sites is a good thing.

Last updated: 2020/12/11