The basics of EAT and SEO
As you may be aware, the world of digital marketing is full of acronyms. In this article, we’re going to explore two crucial factors when it comes to increasing your SERP ranking (yep, another acronym — this one refers to your Search Engine Results Page). Essentially, you want your SERP ranking to be as high as possible to drive traffic to your website. So let’s look into how SEO and EAT can help you achieve this.
What is SEO?
Before we delve into EAT, it’s important to have a good understanding of Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). So what exactly is SEO? Well, Search Engine Optimisation is the practice of improving your website to make it more visible in search engine results.
SEO involves a number of techniques, including using the right keywords to ensure customers can find your business and click on your website. When they search for a certain word or phrase, you want to make sure your listing matches said phrase so you’ll appear high up on the results page.
Why is SEO important?
Ultimately, the higher your website appears in free search results (known as ‘organic’ search results), the more people will see your listing and click on your website. This extra traffic can lead to more business — and using those relevant keywords will help make sure that the people finding you are going to be interested in your product or service.
Did you know that the first position on a SERP gets 30% of all clicks? In contrast, fewer than 1% of internet users even look at the second page of results! As such, climbing those rankings can have a massive impact on your company’s visibility and success.
If you’re looking for support with optimisation, feel free to get in touch to discuss our SEO services — from local SEO strategies to content creation, we’re here to help your company’s SERP ranking soar.
And if you want to really dive into how search engine optimisation works, we have plenty of resources on our SEO hub.
What is EAT?
Nothing to do with being hungry, E-A-T actually stands for Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness. A key element within optimisation, the concept of EAT in SEO stems from Google’s Search Quality Rater guidelines, a 168-page document used to assess Google search results.
It looks at:
The expertise of the content creator — the content needs to demonstrate a high level of knowledge in a particular field.
The authoritativeness of the creator, the content itself, and the website as a whole. This means the author, company, and website all need a good reputation.
The trustworthiness of the creator, the content, and the website. Tying into authoritativeness, this is all about how accurate the information is and how trustworthy cited sources are.
In a nutshell, Google stipulates that high-quality content that follows EAT should:
- Help or inform readers
- Be created by an expert
- Appear on a credible site
- Be trustworthy
- Be regularly updated (especially ‘Your Money Your Life’ content, which we’ll explore in more depth later!)
Content that does all this is regarded as high quality and therefore ranks higher. So who decides whether or not a site is fulfilling those requirements, and how? Read on for more insight into how Google’s Search Quality Raters evaluate websites.
Why is EAT important?
Although it sounds confusing, EAT is not technically a ranking factor in SEO, but it can impact how your content ranks. How does that work? Well, as a guideline search engines use to decipher what content is high-quality (and therefore high ranking), EAT plays a role in several different aspects of Google’s algorithms. Therefore, although it isn’t an ‘official’ ranking factor, it can indirectly impact where your content ranks.
As such, it is certainly an important part of SEO. EAT guidelines are also important because they tell real human reviewers, who evaluate hundreds of websites — it’s not all done by algorithm — exactly what type of content Google considers high-quality.
EAT is essential for all businesses, but it’s particularly vital for Your Money Your Life (YMYL) sites. These sites are those that publish content which can “potentially impact a person’s future happiness, health, financial stability, or safety.” For example, financial or medical advice, business news, e-commerce, or other subjects related to big decisions or important aspects of people’s lives.
Because false information within YMYL content could potentially be detrimental to readers, Google highlights in its guidelines that companies who rely on these topics will be scrutinised to a higher degree.
How is EAT evaluated?
As you can see, the elements of E-A-T are similar — they are interconnected, but they’re not identical. As such, each one is evaluated against a different set of criteria. Google’s little elves, the Search Quality Raters, evaluate a piece of content’s EAT in the following ways:
A rater is looking for content that demonstrates depth of knowledge in a particular field. Whether about a topic, product or service, that know-how needs to be presented in a clear and engaging way.
For Your Money Your Life (YMYL) topics, such as financial or medical advice, the content must demonstrate formal expertise.
Non-YMYL content, on the other hand, needs to display relevant life experience and “everyday expertise.”
To evaluate authority, raters will look online for insights into the reputation of the content creator or the website as a whole. As well as having high-quality written content, creators need to make sure they show evidence of credibility — for example, have the sources within the content been cited?
Raters will also explore who’s mentioning, sharing, or citing the content on other sites. The more domain authority those who re-share the content have, the more it will benefit the original content creator.
To evaluate trustworthiness, raters look at a few aspects. As with authoritativeness, they want to see that any cited information is accurate and comes from trustworthy sources.
As well as showing accuracy, trustworthy content is seen to be transparent, with sufficient information about who is responsible for its creation, and the website more broadly. Contact information is especially important for YMYL topics and e-commerce sites.
Implementing effective SEO and EAT
Making sure your content follows EAT guidelines is a great way to optimise your website and improve your search engine result page ranking. If you’re looking for support with EAT or any other elements of SEO, why not get in touch with us today?
Our expert upUgo team has years of experience in crafting effective strategies to boost your company’s visibility and success.
Using industry knowledge and top-notch technology, we can develop a tailor-made solution just for you. We’re not about the off-the-shelf approach. So whether you need a hand with reputation management (don’t forget the authoritativeness and trustworthiness aspects of E-A-T!) or want to improve your overall content creation, we can come up with a bespoke strategy to help you gain visibility and shoot to success.
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