What is E-A-T in SEO and How it Works? (Beginner’s Guide)

What is EAT in SEO? How it Works?
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In SEO (Search Engine Optimization) E-A-T (Expertise – Authoritativeness – Trustworthiness) is a major factor. It was first introduced by Google in 2014. However, more details come later in 2018 in their “Search Quality Guidelines”.

In this article, I will introduce you to E-A-T, its detailed information & why you should consider it a vital part of your SEO campaign.

Definition of E-A-T at a Glance

Expertise

Anyone can write an article with some details from their personal experience. Or, even write an article by a freelancer or ghostwriter. It is easy to write and publish a finance, legal, medical-related blog post. 

However, what about the authenticity of the information presented in the content. A piece of inaccurate information can seriously harm the reader if it is an advice-related article.

As you can see, Google wants a verified & professionally experienced person to write that article otherwise it is not worthy to get on top of SERP (Search Engine Result Page).

Authoritativeness

It’s so obvious if I am not a doctor but giving you some advice on how to treat a major breakdown, what would happen. Google wants to confirm that I am a real doctor by giving my professional credentials on the article webpage. 

My education, certificate, job experience & of course verified from the authoritative webpage. For example, my credentials must have to present as well on the Hospital webpage.

In this way, Google can confirm a verified & professional doctor wrote this article & it won’t harm the readers.

Trustworthiness

It’s all about the clearness of your data before readers. Presenting all details like contact information, official email, office address, etc. By providing a Google map of office locations, you can become even clearer to your audience. 

Security is also a matter of trustworthiness. Provide SSL security of Privacy Policy for your reader thus, you guarantee their information is secure. 

Definition of E-A-T in form of SEO

There are around 1.72 billion websites that exist nowadays. Every day more than 4.4 million blog posts are published. It’s a huge database & hard to define which one is useful & which one is not. 

And for the sake of users, Google implemented this E-A-T to define the best high-quality & unique content that is useful for readers.

If you provide high-quality useful content to your users that fall in E-A-T rules & regulations then you will get better SEO performance while poor quality content won’t even show up in SERP.

Definition of Expertise in Broad

It’s all about how professional you are to present a piece of information to your audience that can be guaranteed. You can copy other works or even present scrapped content that could be harmful to the audience.

Google defined two types of expertise in its search guidelines.

Formal Expertise

That expertise requires an education & certificate of experience is called formal expertise. For example, doctor, engineer, architect, teacher, etc. When you publish content that falls under this formal expertise area, you require having experience & a certificate of professionalism in a particular field. 

by showing your expertise you can prove yourself to Google. And this is what E-A-T is all about?

Having a profile on the Hospital website can give a guarantee that what you have written in your blog post is not from a casual writer. The audience can take your advice & won’t regret it.

Everyday Expertise

What about a personal experience that does not require any formal education or certificate of professional job experience. For example, you are a mountain hiker. Do not have any related education in this field nor any certificate. 

However, you have 15 years of real-life experience in this field & written blog posts about mountain hiking. What would Google do to your website? 

Google said the type of expertise that does not require any sort of experience won’t get any penalization from SEO. Well-written, engaging & user-friendly content is all that is required for this type of expertise.

Building Expertise

There is another form of expertise that exists. A company having its content marketing team along with outsourcing talents i.e. freelancers, ghostwriters. In this case, providing high-quality, engaging content that is useful to the audience should be enough. 

If you can't write quality content by yourself then you can hire experts to do that work you. But you must have to publish high quality content on your site.

However, if the content falls under the “formal expertise” area then the company must have to write content by hiring professional experts, those who have education & certificate in that related field.

Definition of Authoritativeness in Broad

Displaying all the relevant information before the audience thus, readers can get an assurance of the quality of that information. So, how to do it properly?

Information that should display

  • Professional Title
  • Education (full details)
  • Certificates (full details)
  • Experience (how it’s connected to the topic)
  • Author bio
  • Author photo
  • Presence in the official website (connection to the professional field)

By presenting all the above information, you can give assurance to your audience that the person who writes this content has authority in this related field. Thus, the audience can trust the information.

However, when it comes to “everyday expertise” content, the author does not have to present authority like this. Why? Simple, when you are a real-life mountain hiker and writing advice for those who go for a hike. 

You are simply giving them advice, not a direct action that would otherwise harm them. But, when it comes to medical advice, someone may take your advice seriously and consume some medicine. Which could be serious damage to their health.

Another example of authority. When you publish health-related content to your SEO-related blog, it may have high authority in SEO however, zero authority in health. Therefore, Google marks this health-related content as having zero expertise & authority.

Reputation-based on Audience Reviews

Something you cannot control is audience reaction from various sources. You may indeed put positive reviews and comments on your website either by paying them or keeping only the positive reviews and comments. However, it’s not possible for an external source.

Thus, Google always looks for audience reviews about your site to measure the authority of your website content.

Definition of Trust in Broad

In simple terms, you give security to your audience. Their information, privacy, identity all are secure to you. When you can provide this guarantee, you become trustworthy.

How to become trustworthy?

  • SSL secure website (HTTPS connection)
  • Clear contact information displayed (publicly)
  • Company/Personal information displayed in about section
  • Clearly defined photos of person/team behind the website
  • Terms & Condition Page (clearly defined every detail)
  • Privacy Policy page (clearly defined every detail)
  • Reference to authority sites (cites to the sources)
  • Having backlinks from authorities & relevant sites

By getting all of these you guarantee that you are a trustworthy website & the content you have is also reliable. A secure web connection confirms that no information will leak away to hackers (financial information i.e. debit/credit card).

By clearly defining contact information & office address you guarantee that you are not fake. Terms & Conditions, Privacy Policy clearly defines that you are not going to sell users’ information to third parties or any other abuse.

Linking to other authorities & relevant sites to your content can increase trust. Having backlinks from other relevant & authority sites can confirm your expertise, authoritativeness & trust altogether.

Conclusion

Google is becoming more intelligent & authentic day by day. No more controlling SEO in your favor anymore. If you do not have quality, no matter what trick you implement doesn’t matter, it won’t work anymore. And this is how E-A-T explains everything.

It’s almost like a real-life business. If you can provide high-quality products your business will grow, more customers will purchase your products. The same goes for Google search engine SEO. If you have expertise, authority & trust, you will gain more organic traffic from Google.

Therefore, think about your audience, provide them quality content, be honest. That’s it, everything else will come to you naturally.