December 15, 2022 Google unveiled a new acronym, E-E-A-T, as part of an extensive update to its quality rater guidelines. Google's Quality Rater Guidelines provide criteria to evaluate the quality of search results. Google recently overhauled this document, adding 11 new pages and changing the structure significantly. The most important change is the introduction of the letter E to the start of the popular acronym E-A-T (Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness). Emphasizing these three qualities when evaluating website content can help to improve search engine results. For many senior SEO experts, this was implied and is not detailed.
Expertise is a measure of an author's or creator's knowledge and experience in their field. Authoritativeness looks at how credible and reliable a website is in terms of its content and sources. Lastly, Trustworthiness looks at if a website can be relied on to deliver accurate information to users. Quality content creation necessitates incorporating all three elements for successful search engine visibility. Google is updating its criteria to make sure only websites with high E-A-T ratings are listed first in SERPs.
Understanding the subject matter is important for achieving success with Google's E-E-A-T guidelines. The search quality rater guidelines from Google describe the criteria used for evaluation. According to Google's recent search quality rater guidelines, this is what they say about experience:
“Consider the extent to which the content creator has the necessary first-hand or life experience for the topic. Many types of pages are trustworthy and achieve their purpose well when created by people with a wealth of personal experience. For example, which would you trust: a product review from someone who has personally used the product or a “review” by someone who has not?” the single most critical element of E-E-A-T is Trust, Google states, “because untrustworthy pages have low E-E-A-T no matter how Experienced, Expert, or Authoritative they may seem.” Experience, expertise, and authoritativeness in combination offers insight to a quality rater's trust assessment.
By adhering to Google's E-A-T standards, you will construct a level of trust that satisfies the criteria of their quality evaluators and excel in E-E-A-T SEO.
Here's how to ensure you maintain that trust by demonstrating first-hand experience.
Becoming an expert requires in-depth knowledge and/or specialized training or real world experience. As an example, if you have honed your artistic skills on your own for a decade and have participated in numerous gallery exhibitions, then you would be considered an expert. Becoming an expert in the legal field requires going to law school, passing the bar exam, and gaining experience through the practice of law. Expertise is not enough to be viewed as an authority, however.
Authoritativeness is more than just being an expert. Do your peers recognize you as an expert on a certain topic based on your real-world experience and formal training? Establishing a track record of excellence is necessary to pass this test. Do you provide training, certification, or information to experts in your industry?
E-E-A-T SEO - How Does Google E-E-A-T Get Applied?
Google’s E-E-A-T (Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness) signals are used to measure the quality of content on websites. These signals are measured at three levels: content, author, and publisher. To apply these signals effectively, Google needs to understand the expertise of the content creator, the authority of the author or publisher behind it, and how trustworthy that source is.
At the content level, Google looks for evidence that a website contains high-quality information that is accurate and up-to-date. It also evaluates whether the content is written in an authoritative manner with proper citations and references to back up claims. At the author level, Google assesses whether an individual has sufficient expertise in their field to be considered an expert on a given topic. Finally, at the publisher level, Google evaluates whether a person or company can be trusted as a reliable source of information. All three levels must be met in order for a website to rank highly in search engine results pages (SERPs).
Creating A Level Of Expertise
Consider focusing on one channel as a trustworthy source to highlight your profile with first-hand, life experience and expertise. Consolidate author expertise signals to one single channel (e.g. LinkedIn, Twitter or profile pages on a website), and then emphasize your degree of experience, expertise, and knowledge. Properly formatted with schema markup, this signals Google E-E-A-T algorithm.
Google's E-E-A-T signals are focused on determining the author of the content. Entity SEO involves recognizing which entities belong where as part of the reconciliation process. To maximize the E-E-A-T benefit, become an expert using a single social profile and direct all EEAT signals towards it.
Many recommend LinkedIn as the perfect channel for author reconciliation. LinkedIn is search engine friendly and offers many options to display professional experience such as, recommendations, qualifications, connections, posts, etc. The EEAT discussion includes the consideration of an author's work experience, making it a key factor in judging their eligibility.
Review, check and optimize your profile and all of the other attorney's LinkedIn profiles at the law firm. Make sure the posts they include on the website has connections to their profiles, making it clear which social accounts Google should connect with that author (using Schema.org's sameAs property).
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