Understanding the Importance of Google’s E-E-A-T

Ryse Cornelius

February 5, 2024

What we cover in this post:

EEAT stands for Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness, and it’s a concept that has become increasingly important for online content creators and businesses that want to be found on Google.

In a nutshell, EEAT is a way for Google to evaluate whether content is high-quality and trustworthy. Experience refers to the level of real-life experience that the creator or writer has with a topic, while expertise refers to their knowledge and skills. Authoritativeness is about being recognized as a leader in the field, and trustworthiness refers to how reliable and truthful the content is.

EEAT is so important now, especially with the rise of AI. With the advent of AI-generated content, it’s becoming more difficult to distinguish between content that’s created by humans and content that’s created by machines. That’s where EEAT comes in. By evaluating a page’s EEAT score, Google can determine whether the content is likely to be high-quality, original, and trustworthy. In fact, Google’s latest update to its Quality Rater Guidelines has added that extra “E” to EEAT, emphasizing the importance of experience in addition to expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness. This means that content created by someone who has first-hand experience with a topic is more likely to be considered high-quality and trustworthy.

So, what does this mean for you as a content creator or business owner? It means that you need to focus on creating high-quality content that demonstrates your expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness, while also emphasizing your experience and real-life knowledge. This will help Google to see that your content is reliable, original, and trustworthy, and therefore more likely to rank highly in search results.EEAT is a crucial concept that you need to understand if you want your content to be found on Google. By focusing on experience, expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness, you can create high-quality content that stands out from the rest. With the rise of AI-generated content, demonstrating your EEAT score is more important than ever to help Google distinguish between human-created content and machine-generated content.

With that in mind, we’ve come up with a series of commonly asked and generally useful Q&A’s to help you navigate the terrain. Read on and learn to diplomatically ensure that your content is up to standard.

Q: How do I know if my website’s content meets the EEAT criteria?

A: You can evaluate your website’s content based on the four EEAT criteria – experience, expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness. Ask yourself if your content is accurate, backed by reliable sources, and provides valuable insights. If your content is written by experts in the field or the author shows first-hand experience on the topic, it meets the EEAT criteria.

It helps to have a professional review of your site as well. At Extreme Exposure, one of the services we offer is a comprehensive EEAT assessment of your site along with several of your competitors for comparison.

Q: We already have a company doing SEO for us, will that take care of optimizing our EEAT?

A: Not always. At Extreme Exposure we include EEAT optimization as part of our full SEO packages, but many agencies don’t. SEO is not a cookie-cutter process, and SEO agencies can vary wildly in what services they apply or even how current they are on trends in SEO practices.

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Conceptual piece. Business people building with blocks

If you are working with an SEO agency, make sure you have a conversation with them about what they are doing to improve your EEAT, and what they are doing to help Google understand the quality of your content. You’ll know more about how to have that conversation after reading this article.

Q: Is there a specific formula or percentage of EEAT that my content needs to meet to rank higher on Google?

A: There is no specific formula or percentage for meeting the EEAT criteria, but it is essential to have high-quality content that demonstrates expertise, authoritativeness, trustworthiness, and experience. Additionally, Google has indicated that low-quality or unhelpful content can drag down your website overall. We also recommend that you remove content that was obviously generated to rank in search engines, which is directly contrary to Google’s guidance.

Q: Can AI-generated content meet the EEAT criteria?

A: Theoretically, AI-generated content can meet the EEAT criteria if it is accurate, backed by reliable sources, and provides valuable insights. However, the lack of human expertise or experience might affect the content’s credibility. Usually AI content does not show where the knowledge comes from, making it difficult to meet the EEAT guidelines. In any case, since AI often makes factual errors, the content must be reviewed and edited by someone who can bring Experience and Expertise to their review.

Q: How do I build credibility and trustworthiness as a website or content creator?

A: You can build credibility and trustworthiness by providing accurate and reliable information, citing trustworthy sources, using a clear and concise writing style, and regularly updating your content. Also, by displaying “trust builders” on your website, you help achieve this (think of a BBB A+ rating or Chamber of Commerce membership badge.

Q: What should I do if I receive negative reviews or feedback that affects my website’s credibility?

A: You should address negative feedback or reviews promptly and professionally. You can respond to comments and reviews, clarify any misinformation, and take necessary steps to improve the content and credibility of your website. Remember, very few legitimate businesses don’t have at least a few negative reviews, so don’t stress about it unless you’re seeing a lot of them. At the same time, be proactive about your reputation management by regularly reaching out to satisfied customers and encouraging them to leave reviews. Positive reviews dilute the impact of any negative reviews.

Q: Does EEAT apply to all types of content, such as social media posts or product descriptions?

A: EEAT applies to all types of content that appear on the web and that might be surfaced by a Google search, including social media posts and product descriptions. It is essential to provide accurate and reliable information, backed by trustworthy sources. Google has explicitly claimed that EEAT is a factor in every search query they respond to.

“E-A-T is a template for how we rate an individual site. We do it to every single query and every single result. It’s pervasive throughout every single thing we do.”

Hyung-Jin Kim, VP of Search, Google, speaking at SMX Next 2022

Q: How important is EEAT compared to other SEO factors, such as keyword optimization or backlinks?

A: EEAT is an essential factor for SEO, but it is not the only factor that affects search rankings. Other SEO factors, such as keyword optimization and backlinks, also play a significant role.

Q: What resources or tools are available to help me improve my website’s EEAT score?

A: Google’s Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines and Webmaster Guidelines provide valuable insights into the EEAT criteria and best practices for creating high-quality content, and also help you to get inside Google’s “mind,” in a manner of speaking.

Q: How often does Google update its EEAT guidelines and ranking algorithm?

A: Google updates its EEAT guidelines and ranking algorithm regularly to provide the best user experience and surface the most relevant and trustworthy information. The updates are often announced on the Google Search Central blog.

Q: How long does it take to improve my EEAT?

A: Improving your EEAT is a long-term process that requires a consistent and sustained effort over time. It can take several months or even years to see significant improvements in your online visibility and credibility, although a greater investment of time and effort can often accelerate this timeline. It is not a one-time assessment but an ongoing process.

Q: Can EEAT help me rank higher on Google?

A: Yes, improving your EEAT can help you rank higher on Google and other search engines by improving the quality and relevance of your content.

Q: Is EEAT relevant for all types of businesses?

A: Yes, EEAT is relevant for all types of businesses that have an online presence and are looking to attract and retain their audience. Whether you are a small business owner, a freelancer, or a large corporation, improving your EEAT can help you achieve your online marketing goals.

Q: Why should I care about EEAT? Can’t I just focus on creating good content?

A: Of course, creating good content is important, but it’s not enough. In today’s digital world, there’s a lot of noise and competition, and search engines like Google are getting better at identifying and rewarding content that demonstrates expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness. By focusing on EEAT, you can help your content stand out and build trust and credibility with your audience.

Q: Can’t I just buy links or use other shady tactics to boost my rankings?

A: No, you really can’t. Google and other search engines have gotten much better at identifying and penalizing websites that use spammy or manipulative tactics to try to boost their rankings. In fact, these tactics can actually hurt your EEAT and make it harder for you to rank well in the long run. Instead, focus on creating high-quality content, building relationships with other reputable websites, and engaging with your audience in a genuine and authentic way.

Q: Is it worth investing time and money into improving my EEAT?

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Retro effect and toned image of a woman hand writing a note with a fountain pen on a notebook. Handwritten text Take The Time To Build Trust and Credibility as business concept image

A: Absolutely. Investing in your EEAT can pay off in a big way in the long run, by helping you attract more traffic, build trust and credibility with your audience, and establish yourself as a thought leader in your industry. While it may take some time and effort to achieve, the rewards can be significant and long-lasting. Plus, by focusing on creating high-quality content and engaging with your audience, you’ll be building a foundation for long-term success that will serve you well for years to come.

Q: How does having good EEAT benefit my website or business?

A: Having good EEAT can benefit your website or business in several ways. First, it can help you attract more traffic from search engines and social media, as users are more likely to click on and engage with content that they perceive as authoritative and trustworthy. Second, it can help you build trust and credibility with your audience, which can lead to more conversions and sales. Finally, it can help you establish yourself as a thought leader in your industry, which can lead to opportunities for speaking engagements, media coverage, and other forms of recognition.

EEAT is About More than SEO

When you think about it, viewing your business through an EEAT lens will help your business in every aspect of its interaction with customers and with all of its messaging and marketing. Customers want to do business with companies that demonstrate Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness, whether it’s showing up in a search, or answering a customer’s inquiry by phone or in person. By developing an EEAT mindset, you set yourself up for success with Google…and beyond!

Google has gone back and forth on the issue of whether AI-generated content is “bad.” We’ve seen at least one study that claims it ranks lower. However, we stand by the opinion that tying content to a human author with E-E-A-T on the topic is always going to be preferable to Google.

 

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