We all know that Google’s organic search algorithms are a well-kept secret shrouded in constant speculation. Its reported 400 computational signals and their weightings are a formula no SEO has been able to crack just yet. While consistent updates and tweaks to the core code mean we have to consistently optimise and stay up to date with these latest changes.
Google keeps us all in the dark and on occation feeds us just enough scraps of information known as best practice guidelines to keep us motivated to keep going.
Google’s recently updated its core code in August with one of the most important changes to the guidelines was a greater focus on Expertise, Authority, and Trustworthiness (E-A-T), as well as a focus on applying this to individual authors—not just brands or web pages.
Which is important to note as Google continues to try to return more relevant content and not give an unfair much advantage to sites with better domain authority.
What is E-A-T?
E-A-T is closely related to what Google calls “Your Money or Your Life” (YMYL) pages. YMYL pages are those that have topics on medical advice, legal advice, financial advice and the like. It broadly applies to any content that could positively or negatively affect a user’s happiness, health, and wealth.
- An online store asking for your credit card info
- A mommy blog giving parenting advice
- A financial institution blog offering legal advice
- A medical health page listing symptoms for a rare disease
High-ranking YMYL pages will show a high level of E-A-T. That’s because the safer a user feels while visiting a page, and the more the content meets their search query, the more it will meet the needs of E-A-T.
Sites that are genuinely offering helpful advice or a solution to a problem will meet these needs more readily than sites that try to game Google’s system.
WHy IS E-A-T important?
Essentially, E-A-T determines a website’s value based on relevance and quality. Quality raters keep E-A-T in mind when judging how good a site or page provides what they need.
They evaluate a website for a good online experience and if the content meets their standards. If the raters feel like a user would feel comfortable reading, sharing, and recommending the content, that earns the site a high level of E-A-T.
Think of E-A-T as the reason why users would choose your site over your competition’s. Because it could have a direct impact on how Google receives — and ultimately ranks — your website.
E-A-T for eCommerce
E-A-T is not just a blog or long form content evaluation socre and will be equally as important for product and service pages.
E-A-T will affect eCommerce site rankings because shopping pages are considered by the rater guidelines to be “Your Money or Your Life” (YMYL) pages, and these types of pages are held to the highest quality standards. For that reason, they are also expected to have the highest E-A-T.
If you want your shopping pages to show up in the search results, you will need to identify how to maximize your E-A-T score for Google’s hypothetical human quality raters, which Google’s algorithms are designed to emulate.
How will e-a-t affect your site?
If your site has been sitting pretty on top of the rankings due to a strong domain authority and a superior linking profile then E-A-T could hit you negatively as content becomes a priority.
This means sites with more content and superior content will , in fact, begin leapfrog you so larger sites will start to see disruption in traffic from pages they thought we’re always going to be consistent traffic drivers.
You are what you E-A-T
While this may not seem like an important change for many and the end user will not realise it at all it will continue to keep websites honest as well as giving the independent or smaller sites and authors the ability to break into search results.
E-A-T may not affect websites in emerging markets as much since content production is scarce in these regions but for more competitive markets it will definitely have an effect on the way SERPs are displayed especially in personalised search.
I really like what Google is trying to do with E-A-T and holding sites and authors accountable for the continuous output of high-quality content.
If you want to know more about search engine marketing for your site don’t be shy we’re happy to assist. Simply contact us