What is E‑A-T?

EAT is a score used by Google’s quality rater guidelines to assess the quality of the web pages and the content in it. 

EAT is an abbreviation for Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness of a web page. The EAT concept is used by search engines to rate the quality of the content. 

A webpage with a high EAT score is expected to rank better than a webpage with a low EAT score.

Does EAT affect your website ranking directly?

There are different answers from different experts on the direct impact of EAT on your website rankings. 

However, to understand if EAT affects your website ranking, you need to understand first if EAT can be tracked by algorithms? 

EAT is a core belief of quality content and not any specific metrics that crawlers or Google bots can interpret. Therefore, Google hires engineers specifically to assess a set of given web pages and to rank them on the basis of Expertise, Authority, and Trustworthiness.

The EAT analysis is used to ensure that Google’s search results are in accordance with crucial human concepts involved in it. 

Therefore, it can be understood that though the EAT score might not directly impact the search engine rankings, it can affect its linked parameters that have a direct impact on rankings. 

So, the important question is how does Google assess the EAT score? Below is the list of various parameters that impact the EAT assessment of web pages.

EAT Evaluation: Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness 

Google evaluates the EAT score based on the following three factors. Although there are many other factors used to rank a page, the below three form the core part of the implementation.

The expertise of the Creator of the Main Content

The expertise of the creator of the main content is assessed by knowing how skilled one is at the respective work field. 

Expertise can be evaluated if the content communicates with the users in an organized manner. If the solutions provided solve the user’s query? Or, if users are finding it easy to jump to the next query within the page. 

One thing to remember is that expertise changes from page to page. Let’s understand this more in detail. 

  • A news platform can be called a high EAT page if it provides the right factual information with stringent unbiased policies. A news platform should aim at projecting the right information related to any events and help readers gain a better understanding of topics. 
  • High expertise healthcare pages should come from acknowledged sources and well-established scientific agreements. For example, a medicine information page should contain accurate and right information about the use of specific medicine or its benefits and advantages. 
  • High EAT financial information pages should have appropriate legal policies and should cite to right terms and conditions. Such web pages should be updated on a regular basis.
  • The high EAT ed-tech platform should have certified teachers and counsellors along with the right and certified courses for students and learners. Ed-tech platforms mostly also cover details and reviews about exams and universities. All these data should be updated on a regular basis.
  • The high EAT job portal should provide career options with valid and safe links and not link to a spammy page. 

One thing to remember here is that the Expertise is not only related to the business and professional websites but there are tons of forums, and community platforms that contain user-generated data and informal content. Such websites are also known as YMYL (Your money, your life) sites.

For example, a movie review discussion site can establish its authority through regular content updates as shared by its members. These ‘personal views and opinions’ may be considered as expert shared views on the website.  

Authority of the Creator, Main Content, and the Website

The authority of the web pages can be evaluated on various parameters. Read below to understand how to build authority for your online presence. 

  • If you or your brand name is receiving citations as the credible source of any information. It adds to the authoritativeness of you or your brand name.
  • Websites that receive backlinks from authoritative and relevant sites are also considered authoritative sources. To measure the authoritativeness of a site, you can measure the domain authority score or most commonly referred to as the DA score by Moz.
  • Brands getting media coverage are also an indicator of authoritativeness. And, the content present on such brands’ URLs is also considered authoritative content. 
  • Maintain a good Trust ratio of above 1. The trust ratio gives an indication of a website if can be trusted for receiving and sending backlinks. You can check your website’s Trust ratio on Majestic.
  • Having a strong social media presence establishes the brand reputation to a wider audience. If your brand page receives more engagement in terms of likes, comments, shares, tags, etc., it would further help in establishing authority in front of search engines.  
  • The brand name turned keyword for search queries is another parameter that is self-explanatory of the brand’s authority in the online space.
  • The Wikipedia page for your brand is a great option to establish your authority as Wikipedia only publishes properly cited articles. Therefore, spam brands or pages can not have their page on Wikipedia due to a lack of credibility. 

Trustworthiness of the Creator, Main Content, and the Website

Above we had discussed how Expertise and Authority are crucial to be in the quality rater guidelines, and third comes Trustworthiness.

Trustworthiness around any brand can only build if it has a positive reputation and presence among the users. As a brand, if you fail to address bad reviews, it will leave a negative impression on your future customers. 

This is what the Google research paper says, 

“Stores frequently have user ratings, which can help you understand a store’s reputation based on the reports of people who actually shop there. We consider a large number of positive user reviews as evidence of a positive reputation.

Many other kinds of websites have reputations as well. For example, you might find that a newspaper (with an associated website) has won journalistic awards. Prestigious awards, such as the Pulitzer Prize award, or a history of high-quality original reporting are strong evidence of a positive reputation.

When a high level of authoritativeness or expertise is needed, the reputation of a website should be judged on what expert opinions have to say. Recommendations from expert sources, such as professional societies, are strong evidence of a very positive reputation.”

Therefore, encourage and appreciate positive reviews on review platforms. Some of the common B2B review platforms are G2, Capterra, etc. You can add reviews on your home page as client testimonials. 

Truepush reviews
source

To build a trust factor on your site, you can focus on the parameters below.

  • Have a contact form on your site, with proper outreach and help mail Ids.
  • Maintain a healthy Trust flow. Trust flow is a metric that measures the quality of your website. It measures the number of backlinks from external sources, the relevancy of the linking domains, and how much traffic is flowing through these links.

    A trust score of 10 and below is considered poor, between 10 to 49 is an average trust score and a trust score above 50 is a good score.

    You can your website’s trust score here.
  • Mention the privacy policies along with Terms and conditions on your homepage and other web pages. This will ensure that the brand is legally established.
  • Provide the physical address and location of your brand in external sources as well as on your website. Brands that are hard to reach through a location are an indicator of false and misleading platforms.
  • A secure website is a trusted source of information. Make sure that your website has an SSL certificate that is a secured website.
  • Mention monetary policies on your transactional pages. Clearly communicate about your refund and other related policies. 
  • Trustworthiness is also considered a part of your content assets. If you provide well-researched information to your customers that increase their knowledge and resolve their queries, then your brand is bound to build trust among your audience.
  • If you don’t have content writers, you can hire content experts, which will add valuable content and at the same time increase trust and authority. 

Conclusion

When Google displays results on search engine result pages, it has to ensure that the results are of high quality and that it has great expertise, authority, and trustworthiness. 

Therefore, keeping the EAT parameters in your website building and content marketing, ensures that your brand ranks for the right search terms.  

Though it takes time to build the expertise, authority, and trust as a brand. However, once done, it would be easy to receive top positions in SERPs.