Everything You Need To Know About E-E-A-T?

17/03/2023 - SEO

E-E-A-T is something that Google seems to be paying a great deal of attention to of late.  With last summer’s Helpful Content update and December 2022’s changes to the Google Search Quality Rater Guidelines, there is a definite shift towards seeking out website pages that do more than just arrange keywords on a page.

What does E-E-A-T stand for?
E-E-A-T is an acronym for everything Google believes searchers deserve from the pages on a business website.
E = Expertise - Articles and descriptions are written by someone who has a good understanding of the products and services on offer.
E = Experience - Website content has been created by a person with relevant experience.  For example a recipe has been tested by the writer or a product review comes from someone who has actually used that product.
A = Authoritative - Is the information on a page factually accurate? can any claims be substantiated? Is the website/and or author a good source of information on a topic? Eg would you expect that a website developer like Upshot Media is the right organisation to advise you on dental health or knitting patterns?
T = Trustworthy - Does this web page look like fake news?  Is there enough information to tell you that a website is trustworthy eg customer service information, secure payment gateways, positive reviews.

How Is E-E-A-T Measured By Google?
Right now, we don’t know enough about Google’s algorithms to know how they understand or measure EEAT.  But, we do know what Google’s Search Quality Raters are asked to evaluate.
Search Quality Raters are real live sentient human beings who are hired to provide Google with feedback on the relevance of search results and the quality of websites.  They don’t look at every single website or piece of content on the internet - that would be impossible. But the information they provide is used by Google engineers to refine the search engine’s algorithms.
If you, as a content creator, understand what the Search Quality Raters are looking for, you can decide whether your website pages, blogs and product descriptions fit their criteria.  If it doesn’t quite hit the spot, you then have the opportunity to make some changes.
The Quality Rater Guidelines document is quite long, but well worth a read.  I’ll post a link to them at the end of this article.
Does E-E-A-T Affect Search Engine Optimisation?
Google says that E-E-A-T is not a direct ranking factor, but we think that it must surely have ‘soft’ power on how the search engine perceives your website.  Therefore, it’s well worth asking someone who is not directly connected with your business, to review your website as though they were an actual search quality rater.

What To Look For On Your Website
Reputation and experience of content creators
Is it clear who website your website belongs to and who creates the content for it? Do you have an ‘about’ page and/or a ‘meet the team’ page so that visitors can learn about the people behind your organisation?
Do your blogs and guest blogs include an author biography?
Does your website help searchers to find you (and your content creators) on social media sites such as LinkedIn?
Basically, Google wants to be reassured that the content on your website is written by experts.  If you use a copywriter but don’t want to advertise the fact, ask them to write in your ‘voice’ and be sure to double check the accuracy of every article.
3 Step Process For Assessing Page Quality.  Google asks its Quality Raters to go through a 3 step process when they evaluate a piece of content.

  1. What is the purpose of the page and is the page harmful or deceptive?
  2. Assess the potential of the page to cause harm or otherwise be untrustworthy or spammy
  3. If the page is not harmful, the quality rating is based on how well the page achieves it’s purpose.
What the raters are being asked to do here - and what you could ask your own reviewer to look for - is whether the content does what it says on the tin without misleading or offending.  For example, do product descriptions offer enough information? Are they factually correct? Do the pictures match the description? Are payment gateways secure?
We already know that Google is not a fan of duplicate content.  And that makes sense from a searchers point of view.  When you’re searching for information, nobody wants to click on 5 different websites and read the exact same article. 
Here’s what it says about content quality in the Quality Raters Guidelines
“For most pages the quality of the MC (main content), can be determined by the amount of effort, originality and talent or skill that went into the content”.
In other words, is the content just copied and pasted from somewhere else? Has it been flung together in a hurry? Does it express the character of your organisation? Is it helpful? And does it offer your visitors a unique perspective? 
Ask your website reviewer if they feel that your website content is unique? Does the text get a clean bill of health if you run it through a plagiarism checker?
Google wants to know whether your business is a bone-fide organisation that genuinely wants to provide people with solutions to their problems, or whether it is an opportunist attempt to make money simply by churning out second rate content.  And so raters are asked to consider whether website content is trustworthy. 
We’ve touched on this already when we talked about the reputation and experience of your content creators. But raters (and presumably at some point the algorithms) will also be assessing whether content is factually accurate, it it is opinion, or if it is deliberately misleading. Google is looking for information that is safe, honest, accurate and reliable. 
How Do You Know If Your Website Is Lacking EEAT?
searchengineland.com  has answered this question simply and succinctly.  In their opinion, these are the signs that your website EEAT could be improved.
  • The content creator lacks adequate experience, e.g. a restaurant review written by someone who has never eaten at the restaurant
  •  The content creator lacks adequate expertise, e.g. an article about how to skydive written by someone with no expertise in the subject 
  • The website or content creator is not an authoritative or trustworthy source for the topic of the page, e.g. tax form downloads provided on a cooking website.
  •  The page or website is not trustworthy for its purpose, e.g. a shopping page with minimal customer service information” 

In Conclusion
Remember that SEO is dynamic. It is forever changing its parameters and as time goes by, it becomes more sophisticated and more intuitive.  There is also a fine balance to be found between allowing free speech without inciting hate or spreading fake news and misinformation.  We think that E-E-A-T is one tool that Google uses to try to create a safe environment for searchers.  Is your business website honest, accurate and above board? That’s what E-E-A-T is trying to decide.
If you want your website to rank well, then you need to consider E-E-A-T as well as keywords, technical SEO and Google’s helpful content guidelines. There’s certainly a lot to think about and we’re here to help if you feel overwhelmed.
Talk to Upshot Media about help with any aspect of SEO from creating unique content to website loading speeds. https://www.clickon-office.co.uk/upshotme_eco2022/contact
Useful Links
More Information about Google’s Helpful Content Update.
Search Quality Rater Guidelines

Google Developers: E-A-T gets an extra E

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