In this podcast episode, Rebecca reviews E-A-T and discusses how this applies to SEO efforts in 2019. She covers the history of E-A-T and talks about what you can do to improve the E-A-T of your website and brand.
A bit of History on E-A-T
On July 20, 2018, Google updated it’s Google Search Quality Rater Guidelines. We didn’t quite know the impact this would have in SEO, but we did see it first hand a few months later.
- Quality raters do not directly impact search ranking, but they do help us understand what’s important to Google.
- This update focused on the quality of content and the content’s author.
- E-A-T, an abbreviation for Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness, became an important consideration for website owners.
On August 1, 2018, Google began rolling out the ”Medic” algorithm update. Some SEO consultants have stated this was one of the largest shift in search they had ever seen.
- Google confirmed a “broad core algorithm update,” with wide reports of massive impact.
- It rolled out over the period of about a week, but peaked on August 1-2.
- This update seemed to disproportionately affect sites in the health and wellness vertical, although the large-scale impact was seen across all verticals.
- YMYL (Your Money or Your Life) websites and blogs were hit the hardest.
- It is believed the basis of the update stems from the usage of E-A-T and the removal of unqualified experts in high search results.
- Those websites with strong authority and a valid industry level of expertise saw little impact.
In February of 2019, Google published a document that confirmed the importance of E-A-T and that it is a ranking signal. The Google document states the following:
Our ranking system does not identify the intent or factual accuracy of any given piece of content. However, it is specifically designed to identify sites with high indicia of expertise, authority and trustworthiness.
On March 12, 2019, Google rolled out a follow-up algorithm change. We are still waiting to see the full results of this change as it seems to be a mixed back of improvements and further decline. It is believed to be tied to E-A-T and the prior updates that took place in 2018.
What You Can Do to Improve Your E-A-T
- Help Google connect the dots of the who, what, and why of you and your website.
- Create expert profiles with easy to locate website URLs for each individual.
- Use author profile boxes for all blog post and educational resources.
- Build an expert profile offsite with social media and industry directories.
- Obtain Wikipedia mentions or a page dedicated to you and your brand.
- Obtain high quality (not quantity) backlinks from authoritative websites within your industry.
- Obtain reviews to help validate the quality of you and your efforts.
- Leverage the audience of others.
- Use structured data to convey who you are to Google.
SEO isn’t just about content and backlinks. You have to build up a personal or corporate brand that even your mom would be proud of. You also have to be part of your industry and community, so that Google can better understand who you are, your level of expertise, and how you can serve your community.
Today’s Episode Sponsor
A big thank you to Scripted.com for sponsoring season three of the SEObits podcast!
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