AiroAV Declared: How to Improve Your Website's E-A-T - Jonathan Cartu - Advertisement & Marketing Agency.
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AiroAV Declared: How to Improve Your Website’s E-A-T

How to Improve Your Website's E-A-T

AiroAV Declared: How to Improve Your Website’s E-A-T

Lily Ray, Director of SEO at Path Interactive, is among the key figures in the industry who often talk about Google’s concept of E-A-T: expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness.

If you’ve been working in SEO over the past couple of years, you’ve probably experienced Google’s broad core algorithm updates that have rolled out.

The consensus is that E-A-T seems to be the common underlying factor behind a lot of these updates.

In her recent SEJ eSummit presentation, Ray discussed the role E-A-T plays (and does not play) in Google’s algorithms.

She also presented top-performing websites that demonstrate good E-A-T and identified the tactics and strategies that can potentially create trust issues with your website.

Google E-A-T

What Exactly Is E-A-T?

According to Google, E-A-T is defined as:

“Expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness of the creator of the main content, the main content itself, as well as the website.”

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E-A-T is not a ranking factor.

It’s not something like keywords in your title tag, using HTTPS, or considering your page speed.

That said, E-A-T is a growing trend in SEO and it’s definitely something worth paying attention to.

Why Does E-A-T Matter?

In the Google Search Quality Guidelines, E-A-T was actually mentioned 135 times.

Google published a white paper last year called How Google Fights Disinformation which talked a lot about E-A-T and the role that it plays in Google’s algorithms.

Whenever a core update happens, Google shares an article called What Webmasters Should Know About Google Core Updates which has a dedicated section to E-A-T and why you should consider it if your site has been affected by a core algorithm update.

Where Did E-A-T Come From?

The concept of E-A-T originated in the 2014 version of the Google Search Quality Guidelines, a 160-page document that explicitly defines what Google considers to be high or low quality content.

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The guidelines are used to educate search quality raters, people who tasked by Google to conduct evaluations on the search results they are testing.

The raters then submit their answers and Google uses that feedback to benchmark and inform future algorithms.

The algorithms are then capable of identifying signals that correlate with E-A-T. (For example, PageRank and links.)

Now, whenever you ask Google about E-A-T, you’ll notice some common language.

Google Search Liaison Danny Sullivan says: “It’s almost like we look for signals that align with E-A-T…”

They use that same language in How Google Fights Disinformation:

Assess E-A-T

While Google has not confirmed exactly what these signals are (except for PageRank and links), it does not imply that on-page signals aren’t part of Google’s E-A-T evaluations.

It’s just that Google hasn’t explicitly confirmed, which signals are really part of E-A-T.

How Does Google Measure E-A-T?

When Ray asked this to Googlers a while back, she didn’t really get a straight answer.

She said:

“It’s almost like Google doesn’t want to talk too much about the specifics of E-A-T.

Now, why would that be the case? It’s almost like SEO’s love to spam things!

Come on, guys. Let’s own up to it.”

All the things SEOs have spammed to death

This, or maybe it’s because E-A-T is some part of a larger initiative by Google?

What Google Is (& Might Be) Up To

Search engines and social media companies have been facing government scrutiny due to disinformation abounding in their platforms.

These companies have been trying to figure out how they can reduce bad information and surface high-quality content instead.

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A survey conducted by Eli Schwartz found that 77% of Americans have admitted to going online to diagnose medical symptoms.

The results are not always trustworthy, and Google knows this.

In 2016, they created Symptom Cards, a search feature that allows users to get a lot of information directly in the search results.

Google sources information by collaborating with the team of medical doctors that made up part of their Knowledge Graph, in an attempt to provide the most trustworthy medical information directly on the search results.

Ray noted how Google seems to be doing big things with health information considering The Atlantics’s story on Google’s Project Nightingale and the company’s acquisition of Fitbit around the same time.

Ray speculates:

“[M]aybe something like this is on our horizon; a Google Health Portal in which you can type your symptoms or your medical issues directly into Google and get that information in the search results themselves without the need to click on any other website, the same way that we currently have it for things like flights or jobs.”

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Another thing worth noting is how the algorithm updates seem to be disproportionately impacting health and medical websites.

The August 1, 2018 update was informally labeled “Medic” for this exact reason. It significantly affected sites in the health and medical categories.

There’s a similar pattern with subsequent core updates as well.

Patterns with subsequent core updates

Websites that are in the natural medicine, wellness, rehab, and illness prevention categories have all felt the impact of these core updates.

This brings us to another acronym from Google called the YMYL – which stands for Your Money or Your Life.

These are websites and content that can directly impact the happiness, safety, financial security, or overall well-being of their users.

If we look at Google’s take on why they’re tackling disinformation in their products and services, it makes sense:

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Tackling disinformation

Ray thinks that E-A-T is that Google’s criteria for analyzing the trustworthiness of content and the…

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