As if Google couldn’t get more confusing in regards to its secret algorithms and overall operations, the folks from Cupertino added in some more confusing flavoring in regards to assessing a website. 

In the past, Google has been notorious for changing its algorithm to rid search results of low-quality content. In 2015, Google officially released its Search Quality Evaluation Guidelines to help content creators understand what is considered high-quality content and what type of content would be penalized. 

By 2018, Google announced that it would be increasing its efforts by introducing the Google E-A-T guidelines.

These guidelines sent marketing teams into a frenzy as they tried to figure out how to implement the new rules into their content and avoid any penalties. 

The good news? If you’re already practicing proper search engine optimization (SEO), then you have very little to worry about! If you’re new to SEO and other content strategies that help you rank higher in Google and other search engines, then you’ll want to start with the basics.

What is Google E-A-T?

E-A-T is short for “Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness.” Google E-A-T is a relatively new set of guidelines added to the Search Quality Evaluation Guidelines (SQEG), which are used to help humans at Google monitor the performance of the search engine’s algorithm.

Google E-A-T is used to determine if a website is providing high-quality information to those who use the search engine to find answers to questions or solutions to problems they may be having.

The Google E-A-T guidelines are divided into three main categories:

  • Expertise:  Is the author well-respected in their field? Do they present readers with informative and accurate information that can be backed by research?
  • Authority: How trustworthy is the source, and how up-to-date are they with current events? Have they been featured elsewhere on other authoritative sources?
  • Trustworthy: Is this a reliable website that people can trust for accurate information?

And each of these categories is evaluated by real humans who are paid to manually review websites. 

How does Google measure E-A-T?

To determine if a website meets Google’s E-A-T guidelines, the search engine looks at several different factors – such as the author’s expertise, how up-to-date the information they provide is, and whether or not the information is providing search engine users with an actionable solution to a problem. 

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4 Ways to Improve Your Content to Satisfy Google E-A-T Guidelines

Whether you’re trying to reassess and improve existing content or you’re working to create brand new content that satisfies Google’s E-A-T guidelines, there are a few things you’ll want to keep in mind:

1. Write for Your Readers

Google wants to give its users the information they’re looking for, not just the information the website owner wants to provide them with. This is why Google prioritizes content that answers questions and provides actionable solutions for searchers. 

For instance, when you Google the topic “Content Strategy,” you’ll notice that Google includes a “featured snippet” that directly answers one of the most commonly asked questions regarding the topic: “what is content strategy?” 

Every result after that is a highly ranked site that provides information to those who want to know what a content strategy is, why it’s helpful, and how to implement one. 

While you may not find these basics of interest, millions of content creators and marketing teams will need these answers.

2. Prioritize Keyword Research and Optimization

It’s no secret that keyword research and optimization are a key part of content creation. Keywords that are highly searched can help you rank higher in Google, and writing content that answers the questions of those who search for those keywords will help you satisfy the Google E-A-T guidelines.

Once you’ve conducted your research, you’ll want to be sure to properly optimize your content – whether it’s a landing page, blog, or other forms of online content – with these keywords. 

Of course, you don’t want to stuff each page or blog with the same keywords. That’s known as keyword stuffing and is an SEO black hat behavior that will be flagged by Google’s quality checkers, resulting in penalties. 

Instead, you want to carefully optimize your piece with the exact keyword and synonymous keywords related to the topic. That way, even if someone doesn’t search your exact keyword, it will still be highly relevant to what they’re looking for.

3. Always Give Credit Where Credit is Due 

To prove that you are an authoritative voice in your industry, you need to provide readers with factual information. If you’re not citing your original research, you need to be citing every source you are pulling information from. 

This is one of the most significant ways to prove that you are an expert and that you are providing your readers with a well-rounded, accurate understanding of the topic at hand.

Believe it or not, many content creators avoid citing their sources out of fear that their readers are going to abandon their websites and go elsewhere for the information they are searching for. On the contrary, your readers will respect you for citing your sources. It will not only help you boost your authoritative voice but also help prove that you are a trustworthy source of information that isn’t afraid to do the research and cite sources that may have more knowledge than you. 

Even if your readers do jump to a page you cited, they will be more willing to return to you because they know they can trust you for factual information and resources. 

4. Create Useful and Actionable Content

One of the biggest problems with content creators is that they create content for the sake of creating content. They think, “If I just create this piece of content, then I’ll rank higher in Google and get more traffic to my website.” They don’t realize that Google isn’t looking for content that just exists – it’s looking for content that is useful and actionable.

The best way to create content that is useful and actionable is to gear your content toward solving problems. 

For instance, if you’re creating a blog post on SEO, you might craft a comprehensive guide that includes a step-by-step walkthrough of how to optimize your content for SEO. You’ll want to walk your readers through the importance of SEO and provide them with actions to take, such as which keywords they should be targeting, what tools they should be using, and what social media channels they should be employing.

The more actionable your content is, the more likely it will satisfy the Google E-A-T guidelines.

Give Your Content Strategy a Boost With ContentMender

Google E-A-T is an essential factor in ranking content. When executed correctly, it can lead to significant increases in your website traffic and higher page rankings. 

Here at ContentMender, our team understands just how vital adhering to the Google E-A-T guidelines is for content marketers. That’s why our SEO-driven content marketing services aim to help you create and maintain a technically sound website and a highly educative blog that will keep your audience coming back for more. 

Curious how ContentMender can help improve your content strategy? Then contact us today for more information!

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