Your Guide to Publish and Optimize Content Keeping Google’s E-A-T Guidelines in mind
Google has made it clear that they are rewarding sites with good user experience and content that is useful to readers. Google even released a list of search performance update best practices for publishers – one of which was making sure your content is helpful and user-friendly.
How can you make sure your website doesn’t get penalized by Google? When it comes to content, creating E-A-T-friendly content is the answer. E-A-T stands for “expertise, authority, and trustworthiness” - the three criteria that Google uses to determine the relevancy of a website’s content.
Essentially, if users won’t trust your content, or they don’t see why they should trust you as an expert on the topic you have covered, then Google isn’t going to rank your site very highly.
This blog post will explain everything you need to know about E-A-T-friendly content and how to create it for your website.
Google defines E-A-T as “expertise, authority, and trustworthiness.”
Expertise means that the author of a given piece of content is an expert in the field your content covers. Authority means that your content has a strong influence over its audience. Finally, trustworthiness means that Google can trust you as an expert on the topic you are covering.
Google has made it clear: Content is king. The search engine recently announced that it would favor websites with high-quality content. If your website has thin or shallow content, you might see a drop in its search ranking. E-A-T is a significant ranking factor, and you should thus focus on optimizing your web pages for it.
High E-A-T scores are essential for your website to rank well on Google. The search engine uses the three criteria of expertise, authority, and trustworthiness to determine the relevance of a website’s content.
Google even released a list of search performance update best practices for publishers – one of which was making sure your content is helpful and user-friendly. If you want to rank high on Google, you must ensure that your content is optimized for E-A-T.
Now that we know that E-A-T is a crucial ranking factor for your website let us look at how you can optimize for it.
To create E-A-T-friendly content, you need to assess your website. Where are there opportunities for improvement? What can you do to boost your website’s E-A-T? The following checklist will help you create E-A-T-friendly content.
Does your website contain in-depth information on your topic? If not, you should consider adding more depth and detail to your posts. If you have lots of experience with the topic, don’t be afraid to share it on your blog or site.
You can also cite sources that support your claims and assertions about the topic. The more expertise you show in a piece of content, the higher your chances of ranking well by Google.
Do people trust your opinion, or do they look at you as an expert? Of course, authority is closely related to expertise, but it is also slightly different from it.
Authority means that people listen to what you say and trust what you recommend because they know that whatever comes out of your mouth is valuable and worth sharing with others who might be interested in the topic.
Do readers trust that your information is accurate? Are they confident that what they read on your site won’t lead them astray? Trustworthiness means that users know they can count on what they read on a given web page because there isn’t any misleading information.
Luckily, it’s not hard to ensure your website is E-A-T friendly. The following tips should help you out.
1. Create High-Quality Content with Good Page Experience
High-quality content will alone not ensure high E-A-T scores. The content web pages should also be user-friendly. Expertise and authority are two factors that come together when it comes to creating a good user experience, which is what Google wants publishers to focus on when creating their content. The better your UX, the more likely users will stay on your site and read through all the different pages of yours they want to read through.
If a user finds it easy to find what they are looking for on your site, they are more likely to return for more information in the future. This means your website should have easy navigation, ensure a fast loading page speed, good core web vitals scores, and a mobile-friendly website.
2. Target and Rank for Relevant Keywords
If you rank for relevant keywords, then users can find you easily if they are looking for information on whatever topic you have covered in-depth on your website. This creates trust and authority for your website.
Ensure your web pages target several keyword clusters, not just individual keywords. Targeting keyword clusters helps optimize web pages for a user’s search intent instead of simply a few queries. In addition, when you are improving a search intent or topic, your website will be seen as an expert on the subject matter, gaining authority and trust along the way.
3. Original Content Backed by Research
Regarding expertise, there’s no substitute for original research and analysis. This is what Google wants webmasters to focus on when creating content for their websites.
There’s no point in copying and pasting content from other sites because Google can tell if you have done this or not. If you do this, you are much more likely to rank well in search results than if you don’t create original content for your website and blog.
4. Keep Content Fresh
It is not just enough to keep creating new, original, in-depth content. You also need to ensure that your existing content is valuable and updated with relevant information.
To keep your content evergreen, conduct regular content optimization audits. Over time, outdated content will erode your trustworthiness, ultimately affecting your rankings.
5. Make Your Credentials Known
The easiest way to create trustworthiness among users and search engines is to add an author name and bio to your blog posts or other web pages. This helps tell Google that the copy on the web page is coming from a trustworthy source.
Similarly, your site's About Us page is a great place to communicate your E-A-T. It is the page users (and Search Quality Raters) look at first when looking for information about your company. By doing so, you can showcase your accomplishments, authenticity, and authority in one place. This might look like this:
Awards or recognition your organization has won
Education/certifications of your team members
Mentions in relevant publications
6. Add Quality Links
Adding links to external websites to support and back the copy on your page builds your E-A-T scores. It signals to Google that you want to provide in-depth and detailed content to the users and are linking to similar trustworthy resources that will help with the user’s search intent.
Similarly, other websites will want to link to your resources once you have in-depth content pieces. This way, you can earn backlinks and improve your E-A-T scores.
Thus linking is a two-way street that helps boost your E-A-T scores and improve SERP rankings.
7. Incorporate E-A-T into your strategy
The ultimate way to improve and constantly have high E-A-T scores is when it is a part of your content creation process. Effective E-A-T requires forethought and prior planning. When E-A-T is a part of your content strategy roadmap, your web pages will not just provide value to readers but also rank well on search engines.
There is already a lot of content available on the internet. For your content to shine, you don’t just have to answer the primary search query but provide 10x more content on the user’s search intent.
Some tools out there will help you create E-A-T content; most of them are free tools offered by Google.
1. Google Trends
This is a great way to see what topics people search for and how often they search for them. It will also show you the search volume for the selected keyword or topic. This can help you when it comes to creating in-depth content on your website.
2. Google Keyword Planner
This tool allows you to enter a keyword or topic and get data on related keywords and the search volume for each keyword. It also shows how difficult it is to rank for any given keyword relative to other keywords. This is helpful when creating relevant and in-depth content as it helps you select keywords with low competition so that your pages rank higher in search results.
3. Google Analytics Content Explorer
This tool can help you track and improve your website's traffic and engagement levels, positively impacting your EAT score. You can also use this tool to see which of your pages are most popular and which ones are not. You can then create more in-depth content on the most popular pages, as these will help with SEO rankings.
4. Google PageSpeed Insights Ranking for EAT is not just about providing quality content but also ensuring a good user experience. Google’s PageSpeed Insights helps you track the speed of your web pages. Read our page speed guide to know how to optimize your speed scores.
5. Google Search Console
This is a free tool that you can use to monitor your backlinks. It will show you which links are not working, which ones have been removed, and which ones are not indexed.
Tools like these will help you create relevant and in-depth content for your website, which will improve your SEO rankings. They may also help you find new keywords to target on your site and improve your overall website usability.
There are no existing tools that measure and score the three E-A-T factors. This leaves optimizing web pages for E-A-T to a lot of guesswork. In addition, there is no standard definition of what constitutes E-A-T content. This makes it difficult to determine how much of each factor should be incorporated into a web page to optimize it for search engines.
The Quattr platform helps ease this process by giving you precise improvement recommendations. The Quattr platform ingests all data around user searches, your search data, and competitor search data into its platform. It then provides optimization recommendations for your entire website across channels like user experience, search growth trends, content optimization recommendations, and competitor gap analysis.
While optimizing E-A-T scores is not a straightforward path, Quattr gives you visibility on how your content ranks against top competitors for key search intents. This helps you create new pages and optimize existing pages against competitors to add expertise, authority, and trustworthiness to your web pages.
You leave your competition with an open door by not optimizing your E-A-T. Seeing the fruit of your improvements can take a long time, but it's worthwhile when you do. Optimizing and making your website E-A-T-friendly takes time. But once you unlock the growth, the results are exponential.
Make sure your content is well-written, and your team is well-trained. Developing expertise, authority, and trust will lead to rank and revenue improvement.