Google strives to bring the most relevant, authentic, and trustworthy content to its extremely vast user base. People conduct millions of searches daily to make a huge range of decisions, from determining the best brand of multigrain bread to even gathering legal and preliminary medical advice.
The search engine giant realizes the impact of the results that come up when a person keys in a particular keyword that may trigger life-altering decisions on the part of the searcher. YMYL pages (Your Money or Your Life pages) proffer extremely stringent checks which affect their rankings on SERPs. More on that later.
In today’s blog, we will attempt to dissect all there is to know about E-E-A-T in SEO-based digital marketing. Toward the end of the discussion, you are free to add queries or bouquets in the comments section!
Double E-A-T ~ An insight into the extra E
Though E-A-T has been around since 2014, the extra E stands for Experience in Google’s Quality Rater Guidelines, rolled out in December 2022.
Let’s delve into the intricacies and ramifications of each section.
Experience: The first E in E-E-A-T symbolizes Experience. This exemplifies Google’s intent to showcase content that has been curated, written, or produced by an individual who has actually either used the product or availed of the service in question, visited the place being described, or has personally experienced the situation being described.
This renders a sense of credibility to the content reflected on the search engine pages. For instance, if someone searches for chemotherapy side effects, if a searcher peruses a blog written by a cancer survivor, that piece of advice will definitely come from a place of experience and therefore hold more value in the eyes of the consumer.
Google specifies that “these guidelines are what are used by our search raters to help evaluate the performance of our various search ranking systems, and they don’t directly influence ranking. They can also be useful to creators seeking to understand how to self-assess their own content to be successful in Google Search.”
Expertise: People are more likely to believe and respond to content written by creators with expertise in the field they are representing. To qualify as an expert on a topic, especially YMYL pages, you need to possess either real-world experience and knowledge or a professional degree to the same effect. For instance, if a mental health professional with years of practice blogs about mental health issues post-pandemic, the piece will definitely garner more hits than someone who might not have the same level of expertise in the field of mental well-being.
People often confuse experience with expertise. Let’s elucidate the difference between the two with the help of a simple example.
If a person is looking to find simple ways to save tax, they would probably refer to content by CAs or finance professionals.
However, suppose someone seeks to know about personal investment strategies that have worked for peers and also saved tax deductions. In that case, they may refer to queries answered by individuals who’ve set float on similar waters on forums like Quora, Reddit, etc., to find out what worked for them!
The first is an example of expertise, while the latter represents the quest for experience in solving queries.
Authoritativeness: As the name suggests, this factor is all about building your brand’s authority in your specific niche. Your authority reflects in the number of backlinks, the website mentions you garner, and rave reviews from influencers and experts in your industry vertical.
Google quality raters conduct an in-depth review of the content, creator, and website authoritativeness. Here’s how you can demonstrate authority;
- Curate a solid content architecture that covers all aspects of your topic
- Gather a solid repertoire of backlinks from experts in your industry
- Focus on building a personal brand or a digital social media presence, elucidating your expertise and authority in your domain.
Trustworthiness: Trust is built over time and is an interplay of the conflated weightage of the above factors, namely experience, expertise, and authoritativeness. Investing in a secure socket layer certificate for your website, for starters, and maintaining transparency about the face and mind behind your content (yes, don’t be a miser- give those author credits!), including contact details, and sound editing will help boost those trust signals to Google and other SERPs.
The different levels of E-E-A-T
E-E-A-T has a whole range of spectra that ranges from the highest to the lowest level possible according to Google’s search quality rater guidelines.
Keep in mind that the journey to reach the ultimate goal of having the highest possible E-E-A-T is a nonlinear one.
To smoothly transition towards the higher end of the spectrum, you need to dish out awesome buyer-friendly content that doesn’t appear too salesy and helps them at every step of the buyer’s journey.
A website with a high E-E-A-T score shares authentic knowledge on topic clusters that help consumers make informed decisions.
On the contrary, websites with the lowest or completely lacking E-E-A-T appear spammy and display the following characteristics,
- Low-quality content with questionable expertise. For example, a food blogger writing about the laws of physics.
- Deceptive intent
- Poor grammar
- No contact details
- Deliberately obscured or misleading Main Content (MC)
- Websites designed to incite harmful actions toward the viewer that may benefit the organization directly or indirectly
Decoding YMYL Pages
Your Money or Your Life, popularly known as YMYL pages, include information on topics such as healthcare, legal and financial advice that have the potential to alter the life course of a person and affect their health, wealth, and happiness.
It is extremely essential for websites hosting content of such nature to maintain a high level of E-E-A-T. Here’s a lowdown on some instances of YMYL pages;
- Clear YMYL topics: legal advice for divorce, custody, medical advice for drug side effects, and evacuation routes in the case of a natural disaster.
- Maybe YMYL topics: news about a neighborhood burglary incident, weather forecast, which toothpaste is best for sensitivity
- Unlikely YMYL topics: Who won the Grammys, the latest trending YT videos, who won the Premier League.
So, even though YMYL and E-E-A-T are not ranking factors, they can be great yardsticks to measure your content quality with!
Ways to Enhance Your Site’s E-E-A-T
The following are the ways by which you can bolster your site’s E-E-A-T score and get in the good books of your target audience, experts, and ultimately, SERPs.
- A solid content strategy: Focus on people’s problems, create topic clusters, and then develop mindblowing content that solves people’s issues and delivers that extra something that leaves them clamoring for more!
Here are some content checkposts you can keep in mind;
- Authentic and original content written by experts
- By the people for the people
- Helpful to user queries
- Disclose Author Bios and Maintain Transparency: People like to know the face and mind behind the content they have just consumed. Give them the option to reach out to these individuals by attaching a descriptive author bio replete with the links to their social media handles.
This is how we do it at Uplers!
3. Deploy the power of internal linking: If you have a wealth of resources on interrelated topics, do not hesitate to flaunt what you have got! Also, steer clear of the 404 errors and have them fixed at the earliest, because nothing hurts a brand’s credibility more than ‘em broken links!
On that note, we’d encourage you to carry out those long pending content audits, give those author credits and leverage the power of User Generated Content (UGC) and watch your brand’s popularity soar with your target audience, thereby boosting your rankings on SERPs.