E-E-A-T: What it Is and How Does it Affect SEO?

E-E-A-T: What it Is and How Does it Affect SEO?

Ready to give your small business the Google love it deserves? Meet E-E-A-T: Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trust. These four power players are your ticket to climbing the search engine ranks. They’re not just fancy jargon; they’re essential elements Google uses to gauge the value you bring to your audience. Master E-E-A-T, and you’re not just improving visibility—you’re building a brand that screams credibility.

So, are you ready to feast on E-E-A-T? Let’s dig in!

Understanding E-A-T: Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness

E-E-A-T is not a new concept, but it has gained significant prominence in recent years as Google refines its algorithms to deliver more accurate and reliable search results. Commonly misunderstood, the E-E-A-T principal is not actually part of the search engine formula. Instead, it’s the metric by which external “search quality raters” (that is, real humans) assess the quality of search results.

An elusive oracle, Google rarely explains the mechanics and methodology behind its trillion-dollar search engine. Like E.F. Hutton, when Google speaks, people listen:

Quote box with Google public definition of how search works

Let’s break down the four ingredients of E-E-A-T:

  1. Experience: Our first “E” evaluates what Google calls first-hand, live experience of the topic at hand.” If you review a play you haven’t seen, then give yourself negative experience points.

  2. Expertise: Experience’s twin, expertise refers to the level of knowledge and skill demonstrated by the content creators and the website as a whole. Credentials, resumes and a track record of past success all showcase authority in your niche or industry.

  3. Authoritativeness: Authoritativeness relates to the perceived reputation and credibility of both the content creators and the website itself. It’s a measure of how trustworthy and reliable the information is.

  4. Trustworthiness: Trustworthiness assesses the reliability and honesty of the content and the website. It’s crucial for establishing a sense of security among users.

4 ingredients of E-E-A-T with icon for each

Why E-E-A-T Matters in SEO

E-E-A-T isn’t just Google’s alphabet soup; it’s the recipe for delivering high-quality, reliable information. In an era of information overload and fake news, E-E-A-T serves as a filter, ensuring that the content users encounter is accurate, trustworthy, and authored by experts.

Description of each of 4 aspects of E-E-A-T for SEO

How does E-E-A-T affect your website’s SEO?

Let’s look at four important ways that E-E-A-T can help you boost your online visibility, increase traffic and growth your business.

  1. Improved Search Rankings: Websites with high E-E-A-T are more likely to rank well in search engine results. Google rewards expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness with higher visibility.

  2. Enhanced User Trust: Users are more likely to engage with and trust websites that exhibit E-E-A-T. This trust translates into longer time spent on your site, lower bounce rates, and increased conversions.

  3. Competitive Edge: By prioritizing E-E-A-T, you can outshine competitors who neglect this vital aspect of SEO. It’s an opportunity to establish your website as a trusted resource in your field.

  4. Protection from Algorithm Updates: In 2014, Google rolled out changes to its algorithm that introduced SEO consultants worldwide to the concept of E-A-T (the second “E” of experience came in December 2022). Overnight, some businesses saw their search engine traffic tank—a reflection of their failure to meet the highest quality standards of content. Websites with robust E-E-A-T profiles insulate themselves from the vagaries of Google’s algorithm and potentially catastrophic ranking fluctuations.

History of E-A-T from 2014 and why Google changed it to E-E-A-T

E-E-A-T: A Case Study for Small Businesses

Abstract definitions are fine, but you may wonder what E-E-A-T actually means for your small business?

Let’s look at how local entrepreneurs can leverage the power of E-E-A-T to vault to the top of page one:

Imagine you’re an electrician in Silver Spring, Maryland. You write a blog for your website on how local homeowners can take advantage of a new state tax credit to install an Electric Vehicle charging station in their home. Your goal is entice searchers looking for an alternative to pricy gas to hire you to turn their home into their car’s power source.

Does your article read its intended audience? Let’s consider the factors:

  • You were the first electrician in Montgomery County to start installing EV charging stations in local homes, and have five years of experience getting your hands dirty with the mechanics of implementation.

  • You are a certified Master Electrician and employ a dozen journeyman electricians on your team, with a collective century of expertise in your field.

  • In fact, you’re perceived as such a local authority that you’ve even been invited to speak at local events to your fellow electricians — events that organizers publicized widely on social media.

  • You enjoy a 4.9-star rating on Google, with over 150 detailed reviews extolling the quality of your service, your reliability and integrity. Your website is well designed, frequently updated and showcases authentic photos of you and your crew—all signs of your trustworthiness.

Odds are your blog will perch neatly at the very top of search engine rankings, and local homeowners for miles around your business will discover your business when searching for “EV charging solutions near me.”

The good news is that E-E-A-T isn’t just for talking heads, influencers and Fortune 500 companies. Small businesses can also win at the SEO game.

Deliver a high-quality service, tend to your online presence, and earn a reputation among peers and customers for your integrity and knowledge—and you’re well on your way to E-E-A-T without spending a penny!

Leveraging E-E-A-T: 7 Ingredients for SEO Success

Understanding the critical role of E-E-A-T (Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness) in SEO is just the beginning. To excel at SEO, you need to inject E-E-A-T into your digital DNA. So read on to learn how your small business can crack the E-E-A-T code and supercharge your online game. E-E-A-T is like a recipe with seven key ingredients. There’s no secret sauce, but if you leave one out, your digital dish will be bland and easily passed over.

1. Create Expert Content

The foundation of E-E-A-T lies in expertise—the kind that come with credentials, real-world experience, long study (and maybe a few grey hairs).

It’s not enough to produce generic content that merely scratches the surface of a topic. For that, we have ChatGPT.

The internet produces one blog for every 12 humans on this planet. That’s a lot of chatter, most of it not very authoritative. To boost your E-E-A-T score, you need content creators who are experts in their respective fields. Whether you’re running a law firm, a plumbing company or a tutoring center, the expertise of your content creator matters.

Imagine seeking medical advice from a website written by non-doctors? Or consulting a financial blog managed by someone who doesn’t know their 401k from their Roth IRA. Would you trust the information presented there? Probably not.

Google has customers, too, and understands the imperative to give its searchers a great experience. That’s why it rewards websites that can demonstrate their content creators’ expertise.

Fortunately, as a small business owner, you are that expert. Sure, you could hire pricy experts to write your content. Or, you could do what we do at RS Gonzales: record all that knowledge on a video or sit for an interview with our SEO consultants, who download your wisdom and translate it into dozens of blogs, emails, graphics and social media posts — all designed to showcase your qualifications and bolster your expertise.

2. Attribute Authorship

Authorship attribution is a crucial component of E-E-A-T. It’s about making sure that your content is clearly attributed to specific authors. This not only enhances your credibility but also aids Google in assessing the expertise of individual contributors.

When you attribute content to specific authors, you’re essentially showcasing their qualifications and knowledge. For instance, an article on a legal website carries more weight if it’s attributed to a practicing attorney with years of experience. It’s about transparency in content authorship.

To optimize authorship attribution

  • Create individual author profiles for your content creators on your website.

  • Include a brief bio for each author, highlighting their qualifications and expertise.

  • Encourage authors to provide links to their professional social media profiles and personal websites.

  • Implement structured data markup (schema.org) to markup author information, making it easier for search engines to identify authors and their qualifications.

By implementing these authorship attribution strategies, you not only boost E-E-A-T but also establish a more personal and trustworthy connection with your audience. Readers are more likely to trust content when they know who the author is and why they are qualified to write on a specific topic.

Don’t have time to write? Don’t worry. An experienced SEO company can step in as your ghostwriter, pairing your authority with SEO-friendly and engaging copywriting services.

E-E-A-T is like a recipe with 7 ingredients for search engine optimization

3. Earn Authoritative Backlinks

Link building is a well-known SEO strategy, but when it comes to E-E-A-T, not all backlinks are created equal. Google values links from authoritative sources because they indicate that your website is trusted and respected within your industry.

Earning backlinks from authoritative websites in your niche can significantly boost your website’s authoritativeness. It’s akin to receiving a vote of confidence from experts in your field. These backlinks signal to Google that your content is worthy of recognition and that your website is a valuable resource.

To acquire high-quality backlinks:

  • Create outstanding, informative, and original content that naturally attracts links.

  • Reach out to authoritative websites in your niche and propose collaboration or guest posting opportunities.

  • Participate in industry-specific forums and communities where you can share your expertise and earn backlinks through your contributions.

Remember, it’s not about the quantity of backlinks but their quality. One link from an authoritative source can carry more weight than dozens of low-quality links. Focus on building meaningful relationships within your industry, and the backlinks will follow.

4. Brand Consistently

Your online branding plays a crucial role in establishing trust and authoritativeness. Consistency is key here. Your brand should present a unified image across all online channels, from your website to your social media profiles and even your customer service interactions.

A consistent brand identity signals reliability and professionalism. Users are more likely to trust and engage with websites that convey a clear, coherent message.

To achieve consistent branding:

  • Maintain a uniform visual identity, including logos, color schemes, and typography, across all online platforms.

  • Craft a compelling brand story and mission statement that resonates with your target audience.

  • Ensure that your messaging is aligned with your brand values and consistently reflects your expertise and trustworthiness.

Consistent branding is not only about visuals but also about the message and values your brand embodies. When users encounter your brand across different touchpoints and find a harmonious, trustworthy narrative, they are more likely to perceive your website as a credible source of information.

5. Deliver a High-Quality User Experience

User experience (UX) is a critical component of E-A-T. A website that provides a seamless, enjoyable browsing experience signals trustworthiness and professionalism. Google recognizes the importance of UX and rewards websites that prioritize it.

Here are some UX factors to focus on:

  • Page Speed: Slow-loading pages can frustrate users and lead to high bounce rates. Optimize your website’s speed to ensure a smooth experience.

  • Mobile Responsiveness: With the increasing use of mobile devices, your website must be mobile-friendly to cater to a diverse audience.

  • Navigation: A well-structured and intuitive navigation menu helps users find information quickly and easily.

  • Security: Implement SSL certificates to secure your website and protect user data.

  • Content Layout: Organize your content in a clear and logical manner, making it easy for users to read and understand.

Prioritizing user experience not only improves your E-A-T score but also enhances overall user satisfaction. A website that users find easy to navigate and enjoyable to interact with is more likely to be considered an authoritative source.

6.Fact Check and Cite Sources

To boost trustworthiness, it’s essential to fact-check your content rigorously. Ensure that the information you present is accurate and up-to-date. Google places a premium on accurate information, and inaccuracies can harm your E-A-T score.

Citing reputable sources to support your claims is another vital aspect of trustworthiness. When users see that your content is backed by credible references, they are more likely to trust what you say. Additionally, citing sources allows readers to verify information independently, which adds an extra layer of transparency.

Incorporate fact-checking and source citation into your content creation process. Encourage your content creators to use reputable references and to verify information before publishing.

7.Engage Your Audience

Engaging with your audience is not only a valuable way to foster trust but also a means to demonstrate your commitment to providing accurate and reliable information. Responding to user comments and inquiries promptly is a practice that not only boosts trust but also encourages interaction and discussion.

When users see that your website actively engages with its audience and addresses their questions and concerns, it sends a powerful message of trustworthiness. It indicates that your website values its users and is dedicated to providing valuable and reliable information.

Consider implementing a comment moderation system to ensure that discussions remain respectful and on-topic. Encourage healthy dialogue and discourage spam or offensive content.

Not Just for the Big Dogs: E-E-A-T and Your Small Business

Think E-E-A-T’s just for big-name brands? Think again. Mastering Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness is your small biz’s secret sauce for SEO success.

Don’t just climb the rankings—own them. Elevate your local game and turn your website into the go-to source everyone trusts. Make E-E-A-T your new BFF and cash in on digital credibility!

Ready to Unlock SEO Success with RS Gonzales?

You’re a small business owner with a thousand things on your plate. You deserve an online presence that showcases that hard-earned expertise, but you shouldn’t have to be a wordsmith to earn it.

Unlock E-E-A-T magic and rocket your site to authority status CTA