There is a new buzzword in town when it comes to Google and your websites ranking, its E-A-T. OK, it’s not a word it’s an acronym I stand corrected!
What is E-A-T?
Eat stands for expertise, authoritativeness and trustworthiness and Google wants to be able to offer websites with “EAT” to their customers when they are searching for an answer to their query.
What makes Google the largest search engine in the world is its ability to constantly improve the value of the search results that they offer.
What is S-E-O?
SEO another acronym stands for search engine optimization, it’s basically matching the words Google’s customer is using to the words on your website….or is it?
Ten years ago, all you needed to rank your website on a Google search was to use simple keyword phrases but in today’s fast paced online world where Google conducts over 3,877140 searches every MINUTE of the day you will need more than a keyword or two to rank your website.
How does Google find your Website?
The video below is a great summary of how Google works and how fast the whole process is.
While Google bots, known as spiders search the web for a search phrase, they are doing far more than just matching up words. Their spiders are asking over 200 different questions of the websites they trawl to find the best possible result for the question asked in the Google search box and they do all of this in about half of a second, impressive!
Nobody knows all 200 questions that the Google spiders are asking but we do know that it’s always looking for the most relevant match for its customers, in the fastest possible time.
So how does SEO and EAT work together?
This is how the new EAT algorithm comes into play. Your website must have content that shows Google that you not only have what their customer is looking for but your information is spot on and up-to-date, you know what you’re talking about and you’re not bull sh@%ing.
But what does it mean for you?
To be an expert is to be very knowledgeable or skillful in a particular area or topic. However, possessing this knowledge alone is not going to get traffic flooding to your website from Google, we all know this.
You need to understand how to engage people with your particular area of expertise. You not only need to know what your audience want’s but also how best to deliver the information so that they can enjoy it.
For example, my eldest son is on the autism spectrum, he loves Minecraft, you could call him an expert in the field. If you know nothing about Minecraft and would like a quick summery my son if he were a webpage would rank on page 1000 of Google. Why?? He is an expert after all?
Well he can’t summarize, nor can he find your point of interest in the game, he will however talk for two hours straight about creepers and building methods without once checking to see if you are still awake.
While he can exceed your expectations on the topic and give great content, he doesn’t understand why his audience is asking or where they are in their journey of Minecraft discovery.
- Find out what your audience is searching for, then meet and exceed their needs. This begins with keyword research.
- Try to understand what stage the person is either as a customer or as someone trying to understand your industry.
- There is a fine balance between keeping it simply and giving enough information to keep your customer asking more questions
- Think about what the next logical question from your reader might be and add an internal link e.g. if you sell jeans online you might link to belts that you sell as well
- Use visual aids, video or audio to break a long blog post or to demo a physical product.
Being an expert is great, but it’s only the first of a three-part mix. When other experts or influencers in your field are citing you as a source of information or when you become the go to person for a chosen topic, then you are not just an expert — you’re the authority.
Here are some key performance indicators (KPI’s) to look for when it comes to judging your authoritativeness:
- If your content is widely shared, genuinely and consistently across social media, this is a sign of growing authority.
- People are searching for your brand name to get the most relevant information
- Your domain authority score is high
- Backlinks from other website with a high domain authority or even just a mention in an article will also boost your authority
Trustworthiness makes up the all-important trifactor. While expertise and authority are factors that boost your rankings without trustworthiness backing them up your ranking can easily tank on Google.
If you receive any complaints about your site or service you need to deal with them straight away or you will suffer on Google. The last thing you want are negative comments impacting on all the hard work you have done to build your brand awareness. Google is very clear about this in their guidelines, too many bad reviews is a sign of low quality.
Positive review listings on sites external to your own like on places TripAdvisor, Trustpilot, Facebook, Google My Business, and so on are going to really help good reviews and increase your trust rankings with Google.
Here are some ways that we can promote trustworthiness on your website that you can action today
- Having a clear way that customers can make contact with you.
- Associating the website with a physical location, i.e. your office or store address.
- Having a term of business or T&Cs page, which is easily accessible to users (usually from the footer).
- Making sure your website’s domain is secure (https://)
- If you’re accepting transactions, you should have clear refunds and returns policies.
- If you’re sharing knowledge via a blog, it’s a good idea to have an author bio and photo included and to cite external sources don’t forget outbound links to high authority websites are good as well.
To Sum it all up
To Google their customer/searcher is King and Google wants to make sure they can do everything they can to get the right information to them as fast as they can. Google keeps track of how long their searchers stay on a webpage and if they leave it to fast (bounce rate) that’s not a good sign for them or you.
Following E-A-T method of content and SEO takes time and you won’t happen overnight, there are no shortcuts to take on this one.
Long gone are the days where you can pop-up overnight and take over Google’s results pages but by using the E-A-T criteria of expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness you will start growing a brand and a positive online presence in a natural way.
It takes time but if you start today you will be ahead of most of your competitors and in six to twelve months you could be ranking on page one of Google and having a clear SEO and EAT strategy in place it will hard to get knocked down from the top spots on Google.