When you read content online, you may think to yourself, “What makes this piece of content something I can trust? Why should I believe what they’re telling me?” Oftentimes we use content to make big life decisions, like hiring a lawyer or looking for a new bank.
EAT, Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness help play into this, help convince the reader that what you’re saying is something that they should listen to. Not only do people look for these pillars when reading content, but Google does as well.
Google’s Search Quality Rater’s Guide Uses EAT
Google pays close attention to good and bad content, using EAT as a way to measure what’s valuable and trustworthy and what isn’t. Google’s Search Quality Raters guide uses EAT as a way to judge online content, showing content that showcases EAT before other content that may be untrustworthy, un-authoritative, or by someone without any expertise.
What is a YMYL Site?
YMYL means “Your Money or Your Life,” meaning that these sites impact your life greatly, impacting your well-being, financial situation, safety, or health. The content listed on these pages could cost you your life, which is why EAT is so important on these sites especially.
Examples of YMYL sites include:
- Government and law
- Health and safety
- News and events
- And many others, as there are many websites that can affect your money or your life.
Google pays extra attention to YMYL websites, stating that they require more scrutiny than other types of sites. Other sites, like blogs, aren’t scrutinized as much because they won’t have a huge impact on one’s life.
EAT is used to prevent things like fake news and misinformation. This prevents people from wasting their money or getting scammed.
EAT stands for Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness and is used as a way to evaluate content. While it’s mostly used to determine if the content on YMYL sites should be trusted, it’s also used across many other industries.
Who has written the content that you’re reading? What do you know about them? How much do they know about the topic at hand, and what makes them the best person to write about it? If they’re writing about a medical topic, are they a doctor? If they’re writing about law, are they are a lawyer?
Have they won any awards in their field or studied at a good institution? For example, you wouldn’t take medical advice from just anyone, would you? This is why expertise is so important.
In a lot of cases, content is written by marketers (because not all experts are great at writing, and that’s okay) and reviewed by an expert to make sure that the information is accurate. You’ll often see this on medical blogs and other YMYL sites.
When it comes to non-YMYL sites, Google looks at authors and determines whether or not they’re experts in their fields based on their life experience. This is judged on the quality of the content itself rather than their credentials.
Authoritativeness is important, as it takes a look at what other people in the community think of your website and the content that you produce. How much authority do you and your website have in the eyes of the people around you?
Do you have well-known people that link back to your content or talk about what you post? Has your content been used in research? This matters for a lot of content, especially when it comes to YMYL websites.
There are a few different signals that Google uses to determine whether or not your site is trustworthy. If you have an SSL connection, this is a point in your favor. (If you don’t, you should get one.)
Other signals include how you respond to reviews online and what people think about your business in general. Have people been pleased with your services, or did they feel scammed?
Basically, why should someone trust your website? In the case of a YMYL site, why should someone trust your website with their money or their life?
Will EAT Help You Rank?
EAT is not something that will help you rank higher on Google, but it is something that’s important for customer retention and growth. While you should work on improving the EAT on your website, you shouldn’t overlook your technical SEO in the process. Both are important, and both require constant attention and improvement.
How to Improve EAT on Your Site
Depending on whether or not you have a YMYL site, EAT may be more or less important. Either way, you should always focus on making sure that your content is accurate, following EAT guidelines.
Some ways to improve your EAT include:
- Getting mentioned on Wikipedia, even if it’s your own listing
- Receive more mentions from trusted experts
- Having links from valuable sites
- Allow topic experts to review your products or services
- Improve your bio and about us/details pages
- Create higher-quality great content
If that seems overwhelming, Site Social SEO can help you improve the EAT on your website. We’ll help you maintain a blog full of high-quality, authoritative, trustworthy, and expert-penned content.
With our help, you’ll be free to focus on your business while we focus on improving your EAT and SEO. For more information, please contact us online or at 407-712-0494.