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What is E-A-T and Why Should You Care? (Hint: Google Cares)

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By Kristin Shawd

Ever come across the acronym E-A-T (or EAT) in a conversation about your business website and thought to yourself, “What is that? I’m not in the food industry, what does this have to do with my business?”

While your business may not be in the food sector, you do...or at least you should...know and care about Google’s Page Quality Rating Guidelines, which center on Google’s E-A-T principle.

So, What Exactly is E-A-T? 

E-A-T is part of Google’s basic framework for assessing the overall page quality of any website or webpage. Google has determined that High Quality Pages consistently demonstrate the following characteristics:

  • Expertise

  • Authoritativeness

  • Trustworthiness

Think about it, Google’s search algorithm is designed to deliver the highest quality page results for every search query. Their focus is on the user asking the question. Google wants to deliver high quality pages to ensure their users continue to turn to Google when searching on the internet. 

This, of course, makes sense; but it also begs the next question. How do you ensure your webpages and content meet Google’s High Quality Pages and E-A-T standards?

Google’s Page Quality Rating: Most Important Factors

Google’s in-depth guideline, available as a PDF online, dives deep into the details. Those with the time to read its 166 pages will learn everything there is to know. For everyone else, we’ve summarized a few key points. 

In section 3.1, Google notes the most important factors in its overall Page Quality rating:

  1. Purpose

  2. E-A-T

  3. High Quality Main Content

  4. Website Information

  5. Website Reputation

We'll consider each element and how it can impact your website’s E-A-T and Page Quality Rating; and what you can do to control your rating.

Purpose of the Page 

The purpose of every page on your website should be clear to all, beneficial to the user, and easy to accomplish. This is where quality web design and content consistency comes into play. 

Have you considered the primary tasks your web visitor wants to accomplish and made those actions simple and straightforward? 

Does all your content support the overall purpose of your site?

High Level of E-A-T (Expertise, Authoritativeness, Trustworthiness) 

This includes the EAT of the publisher and/or individual author of articles, blogs, or other web content. Establishing and keeping E-A-T is a long-term game. You can’t just optimize a site and move on. Google is constantly on the lookout for what’s new on your site, what’s working, and what others are saying. 

Keep this in mind, especially if you don’t yet have a blog, or you have one but you know it could be more user-focused or more consistent.

Main Content Quality and Amount 

According to Google, main content is defined as any part of the webpage that directly helps the page achieve its purpose. Main content includes page text, pictures, video, articles, blogs, calculators or other tools. 

A website’s content should leave the visitor satisfied and not feeling like there’s a lack of important information. In addition, High Quality Pages are factually accurate, clearly written, and comprehensive. 

Again, blogging provides an avenue to continue publishing satisfying information to your user. It is also an ongoing platform to deliver depth of Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness (E-A-T) to your site.

Of course, this is only true if blogging is done consistently; covering topics of interest to your user and in support of the purpose of your website.

Main content also includes page features and functionality. So be sure everything is working (links, calculators, other tools) as it should? Test your pages or run assessment tools on them, especially since Google states, “the quality of the main content...informs the E-A-T of the page.” 

Website Information/information about who is responsible for the Main Content 

It  should be immediately clear to the visitor who is responsible for the content on your website. And this information should put them at ease, knowing they can trust what they are reading. Your business logo, website security certificate, About page, and contact information are key elements in communicating this information to your visitor. 

Don’t short-change your About page. Google (and your web visitors) want to know about your company and the people it represents. They’re looking to you for answers; they want to know why they should trust you. 

Website Reputation/reputation of who is responsible for the Main Content 

This is determined based on the experience of real users and the opinions of experts in the topic of the websites. 

Here, sources external to a website trump what a site says about itself. So, it’s important to monitor your company’s online reputation. Google sees it all, so you’ll want to, too.

Key Takeaway

Yes, Google’s search algorithm impacts your business website. But don’t try to outwit Google (or other search engines). Their algorithms are designed to serve their users, which is exactly how your website, content, blogs, videos, etc should be designed as well. 

A basic understanding of Google’s Page Quality Rating system and E-A-T, along with consistent application of white hat SEO principals should put your website right where you want it to be…in front of your potential customer.

About Mulligan Management Group

Established in 2000, we are a digital marketing agency serving the greater Akron/Cleveland area. With over 30 years of marketing experience, our team delivers content to help your business grow in online presence. Give us a call at 330-472-7673 to set up a free 30-minute consultation. Let’s talk about your business goals and how we might help you achieve them through blogging or other digital content.

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