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22nd December 2022 - Chris Regan

Google Alters E-A-T

Google recently announced an update to its content guidelines, adding an extra E at the start of its acronym for E-A-T (Expertise, Authoritativeness, Trustworthiness) to become E-E-A-T (Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness.

Google Alter's E-A-T Guidelines

What is E-E-A-T?

E-E-A-T is a set of guidelines that Google uses to evaluate the quality of a website's content based on the author's experience and expertise, the website's authority, and the trustworthiness of the content. By following these guidelines, websites can improve their chances of ranking well in Google's search results.

Experience

The author of the content should have enough first-hand experience to provide accurate information on the topic.

Expertise

This refers to the level of knowledge or skill the content creator has in discussing the subject matter. In other words, Google wants to see that the author knows what they're talking about and has the necessary credentials to back it up.

Authoritativeness

This relates to the reputation and influence of the website and the author in their respective fields. Google wants to see that the website is a respected source of information and that the author has a strong reputation within the industry.

Trustworthiness

This refers to the credibility of the content and the website itself. Google wants to see that the content is accurate, unbiased, and based on reliable sources and that the website follows ethical and transparent practices.

How does this affect SEO?

When you consider Google's purpose to serve the best results possible to its users, you can start to see the benefit of these guidelines.

Let us explain with an example if you're searching Google for medical advice, would you prefer to find an article answering your query that has been written by a marketing professional who has optimised the content to rank highly in the search engines, or would you rather find an article answering your query written by a qualified health professional with experience and expertise in the area your seeking advice?

When you understand this, you can see how this is relevant and why we need to demonstrate E-E-A-T across the website.

What does the new change mean?

As mentioned, the new E stands for Experience, and the guidelines have been updated to explain what Google means when it asks for content to demonstrate experience.

Again, a real-world example will allow us to explain this concept. If you imagine you're searching Google for restaurant recommendations in Manchester. You will find an article that compares the top 10 restaurants in Manchester. The article is written by a well-respected food critic, which demonstrates expertise, it's on a Manchester-based news website which demonstrates authoritativeness, and it's getting a good amount of traffic from social media and links from other websites, demonstrating trustworthiness. This all sounds good, and as a reader, this sounds like I'm going to get some good recommendations, but what if I said the author has never eaten at any of the restaurants on the list?

This demonstrates the importance of experience; what would you trust more, a review from someone using a product or someone who hasn't?

Were there any other changes to the guidelines?

Yes, Google added more context to the guidelines to make it clearer for content creators to understand how they use E-E-A-T. They've also changed how they present the T in E-E-A-T by adding a Venn diagram that makes the E-E-A crossover form the T, this shows that by demonstrating all areas in E-E-A-T, you are improving the website's trustworthiness.

Final Thoughts

As an SEO agency, it's our responsibility to ensure that the content we create with our clients follows Google's guidelines. E-E-A-T is an important part of any SEO strategy, and by implementing these changes, we can improve the search engine rankings of our websites. It may take some time to implement these changes in some cases, but it's good to understand why this is the way to go.

References

Google's Official Annoucement

Google's Search Rater Guidelines

Chris Regan

About the Author

Chris Regan

Chris is the Managing Director and Founder of Arriba. With a degree in web development and over 10-years of experience in the SEO industry, Chris is an expert in all aspects of user-experience and technical SEO.

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