As expected of search engine optimization (SEO), Google will introduce new changes to the system and its algorithm. This will also alter how websites run things and produce their content. This big change is expected to be Google’s E-A-T system for determining the website quality. It stands for expertise, authority, and trustworthiness and it is every bit as important right now as any other aspect of SEO.
Google’s E-A-T system is essentially the search engine telling bloggers and website owners what kind of content or websites they want. Now, since Google is the biggest search engine at the moment, adhering to its rules and preferences (which take internet user interests into account) is necessary to thrive and stay relevant in this ever-changing industry.
Thankfully, improving your website’s E-A-T is rather straightforward. You only need to do certain practices– some of which you might already be doing right now. So, we’ve listed some of the practices you need to do in order to adhere to Google’s E-A-T system; think of them as your checklist.
1. Decent and real bylines for each content
Most bloggers are likely doing this one already. However, if you’re not giving proper credit to your writers, then you’ll be crippling your E-A-T standing. What the byline immediately improves is the “expertise” part of E-A-T. Transparency is mostly the concern when it comes to who’s writing the content. Hence, letting your readers or visitors know just who’s producing the content is already an improvement.
Not just any byline will do, of course. Having a photo of your writers or content producers next to a hyperlinked name along with a date is a great courtesy to the visitors. This is because they can immediately judge just how trustworthy the site is or its content. If they see a face and a name, then they can immediately feel more secure.
2. Author biographies
In addition to proper bylines, one thing you could do to let your visitors know that your content is legitimate is by making a thorough biography or “about” page for your site authors. By good author pages, we mean biographies with their names, a proper or formal (or semi-formal) photograph of their face, and their credentials and even their accolades.
Apart from giving your authors or website staff a face, you’re also showing your visitors their skills and how qualified they are for the content they write. Of course, contact details and social media accounts are also welcome; this gives the visitors an opportunity to contact them. Any content the author has contributed to the site should also be displayed.
3. Improve or delete low E-A-T content
As per the Google search quality guidelines, the E-A-T score is also calculated based on the content and the pages on your website. As such, apart from being careful what you post or upload on the website every time, you also have to be careful to look for old content that might be low-quality or have poor E-A-T.
You’ll probably know it when you see it. It can be anything from brief posts that barely count as content to anything with no author or filled with dead links. Like it or not, these can bring down your E-A-T score and make Google ignore your website or even flag it as low-quality; in turn, this can severely affect your traffic or conversion.
4. Improve link quality
Speaking of links, ensuring that all the links on your website are from equally reputable sources is also a good way to cater to the “authority” part of E-A-T. This is a carry-over quality rating system from Google’s Domain Authority metric which got integrated into E-A-T.
Basically, you only need to ensure that any type of links in your content is from high-authority and relevant sources. Websites with good E-A-T or domain authority come into mind for this. This can boost your own E-A-T in turn. Now, how do you vet websites with decent E-A-T or domain authority? Tools like these can help you quickly.
5. Personal branding
Now, we’re getting onto the “trustworthiness” part of Google’s E-A-T system. In order to boost this aspect, you have to turn your gaze to personal branding or branding in general. You don’t even have to make your own visuals or unique website theme for this; a simple tweak to your “About Us” page could do the work.
Even a brief list of all the publications (online or offline) your site is featured on can count as personal branding. Testimonials or reviews can also be of great help when it comes to this. Even taking time to reply to comments could also work. Bottom line, branding is something you should never underestimate when it comes to E-A-T.
6. Get legal and expert advice
Here’s the hard part of improving your E-A-T, getting verified with expert opinion. One part of this applies to your content where you can ask some industry experts to verify what you published. One example is asking a medical professional to approve of some information on your content where you can even put their name on the byline. Interview content is also a good way to get an expert opinion.
7. A more active social media
In addition to branding, an active social media limb of your website or blog is also a good way to look good on Google’s E-A-T system. Sharing content from your website to your social media pages is an effective and easy way to do this.
For an added bonus, you can enlist mutual help from some influencers to help promote your content. It’s better if some of them are even experts on the niche as both Google and the audience will see this as an authoritative figure endorsing your blog or website.
8. More visible contact info
Last but not least is to establish trust by making your contact information more apparent. This welcomes receptive feedback from your visitors or audience and opens a two-way line of communication.
Placing this contact information on the header of your website or in a menu bar. It can be your company’s address, phone number, or email address. Combine all these steps and methods and you’ll find your E-A-T improving in no time.