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Understanding the factors that influence Google search engine rankings is essential for all bloggers, whether you've just started out or have been doing it for a while. One of those factors is E-E-A-T, an acronym that stands for Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trust.
So I'm going to walk you through what it is and why it's essential for us bloggers to be aware of it.
And I'm also going to provide you with a long list of ideas on how you can showcase E-E-A-T on your website and in your content.
What is E-E-A-T?
E-E-A-T stands for Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trust, and it's an acronym for a set of factors incorporated into Google's algorithm to help ensure that the pages we see on Google search results page are trustworthy, safe, and reliable.
Google clarifies in their Search Central Documentation that “While E-E-A-T itself isn't a specific ranking factor, using a mix of factors that can identify content with good E-E-A-T is useful.” They also mention the Search Quality Raters in the Search Central Documentation, which is a large group of people across the world that Google has employed to help evaluate the quality of the search results.
These Quality Raters are trained on a set of guidelines called Google’s Search Quality Rater Guidelines. They are asked to rate the relevance and usefulness of different search results for specific search queries, which helps Google understand how well its algorithms are working and also helps identify areas that need improvements.
In other words, the feedback that the Quality Raters provide is used to train Google's algorithms to improve the accuracy of search results for everyone.
Why is it important to know about E-E-A-T?
When E-E-A-T (or E-A-T, as it was called before Google added an extra E to the acronym in December 2022 – more on that below) was first mentioned in the Quality Guidelines, it was as a way to assess the credibility and trustworthiness of YMYL sites.
YMYL is short for Your Money or Your Life, and it's what Google calls pages that cover topics that could significantly impact a user's well-being, financial stability, or safety.
Initially, it was primarily medical sites, financial advice, and legal guidance that were seen as YMYL, and they were held to much higher standards than non-YMYL sites since the topics they write about have the potential to be harmful (like being given wrong medical advice or legal guidance).
However, these days, there are more and more ‘niches' labeled as YMYL topics because of the potential issues that can occur if false information is provided. So instead of categorizing the type of websites, Google now looks at it from a topic perspective:
And Google's Quality Rater Guidelines list six types of topics:
|Type of Topic||Description|
|Information||Could significant harm result from inaccurate information?|
|Advice about an activity||Could significant harm result from poor advice?|
|A personal opinion||What impact could this opinion have on other people and society?|
|News about current events||Could this topic significantly impact people and society? For societal impact, consider issues such as elections and trust in public institutions that benefit society.|
|Sharing on social media||Could the social media post cause significant harm? Could it hurt individuals? Could it damage society if widely shared?|
|Online commerce and product reviews||Consider the product. Could the product cause significant harm?|
The information in the table above is taken from Google's Quality Guidelines, and they've also included examples for all of these topics (to clarify what may be a clear, what might be, or an unlikely YMYL topic:
As a blogger, it is important that you're aware of the E-E-A-T guidelines and follow them because so many topics have the potential to fall into the YMYL space, regardless of niche.
So let's dive into each of the components of E-E-A-T and what you can do to incorporate it into your website and content.
Understanding the Components of E-E-A-T
To effectively incorporate E-E-A-T into your blog, it's essential to grasp the meaning behind each letter in the acronym. Each component plays a vital role in determining the overall quality and trustworthiness of your content.
Let's delve into the details of each element:
- Experience: The first E (also the new E) represents Experience. It refers to the extent to which a content creator possesses the necessary first-hand or life experience for the topic they're writing about. When crafting your blog posts, it's essential to make it clear that you have personal experience with the subject. For instance, a product review from someone who has personally used the product carries more weight than a review from someone who hasn't.
- Expertise: The second E stands for Expertise. It's all about showcasing your level of knowledge and skill in your chosen subject. Interestingly, Google uses a graduation hat symbol in its guidelines to indicate that they're looking for education or credentials related to the topic.
- Authoritativeness: Authoritativeness refers to the content itself, the reputation of the website, and its content creators within their industry or community. In other words, if other experts in the field consider you a reliable and trustworthy source of information, Google will view you as more authoritative. While this may feel daunting for new bloggers, remember that as you create more content and immerse yourself in your niche through activities such as training, product bundles, challenges, conferences, or answering questions in Facebook groups, your content will soon be seen as authoritative content.
- Trust: Trust is a crucial aspect of E-E-A-T and significantly influences how your blog is perceived by both readers and search engines. Google has emphasized that Trust is the most important element of E-E-A-T, as untrustworthy pages have low E-E-A-T, regardless of how experienced, expert, or authoritative they may seem. Similarly, when your readers trust you, they are more likely to engage with your content and view you as a reliable source of information.
Ways to Demonstrate E-E-A-T When You're a New Blogger
Here are some tips on what you can do to showcase E-E-A-T based on what search engines are looking for:
Show that you're a real business (with a real person running it)
Because of the amount of spammy websites, it's important that your website makes it clear to all visitors (humans and crawlers alike) that you are a real person and that your blog is a real business.
These are the pages that crawlers are looking for to determine whether you're a real person and whether it's a real business:
- About Me: your about me page should have a photo of you and ideally showcase your experience and expertise. Most of all, it should show that you're a real person.
- Contact information: we tend to get a lot of spam when we have contact pages, but if you're selling something on your website, Google makes it very clear in their guidelines that “For shopping websites, we'll ask you to do some special checks. Look for contact information, including the online store's policies on payment, exchanges, and returns.”
- Social Media links: this is to show Google that you're a business (businesses these days show up on most social media platforms, at least according to Google). Here's the thing. You don't need to post a lot of stuff on those social media platforms if you don't want to. Google's crawlers won't validate that you're posting. They will only check that the link exists and that the URL is to your handles.
- Updated Copyright notice: One thing that can make your website look like it's deserted is a copyright notice that doesn't state the current year. Google's crawlers do check this, so make sure that you always have it updated to show the current year. And if you don't have a copyright notice in your footer at all, you should add one!
Share Your personal Experience
When writing blog posts, make sure to showcase your personal first-hand experience with the topic. Personal stories, and anecdotes can help build trust and demonstrate your first-hand knowledge, which contributes to the Experience component of E-E-A-T.
When you share real-life examples of things that you've experienced related to the topic you're writing about, you're showing search engines (and readers) that you're a real person and not an AI.
So offer concrete examples of how you have personally implemented the strategies, tips, or advice you're sharing. Describe the steps you took, the challenges you faced, and the outcomes you achieved.
This not only adds credibility but also helps readers visualize the practical application of your knowledge.
Write Well-Researched And High-Quality Content
One of the most effective ways to establish authority is by consistently delivering high-quality content. Your blog posts should be well-researched, informative, and engaging. Provide unique perspectives, actionable advice, and in-depth analysis that adds real value to your readers.
Invest time in crafting compelling headlines, structuring your content for readability, and incorporating visuals to create a better user experience.
A great example of this is Emilee from Emilee Mason Co, who posted an amazing, detailed article about Flodesk vs. Mailerlite. This article provides really useful information and is extremely helpful for anyone struggling to choose between these two email service providers.
Reference and Link to Reliable Sources
One of the key elements of trustworthiness is ensuring that the information you provide is accurate, up-to-date, and backed by reliable sources. Double-check facts, cite reputable references, and strive for accuracy in every aspect of your content.
Not only does linking to well-known industry experts, publications, academic studies, or official websites add credibility to your content and demonstrates your commitment to providing accurate information. It also helps search engines better understand which types of topics you write about.
Encourage reader engagement
Do you have a comment section on your blog? You should.
Many bloggers have turned the comments off, but they are great for showcasing E-E-A-T (not to mention all the benefits you gain by engaging with your reader and building a stronger connection with your audience).
It's also a great way to show search engines that there's a real person that's responsible for the website (and not a spam bot).
Here are another few great reasons why you should have a comment section: you're creating unique, non-AI-produced content, and you're keeping your page updated. All of this is something that crawlers take note of.
About Me Page
Now, when it comes to your About Me page (which, of course, you already have on your blog), it's important to make sure it's doing its job by showcasing your expertise, industry experience, and any relevant qualifications or certifications.
Let your passion for the topic and dedication to providing valuable information shine through on this page, and you'll be helping to establish your credibility with both your audience and search engines.
A very good example of someone who has nailed this is Alanna Gallo from Play.Learn.Thrive. In her about me section, she tells the story of why she started her website, what research she did, and what she learned (and that she is now teaching others through her blog, courses, and resources).
She also has a photo of herself on her about me page (in fact, there are a lot of different photos of her on her website), which is clearly demonstrating that she’s a real person.
Psst…If you want to learn how to write the perfect About Me page, that is not only meeting E-E-A-T requirements, but also optimized for conversion, Andrea Frey from Creative Copy Shop has the resource you need: a fill-in-the-blank template. I’ve used it for my About Me page and let me tell you, it can’t get easier than that to write the dang page.
Connect Your LinkedIn Account To Your About Me Page
We're staying on the About Me page a little longer because one of the (easiest) ways to boost your expertise credibility is to link to your personal LinkedIn profile.
Why? Because all professional people have a LinkedIn profile (at least, that's Google's assumption).
And here's the kicker: Google's crawlers won't crawl your LinkedIn profile to validate that you have the education and certification. They're looking for the LinkedIn link (and that it's your profile you're linking to). So it's enough to do what Anette Murphy from Murphy & Dotter Virtual Executive Services has done, by adding the LinkedIn link at the end of her hero section.
All this being said, it's still essential to ensure that the information on your About Me page aligns with what's on your LinkedIn profile, since your readers will likely follow the link and read your profile to verify your claimed experience. Maintaining consistency between the two not only reinforces your credibility but also helps build trust with your audience.
Testimonials and Endorsements
Collect testimonials or endorsements from industry peers, satisfied clients, or readers who have benefited from your expertise and show these off on your website to build trust and demonstrate that you're able to deliver the goods.
Positive feedback from others helps to establish your authority and expertise in the eyes of your audience and search engines.
Start a YouTube Channel
Why not start a YouTube channel where you can share video content related to your niche? This is a fantastic way to show off your expertise, provide tutorials, share industry insights, and connect with your audience in a more interactive way.
Plus, search engines may see your presence on multiple platforms as a sign that you're the real deal.
Start a Facebook Group
Consider creating a Facebook Group related to your niche as a way to demonstrate your expertise to both your audience and search engines.
By actively engaging with group members, sharing valuable content, answering questions, and providing support, you'll establish yourself as a knowledgeable resource in your industry.
A Facebook Group also helps you build a community around your blog and boost your social media presence, which can contribute to better search engine rankings. Encourage your readers to join the group and participate in discussions to create a thriving, interactive community.
There's only one person I can give as the perfect example for doing this well, and that is Sadie Smiley of Passive Income Pathways. She has this down to a fine art, and I don't know anyone else that can build a community of loyal followers as quick as she does.
If you're interested in learning how Sadie does it, she has an amazing program that teaches you how to create passive income streams through blogging. I've been a member of this program since the start, and I can summarize my experience with one word… lifechanging!
Speaking Engagement, Podcast Interviews, and Collaborations
Look for opportunities to speak at summits, get interviewed on podcasts, and include a product or training in bundles. By sharing your knowledge on well-known platforms, you're getting your name out there, reaching new audiences, and showing off your expertise within the industry.
These appearances can be an extra signal for search engines that you know your stuff (they often lead to backlinks, especially from podcasts, which is another strong signal that search engines take notice of).
You can even create an “As Seen In” section on your website to highlight guest appearances or interviews you've taken part in. This section will show your credibility and expertise to both your audience and search engines.
Build Relationships with Industry Experts
Identify who is considered “subject matter experts” within your niche and follow them on their social channels. Engage with their content by leaving thoughtful comments on their posts and participating in relevant discussions. If you do that consistently, they will start taking notice of you and you're well on your way to building relationships.
Show up Consistently
The last tips on this long list of things you can do to build E-E-A-T is: commit to show up consistently!
Consistently producing great content and staying up-to-date with industry trends is one of the best ways to establish yourself as a trusted authority in your niche.
By sharing valuable insights, you can demonstrate your expertise and build credibility over time.
Keep pushing yourself to show up as often as you can, create valuable content and stay informed, and you will become a respected leader in your field.
That's it. Now you have a better understanding about E-E-A-T, and what you can do to demonstrate it. By keeping this in mind when writing your content, you can create a strong foundation for your blog's success.
And remember, building E-E-A-T takes time and dedication. It's a gradual process of establishing your reputation, gaining recognition, and consistently delivering value to your audience.
So, don't be disheartened if you don't feel you're not doing all of the suggestions that I've outlined. Bookmark this as a resource that you can come back to for inspiration. Just keep pushing forward, and your E-E-A-T will grow along with your blog's success.
Until next time,