Google continually updates its algorithm to provide better search results. And we all want people to find us in the search engines, visit our sites and fall in love with our content.

As a website owner, understanding Google's criteria is vital for this to happen. Google's emphasis on expertise, experience, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness (E-E-A-T) can significantly impact your website's ranking and visibility. Aligning your content with these standards helps ensure it meets Google's quality benchmarks, driving more traffic and enhancing user satisfaction.

In this article, you will discover:

  • Understanding Google's E-E-A-T criteria: What they are and why they matter.
  • Practical tips to align your content: Steps to meet Google's standards.
  • Examples of successful E-E-A-T implementation: Real-world scenarios showing these principles in action.

Let’s dive into how you can optimise your content strategy with E-E-A-T.

What the heck is E-E-A-T?

E-E-A-T stands for Expertise, Experience, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness. It was E-A-T, and then the extra E (Experience) was added to differentiate between content by AI and content by humans. Google uses this criteria to evaluate the quality of your website's content. Understanding and applying E-E-A-T principles can boost your site's search rankings and user engagement. Allegedly. More on that in a moment…

Expertise

Expertise refers to the skill or knowledge in a particular area. Google values content created by experts, especially for YMYL (Your Money Your Life) topics like health, finance, and safety. YMYL topics are topics where misinformation can cause harm to the reader, or, if harm is caused when that information is shared.

However, in a recent update, Google has started to show more opinions from sites like Reddit, as well as factually incorrect AI content in search. So you can be convincing in your expertise, yet be totally wrong, and still get prominence in the search engines. Or be a well-known Brand but have light content.

Ugh. Let's assume this will be corrected with another search engine update. Let's not assume that Google says one thing and does something completely different.

Here’s how to ensure your content demonstrates expertise:

  • Hire Qualified Writers: Ensure your content is written by individuals with proven expertise. For example, a health blog should feature articles by certified doctors or medical professionals. And if you can't afford qualified writers, quote them in the correct context and link to their work, or have them review the articles.
  • Provide Author Credentials: Include author bios that highlight their qualifications and experience. This builds credibility and trust with your audience.
  • Cite Reliable Sources: Always reference reputable sources to support your claims. This shows thorough research and strengthens your content’s reliability.

Example: A financial advice website publishes an article on retirement planning. The piece is written by a certified financial planner and includes references to government publications and well-known financial institutions.

Experience

Experience focuses on the real-life application and insights gained from direct involvement. Google considers content that provides first-hand knowledge and genuine insights highly valuable.

  • Share Personal Stories: Incorporate anecdotes or case studies from personal experiences. This makes your content relatable and trustworthy.
  • Use Testimonials and Reviews: Include customer reviews or testimonials to demonstrate real-world applications and benefits of your products or services.
  • Create Tutorials and Guides: Provide step-by-step instructions or how-to guides based on your hands-on experience.

Example: A travel blog shares a detailed guide on visiting Tokyo, written by someone who has lived there. The guide includes personal tips on local customs, hidden gems, and practical advice based on the author's experience. And nice photos. Because let's face it, nice photos that we've taken ourselves can easily enhance the content we've created.

Authoritativeness

Authoritativeness is about being recognised as a leading source of information in your field. Here’s how to build and demonstrate authority:

  • Earn Mentions and Citations: Get your content mentioned or cited by other respected websites. This boosts your site's credibility and visibility.
  • Guest Posting: Write guest posts for authoritative sites in your industry. This helps build your reputation and drive traffic to your site.
  • Participate in Industry Events: Engage in webinars, conferences, or industry panels. Sharing your expertise in these forums can enhance your authority.

Example: A tech blog gains authority by being frequently cited by major tech news sites and having its writers speak at prominent industry conferences.

Trustworthiness

Trustworthiness ensures that your content and website are reliable and safe. It’s crucial for building a loyal audience and satisfying Google’s quality standards.

  • Use HTTPS: Ensure your site is secure with HTTPS encryption. This protects user data and signals trustworthiness to Google.
  • Accurate and Transparent Content: Provide accurate information and clearly disclose any affiliations or sponsorships. Transparency builds trust with your audience.
  • Detailed Contact Information: Offer clear contact details, including a physical address and phone number. This reassures users that your business is legitimate.

Example: An e-commerce site displays its HTTPS certificate prominently, includes clear and honest product descriptions, and provides multiple ways for customers to contact support.

By understanding and implementing E-E-A-T principles, you can improve your content’s quality and your site’s ranking. Next, we'll explore practical tips for aligning your content with these standards.

Importance of Expertise

Expertise is the foundation of quality content. I'm probably going to say that a few times in this article. Google values content created by experts, especially for YMYL topics like health, finance, and safety. Let's explore why expertise matters, what happens if you lack it, and best practices to ensure your content shines.

Why Expertise Matters

Expertise ensures your content is accurate, reliable, and useful. It builds trust with your audience and improves your site's credibility in Google's eyes. Without expertise, your content may be viewed as low-quality or misleading, which can hurt your search rankings and reputation.

Consequences of Ignoring Expertise

  • Lower Rankings: Google prioritises expert content. Lack of expertise can result in lower search rankings.
  • Loss of Trust: Inaccurate or poor-quality content can erode trust and drive visitors away.
  • Reduced Authority: Without expert input, your site may struggle to gain authority and recognition.

Best Practices for Demonstrating Expertise

E-E-A-T Best Practices for showcasing expertise

  1. Hire Qualified Writers:
    • Ensure your content is created by individuals with proven expertise.
    • Example: A health blog could feature articles written by certified doctors or medical professionals.
  2. Provide Author Credentials:
    • Include detailed author bios that highlight qualifications and experience.
    • Example: A legal advice website lists authors' credentials, such as their law degrees and years of practice.
  3. Cite Reliable Sources:
    • Always reference reputable sources to support your claims.
    • Example: A financial article references data from government publications and renowned financial institutions.
  4. Continuous Education:
    • Encourage your writers to stay updated with the latest industry trends and knowledge.
    • Example: A tech blog requires writers to take courses and attend conferences regularly. Then create content on the courses and conferences – sharing insights and takeaways.
  5. Review and Update Content:
    • Regularly review and update your content to ensure it remains accurate and relevant.
    • Example: A medical site updates its articles based on the latest research findings.

Real-World Example

Consider a nutrition blog that publishes an article on healthy eating habits. If written by a certified nutritionist, the article will likely include accurate, science-backed information. Readers will trust the advice, leading to higher engagement and shares. In contrast, if the article lacks expert input, it might contain misleading or incorrect advice, resulting in reader distrust and lower search rankings.

Practical Tips

  • Verify Credentials: Before hiring a writer, verify their qualifications and experience.
  • Engage Experts: If you lack in-house expertise, consider hiring external experts to review your content.
  • Highlight Expertise: Use author bios, credentials, and certifications to showcase expertise visibly.

By prioritising expertise, you can enhance your content's quality, build trust, and improve your site's performance on Google. Next, we'll explore the importance of authoritativeness and how to achieve it.

Building Authoritativeness

Authoritativeness is about being recognised as a credible source in your field. Google rewards sites that demonstrate strong authority, leading to higher rankings and greater user trust. Here’s why authoritativeness is vital, the pitfalls of ignoring it, and best practices to build and maintain it.

Why Authoritativeness Matters

Authoritativeness signals to Google and users that your content is reliable and valuable. It enhances your site's reputation, encourages backlinks from other reputable sites, and improves user engagement.

Consequences of Ignoring Authoritativeness

  • Lower Rankings: Without authoritativeness, your site may struggle to rank well on Google.
  • Decreased Traffic: Reduced visibility leads to lower organic traffic and fewer visitors.
  • Erosion of Trust: Users are less likely to trust and share content from sources lacking authority.

Best Practices for Establishing Authoritativeness

E-E-A-T Best Practices for Building Authority

  1. Earn Mentions and Citations:
    • Get your content mentioned or cited by respected websites.
    • Example: A scientific research paper cited by major academic journals enhances its authoritativeness.
  2. Guest Posting:
    • Write guest posts for authoritative sites in your industry.
    • Example: A marketing expert contributing articles to top marketing blogs to build credibility.
  3. Participate in Industry Events:
    • Engage in webinars, conferences, and industry panels.
    • Example: A cybersecurity expert speaking at global cybersecurity conferences to establish authority.
  4. Leverage Social Proof:
    • Showcase endorsements, testimonials, and case studies from reputable sources.
    • Example: A software company displaying testimonials from well-known clients.
  5. Regularly Publish High-Quality Content:
    • Consistently provide valuable, well-researched content to your audience.
    • Example: A tech blog regularly publishing in-depth reviews and analysis of the latest gadgets.

Real-World Example

Consider a financial blog aiming to build authority. By publishing insightful articles, getting featured on major financial news websites, and speaking at finance conferences, the blog gains recognition. This results in higher search rankings, more backlinks, and increased reader trust. Conversely, without these efforts, the blog might remain obscure, attracting fewer visitors and gaining little recognition.

Practical Tips

  • Network with Industry Leaders: Build relationships with influential figures who can mention or cite your work.
  • Offer Value in Guest Posts: Ensure your guest posts provide substantial value to readers, reflecting well on your expertise.
  • Highlight Achievements: Use your site to showcase awards, certifications, and notable achievements to bolster your authority.

What Happens If You Don’t Build Authoritativeness

Neglecting authoritativeness can have significant repercussions. Your site might languish in search rankings, buried under competitors who have established credibility. Visitors might question your site's reliability, leading to higher bounce rates and lower engagement. Over time, this can erode your brand's reputation, making it harder to attract and retain a loyal audience.

Best Practice in Action

Imagine a health blog that wants to enhance its authority. By featuring articles written by certified doctors, getting cited in major health publications, and participating in medical conferences, the blog can establish itself as a trusted source. This not only improves its Google rankings but also builds a loyal readership that trusts and values its content.

By focusing on authoritativeness, you can enhance your site’s reputation and visibility. Next, let’s explore the importance of trustworthiness and how to cultivate it effectively.

Enhancing Trustworthiness

Trustworthiness is the backbone of a credible website. Google prioritises sites that users find reliable and safe. Here’s why trustworthiness is crucial, the risks of neglecting it, and best practices for building a trustworthy site.

Why Trustworthiness Matters

Trustworthiness affects user perception and search engine rankings. A trustworthy site encourages repeat visits, social sharing, and positive reviews, boosting your online presence and credibility.

Consequences of Ignoring Trustworthiness

  • Lower Rankings: Google demotes sites with poor trust signals, leading to decreased visibility.
  • Loss of Users: Visitors quickly leave sites they perceive as untrustworthy, increasing bounce rates.
  • Negative Reputation: A lack of trust can lead to bad reviews and a tarnished brand image.

Best Practices for Building Trustworthiness

You may notice some familiar things here… Yeah, there's a lot of overlap in these things.

E-E-A-T Best Practices for Building Trustworthiness

  1. Use HTTPS:
    • Ensure your site is secure with HTTPS encryption.
    • Example: An e-commerce site with HTTPS ensures customer data is protected, fostering trust.
  2. Accurate and Transparent Content:
    • Provide accurate information and clearly disclose affiliations or sponsorships.
    • Example: A blog discloses affiliate links and maintains honesty in product reviews.
  3. Detailed Author Bios:
    • Include comprehensive author bios that highlight qualifications and experience.
    • Example: A medical site with detailed profiles of its doctors, including their credentials and specialisations.
  4. Clear Contact Information:
    • Offer multiple ways for users to contact you, including a physical address and phone number.
    • Example: A business website lists a customer service phone number, email, and office address prominently.
  5. User Reviews and Testimonials:
    • Display authentic reviews and testimonials from real users.
    • Example: A software company showcases user testimonials and case studies to build credibility.

Real-World Example

Consider an online retail store. By using HTTPS, providing accurate product descriptions, and offering clear contact information, the store builds trust with its customers. This results in higher sales and customer loyalty. Conversely, if the site lacked these elements, customers might doubt its legitimacy, leading to abandoned carts and poor reviews.

Practical Tips

  • Regularly Update Your Content: Keep information current and correct any inaccuracies promptly.
  • Transparency in Policies: Clearly outline return policies, privacy policies, and terms of service and make them easy to find.
  • Encourage User Feedback: Actively seek and display user feedback to show transparency and improve trust.

By enhancing trustworthiness, you can secure a loyal audience and improve your search rankings. Next, let’s explore the importance of focusing on user experience and practical steps to achieve it.

Focusing on Experience

Experience is about the writer's personal involvement and practical knowledge in the subject they are discussing. While expertise refers to theoretical knowledge or qualifications, experience deals with hands-on insights and real-world applications. Here’s why experience matters, the risks of neglecting it, and best practices for showcasing it.

Why Experience Matters

Experience enriches content with practical insights and real-life examples, making it more relatable and trustworthy for users. Google values content that reflects first-hand knowledge, as it tends to be more engaging and credible. This I know from experience. My content on this site is written based on my experience writing content for clients, training content creation, and selling content in the form of courses and training. Phew! That's a lot of experience to pack into blog posts, and I just don't do it enough.

I was talking to a coach today about work things, and she said “You need to talk more about your experience and outcomes, because what you do is incredible”. When I stopped blushing, I realised she was right. I don't share all of my experience all of the time. And I should.

Consequences of Ignoring Experience

  • Less Engaging Content: Without personal insights, content can seem dry and unrelatable, reducing reader engagement.
  • Lower Trust: Users may question the reliability of information that lacks real-world context.
  • Missed Connection: Failing to incorporate experience can result in a weaker connection with your audience.

In the past, I've had people think that anecdotes and sharing experience is unprofessional or folksy. They want this removed from their content. That's fine, it's their content. They own it, they can do what they want with it. But ultimately, the content is read by human beings and search engines, and it's how they both know you've not just asked ChatGPT to write you an article on E-A-T-T. Take it out and be damned. A little strong? No, I don't think it's strong enough. Don't edit you from your content. Your experience matters. People want to read it.

Best Practices for Showcasing Experience

E-E-A-T Showcasing Expertise

  1. Share Personal Stories:
    • Include anecdotes or case studies from personal experience.
    • Example: A travel blog sharing stories of the author's adventures in different countries adds authenticity and interest.
  2. Use Testimonials and Reviews:
    • Incorporate customer reviews or testimonials to demonstrate real-world applications and benefits.
    • Example: A software company displaying user testimonials to show how their product solves real problems.
  3. Create Tutorials and Guides:
    • Provide step-by-step instructions or how-to guides based on your hands-on experience. I often hear people saying don't create how-to content. Without it, your content strategy is lacking your experience. The best way to prove experience is to show it.
    • Example: A DIY blog offering detailed guides on home improvement projects, written by someone who has completed these projects themselves.
  4. Incorporate Practical Insights:
    • Offer practical tips and advice that only come from first-hand experience.
    • Example: A fitness blog providing workout routines based on the author’s personal training experiences.

Real-World Example

Consider a cooking blog. By sharing recipes that the author has personally tested and perfected, the blog can offer valuable insights that resonate with readers. Tips on avoiding common mistakes or enhancing flavours based on the author's kitchen experiments make the content much more engaging and trustworthy. Or perhaps they share what type of pan they use and why they love it.

In contrast, a blog that merely recycles generic recipes without personal input may struggle to build a loyal readership. If too much is left for the reader to imagine, then they'll go somewhere that's easier to read. Yep, experience is easier to read as it flows naturally into your content.

Practical Tips

  • Document Your Processes: Keep a record of your own experiences and insights to share in your content.
  • Engage with Your Audience: Encourage readers to share their experiences and incorporate their feedback into your content.
  • Highlight Your Journey: Use your own learning and growth in the subject as a narrative to guide readers.

What Happens If You Don’t Focus on Experience

Ignoring experience can result in content that feels disconnected and impersonal. Readers may find it hard to trust or relate to your information, leading to lower engagement and higher bounce rates. This can negatively impact your search rankings and overall site performance. It's not professional content, but content without a heart. Or a soul. Or even a personality.

Best Practice in Action

Imagine a gardening blog that aims to showcase the author's hands-on experience. By sharing detailed accounts of their own gardening projects, the challenges they faced, and the solutions they discovered, the blog can offer unique value to its readers. This personal touch not only builds trust but also encourages readers to return for more practical advice.

By emphasising the writer's experience, you can create content that is both engaging and credible.

Staying current with Google’s standards, particularly E-E-A-T, is essential for your website’s success. By focusing on Expertise, Authoritativeness, Trustworthiness, and Experience, you can significantly enhance your site's search rankings and user engagement.

Recap of Key Takeaways

  1. Expertise: Ensure your content is created or reviewed by experts. Highlight author credentials and use reliable sources to back up your claims. This builds credibility with Google and your audience. For instance, a financial blog should feature articles written by certified financial planners.
  2. Authoritativeness: Build your authority through mentions, citations, and guest posts on reputable sites. Participate in industry events and showcase social proof like testimonials and case studies. An example is a tech blog gaining recognition by being cited by major tech news outlets and featuring guest posts from industry leaders. Authoritativeness helps in establishing your site as a go-to resource in your niche.
  3. Trustworthiness: Enhance trust by securing your site with HTTPS, providing accurate and transparent content, and offering clear contact information. For example, an online retailer should use HTTPS, provide honest product descriptions, and offer multiple contact options. Trustworthiness not only improves user satisfaction but also builds a loyal customer base.
  4. Experience: Highlight the writer’s practical knowledge and real-life involvement in the subject matter. Share personal stories, use testimonials, and create practical guides based on first-hand experience. For example, a gardening blog can feature posts written by an experienced gardener, sharing tips and personal anecdotes about successful planting techniques and overcoming common gardening challenges. This adds authenticity and relatability, encouraging readers to trust and follow the advice given.

There are a lot of benefits to using E-E-A-T to add flavour to your content and make it more robust. The biggest advantage is that more people who love what you talk about will find you.

Sarah x

About

Sarah Arrow

With over 20 years of experience, Sarah Arrow (me!) knows the ins and outs of effective blog writing, which is why she makes her excellent at website copywriting, or, as a blog copywriter. My expertise ensures your blog will captivate readers and deliver your message effectively. Experience? This spans various industries, giving me a unique perspective and a wealth of knowledge to draw upon. This extensive background means she can adapt her writing to fit your specific needs and audience.

Ready to elevate your website or blog? I am the writer you need. My experience, skill, and passion for online writing make me the perfect choice for your blog copywriting needs. Contact me today and see the difference a professional content writer can make.

What Sets Me Apart?
Human Touch: My writing resonates on a personal level. I understand human psychology and use this to create content that connects.
Attention to Detail: Every post is detailed. Grammar, style, and accuracy are important in my work.
Consistency: I deliver high-quality content consistently, ensuring your website blog remains fresh and engaging.

If you're ready to get started join the free blogging challenge and do it yourself, or call me on 07816 528421 to do it for you.

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