There is no doubt about it, Google E-A-T is a HUGE thing in SEO right now.
In fact, it is going to be even more important in the future.
The whole website SEO can depend on this recent update.
The question is:
How to optimize for Google E-A-T?
This guide will show you how to do it, step-by-step.
Let’s get started!
- What Is Google E-A-T Algorithm Update?
- Google E-A-T Q&A
- How to Improve Google E-A-T Rating?
- Google E-A-T Checklist
What Is Google E-A-T Algorithm Update?
In this chapter, you will find out what Google E-A-T is, why it is so important, how it changed the SEO world, and why you should care.
Google E-A-T (Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness) is a concept that Google introduced to its users back in 2014.
And it was first mentioned in their Quality Rater Guidelines.
The guys from Google hire lots of high-quality reviewers whose job is to manually check random websites and webpages and submit feedback about the quality of those pages directly to Google.
And yes, those reviewers rank your website based on the Quality Rater Guidelines.
You should also know that the E-A-T concept was mentioned A LOT of times(186!) across the document and it is arguable the most important thing you should pay attention to when studying this doc.
Google tells its evaluators to consider:
- The E-A-T of the main content for each webpage
- The website itself.
- The creators of that website’s content.
This means, that the most important things are your and your website’s reputation.
It is also worth mentioning that Google might use a kind of new form of Google Authorship to find out who produces the content and their level of expertise. (Source)
Now let’s break up all three words (Expertise, Authoritativeness, Trustworthiness) and find out what each of them stands for:
- E for Expertise. There two main forms of expertise according to Google – Formal and Everyday types of expertise.
The Formal Expertise is required for those people who represent YMYL(Your Money or Your Life) niches. Those niches may include medical, legal, and financial information. You will need legit diplomas, certifications, and other credentials.
The Everyday Expertise can be achieved without any formal educational background. If your niche does not represent the YMYL segment it is enough to be an everyday expert. That said, you need some knowledge and experience to produce content.
- A for Authoritativeness. This part of E-A-T is all about branding. You have to showcase your experience across the web to make your name rank high in Google.
You also need to be certain about who you are and what you do and be consistent with your online branding.
- T for Trustworthiness. It comes with an accuracy of the information you provide to your audience. You need to do thorough research and support your content with reputable sources.
Later in this guide, I am going to show you a step-by-step plan that will help you achieve high Google E-A-T.
But first I suggest you look at the most common questions about E-A-T.
I answer each of them below.
Google E-A-T Q&A
Google E-A-T algorithm has raised a lot of debates across the web.
There are numerous of questions you can find on forums and popular websites.
I have selected some of the most popular questions and tried to answer them as thoroughly as possible.
Here are the five most common questions regarding Google E-A-T and the answers for them.
Question #1: Should only YMYL sites care about Google E-A-T Update?
The short answer is NO.
No matter what industry you represent, whether it is an organ transplantation clinic or a small blog about pets you need to work on your E-A-T.
In fact, Google itself states:
“Keep in mind that there are high E-A-T pages and websites of all types, even gossip websites, fashion websites, humor websites, forum, and Q&A pages, etc.” Google Search Quality Raters Guidelines (source)
Question #2: How to make sure my E-A-T rank does not drop down?
It is really simple. Ask yourself the following questions and make sure that you answer “NO” on each of them:
- Do I try to cheat the algorithm?
- Do I provide an unsatisfying amount of main content?
- Do I use exaggerated or shocking titles for my posts?
- Do I put distracting ads all over the site?
- Do I provide an unsatisfying amount of information about the website and its creator?
- Do I, as a creator, have a negative reputation on the web?
Question #3: Do I need a special degree or credentials for achieving high E-A-T?
Having a special degree or certain credentials relevant to your blogging niche can help A LOT but in some cases it OK to have everyday expertise.
Here is what guys from Googe say:
“It’s even possible to have everyday expertise in YMYL topics. For example, there are forums and support pages for people with specific diseases. Sharing personal experience is a form of everyday expertise.” Google Search Quality Raters Guidelines (source)
As a rule of thumb, the further your blog topic from the YMYL field the less you need professional credentials to support your blog content.
Question #4: How do I establish E-A-T if I have multiple writers working for me?
Consider the ghostwriting option. They create quality content and you put your name behind it.
A lot of public figures leverage this technique.
Question #5: How do I approach E-A-T if my site is in the YMYL industry and I have no legit qualification whatsoever?
Ask a professional to proofread your articles.
Also, you should consider mentioning this fact:
Written by John Doe, Proofread by Jane Doe M.D.
And you are set!
Now, let’s take a look at how to actually improve your Google E-A-T score.
How to Improve Google E-A-T Rating?
In case if you are wondering what specific actions you can do right now to improve your Google E-A-T score, this chapter is right for you.
I will show you some of the most valuable strategies that work right now.
On-Site Trust Signals
Let’s first take a look at the steps you can follow to make sure that your On-Site E-A-T trust signals are on the place.
Get Yourself a Trustworthy Domain
- Use only reputable domain name registrar. I use and recommend Namecheap. You can the domain name availability here.
- Branded Domain Name. It is one of the surest you can do for the brand establishment. Including your niche main keyword helps a lot too.
- Register your domain for 3+ Years. This tells Google that you are here for the long run.
- Make it public. Most of the legit companies have public Whois. It shows that you are all transparent and have nothing to hide.
Host Your Site on a Trustworthy Web Host Provider
The benefits of having a reputable web hosting provider are numerous. Google and other search engines recognize them as a solid foundation for your online business.
Web hosting I use is called SiteGround.
Why do I recommend it?
- Support – They offer 24/7 live support via phone, email, support ticket or live chat.
- Price and Quality – You can get the world’s leading hosting services for as little as 3.95$/month! (There are some cheaper ones but their quality level is not even close)
- WordPress Optimized – Your website will load super fast compared to many other hosts. (Source)
- Security – They have Fort Knox level security.
- Endorsements – SiteGround is even recommended by the WordPress company itself! (Source)
Check out their plans and choose the one that fits your needs most.
Every single website that wants to appear authoritative in the eyes of readers and search engines should have a descriptive About page.
Here is a couple of tips to craft a powerful about page:
- Make it as thorough as possible. 500 words are not enough. Go for at least 1500 words.
- Include a unique value proposition. Mention what separates you from the pack.
- Show who is behind the content. Generic stock photos will not do. Insert real photos of real people and briefly describe their responsibilities in the company.
- Tell your story. Storytelling is a powerful content marketing strategy people use to earn the client’s trust and brand recognition.
- Mention and link to your professional credentials. It is sure trust sign for all, people and robots.
- Include contact information. It is obvious but some bloggers may forget this element.
Other Big Pages
About page is not the only page that helps your website gain credibility and increase Google E-A-T score.
Here are the pages you may consider creating:
- Comment Policy
- Affiliate Disclosure
Your Website’s Main Page
It represents your brand like nothing else.
If you are an entrepreneur or a freelance professional consider putting a big photo of yourself at the front.
It builds trust and people can see who is behind the website. (So can Google quality raters)
Mention your UVP and let people know if you were mentioned by some big brands in the industry.
- Write many good posts. Your blog should have a satisfactory amount of quality content that covers the topic. Level up your copywriting.
- Error-free articles. No Grammar, Spelling, and Punction mistakes.
- Proper attribution. It should be clear who the author is.
- Reputable sources. Link out to authority resources helps really much. (Source)
- Solid Interlinking. Linking out to related content on your blog increases UX and gives additional value to your readers.
- Original research. It proves your capabilities as an expert and increases your reputation in the industry.
- Long dwell time. This is a strong sign for search engines that your content is worth ranking high. Google RankBrain is responsible for this job.
- References and Sources at the end of the article. A great way to show your readers and search engines that your content is well-researched is to put all reputable sources at the bottom of your articles. James Clear does it great.
If you want to learn more about creating high-quality content that resonates with Google check out my post about powerful content creation.
Site Security and Maintenance
This step goes under the Trustworthiness.
You should keep your website secure and make sure you take care of its maintenance.
Consider the following:
- Reputable WordPress Theme
- Keeping your plugins and wp theme up to date
- An SSL encryption
- Web Application Firewall
- WP security plugins
If you want to make sure your website is fully protected you may like these 26 tips for WordPress Security
Constant Comment Moderation (Especially YMYL)
The reason why you want to manually moderate your blog comments on a daily basis is that there can be some misleading comments which may potentially harm your blog readers.
Let’s say you are in the medical industry and your blog post describes “10 best types of exercises for pregnant women”.
Suddenly the comment from one of your readers pops up:
“In my personal experience, you should go as hard as you can. Carrying the baby is not the reason for giving up your strength athletics competitions”
Sure enough, this can cause misunderstanding and health problems for your readers.
Needless to say, if your website sells digital or physical products or provides any kind of services you NEED to work on gaining good reviews from your clients.
It will help you get the additional trust and increase conversion rate.
For instance, GeneratePress – the WP theme I use on this website has really impressive reviews.
Off-Page Trust Signals
Now let’s take a look at the best Off-Page practices that will elevate your Google E-A-T score.
Having a successful YouTube channel is one of the surest things to establish your personal brand in the modern age.
It builds huge trust signals and makes your name more recognizable in your industry.
Creating courses is a great way to prove your expertise and build consistent traffic to your website.
Just take a look at these amazing stats some top course creators are able to achieve:
Here are some popular platforms you may consider hosting your courses on:
You probably know that black-hat link building is a sure NO sign for Google which can seriously harm your website. (Source)
On the other hand, having many niche-related websites linking to your blog can boost your trust in the Big G eyes like nothing else!
I am not saying that you should spend your days and nights building backlinks to your site but you should consider making this process a part of your blogging routine.
Here are some of the best organic link-building techniques:
- Produce high-quality content that can naturally attract backlinks
- Utilize the broken link building technique
- Find resource pages that are willing to link to your content
- Send outreach emails (don’t spam)
- Try Guest Posting
Guest posting is a great way to build some serious backlinks for your website.
But it can also strengthen your online brand and increase your website traffic.
Here are the steps you can follow for publishing your first ever guest post:
1Find the guest posting opportunities
You may use a couple of these search strings:
- Keyword “guest post”
- Keyword “write for us”
- Keyword “submit your content”
Or find the pre-made list of websites that can accept guest posts.
2Understand what they need
All good blogs that accept guest posting have guidelines. Read them all very carefully.
3Send a pitch
Usually, the elements of your pitch are discussed in the guidelines, here are the most popular:
- The headline of your article
- Short draft
- The area of your expertise
- Other examples of your guest posts
- Your author bio
4Write your post
If you write for an authoritative resource, that you should, make sure to craft the best content possible.
Highly useful and informative.
5Build the links
Make sure to put a couple of links in the author’s bio and the content body.
Pro Tip: Include a link to your About Page in your author bio. This will strengthen your credibility as a specialist.
6Keep in touch
Answer the comments on your guest posts and don’t lose the valuable connection with the website. (You may consider become a writer-contributor in the future)
Kindle publishing provides almost endless opportunities for new authors who want to spread their word across the world.
Let me ask you a question:
Would you consider a person an expert if they had a couple of best-selling books published to support their name?
This popular B2B platform can be a very useful tool for those who want to increase their Google E-A-T.
To get the maximum out of the LinkedIn you need to create a highly optimized page.
- Clear and short credentials
- A keyword-rich wordy description
- Professional experience with supported certifications
- +99 Endorsements for your target skills
- At least 3 recommendations
- At least 10 blog posts showcasing your expertise
- Published ebooks (if any)
- Published videos (if any)
Quora has lots of benefits for those who want to become an authority in their industry.
- Quora can be you steady traffic
- Quora lets you establish yourself as an Authority (which is exactly what we want considering Google E-A-T).
- Quora can help you get featured in major publications.
The principle is simple:
You find the good questions that have lots of eyeballs and following and produce very helpful answers:
When we are talking about collaborations in the blogging industry or in general, it is not a secret that usually 1+1=3
In blogging, 1 plus 1 usually equals 3
Find the bloggers of your level or a little bit higher and suggest them to join forces for your next project.
Don’t forget to mention the benefits they will get in your pitch letter.
Being featured in one of the prominent podcasts will put you in the list of recognized experts in the field.
Make sure you have something interesting to offer and actually know your stuff.
Speeches at Conferences
By participating in the industry-related workshops and conferences you put your name in front of many like-minded enthusiasts.
So if you something worth to say, not only will your name be featured in the conference speakers list but you will also be able to nail some powerful backlinks to your website and gain additional recognition.
Google Knowledge Panel
Ever noticed those huge boxes at the right side of the search page when you typed in some prominent guy’s names?
Here is how it can boost your Google E-A-T score:
- You get higher organic discovery rate
- You strengthen your brand reputation
- You get higher ranking in Google search results
- You can now do self posting on Google
- You can also cross-promote on Google
Big Brand Mentions
When some big brands like Forbes or NYtimes mention your name it a sure sign for Google that you are kind of a big deal. (Which is awesome for Google E-A-T).
That said, it takes really much time to pull this off, so before jumping into this strategy you need to try all the tricks I’ve mentioned above.
This will get you the authority you need to be considered by the editing stuff from those huge companies.
If you are all into original research and data this is what you should do:
- Conduct a research
- Produce the content
- Get it published on Google Scholar and/or other academic publication websites
You don’t have to write one article each month.
One or two in a year will do.
The guys who constantly conduct industry research and are able to produce original pieces of information will always be in favor of Google.
It is a very rare technique lots of marketers forget about. Yet it proves to be very helpful.
Needless to say, it boosts your credibility significantly.
If you constantly publish new or time-sensitive information you should consider this strategy.
This article will explain how to increase your chances of getting mentioned on Google News.
Google E-A-T Checklist
The checklist a put in this chapter will help you speed up the process and stay on track.
To make it easier for you to start acting right now I have prepared this Google E-A-T checklist.
It starts with the simplest step and ends with the most difficult one so you can work on each of the one at a time.
- A Trustworthy Domain
- A Reputable Web Host Provider
- A Thorough About Page
- Your Website’s Main Page
- Site Security and Maintenance
- Constant Comment Moderation (Especially YMYL)
- Lots of High-Quality Blog Posts
- Organic Link-Building
- Guest Posting
- Amazon Publishing
- LinkedIn Profile
- Google Knowledge Panel
- Podcast Invitation
- Conferences and workshops
- Google Scholar
- Google News
- Big Brand Mentions
Follow each of the steps I have mentioned above and you will secure a high Google E-A-T rank for good.
Google and other search engines will trust you and your website.
How long do you think it will take you to achieve high Google E-A-T?
Leave your thoughts and questions in the comment section below.
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