Gimme an E! Gimme another E! Gimme an A! Gimme a T! What’s that spell?
Um…eeat? Hell yes! Let’s go get tacos.
Hold up a second. While eating is one of our favorite hobbies at Uncanny, “E-E-A-T” actually stands for something else when it comes to content marketing. Something that you, as a business owner, should know if you want your content to be seen by the right people.
What does “E-E-A-T” stand for?
“E-E-A-T” stands for “experience, expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness.”
It’s part of Google’s algorithm, and a guideline by which a website’s page quality is rated. The stronger these four factors, the better a website’s page quality will be. By understanding E-E-A-T, you’ll know what Google looks for in a webpage.
E-E-A-T is Google’s current acronym, but prior to December 2022, it was just “E-A-T.” (And therefore easier to make food-related jokes for blog intros.) The “E” for experience was added recently.
Out of all four factors, Trust is the most important, which is why Google places it at the center. But what do they mean by experience, expertise, authoritativeness, and trust when it comes to your content?
If the creator of a piece of content has “necessary first-hand or life experience for the topic,” their Experience is high. Google considers this type of experience related to the topic to be more trustworthy and informed.
Have you ever read a one-star product review of someone whose package was never delivered and thought that it was a useless review? That’s because someone shared their opinion of a product they never got to use!
If the creator of a piece of a content has “necessary knowledge or skill for the topic,” then their Expertise is high. This type of expertise typically means the content is more accurate and reliable.
Which would you prefer to learn from: a tutorial about baking a pie from a skilled, experienced baker, or the same tutorial from someone who’s never baked before? The latter may be more entertaining…but the former is the one you’d trust.
If the creator of a piece of content is “known as a go-to source for the topic,” then their Authoritativeness is high. This type of authoritativeness usually means the content is honest and safe to trust.
Think of authoritativeness as reputation. For example, you’d trust the CDC about the current number of flu cases over a blog about local events in Texas, right?
Notice that we mentioned “trust” and “trustworthy” when talking about the three previous factors. Independently, these three factors all help decide a page’s level of trust. How accurate is the content? How reliable and honest?
The type of Trust varies depending on the website. Online stores need secure payment systems, while informational pages on some topics should prevent harm to people and society. No matter how Experienced, Expert, or Authoritative a content creator seems, it won’t matter if they’re untrustworthy, according to Google.
Why E-E-A-T matters for your content
E-E-A-T is used to help rate and rank pages, so as a content creator, it impacts your topics and keywords. But if your website focuses on a “Your Money or Your Life” topic, or YMYL, it’s even more important that your site demonstrates E-E-A-T.
YMYL topics can potentially impact a person’s future happiness, health, financial stability, or safety, according to Google. Let’s say someone searches “how to file taxes as a small business owner” online. If Google offered up content written by a person who lacked expertise and authority, someone may be negatively impacted by their inaccurate advice.
If you want to improve your brand reach and website engagement, then you should pay attention to E-E-A-T. But even more importantly, if you want to create trustworthy content that’s useful and accurate, you should weave E-E-A-T into your content strategy.
How to improve your E-E-A-T
Have links to authoritative sites
High-quality backlinks are a big deal. If your website gets mentioned on a well-known, trustworthy website in your industry — another website that demonstrates E-E-A-T — then the authority of your website is improved. (Provided that you’re mentioned in a good light.)
For example, if you’re a graphic designer whose content is referenced in an Adobe blog post, your authority on graphic design will get a nice little boost.
Share more testimonials and customer reviews
What are other people saying about you? Share their thoughts on your products or services on your website!
The more testimonials you have from trusted people in your space, the better your E-E-A-T will be. Using customer testimonials strategically on your site is just better for your biz in general.
Maintain and update your content regularly
We say this ALL THE TIME on our blog, in our social, and in our emails because it’s so crucial. But you gotta be consistent in maintaining your existing content and publishing new content.
Even if your website doesn’t cover YMYL topics that really require regular updates and maintenance — like medical advice or legal advice — it’s still important. Your page will be seen as more trustworthy if it’s updated periodically and publishes new content regularly.
Show off your credibility
Now is the time to brag, folks. If you went to a fancy school, won all the awards in your industry, or partnered with authority figures in your space, let Google (and your audience) know on your website. It boosts your expertise and authority.
Where should you show off your cred? On your About or Team page, for one. You can find ways to incorporate these details in case studies or testimonials, too.
Above all, focus on your content
Important Disclaimer: E-E-A-T is not technically a ranking factor since it can’t be quantifiably measured, according to Google’s search liaison. Something that can be measured and is considered a ranking factor is the number of backlinks to a page, for example. Pages with tons of high-quality backlinks can be ranked appropriately.
Experience, expertise, authoritativeness, and trust are more fluid, human concepts. That’s what makes E-E-A-T an important guideline for ranking content, but not a legit ranking factor.
All this to say: keep E-E-A-T in mind when creating your content, but don’t let it surpass everything else. Your content should still be on-brand. It should still meet your audience’s needs. It should help you reach your business’s goals. Those are still important!