In February 2019, Google released a white paper explaining how they use Expertise, Authority and Trust (E-A-T) to fight disinformation. This document, already a shock to the search engine optimisation community, revealed why certain websites were simply not performing as expected on Google’s search engines.
“Our ranking system does not identify the intent or factual accuracy of any given piece of content. However, it is specifically designed to identify sites with high indicia of expertise, authority and trustworthiness.” Excerpt from How Google Fights Disinformation.
Google rarely, if ever, shares information on their algorithms. For them to reveal specifics about how they are evaluating websites, let alone who caused some excitement. Somehow, this news still isn’t reaching the people the algorithm affects the most.
What type of websites are impacted by the E-A-T algorithm?
Any website Google identifies under the Your Money or Your Life (YMYL) category will be affected by the Search Quality Raters Guidelines. The YMYL category was introduced in 2014 to help protect users when searching for medical, legal, financial or safety-related articles and websites, as well as anything informative for citizens.
If you’re a lawyer or solicitor, doctor, physiotherapist, vet, dentist, mortgage broker, bank, run a government page or a host of other products or services, you’re under the microscope. However, it’s also been noted Google considers eCommerce sites in the YMYL category as they need to provide personal information and payment details.
How do you improve your website E-A-T rating?
- Ensure you have enough good-quality content.
Your Money or Your Life (YMYL) industries are singled out as they impact people’s health, happiness or finances. Due to this, Google wants to ensure the websites they’re sending users to will give them enough information to make an informed decision about the topic they’re researching. To meet this criteria, you’ll need to find the sweet spot of quantity and quality.
Every web page will require a different word count as it depends on the type of page, the amount of coding in the backend and a few other factors. Unless you’re an SEO specialist, it might be a bit hard to tell how many words you need, but we have a tip—write for the reader. Tell them everything they need to know about a product or service to make an informed decision, but be careful not to blabber on.
- Get your online reputation in check.
You can jump up and down all day, shouting across your website, social media platforms and your listings how reliable your business is, but it won’t be worth much unless you’re supported by others. The best thing to help build your trust is online reviews and to be cited by other trusted authorities in your field.
While using a review manager is an easy, quick way to build online reviews from clients or customers, getting citations will be a little trickier. Start by building quality backlinks on top websites, both general and specific to your industry (like these). Next, make connections with online news sites and industry blogs to see if they’d quote you or link to your own blogs or white papers. Remember, don’t take the easy way out by buying backlinks. Only put your business link on reputable sources with already good online results.
- Focus some time on personal branding.
If you publish blogs, white papers or articles to your website, ensure you’re including the author name and their bio. Their credibility and the fact they’re writing for your business will add to your own trustworthiness. Where possible, link their bios through to their staff profile on your about page, where it’s good to list any awards they’ve won, qualifications and certifications, any events they’ve spoken at and any papers they’ve written.
- Check your website’s security.
Google needs to know their users’ information will be safe when they visit your website. Having an up-to-date SSL certificate is so important, we’ve even written a full article on what it is, why you need it and how to get one. Read Is an SSL certificate the secret to improved SEO here.
- Optimise your ‘about’ page.
Most people know if they want to see who works for a business, what awards they’ve won, any press or any other information, it’ll be on the About page. Google most likely thinks this way too and will use your About page to weigh in on your expertise, authority and trust.
What to add to your About page:
– History of your business.
– Notable team members, their photos, bios, qualifications and awards.
– The business’s awards, nominations and recognition.
– Any positive press.
– Company values.
If you are a business in a professional industry, your website needs to pay attention to your E-A-T value. Of course, most business owners don’t have time to focus on their normal search engine optimisation, let alone in a specialised area. Let Localsearch – Digital Marketing Service help.
Our Australian SEO specialists will help you get your website following best practices so you have a better chance of taking on search results. A one-on-one consultation is completely obligation free. Call us now on 1300 015 590 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to organise yours now.
Feature image source: Avantgarde Concept on Unsplash.