Expertise, Authoritativeness and Trustworthiness (E-A-T)

Glossary  |  3 mins

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E-A-T (sometimes written as EAT) stands for Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness. It’s used to refer to a central principle of Google’s ranking algorithm which Google itself encourages all webmasters to adhere to in their Search Quality Rater Guidelines.

The term first started cropping up in the search community in 2014, when Google introduced it in their search guidelines.

In this update, Google announced that it would begin looking at three key variables when assessing the value of content:

Expertise: How knowledgeable the content creator is in the topic they’re writing about.

Authoritativeness: The authority of the content creator, the site, and the content itself to talk about the subject.

Trustworthiness: Signals that show how well a content creator, site, and individual pieces of content can be trusted on a topic.

E-A-T isn’t a ranking factor in itself, and should be seen as more of a guideline to understand how Google views content, and how content can be strategised and fine-tuned in order to maximise its chances of ranking.

Though it’s common knowledge that “content is king” in the world of SEO, many newer SEOs are unsure of what exactly constitutes good content. With the E-A-T principles, SEO professionals have a more concrete understanding of what Google’s looking at when it assesses the quality of content, straight from the horse’s mouth.

To ensure the content you create aligns with E-A-T, it must serve certain functions and meet certain requirements espoused by Google, such as:

  • Being intended to resolve an issue faced by its audience.
  • Being created by someone with demonstrable expertise in the topic.
  • Being hosted by a site/publication that’s high in both authority and trustworthiness.
  • Being contemporary and updated to reflect new information regarding the topic.

Bear in mind that these requirements can differ greatly from one site to the next. For example, user-generated content and case studies that aren’t particularly high in expertise could still resolve an issue for the audience well enough to be classed as high quality content.

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What are E-A-T guidelines?

The E-A-T guidelines are Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness. These three factors are used to summarise the pillars that Google looks at when assessing the quality of a piece of content.

What is the E-A-T principle in SEO?

The E-A-T principle in SEO refers to a guiding framework that SEOs can follow to ensure the content they produce is up to Google’s quality standards. By using this principle to plan and create content, SEOs can maximise the chances of authority and rankings.

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