“E. A. T“ (Expertise – Authoritativeness – Trustworthiness) was first mentioned in 2014 when Google added it to their Search Quality Rater (SQR) Guidelines which provide instructions to their “Quality Evaluators” on how to rate the quality of websites. In December 2022, Google updated the guidelines to include an extra “E” for “experience” making the acronym E. E. A. T (Experience – Expertise – Authoritativeness – Trustworthiness). Pages with a high level of E. E. A. T are trustworthy.
It’s important to note that the quality evaluators’ ratings don’t directly impact rankings but their ratings do provide insights to help Google improve its algorithms. So, what should we SEOs do to improve E. E. A. T? Here’re 9 practical tips:
1. Use reliable sources
Creating factually accurate content is an essential part of an E. E. A. T strategy. Using reliable sources, e.g. statistics and original research, and citing thought leaders and other authorities in your content can help demonstrate a high level of E. E. A. T for your website.
❝High quality main content must be accurate and consistent with well-established expert consensus when such consensus exists❞ (Page 61 of the SQR Guidelines)
2. Avoid low-quality content
Be it an e-Commerce or professional service, websites and pages should be created to provide value and benefits to their visitors. When creating content, consider whether it is useful to readers by assessing whether it was produced with effort, originality, talent, or skill. Low-quality content like the following according to the SQR guidelines is likely to be rated lowest:
- Copied content with no added value
- Autogenerated content
- Thin content or content without a purpose
3. Leverage AI to optimize your content
Wait.. Did we not just say to avoid autogenerated content?
Google has formally declared that the appropriate use of AI is not against their guidelines. If the AI content is helpful and satisfies aspects of E. E. A. T, it might rank highly on Google Search.
So, the real question here is how to use AI to help you produce content that is helpful and original. I’ve used AI to help me with some tasks such as:
- Proofreading / making sentences more readable
- Generating key takeaways from existing expert materials
- Summarizing survey answers from experts
Some other SEO professionals also leverage the technology to help:
- Create meta descriptions
- Generate content ideas
- Perform technical SEO tasks like writing Schema mark up, Excel formulas, robots.txt, regular expressions etc
So, the point here is very clear – You should aim to produce original, high-quality, people-first content demonstrating qualities E. E. A. T if you want to rank high in Google.
4. Optimize your ”About” page
An ”about” page can help establish trust that a company is legitimate and credible. We should leverage this webpage to put a more personable face to the brand by providing information about the company, which can help create a sense of transparency and trustworthiness. Some information you should consider showing on your ”about” page include:
- Your company’s history, mission, and values.
- Overview, experience or qualifications about the content creators and your team.
- Customer reviews, testimonials, awards, and third-party certifications.
- Contact information and physical location(s)
Once it’s optimized, use the ”AboutPage” schema to mark it up.
5. Make use of the existing materials done by experts
Repurposing Content: Having an expert write 2000-word content for an entire day may not be always practical but we can start with something less demanding. For example, we can first repurpose their existing materials e.g. presentations and podcasts, into articles and have them review them. Make sure to clearly display the author and reviewer, and use schema to mark up the content piece and the author/reviewer – expertise, education, awards and occupation. Also, ensure that the repurposed materials are correctly formatted.
Host the materials on your website: Original photos, audio, or video footage produced by the content creator are considered high originality and can help improve the quality of the content in the eyes of Google (page 61 of the SQR Guidelines). Therefore, it’s important to not only host these materials on third-party platforms but also to have a dedicated webpage for them. This way, you can have full control over how the materials are presented, such as using schema to mark up the page and transcribing the content.
6. Include expert quotes
Asking for an expert quote to support your content is also a way to start building E. E. A. T. Many people are happy to provide a quote in exchange for a mention or link to their website but make sure to make it clear and specific about what you want from the expert. See an example below:
”Some hair experts say we should never sleep with wet hair as it damages our hair. What’s your thought? Can I get a 100-to-150-word quote from you on this?”
If you don’t want to reach out, you can consider using the existing expert materials and quoting what the experts say in the events, webinars or podcasts etc.
7. Get blog comments / FAQs answered by experts
Another relatively simple way to engage experts in E. E. A. T optimization is through FAQ contribution. For instance, you run an eCommerce website and get asked a lot about certain products. You can create a ”Customer Questions & Answers” section for those product pages and have your product or customer service team answer the questions. This is fairly welcomed by experts in our experience as it is a more straightforward format and doesn’t require in-depth content creation.
Additionally, we like to feature the expert’s profile picture thumbnail next to their answer to improve transparency and trust.
8. Get expert views and experience via a survey
For some content, you may need to gather information from the real world to create truly informative content with firsthand experience. Imagine you’re an experienced writer in the field of taxation working on a content cluster about income tax. While you have a good understanding of tax, you may still need expert-level insights to answer questions such as:
- What mistakes do taxpayers commonly make when filing their income tax?
- What are the pain points for taxpayers when it comes to dealing with tax filing?
- How to cut your tax bill this year?
- What are the top 5 pieces of advice for preparing for the tax-filing season?
Once you’ve gathered all questions you need, you can then create a survey using Google Forms. It’s a good idea to keep the questions focused on the same content cluster rather than mixing topics. If you’re sending the survey to internal experts, you may even include some open-ended questions to allow them to elaborate on their real-world experiences. Again, I believe industry experts would love to help especially if you credit them in your article.
❝ Sharing life experience on YMYL topics can be Highest quality, but it must be trustworthy, safe, consistent with well-established expert consensus, and speak to topics that life experience is valuable for.❞ (Page 81 of the SQR Guidelines)
9. Use your personal experience
As E. A. T has become E. E. A. T, it’s worth noting that personal experiences matter in some topics, e.g difficult life challenges where users may need support and comfort in addition to expert advice. So, you may find that both expertise and experience can be trustworthy and satisfying for the same topic. Here’s an example provided by Google: (Page 28 of the SQR Guidelines)
While it seems everyone can share their experience, you should consider how to show your first-hand/personal experience with the topic to demonstrate originality, effort and accuracy – can an original picture or video help with it?
An update to ”E. E. A. T” isn’t a scary thing. Instead, it creates opportunities for content writing and SEO as Google now considers first-hand or life experience when weighing content. Again, while ‘’E. E. A. T’’ isn’t a direct ranking factor, we shouldn’t ignore it as it’ll continue influencing ranking.