A Simple Guide to E-A-T and YMYL
In SEO, E-A-T stands for Expertise, Authoritativeness and Trustworthiness.
It is derived from Google’s Search Quality Rater Guidelines, which was published in 2013 to “help webmasters understand what Google looks for in a web page” and has been emerging as a crucial concept in digital marketing since the Google Algorithm Update in 2018.
Demonstrating good E-A-T on your website can boost your domain authority and potentially help improve Google rankings.
Here, Tecmark breaks down the all-important questions you are asking around E-A-T, including:
- How is Page Quality Evaluated?
- Why is E-A-T important for SEO?
- Is E-A-T a ranking factor?
- What are YMYL sites?
- Ways to improve your E-A-T
How is Page Quality Evaluated?
You can demonstrate your professional knowledge, experience and skills in the content you use on your web pages as well as your content creation. By creating content around a particular subject and similar topic areas, you’re showing Google that your website is an authority on that subject, thus ranking you higher in search results.
If you’re not writing content about your subject in blog posts, for example, you’re not improving your E-A-T. A professional in the construction trade that writes blogs based on social health care topics, however, does not hold in-depth knowledge in this area is unlikely to rank as an established expert compared to content creators within health and social care.
This is where Google will move on to evaluate your website pages based on other areas. You aim to ensure the information you supply is accurate, in-depth and kept up-to-date. This is especially important on ”˜YMYL’ web pages.
Demonstrate your authority and reputation as a leader in your specific industry or field. This could be achieved by showcasing your credentials and including links from credible sources or quality links.
Are you well known? Are you accepted as a good source of information? Include a short bio, your qualifications, work credentials and certifications on your website to show your authority and this too should optimise your rankings in Google SERP’s.
Trustworthiness not only refers to the content but the content creator and the website itself. Ensuring you have a safe and secure domain and optimised for users by including an SSL certificate, secondly, through positive customer reviews and thirdly, whether the information you supply is truly reliable.
Building positive reviews through websites such as TrustPilot and Trip Advisor, a clear about us page and meet the team photos can all make positive impacts on your search rankings.
Why is E-A-T important for SEO?
E-A-T is another way that Google can provide users with the quality websites they need.
If Google determines that the quality of your website, the content and the creators are not of a satisfactorily high standard, then you are unlikely to perform well organically according to search quality evaluator guidelines.
Google aims to ensure that its search engine users get the best possible consumer experience with each search and website visitor.
Being able to showcase that your business has E-A-T allows Google to recognise digital markers in its evaluation of your site and boost your rankings higher.
Is E-A-T a ranking factor?
You will be relieved to know that E-A-T is not a direct ranking factor. There is no score attached; however, its indirect impact should not be overlooked!
Google refers to E-A-T 137 times in its Rater Guidelines indicating it is an important concept. According to Danny Sullivan, Google’s Public Search Liaison on October 11th 2019…
What are YMYL sites?
YMYL is an acronym for “Your Money or Your Life”. But what does it mean?
Well, a great way to take a stab at understanding this is to consider websites that deal with important topics and therefore have an impact on the reader’s financial well-being, future happiness or even their physical health.
Creating untruthful content is never helpful when it comes to YMYL, providing the wrong information can be extremely dangerous.
How many times have you heard “I am sure it’s fine”? Make your copy safer by knowing what you are talking about and providing a reliable source of information! Google provides a rundown in its guidelines…
To expand, there are specific topics that will require a higher E-A-T rate, for example:
Medical – Individuals constantly use the internet as a source for information relating to medical advice and guidance. Therefore, when it comes down to medical sources, inaccurate or irrelevant information could potentially cause a huge impact on well-being. This is why it is important to ensure all information is supplied by an expert and a known source.
Financial – This refers to pages that provide financial advice or information relating to investment, taxes, banking, insurance etc. Statistics are a huge element within finance so ensuring accurate data is supplied is vital as it is often relied upon by individuals when looking into personal finance matters.
News & Current Affairs – Individuals rely on news to be current, balanced, up-to-date and accurate. However, knowing which source to trust can become a problem. Day to day news can affect the happiness of individuals, this is why information must remain precise.
Shopping Sites – The safety of e-commerce sites is paramount to all buyers. Ensuring payment details are secure and protected will gain the trust and loyalty of customers which can positively impact the site’s search ranking.
Groups of People – Subjects such as race, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation are highly sensitive and must be approached responsibly to deter discriminating information, misinformation or damaging opinions.
How can you improve your website’s E-A-T?
With all of this in mind, how do you go about improving your E-A-T?
20% of people state that online trust is an important factor for their decision process when choosing a new site or product. How do you build trust? How do you gain your visitor’s trust in just a few seconds? This means adding some verified reviews which will improve your web domain’s organic search ranking position to be seen by more future customers online. The objective is to increase the amount of trustworthiness on your website.
Don’t miss an opportunity to regularly update content. Continue to present your professional knowledge comprehensively and accurately to ensure your high-quality content is fresh and current. Remember to display the date of any new content.
It is important to both Google and your customer to know that the information you share comes from an accurate and authoritative source. Remember to include relevant academic qualifications, awards and also personal experience which credits you as knowledgeable in your field. By linking your professional social media accounts you can connect on a higher level as well whilst creating more avenues for users to find your site.
What do we think?
E-A-T is extremely important for gaining any chance of a search engine ranking, particularly in highly competitive markets.
Reflecting E-A-T (expertise, authority and trustworthiness) in your SEO strategy and ensuring you meet Google requirements will act as search quality raters to help you on your way to improved positions in the SERPs!