Key Highlights Of The Article 👇
- E-A-T is the way to show Google that you’re a trusted expert in your niche.
- Start with reputation research to assess your E-A-T information.
- Get mentions (not only backlinks) from authoritative sites to build credibility online.
- Use schema markup to give Google additional information about you as a person.
Google constantly fights against misleading information and low-quality web pages to provide a quality experience to the users.
And, one of the most important factors Google uses to assess the quality of pages is the E-A-T of the content creator.
[The term E-A-T stands for expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness]
That means content creators with higher E-A-T will have more impacts on Google than creators with little to no E-A-T.
In case you’re not familiar with quality raters guidelines, here’s a summary:
Google released the ‘Search quality raters’ document for the quality raters (thousands of contractors hired by Google) to measure the search engine quality.
Ben Gomes (Google VP search) emphasized the role of raters guideline in a CNBC interview:
“You can view the raters’ guidelines as to where we want the search algorithm to go. They don’t tell you how the algorithm is ranking results, but they fundamentally show what the algorithm should do.”– Ben Gomes (Google VP search)
Why is E-A-T important for content creators?
One of the most important reasons for positioning yourself as an expert on Google is that Google considers E-A-T a ranking factor.
Here’s what Danny Sullivan from Google said on Twitter:
From personal blogs to affiliate sites, it’s time for content creators to build their expertise and authority in their industry to get rewarded by Google.
But the truth is:
Having an academic certificate or in-depth knowledge or work experience in your industry is one thing.
And positioning yourself as an expert and trusted content creator on Google is another.
So, the important question is, how to position yourself as a trusted content creator on Google?
In this article, you’ll get 5 best practices that will help you improve your E-A-T on Google.
Without further ado, Let’s get started.
1. Reputation research on content creators
The very first thing about improving your E-A-T information is to research the reputation of either the website or the person behind the website, or the content creator.
No matter how popular or known a site is, quality raters are clearly instructed to perform reputation research to evaluate the page quality.
Here are the exact words:
“Reputation research is necessary for all websites you encounter. Do not just assume websites you personally use have a good reputation. Please do research! You might be surprised at what you find.”– Google’s quality raters guideline (2.6.1)
Start your research with a simple google search, “Author Name” + Niche
Here’s an example where reputation research is performed for Lily Ray, an SEO expert.
Important tip: While performing reputation research, always look for third-party sources that are from independent organizations, organizations, bloggers, forums, etc.
Also, recognition from authoritative sites as an expert in the industry will count as a positive reputation.
If you find mostly negative reviews from other sources or Google My Business, it is necessary to fix the user experience or whatever service you provide.
Advanced Tip: Since we need to only consider third-party sources, we can remove unwanted sources (social media profiles, personal website) from the SERP using Google search operators.
“Lily Ray” SEO-inurl:Twitter.com -inurl:Linkedin.com -inurl:PathInteractive.com
Handpicked article: Digital marketing jobs report [Latest Study]
2. Get mentions from authoritative sites in your industry
Getting mentions from high authority sites in your industry is one of the strongest ways to position yourself as an expert on Google.
When it comes to mentions or even backlinks, quality is always more powerful than quantity.
One important point to note is that mentions don’t necessarily mean you have to get backlinks.
Often getting mentions from sites like Forbes, entrepreneur, or any other news channel could be difficult.
In that case, look for niche bloggers or vloggers, popular podcast shows in your industry.
Even mentions or references from well-known YouTubers, bloggers, authors will also be counted in your favour.
Some of the common ways of getting mentions are:
- Contributing articles
- Becoming a podcast guest
- Collaborating with brands to publish research report
- Be a YouTube guest for well-known channels
- Publishing original research reports that are most likely to get mentions and links from popular sites.
- Use HARO to help journalists.
Important Tips while contributing articles on third-party sites:
Tip 1. Never publish articles on third-party sites that don’t add an author bio for the content. Even better if the site provides a separate author page for contributors.
In a central webmaster hangout, Google’s John Muller mentioned the link between the author pages and improving the E-A-T.
“With regards to author pages and expertise, authority and trustworthiness, that’s something where I’d recommend checking that out with your users…
how you can best show that the people who are creating content for your website, they’re really great people, they’re people who know what they’re talking about, they have credentials or whatever is relevant within your field.”– John Muller (Sr. Webmaster Trends Analyst, Google)
Watch the Google webmaster conversation below 👇
Tip 2. If there are multiple people with the same name as yours, Google might get confused while identifying the right creator of the content. In that case, it is recommended to add your social media channels within the author box or on the author page.
Relevant read: Mobile content marketing guide
3. Be an expert in one specific niche
You’ll find some creators who create content on different niches instead of focusing on a single niche.
If that’s you, then here’s what you need to know:
To make the search engine free from misleading and incorrect information, Google prefers content written by an expert in that niche.
The best practice will be to focus on one single niche that you want to be known as an expert for. In that way, you’ll also get indirect benefits in search rankings.
Another reason to focus on becoming a niche-specific expert is Google’s recent product review update.
This update impacts most of the affiliate or product review sites. With this update, Google mentioned that they would reward product review content that is coming from industry experts.
So, for any content creator who is also running product review sites, this is the time to improve your E-A-T and overall content quality.
To make this simple, Google shared a kind of checklist to assess your existing content.
4. Showcase your expertise on your personal blog
Having a personal blog isn’t necessary to build your expertise on Google, but it will help in many ways.
First of all, a blog is a great place to provide Google with as much information about the content creator as possible by using structured data.
As Google mentioned in their SEO guide, structured data helps the search engine to get more and clear information about a web page or content creator, or organization.
For example, you may add schema markup on your ‘about page’ to add helpful properties like:
- A brand name maintained by the person
- Job title
- Knows about
- Works for
By including schema properties on different web pages (contact, Home page), you’ll allow Google to get more information about you, your work, and your expertise.
In fact, you can influence the brand SERP or knowledge graph using the right structured data.
Explore all the possible supported schema types.
5. Be a trusted source
Whether you write for your personal blog or any third-party site, your goal should be to create trustable content.
That means your content should be original, factually correct, and backed with recent facts, statistics, and original research.
In fact, the Quality raters guideline mentioned (6.7, P-35) that low-quality content, lack of correct sources, and citations are responsible for low-quality pages.
Therefore you, as a content creator, should focus on the following things:
- Your article cites the trustable and original sources
- Not using plagiarized content
- Avoid misleading or clickbait headlines that have little to no relevance to the main content.
Building your expertise and authority on Google isn’t just about fixing one or two things but doing many small things right. Fundamentally, your goal should be to create content that users can trust and get value from. Otherwise, it will be hard to improve E-A-T even if you’re doing all of these technical things right.
One last piece of advice will be to read Google’s Quality Raters Guideline. Whether you’re a content creator or an SEO professional, you’ll get to know the fundamentals of how search engines work and where it is heading in the future.
Sk Rafiqul Islam is a content marketing practitioner with 3+ years of practical experience. He spends most of his time helping businesses to build a loyal audience with content marketing. He is also running a tech career blog called 10Pie and content marketing VIP, a bi-weekly marketing newsletter. In his free time, he loves reading books and playing football.