For those who work and are active in the SEO world, the acronym Google EAT is certainly not unfamiliar. In fact, the acronym EAT was launched in 2015 by the American giant to indicate the 3 indispensable qualities that content on the web should possess, namely Expertise, Authoritativeness and Trustworthiness.
So, experience, authority and reliability are the 3 basic elements around which all the activity of marketers and Google's quality raters revolves, who must carefully follow these guidelines.
EAT is thus a system through which Google wishes to assure users of only quality and thoroughly verified information.
The purpose is to ensure a constant improvement of the user experience, recognizing the merit of those who are committed to providing credible and authoritative pages.
Let us then go into what these parameters consist of, what is the impact on SEO and how to improve the EAT of one's website.
What does EAT mean?
Today the Internet is populated with millions of sites and portals, but only a fraction are actually active. This makes it clear that simply setting up a site is not enough to transfer a business online and to get increased visibility.
Web presence must be built over time, strategically and planned, leaving nothing to chance. This is because the search engines have technical time frames by which they index sites and are based on constantly updating metrics that redefine the SERP.
Reason why Google has been focusing on the concept of quality for years and in 2015 decided to offer the Google EAT, a paradigm that analyzes The qualitative aspect of web pages in a way that returns only relevant and valid results.
The acronym EAT is nothing but the acronym of 3 words: Expertise, Authoritativeness and Trustworthiness. When any user launches a query and the search engine releases results in the SERP, those results are filtered through the above 3 parameters.
It is then crucial to understand how it works and its value in order to build a winning SEO strategy that is useful for perfecting content ranking on the Web.
In the document of the guidelines for quality raterss, there is a specific section that Google devotes to the EAT paradigm, analyzing its function and every single implication.
Let us understand in detail the meaning of the 3 nouns that form the acronym.
- Expertise: the term refers precisely to the expertise that people who write texts for the Web should possess. This mastery should be built over time, according to the evolution of one's business activity. In that case experience refers to the single page and not to the whole site. To give an assessment of this factor, there are no real criteria, but Google relies mostly on common sense, context, and the intentions of the various users. For example, if one is looking for information about a particular disease, the best results are likely to come from medical or government agencies. In conclusion, expertise analyzes context and the ability to meet the user's needs.
- Authoritativeness: A is represented by authority, that is, the ability to be experts and knowledgeable in certain subjects. In other words, when someone considers a website to be a source of information on a certain topic, it can be called authoritative. In this regard, it may be useful to recall the patent published by Google in 2015 in reference to the classification of entity metrics search results which is based on parameters such as correlation, notability, rewards and contribution.
- Trustworthiness: the letter T stands for reliability. Each website must be able to share truthful and accurate content. To be trustworthy, it is necessary for the user to trust the specific content and toward the site as a whole. At the same time, publishing misinformation and fake news to receive visibility is an unfair practice and is being penalized by the Mountain View company.
In light of all this, it can be understood how the concept of EAT supported by Google is of considerable importance in SEO, preserving users from the danger of misleading and unreliable content.
The goal is always to propose verified and reliable results, especially in regard to more sensitive topics. Here then, all these factors combine to define the authority of a site.
Web sites: what directions to follow
Within the guidelines, Google suggests some very useful pointers for increasing EAT on particular types of Internet sites:
- I sites related to medical content should only be written by authors who have some experience in the medical field. In fact, to be able to give high-level medical advice, it is imperative to be able to make use of a professional writing style.
- I news and news sites should be written by journalism professionals who know how to include all the facts that are useful for readers to understand the news. Generally, sites with high EAT have approved sound editorial policies.
- I Sites devoted to in-depth studies in the field of science must be written by people who have a proven scientific background and represent an established scientific consensus.
- I Sites that deal with tax, legal and financial advice must make use of sources that are verifiable. In addition, content should be updated on a regular basis to keep it current.
- Also sites that offer lighter topics such as hobbies should present pages written with a high rate of expertise. In short, the various contents should show that the person who is speaking is really an expert in that specific pastime, as words will replace practical evidence.
What are YMYL pages
The document released by Google also refers to the most closely watched issues that are part of the so-called pages YMYL (Your Money or Your Life).
This expression refers to online content that could generate any kind of impact on people's lives, especially in such vital areas as economic, security, health and happiness.
Going into specifics, Google urges quality raters to check the credibility of pages that allow users to transfer money/make purchases and finance information pages.
Also under scrutiny are medical or health topics pages, legal information pages, and informed citizenship pages that provide updates on laws and government policies.
Google is very uncompromising about the issues covered by the YMYL pages. and in order to have a good search engine ranking, it is desirable to obtain high EAT levels, so as to protect the user when navigating through sensitive content.
EAT and SEO
A precise SEO strategy must take into account the EAT paradigm and act in a way that respects its basic parameters. This translates into a synergistic action that goes to contemplate on site optimization and off page optimization.
For excellent onsite optimization, it is essential to take care of the website in the smallest detail, from the graphic and structural point of view and obviously from the point of view of the information present.
A fast, high-performing web portal with content carried out with an SEO perspective and targeted to the reader is absolutely necessary for proper web ranking.
However, one should also not overlook the structure of the site, which must be agile and functional and possess complete and error-free link building.
Instead through the optimization of the Off page SEO efforts will be made to increase the notoriety of the site, increasing its reliability and authority. By doing so, the portal will be mentioned frequently and taken as a reference point since it is considered quality and relevant.
How to improve the EAT
Regarding the value of the EAT, it should be clarified that. Google does not score sites at all.
That said, there are still some practices and little tricks to follow to increase competence and authority in the eyes of quality raters:
- Update content consistently: as pointed out by Google, the information must be continuously updated, especially if it has arisen news on a topic that the user should know about. This is mainly true for YMYL pages, which should always present current news.
- Fact-checking: Google guidelines remind us that news articles must be particularly accurate to demonstrate an excellent EAT level. The same argument applies to scholarly articles and more generally to all types of texts. The suggestion is to draw from authoritative sources for Google (Wikipedia and Wikidata).
- Produce more links: According to Google analyst Gary Illyes, the Google EAT also bases its ratings on the quantity of links coming from reputable sites. So, the links placed must be of quality, leaving out those of little value and penalizing.
- Hiring experienced authors: If you yourself are not in charge of text editing, it is preferable to rely on experienced SEO copywriting staff, all the more so for YMYL pages that need a higher degree of quality and experience. For other content, simply enlist the help of writers who can write well.
- Expose contact details: It is advisable to show users as many contact details as possible to elevate the reliability of the site. Those who do not do this correctly are penalized by Google. For YMYL pages, contact details are really of absolute necessity as topics are covered for which it must be possible to contact the owners of the site.
- Increase the number of reviews: since Google suggests that quality raters also consider reviews to assess the quality tenor of a site, it is good not to underestimate them. It is therefore crucial to receive as many as possible positive reviews on the Internet. This is why sites like Tripadvisor have become instrumental for restaurants and venues. In fact, most users tend to consult the reviews offered on such portals to get impressions from those who have already tested the service.
- Being active on social media: Social networks are now an integral part of an effective marketing idea. A website cannot do without opening A profile at major social networks, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter over all, where users can interact and request information. The same content on the site can be shared on social media to spread the brand.
- Taking care of structured data and brand awareness: investing in brand awareness can help to improve one's EAT, as can indicating on the site any Official accreditations and legal or medical certifications. Finally, analysts agree on limiting user generated content. While not always a negative element, accommodating content posted directly by users exposes the danger of disseminating inaccurate or untruthful information, damaging EAT metrics.