If you are looking for ways to improve your website’s SEO, you may have heard the terms EAT and YMYL. EAT SEO is a brilliant way to improve how your content ranks and how visitors view your website. However, if these terms leave you scratching your head, our guide to EAT SEO is here to help.
What is EAT SEO?
EAT stands for expertise, authoritativeness and trustworthiness in relation to how Google views your website and website content. EAT is one of the ways Google evaluates the overall quality of a page according to its Search Quality Rating Guidelines. Raters give guidance to Google on whether their algorithms are providing good results and are trained to see if websites have ‘good EAT’. Each of the elements expertise, authoritativeness and trustworthiness are not individual ranking elements, however, each is important for EAT SEO. EAT aims to evaluate the accuracy and reliability of content on a website to ensure it is written by a subject expert.
Why is EAT SEO Important?
Depending on the subject matter, EAT SEO can monitor unreliable or inaccurate content that could be both misleading and potentially dangerous. For example, there may be a stream of ‘medical’ websites giving information on a given topic, but if the people writing this content are not subject matter experts, that information could potentially be accessed by someone who takes it at face value. That inaccurate information could then cause serious harm. EAT aims to root out this information and only display expertise, authoritativeness and trustworthiness in content it ranks. Learning how raters establish EAT for web pages can help you improve the quality and usefulness of your content and in turn affect how you rank in search engine result pages.
How Are EAT and YMYL Linked?
Potentially harmful information that is identified by Google’s EAT guidelines can fall under something called YMYL or ‘your money or your life’. These are pages that could potentially harm someone’s wellbeing or future by promoting inaccurate or false information. This could be a page detailing debt advice, information relating to laws or even medical advice. Each of these would be closely monitored by google to ensure its expertise, authoritativeness and trustworthiness. The emergence of ‘fake news’ has put more pressure than ever on Google to ensure its information is accurate and to pull the plug on websites generating cheap and unreliable content for clicks. YMYL content has been particularly hit by the Google Search Quality Rating Guidelines since the Medic update in 2018 leading many SEOs to pay even closer attention to how Google is ranking their content.
How Does Google Establish Expertise in Content?
In order to evaluate the expertise of a piece of content, Google seeks to establish that the content is written by a subject matter expert. Some subjects will, of course, require more formal expertise than others but it is important that the author of the piece of content is knowledgeable about the subject matter. For YMYL subjects, Google looks for ways the writer is qualified to write about the topic. A qualified lawyer for example would be the appropriate person to discuss legal matters whilst a medical professional should be the person writing about medical matters to establish a level of expertise in the content. Other topics might not require formal qualifications such as the best ways to organise your home or experiencing arthritis written by a person experiencing arthritis.
How Does Google Establish the Authoritativeness of a Page?
The second element of Google’s EAT SEO ranking is related to the authoritativeness of a page. Google establishes the authority of a page through looking at the reputation of a given page. If that website is the go-to destination for people looking for information on that topic, the page will be seen as an authority on that subject by Google. This may involve looking at things such as recommendations by experts, reviews or credible information written about the website by an external entity. This authority is of course relative to the topic as it must be related to the subject matter. Some websites can be uniquely authoritative in a particular topic for example an artist’s website on information relating to their work.
How Does Google Measure the Trustworthiness of a Page?
When it comes to EAT and Google, trustworthiness is one of the key identifiers of a website. The trustworthiness of a website can be an important indicator of how reliable the information on a website is. This is measured by looking at how legitimate and transparent the website information is to ensure a clear, accurate message is being conveyed. YMYL content requires a high level of trust so Google looks for accountability for publishing and sufficient contact information for queries to show transparency and indicate a trustworthy presence behind the content. The factual accuracy of the content must also be extremely high to build up a high trust score for the website in search engines, particularly for YMYL topics.
How Can EAT Help Your SEO Strategy?
When it comes to improving your website SEO and improving your chances of ranking in Google, EAT can be a deciding factor. Whilst there is no EAT algorithm, improving your EAT SEO can help improve your rankings in Google by making your page an authority on a given topic. EAT optimization ensures that your website content is seen as packed full of expertise, has authority on the topic you are writing about and is trustworthy. All of this can help attract and gain a following of organic traffic for your website.
How Can I Use EAT SEO as Part of my Content Strategy?
There are a number of ways to implement EAT as part of your search engine optimisation tactics. Each of these methods can help build your website credibility in the eyes of Google. One of the first ways to build up the credibility of your website is through high-quality backlinks. Do some research into where your website links come from and aim to build links to your website from credible sources. Whilst this can be done by requesting a link, by creating authoritative content that approaches a topic from a new angle, websites may link to your website as an authority on a topic simply due to the quality of your content so it is worth approaching link building for SEO from both angles.
Improving Page Authority Using EAT SEO
Gaining ‘mentions’ on social media or web pages from industry experts is also another way to establish EAT in your website SEO as the followers of that industry-leading organisation or individual will be referred to your website and become familiar with your content through the recommendation of the industry professional, boosting the trustworthiness and authoritativeness of your content on a topic.
Build Trust in Your Website
When it comes to building up the trustworthiness of your website, reviews can influence the decision. Negative reviews on a number of sites can all work to bring down the reliability of your website and bring your reputation into disrepute. By focussing on achieving positive reviews across the internet, your website and brand will both benefit from a boost in reputation and trustworthiness for potential customers.
One thing that is incredibly important when implementing EAT in your SEO strategy is fact checking. It goes without saying that the information you include on your website should be accurate, this is particularly true for YMYL content where any error could have serious implications. Fact-checking your content religiously will help build trust with your audience as well as credibility as an authority in your industry. Asking yourself Google’s Content and Quality Questions can also help ensure your content is the best it can be.
Ask the SEO Experts
If you are looking for advice on how you improve your website SEO and make your website content rank as an authority in your field, our SEO experts are here to help. From link building to authoritative content, we have dedicated experience in optimising websites for search engines. Contact SEM Consultants now to find out more about our SEO strategy and how we can help your website perform.