You are what you E-A-T according to Google
Does the "diet" of your website consist of "high quality" webpages chock full of informative, well written content that establishes your business or organization as an expert in your field? Does the Internet provide a variety of positive citations about your knowledge, experiences and confirm your position as an expert in your field? If not, your website is most likely at the back of the line when it comes to being served up in the Search Engine Results Pages.
In the recently updated (March 2016) Google Search Engine Quality Evaluator Guidelines, the most important factors for webpage quality highlighted expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness (E-A-T).
Who uses the Google Search Engine Quality Evaluator Guide?
Google’s search quality team hires human raters who help Google rate sites for quality. The 160 page Search Engine Quality Evaluator Guide is their reference and guide for ranking webpage quality. These human raters also assess proposed tweaks to the Google search algorithm before it goes public to ensure quality.
Understanding Google's E-A-T Acronym
According to the report, the amount of expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness (E-A-T) that a webpage/website exhibits is very important. The quality and amount of "main content", website information, and website reputation all inform the E-A-T of a website.
- For professional services such as Doctors, Lawyers, Financial Advisors, website content should reflect accreditation and high quality content from people or organizations with appropriate expertise or accreditation in their field. High quality content should be written or produced in a professional style and should be edited, reviewed, and updated on a regular basis.
For service providers such as builders, remodelers or day care providers, "high quality" advice pages on topics such as home remodeling or advice on parenting issues should also come from experienced or "expert" sources which visitors to your website can trust.
High quality pages on hobbies, gaming, entertainment or photography also require expertise although less formal expertise is needed.
How's Your Street Cred?
According to the guide, in the area of expertise and authoritativeness a small business doesn't need to have specific high level credentials (NY Times Articles, .GOV Page Citations, etc) to be considered an expert, but rather first-person experiences that are well documented and detailed can provide similar high quality search engine index placement.
What makes a "High Quality" webpage according to the Guide?
According to the Guide, a "High Quality" page may have the following characteristics:
- High level of Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness (E-A-T)
- A satisfying amount of "High Quality" main content (Main content is described as any part of the page that directly helps the page achieve its purpose. Main content can be text, images, videos, page features, or it can be user-generated content such as videos, reviews, articles, etc.)
- Satisfying website information and/or information about who is responsible for the website or satisfying customer service information, if the page is primarily for shopping or includes financial transactions.
- Positive website reputation for a website that is responsible for the main content on the page.
- The quantity of perceived expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness (E-A-T) that a webpage/website has is very important to the overall search engine rankings.
The amount of content necessary for the page to be "High Quality" depends on the topic and purpose of the page. A "High Quality" page on a broad topic with a lot of available information will have more content than a "High Quality" page on a more narrow topic.
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