If you’re not a marketer, Google E-E-A-T may not even be on your radar – but it should be. In the vast and ever-evolving digital marketing landscape, achieving visibility and credibility is a challenge every business faces.

Google’s E-E-A-T is a set of guidelines set out to identify the Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness and Trustworthiness of online content. Understanding this concept is not just crucial for those in the SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) profession but anyone looking to establish a strong online presence for their business.

In this blog, we delve into the depths of Google E-E-A-T, unravelling its components and explaining why it is vital to online business.

What is Google E-E-A-T?

Google E-E-A-T isn’t exactly new. It’s a revision to the original guidelines Google set out way back in 2014 as part of its Search Quality Rater Guidelines. Back then, it was only known as Google E-A-T, encompassing Expertise, Authority and Trust.

In December 2022, the search engine updated these guidelines to include Experience, and thus, we have Experience, Expertise, Authority and Trust: E-E-A-T. Also, part of this update was a new concept, “YMYL” (Your Money or Your Life). Content designated as YMYL includes:

  • Health or healthcare information
  • Financial stability
  • Personal safety

For organisations delivering YMYL content, Google’s E-E-A-T is increasingly important. You must demonstrate that you are providing accurate, reliable information through first-hand experience and with links to reputable, authoritative websites.

How does Google E-E-A-T impact organic search?

Google hasn’t explicitly said that E-E-A-T is part of its ranking algorithm – and this is where things get interesting. E-E-A-T is used by Google’s “Quality Raters”. These people – or at least, they were, at one point in time, people (who can tell these days) – establish the credibility and expertise of content writers.

So why are we talking about it if it isn’t a ranking factor?

It may not be a listed ranking factor, but Google “rewards” content that demonstrates E-E-A-T, ranking it higher than less relevant content. With the second Helpful Content Update and Google Project Magi changes on the way, this will become more pronounced.

Google Project Magi – Search Generative Experience (SGE)

The most significant update to Google since it first came to be, Search Generative Experience, combines the search engine we’ve all come to rely on with cutting-edge artificial intelligence (AI). It is Google’s response to Microsoft Bing’s AI search engine and promises to bring a better search experience for users.

For businesses, it brings an abundance of change, including:

  • Mobile-first indexing
  • Fewer search results
  • Transactional search
  • Conversational, user-focussed content
  • A heavier focus on user experience (UX)

Many cite this change as revolutionary, changing how SEO has been done for more than 20 years. It will require us to adapt and view search completely differently – whether this is a good or bad thing is yet to be seen.

2023 Helpful Content Algorithm Update

Before Project Magi comes to fruition, we continue to see algorithm updates. Google’s 2023 Helpful Content algorithm update is where we will see E-E-A-T begin to impact search results. In May 2023, Google clarified how this algorithm change would impact how content is ranked:

  • Content with unique expertise and experience will have a greater focus
  • Content with an expert or personal point of view will be ranked more often

In addition, Google is implementing “Perspectives”. Perspectives will bring what Google calls “hidden gems” to the forefront. Hidden gems are content from websites that may not be high-ranking but demonstrate personal or expert perspectives.

You may already be seeing these on Google’s current website. It provides an avenue for smaller companies to rank against websites with a larger SEO or PPC budget by working hard on their content quality and its E-E-A-T.

How can I improve my content’s E-E-A-T?

The days of creating content for content’s sake and only focusing on keywords for search ranking are over. Content strategies going forward must be well cultivated with author profiles that demonstrate E-E-A-T.

Here are the ways Team Bamboo is ensuring the content we provide for clients aligns with Google’s latest changes:

High-quality content

When creating content for your audience, consider their needs and who within your organisation, partners or community should be the author. Content can’t be reused; it must be original and provide something “helpful”.

In addition, as a marketing community, we must stop writing for search engines. We must write as if we were speaking face-to-face with someone. With the abundance of AI content circulating on the web, Google wants content that was “written by humans, for humans”.

It isn’t just new content you have to think about. Conducting regular content audits to update or remove outdated information. It will be considered “unhelpful” if it’s no longer useful.

Focus on your author bios

A big part of E-E-A-T is demonstrating that your author has the experience and expertise to write about the subject matter.

We suggest implementing comprehensive author bios that tick these boxes by providing information about their credentials, past work and links to credible, reputable organisations.

Also, because Google’s spiders connect all the dots of the internet, it’s a good idea to ensure your LinkedIn profiles are up-to-date and include all pertinent information for establishing experience and expertise.

Guest posts

Leveraging the expertise and experience of your partner networks, customers or clients can be an easy way to bring E-E-A-T to your website’s content. If they’ve established themselves in the industry and have abundant past work on the subject matter – it’s worth exploring.

Build a strong backlink profile

Backlinks are potentially the most challenging aspect of E-E-A-T. Earning backlinks from reputable sources should be high on your SEO priority list.

Work with authoritative organisations in your industry to gain backlinks from them. For example, if you’re in the finance industry, earning backlinks from big banks or financial conduct authorities (for good news!) is ideal for effective backlinks.

Backlinks show Google (and readers) that authorities within your industry trust your brand enough to link to you. It builds the A and T of your E-E-A-T strategy.

Backlinks aren’t a short-term goal and can take significant time. Don’t get discouraged. Gaining backlinks provides great strides towards higher domain authority and where you rank on search engine results pages (SERPs).

Cite credible sources

Most, if not all, ideas or content come from somewhere. It’s important that you provide credit where credit is due. When you do, ensure your citations come from:

  • Official sources, including governments, academic organisations or reputable global leaders
  • Research papers or peer-reviewed articles
  • Published studies
  • News publications – trusted news organisations, not fringe sites (aka PR)
  • Established experts or agencies
  • Academic databases

If you’re writing YMYL content, this is even more important. Because your content could affect your audience’s health or financial stability, you must do your due diligence to provide them with trusted, compliant information.

For example, here is a trusted citation to a blog on how to differentiate between good and bad sources from the University of Texas at El Paso.

While many businesses have come to rely on Wikipedia, it isn’t always considered a reputable source. Because its information is compiled collaboratively, but users aren’t always experts in their field, there can be inaccuracies, and Wikipedia should be avoided as a source.

Monitor and build a positive brand reputation

Does someone regularly check your brand’s testimonials or reviews on third-party websites? While we can’t avoid negative reviews entirely – people are more likely to post a negative review than a positive one – how and how quickly you respond affects your reputation.

Here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Use a brand reputation monitoring tool – Semrush’s Listing Management tool is what Team Bamboo uses.
  • Quickly and professionally respond to anything negative that comes up on a review site or in the press.
  • Don’t just respond to the bad reviews. Engaging with positive reviews also helps boost your brand reputation.

Sort out your content strategy with Bamboo

Staying on top of all the Google core and algorithm changes is challenging. The next 12 – 18 months will be a tumultuous time for SEO and marketing.

Our newsletter is full of tips to help ease your transition and prepare you for changes before they arrive. Sign up for our newsletter and view our recent blog on Google Project Magi for more information.