Content creation is such a competitive part of being a successful online entrepreneur. It’s how you communicate with your audience and convince them to become loyal followers and buyers. Let’s look more closely at E-A-T SEO Guidelines for Google.
Most people falsely believe that Google merely sets up an algorithm to rank sites and tweaks it as new problems arise, and that’s partly true. But did you know they have a team of human readers called Search Quality Raters who have direct input over whether or not their system is working properly to rank the best content?
Most marketers find a keyword phrase, build some content around it and throw it up on their domain, hoping the Googlebots will crawl it, see the words and rank them high – regardless of the actual quality and trustworthiness of the information they presented.
Thousands of entrepreneurs were disappointed when Google started pinpointing all of the ways their search engine results pages (SERPs) were being manipulated, and devised ways to put an end to most spammy content.
It meant that they had to actually begin caring about what they put on their blog, and delivering valuable content to readers rather than manipulating backlinks, keyword usage and other unethical strategies.
Here, you’ll find some information designed to help you master the EEAT (experience, expertise, authority, and trustworthiness) philosophy so that not only will Google and other search engines see your site as a quality resource, but human visitors will, too.
The Problem with Most Online Content
One of the biggest problems Google has with most of the content online is that the people running these sites are writing specifically to try to rank in the search engines, rather than to cater to their readers.
They urge bloggers to do a self-assessment of their content to evaluate whether or not it’s helpful and consumers can rely on it for their needs. At first, you might be a little annoyed at the thought of having to go above and beyond to create more in depth, helpful information.
However, by being forced to go this route, you are automatically being elevated as a niche expert and ultimately, you will earn more with these efforts than focusing on volume and rankings alone.
A lot of information that is published online now is outdated or swiped from other sources and barely edited, if at all. Google has found that many bloggers simply publish thin pieces of content that barely have enough words to convey what the content is about.
Many marketers who are trying to achieve success simply do the bare minimum to write information, rather than digging down into a topic so that their readers are able to absorb more than just the obvious facts that are freely accessed everywhere.
They are very aware when you take content from one source and simply rewrite it for your own blog, which is a common, unethical maneuver many marketers engage in for traffic generation and more. What these people don’t understand is that you can still borrow snippets of information from other sites, but you need to do it in a curated manner, where you are then adding substantial value to the original piece and giving credit to the original author.
What Google and other search engines have been seeing by bloggers who are failing to rank well is that visitors who do land on their site simply click on right off to go to another site to try to find what they need, leaving dissatisfied with their experience.
Now imagine if Google rewarded thin content with top SERP rankings. Consumers wouldn’t want to use their search engine – so they have to have quality control measures – it’s not a punishment, but a guide to help you do better.
There are other common problems, of course – like soppy content with spelling errors, poor navigation, display and formatting, an over-abundance of distracting ads and more. They also don’t like it when your content on the site as a whole isn’t cohesive – because it covers too many topics.
If you’re just following trends and walking in everyone else’s footsteps, you’re not going to have content that performs as well as those writing content with a unique voice and slant.
Google isn’t teaching you to write comprehensive content because they’re looking for a certain word count, which is something you might mistakenly think you have to do. They’re asking for a thorough approach to satisfy their users.
The content creation strategy you’re about to learn to replace whatever you’ve been doing to date is especially important for those of you in the “your money or your life” niches.
Google is very protective over their users with these topics – which include things like your finances, your health, and anything that could have a major disastrous impact on you if you were to receive bad information. Learning about E-A-T SEO guidelines will pay off handsomely over time
Experience Can Be Past, Present or Future
The first part of the EEAT formula Google wants you to learn and implement is experience. Don’t worry – you don’t have to have a decades-long history in the niche or a PhD to showcase your experience.
In fact, it can be based on any timeline – what you’ve done, what you’re currently doing, or what your future plans are if your visitors want to follow along and watch it all unfold. The more important issue is to make sure the reader knows why you’re creating the content.
Why are you involved in the niche and what can you share with them about what you’ve experienced along the way? Both readers and bots will know whether you’re being genuine with your content because a lack of experience and interest will show up in your enthusiasm and in the details (or lack of them) that you provide.
This is something you personally want to see whenever you look up content, too. For example, if you’re looking for an email autoresponder recommendation, you want the person to have some experience when discussing which one to choose (or avoid).
If you’re looking for help and advice on how to lose 100 pounds, you probably prefer to learn from someone who has been 100 pounds overweight instead of learning from someone who has been perfectly fit all their life.
So when you write your content, talk about your previous use of products or strategies and detail what happened, what impacted your mindset or outlook, etc. If you have experienced something in life that’s guiding you in a new direction (one you want to share with your readers), you can talk about that.
For example, if you were to blog about the fact that you were going to be starting a container garden, you could add why. Maybe you’re doing it to be healthier – or because the pandemic situation and supply chain disruptions worried you and you want peace of mind now.
In this case, you haven’t even implemented the task yet, but you’re inviting readers into your world based on your experience to date with a problem and then telling them what solution you’re seeking and implementing.
Conveying Expertise and Proficiency to Your Readers
Expertise is the second area of concern in Google’s E-A-T SEO guidelines. Expertise also doesn’t mean you have to have a formal education or training in your niche topic, but if you do have that, then by all means share your expertise with your readers to provide them with more peace of mind about your advice.
This is especially helpful if you’re offering health or financial advice (the your money or your life topics). Having some sort of expertise on your subject matter can elevate your content above others, depending on the topic.
Google is also open to rewarding what they call everyday expertise. This is for topics where you don’t necessarily need any high level credentials to help guide your readers in the subject matter.
Life experiences can give people a level of expertise, too. For example, you don’t have to be a barista to talk about the coffee niche. You can be an average Joe who simply has a passion for the topic and wants to share it.
The same goes for many niches – including personal development, online marketing, beauty, anti aging, pets, survival prepping and more. They can tell, by the relevancy and accuracy of the content, whether your expertise is at a level they deem acceptable.
This is why you have to be careful about using AI (artificial intelligence) when creating blog posts. They’re notorious for putting together content that seems to read well, but which often delivers inaccurate information.
What’s great about sharing your own experiences and expertise is that it helps set your content apart as something unique from what the competition is using. Your experience building a business online will be vastly different from what another person experienced.
This is beneficial to readers because they get a myriad of choices and stories to help them connect with one that mirrors their own experience so far. Maybe you were a senior unexpectedly forced into retirement – or a single mom trying to make ends meet.
These two groups might have different budgets for the tools they use. They might have different allotments of time to build their business. They may even go into different niches or pursue different business models to get the job done, so readers can connect to your experience and expertise without lumping you in with all marketers.
When you’re wanting to showcase your expertise, make sure you think of how you want your followers to look at your brand. You want to set this up yourself, not have anyone else label you as something you’re not.
If you have a story about why you got into this topic, share it! And try to build a connection to the specific demographic that you hope to reach. If you’ve been publishing content for awhile, go ahead and go back to update and improve your existing blog posts.
You can go back and audit your previous posts to see if they need to be expanded upon in a way that adds to your expertise. Sometimes, you can bring in other resources by curating information and lean on the expertise of others to boost your blog content.
Anything you can do to demonstrate that the person writing the content understands the topic and can offer help will be a benefit to your rankings. In fact, to help with this, you may want to include a byline.
Google likes bylines to support the expertise aspect of their E-A-T SEO guidelines and strategy because readers can see the qualifications or information of who is guiding them. You can create an “About” page to link to along with a byline blurb to include in each post, hyperlinking the author’s name to the About page. Using the E-A-T SEO guidelines makes good sense for your online business.
Authoritativeness Can Be Achieved with Comprehensive Coverage
Authority is a different form of experience and expertise that contributes to overall trustworthiness of a site. One thing that contributes to authoritativeness is whether or not the content is relevant to the overall niche blog topic.
For example, if you are trying to share a gardening tracker on a site about marketing, it diminishes your authority because your authority should stick to marketing. However, if the topic can be tied into your blog’s overall subject matter, like connecting gardening and survival, it’s okay.
They want you to be building a reputation as an authority site on a specific topic – for you to become an industry expert that others turn to for quotes, backlink to as a good resource, and so on.
They’re going to be checking for backlinks to see if others consider your domain an authority URL. They also want your content to be creating a buzz. Are people sharing it on social media platforms?
In order to achieve that goal, it needs to be wow-worthy and something worth telling others about, not stagnant information that can be found anywhere. Think about the target audience you want to reach and make sure your authority is directed in leading those individuals, and not spread too thin.
Every piece of content you write should exhaust the topic and not be so thin that readers feel they have to go somewhere else to learn more. Whenever you do build comprehensive content, include other sources and link out to them because Google can gauge your own authoritativeness by the quality of the links you choose to share. Using the E-A-T SEO guidelines makes good sense for your online business.
Trustworthiness Is the Most Important Factor According to Google
Of all of the elements in the E-A-T SEO guidelines strategy, Google states that they feel trustworthiness is most important. But all of the others contribute to this aspect, too. Google clarifies what they want you to focus on when it comes to their EEAT strategy, saying: “Of these aspects, trust is most important.”
They go on to say, “The others contribute to trust, but content doesn’t necessarily have to demonstrate all of them. For example, some content might be helpful based on the experience it demonstrates, while other content might be helpful because of the expertise it shares.”
So you don’t have to struggle so much to ensure every piece includes every element of EEAT, but whenever possible, it’s a good idea. And you need to make sure your primary focus is on trustworthiness.
How can you make your content more trustworthy? Details, for one. Instead of just saying you reviewed a product, talk about the entire process. Did you pit it against another product?
What were the results of using the product? Do you have pictures or videos to accompany the text information? Are you providing them with any step-by-step process that teaches them how to do something?
If you’re using AI, you need to be transparent about it. Google (as of February 8th) states that you want to disclose this fact to your readers. This might diminish your trustworthiness to some degree, so if you do decide to go that route, explain in detail just how much AI contributed to the creation of your content, and why you used it to supplement your own insight and advice.
Transparency is also evident in blogs where the author isn’t just talking about rainbows and unicorns all of the time. If you act as if you’ve never made a mistake or that products have zero flaws all the time, it puts a dent in your credibility because readers know it’s a lie.
They also frown upon clickbait and misleading information, so be very clear about your blog’s content and make navigation of the subsections easy so readers can find exactly what they need.
Another thing that boost trustworthiness is when you provide content in an easy to digest manner. If you’re using words that are far above the average level of consumers, it doesn’t allow them to learn from you as easily, so make your content casual and conversational.
EEAT is what some will view as a thorn in their side, forcing them to do more work and research than they had before. But for others, it’s a great guideline of what will help you achieve success as an online entrepreneur.
You should always want to be viewed by your readers as a trustworthy authority site. If going the extra mile and checking the EAT concepts off your list makes that happen, then it’s well worth the time you need to invest to begin doing this automatically. Adhering to the E-A-T SEO guidelines makes good sense for your online business.
I’m bestselling USA Today and Wall Street Journal author, publisher, and entrepreneur Connie Ragen Green and my goal is to connect with you if you have more than just a passing interest in getting started with an online business. I most recently released Really Simple SEO Tips and Keywords for Beginners and this is an excellent place to begin. Please take a look while it’s still at its introductory pricing. I’m also on LinkTree!