If you’ve been doing a lot of researching and learning online in order to improve your campaigns as the SEO Market Harborough team does, then you probably have come across the concept of EAT.
So what is EAT and why should you care?
Well, the acronym stands for Authority, Expertise and Trustworthiness. It’s a concept that was first cited in a Google document called “Search Quality Rater Guidelines”. It was created to help remote Google employees perform manual checks on websites in order to see if they were a true reflection of how Google’s algorithm processes and rates search engine results. This process helps Google refine their search algorithms by looking at and scoring elements manually.
Now EAT doesn’t apply to all search queries or websites. It’s really for websites that are in specific markets. Markets where there are consequences if bad or misleading advice were given. The markets loosely fall under health, wealth and legal. They are often called YMYL (Your Money or Your Life). Google want to see that websites and businesses that are giving advice are experts, they are considered an authority in the market and that they have specific trust signals that can easily be found.
What Google does not want is any Tom, Dick or Harry building a website around health, giving misleading information that a person could take with dire consequences. Google could become liable if something like this were to happen. So EAT is really an unknown set of signals that the algorithm looks for to ensure that they meet the undisclosed EAT criteria. If a webpage or website does not satisfy these criteria then Google will not allow it to appear in front of people searching for queries relevant to that website.
The concepts of EAT can not be falsely achieved. A website needs to have a clear purpose of its existence. If it has advice or helpful content on there then that content needs to be linked to a credible author. There are also specific things that are looked at to evaluate the author. Have they had any written content published on industry websites? Have they been cited by industry websites? Is the author present on other authority based platforms?
EAT can also cover the links that come from other sites to yours. The more credible and authoritative the mentions of your website are, the better you will fare in the search engines.
If you own or are working on a website that needs to rank in the ‘your money or your life” niche then you need to understand EAT and make sure you are sending the right signals to Google.