When I’m not on the internet, I’m in my kitchen. I love cooking because I love eating. As an aspiring chef I’ve learned that food not only has to taste good, but has to look good, too.
The same is true for your website’s content.
Lately I’ve been reading Google’s Search Quality Guidelines. In case you don’t know, Google hires people to manually review web pages. They use this information to see if their algorithm is serving quality pages. Another way of looking at this: web pages that meet these standards are what Google hopes to serve to users.
So, if we want to show up in search results, we should follow these guidelines.
There is a lot of information packed into the Search Quality Guidelines. One of the most important factors behind a quality page is EAT.
What is EAT? Does Your Page Have It?
EAT stands for Expertise, Authority and Trustworthiness. Simply put, would you trust this webpage? There are a few ways that reviewers measure EAT.
EAT varies by topic
There isn’t a universally accepted source of authority for all web pages. Each topic has different standards of authority. What is the topic of your company’s website? Who are the recognized authorities in your space? How can you incorporate this into your website’s content? Here are some suggestions:
- Badges of certification or membership that relate to the topic of the page (not just site wide badges).
- Links to helpful information on other neutral and authoritative websites about this page’s topic. Pro-Tip: use the “target” parameter in a link so it opens in another tab. This way your visitor can stay on your website while they review the link.
EAT is a function of a web page’s purpose
Each web page has a different purpose. According to the guidelines, each page should help users accomplish this purpose. Authority sources should support your information. Here are some examples of how EAT can help you accomplish your purpose:
- Get testimonials or reviews from customers explaining why they choose to use your service. Pro-Tip: Some customers describe your service in different ways. Relevant testimonials are great ways to include a variety of keywords on a page.
- Include advice from experts about what you have to offer and how to choose a service like yours. Pro-Tip: you might be able to ego bait some experts into linking to your service page.
EAT your money
Under some topics, Google expects much higher standards of authority. These topics are about “your money or your life” topics (YMYL). These are websites that, if their information is incorrect, it could hurt someone’s money or life. Topics include (but are not limited to):
- Financial information
- Medical information
- Legal information
- Shopping or financial transactions (yes, ecom sites are held to a higher standard of EAT than other sites!)
If you have a business- Google will hold you to a much stronger standard of EAT than a personal website. That makes EAT essential for commercial websites.
Does Your Website Have EAT?
A Google Search Quality reviewer is assigning a quality score to a particular page. According to the guidelines, a page’s quality is a function of the website’s quality as a whole. That means a page cannot have quality unless it’s on a quality website. What does your website do to show it’s EAT? Here are some ideas:
- Make sure you have pages about the following topics (and they’re easy to find):
- Associations and organizations to which you belong
- For ecommerce sites: include return and exchange policies and make it easy for people to contact you.
- Include experts in your blog. Pro-Tip: if you include experts in your blog, they might help promote your content over social media.
Do other websites think you have EAT?
Google encourages its reviewers to leave your website, to judge it’s EAT. Of course the testimonials and reviews on your website are going to be positive. Do a search of Google and see what people are saying about you. Include the word “reviews” with your brand name in that search. Does anyone have anything bad to say? Does anyone have anything to say? Here are some ways to do improve your EAT from other websites:
- Encourage happy customers to review you on other websites. This could be the Better Business Bureau. It’s even better if it’s related to your industry.
- Pro-Tip: give unhappy customers an easy way to get help so they don’t vent on third-party websites.
- Pro-Tip: Think about websites like Eric Ward who says we should build links from relevant websites regardless of whether or not it helps us from a Google perspective.
- Think like a PR professional. Pitch authoritative websites, in your industry, with newsworthy items. Pro-Tip: ask them to link to your site.
- Build a Wikipedia page about your business. Pro-Tip: Don’t spam Wikipedia. Talk about facts and support them with third-party sources.
Can you think of any other ways to add EAT to a webpage, website or third-party website? Add your thoughts in the comments, below.