The pillars of SEO content writing – Google E-E-A-T Guide

If you read search engine optimization blogs (like ours), you’ve probably heard about Google’s “appetite” for E-A-T. If you haven’t, then briefly, E-A-T is short for Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness. 

This is an important SEO indicator (i.e. ranking factor), which was released back in 2015. So why are we writing about it now? Because the latest version, Google E-E-A-T, has come out, which can also have a huge impact on whether you rank on the first or fifth page of Google.

In addition, with the advent of ChatGPT and AI, human-generated content will become even more important, even more prominent. But let’s see what it’s all about!

What is Google E-E-A-T and why is it important?

The E-E-A-T stands for Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness, which means that in addition to the aforementioned expertise, authenticity, and trustworthiness, an extra “E” has been added, experience. 

And why is this important? 

We’d like to throw the ball to you with a question. Who would you trust if you were reading about a product, for example, say an acne cream? Someone who’s used it and is an expert on the subject, or someone who hasn’t used the cream at all and has only seen stock photos of it at most? 

E-E-A-T, or how to create super content?

Now let’s look at what exactly we mean by E-E-A-T.

Experience

Given the above statement, it is perhaps not too surprising that good content (and by content we mean not only text, but also video, podcasts) can be produced by those who have the experience to use it. 

For example: if you don’t have a driving licence and you’ve never driven a car in your life, you simply can’t produce quality content about cars, nor can you test them, even if you’re a good content producer. 

But we could give you another example: you can’t write a good review of the board game Cluedo if you haven’t played it. 

Expertise

Expertise is often confused with experience, even though the two are not the same, but both can produce relevant content for the user (searcher).

Take financial savings, for example. 

Some people want financial advice from an accredited professional (Expertise.)

Others want to read, watch and listen to real examples of strategies that have worked for others (Experience.)

Both content types can provide value to users, so both can perform well under Google’s E-E-A-A-T guidelines. 

Credibility

The somewhat elusive concept of credibility is a kind of indicator of your reputation within a given market or industry. 

For example, the WebMD article on abdominal pain is very credible in Google’s eyes because:

WebMD is a well-known medical advice website.

The authors – WebMD Editorial Contributors – are all professionals.

They ask an expert (usually a doctor) to check the accuracy of their content.

Ideally, such high quality sites are linked to from many places, as they have value.

Reliability

Reliability is perhaps one of the most important parts of Google E-E-A-T SEO. 

For a site to be trustworthy, it must be clear who wrote the content, it must be checked for accuracy, it must be linked to reliable sources and it must not be used to promote a product. 

However, trustworthiness extends not only to the content, but also to the checkout pages, among other things, so if Google marks a checkout page as “not secure”, it will almost certainly have a very negative impact. 

It’s also important to include appropriate contact details on your site – especially for YMYL themes or online shop.

What is YMYL?

YMYL (Your Money or Your Life) topics have a significant impact on readers’ health, finances, rights and general safety. 

Just think, if you Google something on a legal topic, you click on an article because you find it interesting, but you don’t find out anything about the author, or how legit the site is. 

There are many YMYL topics, but some of them are worth highlighting:

  • news websites,
  • sites on legal topics,
  • government sites,
  • financial websites,
  • webshops,
  • health-related websites. 

For these, E-E-A-T is particularly important to build trust in the user.

How to improve your Google E-E-A-T with YMYL SEO

Now let’s look at how to improve Google E-E-A-T using YMYL SEO.

Have an author for the article and a CV for the author

The Google Quality Guidelines make it clear that you need to know who is writing the articles, i.e. who is providing the information to users.

Since the YMYL pages, as you can see from the list above, include a lot of health, legal, and financial pages, it’s not surprising that Google wants to know how reliable the source is.

So make sure that each blog post includes the author’s name, and that you can click on the author’s name to access a professional CV with any research results. These reflect real credibility and professionalism in the eyes of both Google and users.

Edit or delete low quality content

Google evaluates a website’s E-A-T score by calculating the total E-A-T score of the website’s posts and pages. In other words, you need to be very careful with each and every post.

Therefore, we recommend that you remove poor quality content from your site, or if you see imagination in it, enhance it.

It may sound bad at first glance, and you may see a drop in traffic in the short term, but believe me, it will be much more beneficial in the long run, as it will improve your website’s E-E-A-T score. And this will prevent Google from ranking you lower for each algorithm update.

Personal experiences are also very important to Google, so you should share first-hand information based on experiments, tests and personal experiences.

Update existing content at regular intervals

It is predicted that by 2025, an average of 463 billion GB of data will be created worldwide, every single day. Of course, this also means that content will unfortunately become obsolete at an incredible rate.

Experience shows that the average lifespan of online content is around two years, depending on the topic and industry, but for YMYL sites it’s much more like 1 year, because think about how financial sites can change interest rates and so on several times a year.

Therefore, the page should be updated regularly, as outdated data is quasi-disinformation and significantly reduces the professionalism of your website.

You should also check if there are broken links in the articles that point to a 404 page. If so, delete the link and find another relevant page to link to instead.

Illuminate multiple, different perspectives

In order for content to be authentic, it needs to be looked at from multiple angles, as this is how it starts a dialogue.

Just think how reliable a health site would be for you if it only listed the benefits of a particular medicine, but kept quiet about the side effects.

The aim is to show the advantages and disadvantages so that people can decide whether a product or service is right for them by looking at all possible aspects.

Build your personal brand

There are small “tricks” you can do to significantly increase your website’s E-E-A-T score and strengthen your brand’s overall image.

One example is the “About Us” page. First of all, it’s important to have an “About Us” page at all, which tells you who you are, what co-authors you work with, and also very important: all the publications (online or offline) where you have been published.

Also, add a schema markup code to the page to indicate to Google that it is an “About Us” page that contains all the information they need.

It is also good to have a “Feedback (Review)” page or section where testimonials or customer reviews are listed.

Many people choose a consultant, professional, coach, etc. on the basis of what other clients say about them.

Build high-quality, relevant backlinks

The essence of the PageRank algorithm is that it evaluates websites based on their link structure.

The algorithm looks at how many and what quality inbound links point to a website from other websites. The more and higher the quality of the links pointing to a website, the higher the PageRank value.

The thesis is based on the idea that if a site is linked to by many other websites, that website is likely to offer important and valuable content. In other words, the PageRank algorithm estimates the relevance and importance of web pages based on the link structure between pages.

Fortunately, the days of link farm backlinks are a thing of the past, and there are much more sophisticated ways to get your site in front.

This was confirmed by Google’s advisor John Mueller. As his statements show, backlinks and anchor text play a much more important role than one might first think.

This is because Google uses anchor text clusters to create a so-called “trust label” for a website or URL, which it records in a database.

But that doesn’t mean that a handful of backlinks from relevant sources will get you to the top of the organic results. Even if the pages are relevant, if their trust rank is low, they will not give much link juice to your site.

In other words, you should only link from sites that are recognised by Google and rewarded with a high Trust Rank.

External linking

Not only the number of inbound links, but also the number of outbound links is important, because if you want to position yourself as an expert, you need real data and facts.

Where possible in the article, always link to official sources for statistics, studies, research to show that you are not just talking out of your ass.

It is worth using reliable sources such as NCBI and JSTOR, where studies are documented in detail.

However, you can link not only to websites, but also to social media posts: in such cases, it is worth linking to tweets and studies that come from trusted experts.

Social media

Having official social media profiles can also improve your E-E-A-T score, as being active on social media and sharing content with your target audience or even influencers can also boost your website’s reputation.

Make your website secure

Nowadays it is almost a standard requirement that the site is also protected by the https protocol.

SSL certificates encrypt data to prevent any third party from intercepting or manipulating communications between users and the website.

So not only is it an important ranking factor for E-E-A-T, but also someone with only an http website will rank much lower in Google’s organic results.

It’s very common for Google Chrome to display an “Unsafe” label when you try to visit the page, and a very large number of users will not click through.

The good news is that most hosting providers will help you obtain an SSL certificate, which is required for the https protocol.

By the way, there is another very exciting aspect to this, and that is the rise of AI (artificial intelligence).

The rise of generative artificial intelligence

We know, ChatGPT is a dead letter, but you have to remember that AI-generated content is not just hype. It’s here to stay and it’s changing our lives very quickly and very drastically. 

If you think about it, despite years of development, ChatGPT version 3.0, which has been used by 100 million people in a matter of weeks, has only been around since November 2022. Yet so much has happened and changed since then that it’s almost impossible to comprehend.

It’s much faster to produce content (we use the word ‘produce’ for a reason), and it’s accessible to people who don’t know how to write, or don’t like to write. That’s why, over the last few months, many have incorporated AI into their content creation process. 

The only problem with this is that the content generated by AI is often wrong, and the aforementioned ChatGPT is very often “hallucinating” and sharing false data that has nothing to do with reality. Moreover, the quality of the texts leaves something to be desired. 

However, there is a tool to filter out content generated by ChatGPT, namely the “Regenerate response” -chatgpt operator, which you just need to type into Google’s search bar. 

For the SEO keyword alone, it is already returning 2370 results.

And if you can check it, why can’t Google? Believe me, even if you’re cheating and copying and pasting from Wordpad, the search engine’s algorithm is smart enough to know that it’s not human-written content. 

How does AI-generated content rank in Google? Is it worth leaving the copywriting to them?

In November 2022, Google’s Duy Nguyen said that the search engine’s algorithms will fight AI-generated content they believe to be plagiarised. 

In fact, Google clearly states in its Quality Rating Guidelines (QRG) that copied, automatically generated content that lacks effort, originality, talent or expertise should be given the lowest rating. 

Of course, this does not mean that Google is against AI-generated content, it just considers it much lower in the hierarchy than expert content. 

AI-generated content in Google search

Mark William Cook conducted an experiment to create a website with 10,000 pages of 100% artificial intelligence-generated content without human editing. The website went down within a few months of launch. 

In contrast, Bankrate’s artificial intelligence-generated but human-controlled content has been performing successfully for several months. 

But why does it work for one and not the other?

On the one hand, the pilot website was brand new, with little trust rank, no backlinks and no fact checking or proofreading. 

Bankrate, on the other hand, is an older, reliable site with good backlinks, and perhaps more importantly, they didn’t leave things entirely to AI: they had flesh-and-blood people proofreading and checking the data.

As you can see, E-E-A-T is perhaps more important in the age of AI than ever before, as it has and will have a profound impact on where your website will rank in Google. 

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