Google has never shied away from its preference for content that comes from sites and sources of genuine authority. In SEO stakes, nothing gets the job done better than a publisher that demonstrates an advanced level of expertise, authority and trust – aka E-A-T.
All simple enough on paper, but how does the whole E-A-T thing work in practice?
This is where things get a little cloudy, as while E-A-T plays a major role in Google’s decision-making process, it isn’t a direct ranking signal in its own right. Instead, it’s more of a theory or methodology – a combination of factors that come together to determine a site’s credibility and authority.
Still, trial and error seem to have highlighted several key points of importance, where Google’s evaluation of E-A-T is concerned. In particular, the following could carry the most weight of all, when looking to demonstrate authority and trust to Google:
- Overall quality of website content
E-A-T is not something that looks at a single factor and makes a decision accordingly. Instead, it is a broader methodology for assessing the overall quality of a site’s content. Hence, any substandard content that could be dragging your site’s credibility down is not going to work in your favour.
- Internal links, external links and backlinks
Each of these three types of links plays an important role in helping web users access the information they need on any given topic. They all play different roles in a broader SEO strategy and can boost the authority and credibility of a site and its content.
- Original long-form content
Increasingly, getting ahead in the SERP race has become about publishing in-depth content of impeccable quality, packed with detailed industry insights and useful information. Originality also holds the key to catching Google’s eye, as opposed to simply regurgitating what’s already doing the rounds online.
- Anchor text of backlinks
Google has made it abundantly clear that the anchor text of any given backlink can be just as influential as the location of the link itself. Anchor text is used as a trust and credibility signal by Google, so it’s essential to ensure the anchor text of your backlinks is appropriate.
- Reputation and credibility of the author
Heavier emphasis than ever before is being placed on the reputation and credibility of a text’s author, which Google’s crawlers can now largely figure out for themselves. Key signals taken into account as part of E-A-T include the author’s track record publishing in a specific niche, how well known they are, ratings their content has received by other users, the number of articles they have published, how frequently they publish new content and more.
- Mentions from trusted sources
Last up, mentions from trusted sources are sometimes referred to as ‘implied’ backlinks, and play a similar role in SEO stakes. This refers to the frequency with which a trusted source mentions your brand, your website or you personally as an author – all of which is taken into account by Google as part of its E-A-T analysis.