E-A-T is an acronym for Expertise, Authoritativeness, Trustworthiness. It became famous in 2015 after Google published its Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines, where E-A-T made its first appearance. These guidelines were a milestone in the SEO industry as they were fundamental for a deeper understanding of how Google evaluates web pages.
What is E-A-T, and why is it such a big deal?
Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness can be defined as a number of signals that contribute to determining Page Quality. While Expertise is a characteristic that belongs to the page content’s author, Authoritativeness and Trustworthiness also belong to the page content and the website.
In other words, E-A-T determines the reliability of a source by taking into account:
- the Expertise of the author in the field
- the socially recognized Authoritativeness of the content itself, of the author, and of the source
- and also Trustworthiness considered as the ability to provide honest, true, and accurate information.
Google wants to give its users the best possible experience. Before anything else, this means giving them a set of results that can offer real value and can be trusted.
Here is why E-A-T is important. It measures the capability of a specific author, source, or page to provide authentic value to the search engine’s users.
Especially when it comes to sensitive topics such as shopping, financial, medical, legal, and news, Google is cautious about the E-A-T factor, as web information can have a real impact on a user’s life. Google collects those topics under the acronym YMYL that stands for Your Money, Your Life and that clearly states how a simple search can have a huge and serious impact on one’s safety.
What can you do in terms of SEO to show your E-A-T?
Working on E-A-T means taking care of a wide number of aspects that go from editorial choices in terms of transparency and method to media relations and the capacity of setting your brand as an authority. We will not cover all the parts of this meticulous job, but we would like to focus on a single and yet powerful aspect: Structured Data.
As Lily Ray — who has devoted a lot of work and study to this topic — suggests, including structured data in your E-A-T strategy is a sure way to support and give strength to your overall effort. Using structured data, you will talk in the same language as Google, and all search engines will understand what you mean.
Among the schema types that are essential to E-A-T, these apply to most situations:
- Person: which is needed to identify the author of the content. It can be further enriched by using schema properties such as affiliation, jobTitle, sameAs, and much more.
- Organization: which can be used to identify the publisher of the website. It can be further enriched by using schema properties such as address, founder, legalname, and more.
- WebPage, BlogPosting, Article and NewsArticle: which can be used to identify a piece of content on your website. It is essential to connect these entities to its authors with the schema property “Author” which will help you build a strong connection between content and authoritative persons.
Schema types strictly depend on your content model and on the kind of business that your website represents.
To learn more about E-A-T and structured data, I recommend watching this webinar that analyses it from different perspectives.