Updated for Google 2021 Search Quality Elevator Guideline updates 17/02/2022
2019 involved a large shift in the way that Google ranks content, and most of this was focused around E-A-T, or Expertise, Authority, and Trust.
The E-A-T update was the most significant update for four years.
While E-A-T updates initially affected “your money or your life” (YMYL) medical websites, the focus is now affecting websites that cater to other industries as well. Life Science being one of them.
So, what is E-A-T?
Expertise is about whether the people writing content for your website are experts in their respective fields. It’s important to demonstrate your level of expertise on every piece of content you produce.
Authority is about your brand reputation. If people are linking to your website and talking about both your website and content producers on social media, you’ll be seen as an authoritative figure by Google.
Trust is a measurement of credibility and authenticity. It’s important that your site is secure from a development perspective, and also provides users with good customer services. Google is now measuring the trustworthiness of a brand or website using the same types of factors a real person would.
To put this all together, Google is scrutinizing your brand, your website, and your content to determine whether a real person should trust the information you provide.
So, what does that mean for content? Well, quite simply, if you don’t pay attention to E-A-T you are not creating an effective content strategy.
The question inevitably then turns to what you can do to leverage E-A-T to improve your content marketing results?
Showcase your expertise
The great thing about scientific companies is that you have product managers and technical scientists at your disposal.
It’s important that you showcase your expertise. This means showing Google that the author is qualified to talk about a subject.
An easy way to do this is by linking to a short biography from the content. You’ll also want to link through to their social media or Linkedin profiles to prove that they are a real person.It is also beneficial to create a range of regular content on your primary topics. When it comes to E-A-T, Google views websites that have an extensive library of content on a subject as experts in their field.
High quality page content
“High quality news articles and informational pages on scientific topics should represent established scientific consensus.”
The quality of a page’s content depends on the purpose of the page, if for example the page has been created to give information, the page needs to be factually accurate for the topic, be supported by expert consensus where possible as well as being clearly written and comprehensive. This links back to the expertise of your company, ensure that you are utilizing the people you have at hand to create high quality content.
Are people talking about you?
Google looks out for signals where people are linking back to your website. A great place to gain this level of authority is through social media. Posting interesting, valuable and engaging content with the intention of creating discussion will help build your reputation and strengthen your E-A-T in the eyes of the search engines and website visitors.
Remember Google wants to ensure searchers get the most relevant results to their query, so that means making sure the content is created with the reader in mind.
Are you showcasing your positive reputation?
Showcase your awards, recommendations and accolades as a company, these will backup your E-A-T values as a company. If you are members of societies ensure to include this information clearly to link to the topic of the page as further evidence.
Your online reputation is as important outside of SEO as it is for improving it. Where there are review sites and social media pages available for your brand, make sure you’re monitoring these and responding to reviews and comments - especially negative ones, to resolve issues and show to other potential customers that you care and are reliable.
Is your website secure?
Google is now measuring the trustworthiness of a brand or website using the same types of factors a real person would.
Trust is a measurement of credibility and authenticity. It’s important that your website is secure from a development perspective to help build visitor trust.
Programs such as the TRUSTe’s Enterprise Privacy & Data Governance Practices Certification program are a great way of demonstrating your company’s commitment to trust.
E-A-T is here to stay, and marketers need to take note. Our web services team here at AZoNetwork has a collective 50 years' experience in SEO. If you would like to discuss how E-A-T can improve your SEO and content strategy, please get in touch.