In August 2018, Google announced a broad core algorithm update, which would later be known as the slightly catchier ‘E-A-T’. This changes how Google ranks pages and is predominately based on whether users can trust a website’s content. This e-book delves deep into all things E-A-T, including what it is, how it affects e-commerce websites and most importantly how you can improve your rankings through E-A-T.
E-A-T stands for Expertise, Authoritativeness, Trustworthiness, which are the core principles of this algorithm. In short, this basically means the more reliable your website is, the higher it will rank on Google. To make your website more reliable it has to be more user friendly. Simple changes like adding author biographies to content, ensuring clear contact details, or including expert advice in your content could help.
These changes are particularly important with content and this algorithm was initially referred to as ‘the medic update’ as it impacted medical websites the most. When first introduced, the websites which didn’t show enough expertise, authoritativeness and trustworthiness dropped in rankings, whereas those that showed E-A-T improved. Therefore, if your website doesn’t pass the E-A-T test, your rankings and revenue could drop. Some websites are more affected than others, specifically YMYL pages.
Medical websites often fall into the YMYL category, which stands for Your Money Your Life. Google states such websites ‘affect the happiness, health, financial stability, or safety of users’. As well as medical information pages, other sites which fall into this category include financial information pages, transaction pages, legal information pages and news websites.
If your website is considered YMYL, it’s essential you brush up on E-A-T. Even if you don’t consider your site YMYL, it’s helpful to still understand this update because pages without some sort of beneficial purpose are still getting penalised. Google has stated ‘pages that potentially spread hate, cause harm, or misinform or deceive users, should receive the lowest rating.’
If E-A-T has caused a drop in your rankings there are a number of different things you can do that have had proven results. Certain examples include identifying pages that should emphasise trust and improving them, adding more high-quality content to show expertise and linking to authoritative sites. Essentially focusing your content on increasing trust rather than driving sales should improve rankings. For example, reducing the number of CTAs in content has also had a positive effect for certain websites.
For a list of detailed improvements you can make, download our e-book for free today.