E-E-A-T optimize: scoring means proving

The world of search engine optimization, or Search Engine Optimization (SEO), is constantly changing. E-E-A-T (aka Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness and Trustworthiness) however, continues to play an important role in this (and in fact, this toll is becoming increasingly important). In this guide, I tell you all about E-E-A-T and how I optimize it for my clients.

What is E-E-A-T?

E-E-A-T is part of Google’s Search Quality Rater Guidelines: the handbook used to evaluate the quality of search results. This already indicates how important this component is to Google.

By promoting the experience (Experience), expertise (Expertise), authority (Authoritativeness) and reliability (Trustworthiness) of your website, you improve the quality and relevance of the content. Below I explain all the facets.

The influence of E-E-A-T on SEO in birtherism

No time for a long article? No problem. Check out the bird’s eye view below for a summary of this article on E-E-A-T.

Experience (experience)

I begin with the most recent addition to the concept, Experience. Google initially used the term E-A-T (Expertise, Authoritativeness and Trustworthiness), but added a second “E” on Dec. 15, 2022. This E refers to your experience within the field(1).

Google wants you to demonstrate that your content was created in part through experience. Examples include actually using a product, actually visiting a location or sharing personal experiences. (2) This will help you connect your content to visitors who need information from someone with direct, hands-on experience with the topic.

As an example, consider my website. The content was written by me, an experienced SEO specialist. I write from my experiences and what I do for clients. This makes content worded differently than when someone writes about SEO who has no experience.

How can you optimize your website for Experience?

Below I tell you what steps you can take to optimize your website for Experience:

  1. Share your own experiences: share your open and honest opinions and insights if you’ve used a product or service, visited a place or have experience with something else.
  2. Use real-world examples: use real-world examples to show how your insights, products or services work in practice.
  3. Deploy user experiences: collect and share other people’s experiences about products or services.
  4. Write detailed and informative reviews: when writing reviews about products, services or locations, it is important to make them as informative and in-depth as possible. Also use, for example, videos or photos you have taken yourself.
  5. Use a personal writing style: a personal writing style can improve your visitors’ reading experience. It also makes your texts more authentic.
  6. Add multimedia: use your own images, videos or audio to illustrate your experiences.(3)
  7. Offer practical tips and advice: provide practical tips and advice that come from your own experience.

When writing my own content for this website, I always try to imagine myself writing an email to a client to explain something. That way I keep it practical, accessible and really write from my experience.

Expertise (competence)

The second factor of E-E-A-T-is Expertise. In fact, this component is the basis for the quality and relevance of content on a website. This refers to the degree to which the content writer is knowledgeable and expert in the topic at hand. Having expertise is more than just holding a certificate or degree. Practical knowledge and skills also weigh in.

To assess the expertise of an author or source, Google evaluates several aspects:

  • quality of the content itself (well-researched, detailed and accurate);
  • training of the author;
  • author’s experience;
  • Other publications by the author that are relevant;
  • The author’s role in the organization;
  • recognition for his role (consider the LinkedIn profile as well, that is);
  • Provide a quality “about us” page;
  • Publish new content regularly;
  • Make sure the website is complete (for example, if I didn’t have an article on getting higher in Google, that would be a missing part for Google as well);
  • Number of years of author’s experience.

You see, this section can only display well with Google when the author section, author page and everything around it is optimized.

What is the difference between Expertise and Experience?

Expertise refers to the objective, verifiable knowledge a writer shares with his or her visitors. Think, for example, of an interior designer who knows exactly which colors form beautiful combinations with each other in a living room.

He or she can write about this in a blog article and provide helpful tips. At Experience, the focus is on sharing personal experiences. An example is writing content about your experiences within your niche.

Authoritativeness.

The term Authoritativeness actually speaks for itself: this refers to the recognition of a writer as an authority within a particular field. This factor, among others, can be judged by the reputation of the writer. Components include:

  • A strong social media presence;
  • backlinks from websites with high authority within the niche;
  • participation in events and that this is written about online;
  • The number of followers and their engagement on social media;
  • Obtain as many (positive) reviews as possible;
  • Display your expertise on your own website (accreditations and certificates, for example).

This part takes place around the website rather than on the website itself. The key here is to build a strong brand for yourself and leverage it.

Trustworthiness (reliability)

Trustworthiness, or reliability, is the fourth and final pillar of the E-E-A-T concept. This aspect refers to the reliability and credibility of the content and source. It is important for users to be able to trust the information they find online. Content must be accurate and fact-based. These are the parts of this section:

  • accuracy of content must be good;
  • transparency of resource use must be present;
  • claims must be supported;
  • content must be up-to-date (when applicable);
  • transparency about the author and any qualifications is important;
  • the website must be secure and user-friendly;
  • visitors should really get on with the written content (again emphasizing that quality is important);
  • the website must have an SSL certificate (this is the basics);
  • Provide clear and transparent information about the company’s team;
  • Provide transparent terms of use and a privacy statement;
  • the sources used on the website and references must be reliable.

Websites where E-E-A-T plays a major role

E-E-A-T is particularly important for Web sites related to health and finance. This is because these topics fall under the YMYL (Your Money or Your Life) category. These websites have a direct impact on the lives, health, financial stability or well-being of their visitors. For this reason, Google applies a higher standard to the quality and reliability of content on such websites. Note: E-E-A-T applies to any website, just a little more intensely for these websites.

If your website falls within YMYL (I would interpret this broadly myself, Google is strict on this), then E-E-A-T is one of the most important components for SEO. When you get this right, chances are very good that you will see an improvement in performance. What I think of when I think of YMYL:

  • Financial information: websites offering advice on investments, taxes, pensions, mortgages and other financial topics.
  • Health and medical information: websites that provide information about health problems, treatments and medications.
  • Legal information: websites that provide legal advice or information about laws and regulations.
  • Safety information: websites that advise on product safety, travel or personal protection.
  • News and current events: websites that report on important news events and current affairs.

Don’t just think about the higher ranking in Google. When you follow all of Google’s guidelines, the quality of your content and entire website will likely improve as well.

Conclusion

E-E-A-T is like something big, but is going to get even bigger in the future. E-E-A-T, in my opinion, is the most important thing you can work on right now. Whether you fall within the YMYL category or not. Do you want your website to be future-proofed for the updates that seem to be coming more and more frequently? Then this is an important one.

Senior SEO-specialist

Ralf van Veen

Senior SEO-specialist
Five stars
My clients give me a 5.0 on Google out of 75 reviews

I have been working for 10 years as an independent SEO specialist for companies (in the Netherlands and abroad) that want to rank higher in Google in a sustainable manner. During this period I have consulted A-brands, set up large-scale international SEO campaigns and coached global development teams in the field of search engine optimization.

With this broad experience within SEO, I have developed the SEO course and helped hundreds of companies with improved findability in Google in a sustainable and transparent way. For this you can consult my portfolio, references and collaborations.

This article was originally published on 27 March 2024. The last update of this article was on 16 May 2024. The content of this page was written and approved by Ralf van Veen. Learn more about the creation of my articles in my editorial guidelines.