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The acronym EAT isn’t necessarily new to SEO. In fact, it’s been around since Google issued its “medic update” back in 2018, so called because it primarily affected the rankings of search results pertaining to health, fitness, and other medical topics. But what is EAT, how does it affect SEO, and why is it still so important?

What Is EAT?

EAT stands for three things:

  • Expertise
  • Authority
  • Trustworthiness

These should sound familiar – they’re the three pillars of the quality standards Google uses for content. They’re what every website should aim for with its content in order to rank highly in search results. These three things are what guides what Google determines to be page quality.

Expertise

Expertise is the quality of being an expert in something. You need to be very knowledgeable about your topic. But that by itself isn’t enough. That knowledge still needs to be communicated to your audience in a way that is both informative to them and engaging.

The first step is to find out exactly what information your audience is looking for and then deliver more. You not only have to be able to answer your audience’s questions but you also have to understand their intent behind the search. The best way to discover this is keyword research.

While it’s important to impart information to your audience, it’s also important to make sure it’s comprehensible to a larger number of people. Your content, therefore, shouldn’t use too much jargon. It should be written in simpler language that, while informative, is still easy to understand.

You’ll know you’re considered an expert when you have a high click-through rate with a low bounce rate.

Authority

The next piece of the quality content puzzle is authority or authoritativeness. It’s not enough to just be an expert in your topic. You also have to be the authority in it. In terms of SEO, this means that other people are linking to your website as a reference. This means that other experts in the same field, writing about the same topic, are linking to your website.

Links are endorsements by others that your content is of high quality. The more quality links you have, the greater impact it can have on your rankings. You don’t want just any website to link to your content, however. You want other experts and other authority sites to link to you.

While links are best for your rankings, even being mentioned can help your website’s authority. If your content is shared on social media, that also contributes to your authority. People share what they like and Google takes that into account. Having your own Wikipedia page can help as well, but in order to create one, there have to be relevant sources that are external to your own site.

Trustworthiness

Trustworthiness in SEO is a positive perception of your brand. It’s important to avoid negative sentiment within your audience. You should address any complaints as quickly as possible so you can maintain a positive image. It’s no use being an expert and an authority, getting people to visit your site and link back to it if those visitors aren’t converted into customers.

Google associates bad reviews with low quality, so complaints could seriously affect your rankings if they’re not addressed. To ensure that your website is a trustworthy one, make sure it’s easy for users to find the information they need. Your contact information and location should be easily accessible. Your website should be secure.

Users want to know who they’re buying or learning from. Providing information about content authors can help. If your company sells products, your customers will want to know what your return policies are. The more accessible this sort of information is, the more trustworthy you’ll be.

Being transparent about your company, who you are, and what you’re selling, can go a long way towards increasing your trustworthiness.

How Does EAT Affect SEO?

These three factors should be the goal of your SEO campaign when it comes to content. Google measures all three when it determines the rankings of web pages. The more expertise, authority, and trustworthiness your site has, the higher you’ll rank.

Why Is EAT Still Important?

EAT is still important because building the three pillars of EAT (expertise, authority, and trustworthiness) is a long process. Although EAT has been around since 2018, it can take a while to build up each of the three pillars. You can’t just post a web site and then expect it to rank highly on Google overnight.

It takes time to build high-quality content. It takes time to become a trustworthy, authoritative expert. Your brand has to be built up over time. EAT is just as important now as it was in 2018 and it’s important to review your content and SEO strategy to make sure you’re still meeting the quality standards Google is looking for.

Need some help growing your web presence and strengthening your brand? You’ve come to the right place.

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