What exactly is EAT and why is it important to Google?

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EAT stands for Expertise, Authority and Reliability.

EAT is part of Google’s algorithm and is part of the Google Search Quality Assessor guidelines.

Even Google says EAT is “very important”.

EAT should not be confused with “eating” and the foods we put in our mouths. Even though I have to admit it, I suddenly crave a burrito. ??

If you’re an SEO professional, you’ve probably heard a lot about EAT over the past few years.

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But what exactly is it EAT? Is this a major update, a little tweak, or something in the middle? Do you need to change everything in your SEO strategy? Or can you safely ignore it like that half-eaten taco still in the fridge from last weekend?

In this guide, I’ll explain exactly what EAT is, delve into Google’s guidelines for search quality raters, why it’s important, and how to help your site rank higher by providing it with EAT-style content. .

The guide is in collaboration with other SEO marketers including Dave Davies, Lily Ray, Kevin Rowe, and Roger Montti.

Here’s a look at what you can expect in this series:

  • Chapter 2: Guidelines for Google’s Search Quality Rater: A Beginner’s Guide to SEO
  • Chapter 3: How to Use Structured Data to Support EAT
  • Chapter 4: EAT & Link Building: A Guide to Assessing Prospects
  • Chapter 5: Surprising Facts About EAT
  • Chapter 6: Google’s EAT: Breaking Down 10 Of The Biggest Misconceptions

What exactly is EAT?

EAT is one of the many guidelines Google uses to determine if content is valuable to readers and if it should rank well.

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The first mention of EAT was in 2014, when Google added the concept to its search quality guidelines.

Google search quality raters were asked to pay attention to:

  • The skill the creator of the content.
  • The authority the creator of the content, the content itself and the website.
  • The reliability the creator of the content, the content itself and the website.

In a nutshell, EAT is a characteristic that indicates that a page is of high quality, which makes it useful to users.

Google EAT features.

Here’s an example from Google that highlights what they mean by EAT:

“High EAT news articles should be produced with journalistic professionalism – they should contain accurate factual content presented in a way that helps users better understand the events. Energy-intensive news sources have generally published established editorial policies and robust review processes. “

Is EAT a grading factor?

No, EAT is not technically a ranking factor, but it can impact the ranking of your content.

It’s (almost) as confusing as Burger King’s Whopperito, I know.

EAT is a guideline that Google uses to determine what content is of high quality and should rank higher and be part of several different aspects of its algorithm. So while it’s not a direct ranking factor, it can have an indirect impact on your overall search ranking.

While this does matter, it might not matter as some SEO pros thought.

Gary Illyes of Google said all discussions about EAT are overblown and rarely mentioned internally.

So why is EAT important for SEO?

Have you ever heard of the phrase “content is king?” Or “just create high quality content?” “

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Don’t answer that. Because, of course, you have. SEO pros have blown up more and more content over and over again.

While well-intentioned, these phrases make me roll my eyes as they don’t tell us anything about what makes high-quality content.

More pictures? Longer content? Alternative tags galore? Better metas? The world might never know.

Now Google is giving us a little insight into what they consider to be high quality content, and that can have huge implications for content marketing and SEO professionals.

The EAT guidelines tell real human reviewers, who review hundreds of websites, exactly what type of content Google considers to be of high quality.

According to their guidelines, good content should:

  • Help users.
  • Be created by an expert.
  • Be posted on an authoritative site.
  • Be trustworthy.
  • Be updated regularly.

If possible, the content should be created by a high level of expertise, although “day-to-day expertise” from people with real-life experience is acceptable where applicable.

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Pages that propagate hate harm, misinform, or deceive users may receive a lower EAT rating from search reviewers.

Here is your EAT checklist with 7 ways to improve your website’s EAT

Now you know that EAT is not related to your mother’s lasagna but to Google’s algorithm. You know why this is important – and why SEO professionals are all on atwitter about this.

But what does this mean for your site? This means that you have to improve your content game.

Here’s a seven-step checklist to help your site be more authoritative and trustworthy.

1. Tell visitors who you are

The three strands of the EAT guidelines state that Google wants to know who creates the content and whether this person (s) / this website is a legitimate source of that knowledge.

If you don’t already have an About Us page or a Team page that describes who your team is and who your content creators are, now is the time.

Author Pages are a simple way to establish the expertise, authority, and trustworthiness of your team.

An example of an author page.

2. Work with experts to create content

Google doesn’t just want good content; he wants content from people who know what they’re talking about.

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Rather than hiring niggers to produce half-baked content on high-click key terms, work with experts in the field to create content that Google will trust.

It could mean interviewing a scientist, hiring an expert for a guest post, or working with another company to publish top-notch research.

3. Clearly state the purpose of your content

What is the interest of your content?

Do you want to inform, explain, convince, describe?

Use titles and headings that make the purpose of your content extremely clear, and use plain language.

For example, I have used titles in these articles which are questions, so you know you will have all of your EAT questions answered.

Don’t produce long, curvy content. Get straight to the point and cover the topic as clearly (and as completely) as possible.

4. Update content regularly

We create an incredible amount of data every day.

By 2025, we’ll create an average of 463 billion GB of data every day. This means that the content quickly becomes obsolete.

How much global data is created each day.

Tools are updated, sites are taken offline, people take on new roles, and Google is updating the algorithm… again.

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In my experience, the average lifespan of online content is around two years, depending on the subject and industry.

Keep your content accurate and up to date by including content updates in your SEO strategy.

Update stats, best practices, and check for dead links every few years, especially for high ranking content.

5. Link to high quality sources

If you want to be seen as an expert, you have to rely on real data.

Link to official sources, studies, and research papers to support your points and show you know what you’re talking about.

Use reliable sources such as NCBI and JSTOR to search for studies to back up statements.

You can also link to tweets, articles or reports written by industry professionals. For example, in this article on EAT, I referred to comments from Google’s Gary IIlyes, who could (probably) be considered an expert on Google.

6. Consider multiple points of view

To be trustworthy, content should look at issues from multiple angles and consider what each angle contributes to the overall conversation.

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For example, if your content is about the best types of ice cream to eat, there’s a good chance that one type of ice cream isn’t perfect for every person.

A person may love their ice cream made from locally farmed eggs like this “Bucket of Un-Fried Chicken Ice Cream”. And, another person may have a hard time choosing between an ice cream and a cocktail, so they will go for The Boozy Capsule collection from OddFellows Ice Cream. Or flavored barbecue ice cream.

The possibilities are limitless. But, the point is to explain the different points of view on a topic to build trust with your audience and make them seem like an expert.

7. Pay attention to your online reputation

Your online reputation can impact the reliability of your site and content.

Protect your brand’s reputation by keeping an eye out for negative press and responding to negative reviews quickly.

Claim all of your social profiles for your brand (so someone else doesn’t try to grab them!) And encourage customers to leave positive reviews for your brand.

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You don’t need to go crazy trying to build a massive brand if it doesn’t make sense for your business, but make sure your good reputation isn’t smeared.

Donut Take EAT lightly

Whenever Google makes a change, there are a few SEO marketers who think it’s a sign of the Apocalypse like the Twinkie Great Shortage of 2012.

The good news is that Google has made it clear that EAT is not a massive change that is going to blow search rankings.

Instead, it’s an internal guideline that helps Google determine if content is of high quality.

But that doesn’t mean it’s useless. SEO professionals can use the EAT guidelines to better inform their content creation process and produce quality content. Google is more likely to rank well.


Featured Image Credit: Paulo bobita



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