Camille
Team Lead
Content Strategists

Level Up Your Marketing Campaign

Level Up Your Marketing Campaign

Google’s search quality rater guidelines, which continue to act as a guiding direction for organically promoting content online, have been updated recently and are signifying one of the newest trends for content marketing in 2023.

E-A-T, which stands for Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness, will get an extra E for Experience.

What’s the Google Quality Rating E-E-A-T Update?

Demonstrating experience with a topic will go a long way in judging the criteria for trust.

The updated search quality rater guidelines say:

Consider the extent to which the content creator has the necessary first-hand or life experience for the topic. Many types of pages are trustworthy and achieve their purpose well when created by people with a wealth of personal experience. For example, which would you trust: a product review from someone who has personally used the product or a “review” by someone who has not?

With experience added, content creators should remember that at its core, the search quality rating given by Google is developed around a level of trust in your content.

Trust considers the extent that your page is accurate, honest, reliable, safe, and demonstrates expertise on a subject matter. Authoritative writing and examples of experience will improve trust.

Trust is the most important quality being measured by Google for search ranking; you can identify that low-ranking pages are untrustworthy and will have a low level of E-E-A-T even if readers think otherwise.

Luckily, by staying up to date with Google’s updates to search quality ratings, you and your content marketing team can make the natural adjustments to your content creation process. Staying trustworthy will require you to accurately demonstrate experience and all E-E-A-T levels. Having actual experience in the industry is a must.

To stay on top of E-E-A-T in 2023, you have to understand how Google measures it in the first place.

How Google Quality Rates Evaluate E-E-A-T

To determine search engine ranking, Google employs over 10,000 people globally to act as their search quality raters. Using a set of guidelines, Google search quality raters continually review search factors for improved search experience.

After identifying the main content, supplementary content, and other page factors, the overall page quality rating will judge the content’s quality and the website’s reputation to determine a trust-based rating. We learn about these ratings when search engines deliver search query results.

Quality of Main Content

The evaluation of the main content quality is extremely important for E-E-A-T. The main content is the primary content topic for the page and is given a higher quality rating when it accurately reflects the page’s purpose, website type, and page topic.

To determine how accurately this was completed, raters look at overall effort in content creation—the extent to which a human actively worked to create good (satisfying) content. In this vein, raters are asked to de-value automated content creation.

Additionally, originality is important. Pages that copy other posts (almost word for word) are not high quality because it signifies that the creator had less genuine creativity and put in less effort to create the content.

The talent or skill in creating the content is also important in determining page quality.

And finally, accuracy. Accuracy is extremely important for informative articles and YMYL content.

E-E-A-T Determination Factors

E-E-A-T is about trust rating, and raters use experience, expertise, and authoritativeness to determine trust. Trust may vary depending on the page type. For example, online stores focusing on eCommerce and collecting payments need more trust since they are processing sensitive banking information. Product listings should provide accurate product information, and including reviews on the page that openly and honestly review the product improves visitor trust.

The level of importance of each of these considerations will differ depending on the topic and purpose. Accuracy is extremely important, especially with informative content and YMLY topics. However, accuracy is not always required for entertaining posts or posts with social forums attached, allowing human interactions and debate.

Assessing trust comes from the levels of experience, expertise, and authoritativeness.

Here are the guidelines on experience:

Consider the extent to which the content creator has the necessary first-hand or life experience for the topic. Many types of pages are trustworthy and achieve their purpose well when created by people with a wealth of personal experience. For example, which would you trust: a product review from someone who has personally used the product or a “review” by someone who has not?

Determining experience is not always black and white, especially when any number of people can have their own idea of experience (i.e., they have heard about the topic and think they have experience). You may also encounter those without experience but are very articulate in conveying knowledge on a website.

Here are the guidelines on expertise:

Consider the extent to which the content creator has the necessary knowledge or skill for the topic. Different topics require different levels and types of expertise to be trustworthy. For example, which would you trust: home electrical rewiring advice from a skilled electrician or an antique homes enthusiast who does not know electrical wiring?

Expertise, like experience, can also be subjective. You may come across an experienced electrician who cannot properly educate visitors on how to do home wiring; you may also come across a very well-educated antique home enthusiast who has been self-taught home wiring. Determining expertise comes down to having more detailed explanations, troubleshooting tips, and examples of when something went wrong, in addition to listing electrical standards and safety requirements.

Here are the guidelines on authoritativeness:

Consider the extent to which the content creator or the website is known as a go-to source for the topic. While most topics do not have one official, Authoritative website or content creator, when they do, that website or content creator is often among the most reliable and trustworthy sources. For example, a local business profile page on social media may be the authoritative and trusted source for what is on sale now. The official government page for getting a passport is the unique, official, and authoritative source for passport renewal.

Authoritativeness has less to do with how strongly worded the article is and more with how respected the page is. For a website to be considered authoritative, the website or creator must be a reliable source, often visited, and often cited in other sources. Government pages are usually considered authoritative for general information.

Other Ranking Factors

E-E-A-T and trust are also determined by looking at the website. The guidelines suggest analyzing the website in the following way.

Check out the about us page:

What the website or content creators say about themselves: Look at the “About us” page or profile page of the content creator as a starting point. Is the website or content creator a trustworthy source based on this information?

What is the website’s reputation?

What others say about the website or content creators: Look for independent reviews, references, news articles, and other sources of credible information about the website or content creators. Is there independent, reliable evidence that the website or content creator is experienced, has the expertise, is authoritative, or is otherwise considered trustworthy? Is there independent, reliable evidence that the website or creator is untrustworthy?

Check on how the page reflects its main content:

What is visible on the page, including the Main Content and sections such as reviews and comments: For some types of pages, the level of experience and expertise may be clear from the MC itself. What evidence can you gather from examining the MC or testing the page out? For example, you may be able to tell that someone is an expert in hair styling by watching a video of them in action (styling someone’s hair) and reading others’ comments (commenters often highlight expertise or lack thereof).

Also, ask if there is a scam or conflict of interest. No matter how well-portrayed the content is, the website is untrustworthy if it leads to a scam or the content presents a conflict of interest, like in giving product reviews.

7 Key Ways to Achieve E-E-A-T Page Quality Ranking

The highest quality pages hit E-E-A-T. Your topic does not need to be of a higher standard topic (except YMYL), as any page with a beneficial purpose can be considered.

Before being considered for E-E-A-T, your page must hit the “high” standard:

  • Ensure your page title properly summaries the page
  • Ensure ads don’t significantly interfere with the main content
  • Ensure the information provided is accurate

Now, here are simple adjustments required to hit your E-E-A-T for Page Quality Ranking:

1. The Human Factor

According to Google search ranking factors, creating high-quality content takes a considerable effort, talent, and skill. You can display this effort in accurate, deep, and well-sourced news articles, clear writing, extensive Q&As or FAQs about a topic, well-organized educational material, and supporting images and videos that clarify the purpose and directions.

On top of this, there needs to be some element of creativity and originality to the site. You cannot display effort by copying another page that perfectly demonstrates these qualities. Your website alone has to be distinct, showing original footage, including videos or images produced by the website, and the content unique and based on first-hand experience.

Finally, the human factor also shows talent. Anyone who can do the aforementioned items well while achieving their purpose must do so with talent, which is clear to the viewer.

2. Prioritize Values

Considerably high on E-E-A-T is a positive reputation. So, what we find important here is the prioritization of good values. If your website continues to go out there daily to promote your service, product, or information, and you want to help visitors, your values will naturally show through your content. Positive reviews and online reputation will also go a long way here.

3. Hire True Experts

Anyone who writes online can say they are an “expert” if they have the right research skills and analytical thinking.

In many ways, this is wrong. E-E-A-T requires showcasing true expertise, and there are objective ways to prove expertise. This includes citing sources, first-hand examples, a proven track record of success, positive client testimonials, original footage and examples, and more.

Again, if you’re not an expert, connecting with one is important.

4. Use Plain Language When Relevant

While there is plenty of good information online, not everything is written clearly. Confusing jargon and poor writing skills can make a simple informational piece confusing.

Use plain language when writing high-quality content, and ensure it’s written in a clear format with a natural flow. This is also a great time to ensure you’re hiring good, professional content creators with experience creating online content rather than saving money by hiring gig workers.

5. Cite Sources When Necessary

With almost everything readily available online, it can be tricky for some people to admit that they did not come up with everything they wrote. But, the vast majority of online articles are not sourced or cited when needed.

Sources are valuable in academic contexts but should also be prioritized with basic online information.

6. Write About Topics Comprehensively

Writing topics comprehensively means that the topic is covered to an appropriate extent. This does not mean hitting a certain word count because that is how the content marketing industry is laid out. No, this means covering the topic accurately and until natural completion.

If you’ve read or written an article for yourself or your clients and have left the page wondering about a certain aspect of the topic, that topic was underdeveloped. While you may be doing this strategically for linking purposes, that may end up hindering your page quality rating over time.

7. Fact Check!

Accuracy is extremely important when we’re talking about informational content, as it is the most popular type in content marketing. Consider hiring a professional fact-checker and editor to go through the content regularly.

Secure E-E-A-T With a Content Marketing Agency

Nailing a highly rated E-E-A-T is difficult, especially if you manage your own business. Trust a content marketing agency like okwrite to help you achieve E-E-A-T with highly authoritative, well-written, deeply researched content every time.

Reach out today to learn more about our writing and SEO services.

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