E-E-A-T Isn’t an SEO Factor, But It Matters

E-E-A-T graphic

E-E-A-T for Content Marketing – Put Users First

The SEO world has been buzzing about E-E-A-T and whether it directly impacts your website’s ranking. Google’s Search Liaison, Danny Sullivan, recently settled the debate: “It’s not a ranking factor. It’s not a thing that’s going to factor into other factors. E-E-A-T is not a ranking signal.”

Okay, so E-E-A-T isn’t an SEO factor, but does that mean you should forget about it? Definitely not! In fact, the principles of E-E-A-T are your roadmap to creating amazing content that your customers trust, and search engines recognise. Let’s break it down and see why E-E-A-T is still the key to your content marketing success.


What is E-E-A-T?

Think of E-E-A-T as the quality checklist for your content. It stands for:

  • Experience. Did the person who wrote this truly understand the topic?
  • Expertise. Do they have the knowledge and credentials to back up their claims?
  • Authority. Are they an established, respected voice in their field?
  • Trust. Is their content accurate, reliable, and does it put the reader first?

Google wants to give users the best possible results. E-E-A-T helps them figure out if your content fits the bill. While it won’t magically boost your rankings, strong E-E-A-T signals high-quality content – the kind that Google does want to show to searchers.

Understanding E-E-A-T: Beyond the Confusion

E-E-A-T can seem like an abstract concept, and there’s a lot of confusion about how to actually show you have these qualities in your content. Let’s demystify it with practical examples of what Google’s quality raters are looking for:

Experience

  • Demonstrate first-hand knowledge. If you’re writing a product review, have you actually used the product? If you’re giving advice, do you have experience in the field?
  • Go beyond basic information. Share the insights and unique perspectives that only come from practical knowledge.

Expertise

  • Highlight credentials. Include an author biography that mentions relevant qualifications, awards, or publications.
  • Make your background clear. If your site publishes legal advice, clearly indicate that the content is written or reviewed by qualified lawyers.

Authority

  • Backlinks matter. Are other reputable websites linking to your content as a trusted source? The more backlinks you have, the higher your domain rating.
  • Build your reputation. Seek out guest posting opportunities on established websites within your niche.

Trust

  • Accuracy is everything. Fact-check your information and cite reliable sources.
  • Transparency. Make your ‘About Us’ page easy to find on your website, provide accurate contact details, and clearly state the purpose of your website.

Delivering Quality Content for Users – What Google’s Really Looking For

Think of E-E-A-T as a starting point. For your content to truly shine, research by SEO experts like Melissa Fach at Kelley Blue Book & Autotrader highlights two more factors Google’s quality raters pay attention to:

  • Effort. Does your content go the extra mile? Google hates regurgitated information. Focus on offering fresh insights, in-depth analysis, or unique value in every piece you create.
  • Meeting User Needs. The best content solves a problem. Are you directly answering the questions your audience is asking? Aim for informative, practical content that delivers on what the user is searching for.

What Google’s Guidelines Show Us

Their search quality guidelines repeatedly tell us that they want valuable, original content. Copying others or churning out thin articles is the opposite of what users and search engines value.

How This Helps You

Focus on creating content with both effort and user needs in mind, and you’ll not only demonstrate strong E-E-A-T qualities, but you’ll also be serving your readers well. That’s a win-win for building audience trust and attracting search engine attention.

5 Takeaways for Content Marketers

Want to build trust and attract a loyal audience? Start by focusing on delivering content that truly serves your readers:

1. Know Your Audience (And Their Questions). Before writing anything, define your ideal reader. What are their pain points? What information are they searching for? Tailor your content to address their specific needs, concerns, and questions.

Know Your Audience (And Their Questions)

2. Demonstrate Real Expertise. Don’t just claim to be knowledgeable, prove it! If you lack in-house experts, seek out credible sources, collaborate with influencers in your niche, and always cite reputable sources to back up your claims.

3. Put in the Effort. Google and your readers can spot thin, rehashed content. Prioritise originality, provide unique insights, and invest time to create in-depth, substantial pieces.

4. Prioritise Clarity and Honesty. Write in a simple, jargon-free style. Ensure information is accurate, up-to-date, and presented in a way that’s easy to digest. Always cite your sources and be transparent about any potential biases.

5. Go Beyond Text. High-quality visuals, videos, and infographics break up your content and enhance the user experience. Use these elements to make your information more engaging and memorable.


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