You have a headache and are taking a painkiller. But you do not sleep. It is 12 o’clock at night and you want to take another pill (sleeping pill). You are worried that the two pills may have drug interactions. What are you doing? Most likely, you Google the drug interaction of those two pills.
You have heard from several of your friends that now is the time to buy digital currency. You do not know where to buy and how much to buy to get started. What are you doing? Most likely you are asking Google.
You have bamboo. You do not know why the tips of its leaves have turned yellow for some time. You have taken care of it and you no longer know what to do. Most likely you decide to ask Google.
Why do we ask Google? Because we think and we are sure that Google will give us the best and most complete answer. But where do we get this assurance? Maybe Google will give us the wrong answer and cause us to take two overlapping drugs and go to the hospital. All this false news and misinformation has just been written on various sites. Former US President (Donald Trump) still believes that the election was rigged and his pro-government sites continue to write about widespread election fraud in the US. With this situation, why should we trust Google?
In addition to all this, we know that some sites, using black hat SEO techniques, have taken the first to third place of the search results page. This is not good news at all. This means that Google also puts not-so-correct answers in front of you and me.
But do not worry at all. Google is well aware of these problems and concerns and criticisms. Google and its engineers, like you and me, know what black hat SEO is all about. Google is well aware of how vital some of the answers it gives you are and can endanger your health and life.
Believe me, Google has been fighting for a long time. In this article, I want to ease your mind to know that you can trust Google and its answers to a great extent. In this article, I will introduce you to a part of this struggle or a concept called E-A-T.
Let me start here, where did this concept come from? Then I will specify its exact meaning. Then I will talk about its relationship with SEO and the future of SEO, and finally I will summarize the contents and say what E-A-T is and what it is not.
Table of Contents
E-A-T in Google Search Quality Rating
If I want to explain this concept to you very well, I have to talk about a few related topics first. And what is more relevant than the existential philosophy of this concept?
Where did E-A-T come from and why did it come from? What necessity caused this concept to be born? It all comes down to one of the most important Google applications called the Google Search Quality Rating Program. A program that Google has launched with one goal: to improve the search experience of you and me and all users on Google and to help evaluate the results displayed.
Google Search Quality Raters or Google Search Quality Assessors are people from all over the world who participate in this program and work on various evaluation projects according to the Google Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines.
It was the first time in 2013 that Google published this guide for webmasters. In fact, Google wanted to tell webmasters and, of course, the whole world how it looks at websites and what matters to them. One of the most important evaluations based on this guide is the evaluation of the pages of a website (Page Quality Rating).
In this guide, Google has clearly stated what criteria determine the quality of each page of a site. The interesting thing is that this guide is constantly updated and changed. Another very important and interesting point is about the result of the work of these evaluators and the use that Google makes of these results.
Google engineers use the results of these evaluations to refine and improve Google’s algorithms. None of the items listed in this guide are specific algorithms or ranking agents themselves, and Google does not rate sites based on them.
Thus, the concept of E-A-T (Expertise-Authoritativeness-Trustworthiness) was created to provide principles and criteria for evaluating the quality of a web page’s content in terms of the expertise, credibility, and credibility of the content and its author.
E-A-T concept or E-A-T algorithm
As mentioned above, this abbreviated concept is three very important words for Google, each of which can be talked about a world. But before we talk about those three words, we have to give a brief description of the pages or topics (YMYL) (Your Money or Your Life) because these pages are relevant to the topic of our discussion.
Yes, you read that YMYL is the name given to Google for some pages and topics on a website. Know and be aware that YMYL is not an algorithm. So there is no such thing as a YMYL algorithm or an E-A-T algorithm. Those who talk about the E-A-T algorithm either did not read the Google guide or read it and did not understand it correctly.
If your site’s page has written information about a topic that you know users will use to make decisions, do something, and that decision or action will affect the health of their body and soul, property and assets, or the safety of themselves or a group of people, Google sees this page YMYL .
Take another look at the examples we started this post with. The first two examples (drug interactions and cryptocurrency purchases) are examples of YMYL pages and topics. The Google Guide also provides examples for YMYL: news and current affairs, legal issues, government, financial, and tax laws, and fitness and nutrition issues. Of course, Google said in that guide two very important points about these topics and the pages of the website that are dedicated to these topics:
- First of all, YMYL topics are not exclusive and there are many different examples that must be decided on in each case.
- The second case is expressed by Google’s own language:
we have very high page quality rating standards for YMYL pages because low quality YMYL pages could potentially negatively impact a person’s happiness, health, financial stability, or safety
Now guess what those high standards mean? Yes, you guessed it. The E-A-T concept is part of the same high standards. That is, those pages and their content should and should have three characteristics: The person who writes the content of those pages must be an expert in that subject and that content must provide valid and reliable information to the user.
Of course, Google does not say that only YMYL pages should have those three features. The concept of E-A-T and having it has 3 characteristics to evaluate all pages and websites that pursue a specific purpose and provide specific information to the user, depending on the content of the page and the scope of the website.
If YMYL pages do not show a high level of those 3 features to Google, they will be penalized. Google’s default for those pages is to have those 3 features as high as possible. The difference is that the strictness of other pages and sites may not be so great. There is another difference: the meaning and amount of reliability and credibility required in YMYL and other topics.
Expertise refers directly to the author of the main content of a page. Expertise here means that the person who wrote the content must be an expert in the subject matter. For example, the author of the content of a page about drug interaction between two pills should be a nurse practitioner or pharmacist. If the content recommends a specific diet for children, the author should be a physician or nutritionist.
Note that here Google refers to an expert who has a university degree or a valid scientific degree. Of course, it is also possible that the author of the main content, for example on the Drug Interaction page, is not a doctor himself; But that content has been approved by a doctor or a team of experts.
The examples we gave were all from YMYL pages. What is the homework on other topics and what does Google say? Someone who has written and advised about the cause of yellowing of bamboo tips should also be an agricultural engineer and have a master’s degree in this field from the top universities in the world? This is where Google differentiates between the meaning and amount of expertise for writing YMYL topics and other topics.
So if someone who is interested in flowers and horticulture or florists writes content about the cause of yellowing of bamboo leaves and gives tips for treating yellowed bamboo, according to Google, this content is specialized and can not be penalized. Google has just given a name to this type of specialization: “ordinary expertise”.
This feature is no longer specific to the content author. The content author and the website of all three must be trustworthy. But what does this reliability mean for anyone? He is a trusted author in addition to his independent expertise. Reliable content gives you accurate and up-to-date information. And the trusted site is a well-known site in its field.
Let me give you an example to make this feature (reliability) clearer to you. If anyone (ordinary people, doctors, journalists, politicians, politicians, etc.) has a question about Covid 19, which website should they go to first? The website of the World Health Organization or the official website of the Ministry of Health of his country. Why?
Because these two websites are trustworthy for everyone. Everyone from all over the world, both experts and non-experts alike, knows that content writers are experts and reflect their opinions independently and accurately. The content is accurate, up-to-date and accurate, and the websites are for a reputable, reputable organization in the field of health that does not publish misinformation.
When a website is trustworthy in a certain area for you, you go to it first and often you get the answer from it and you have nothing to do with the rest of the websites. The situation is the same in other subjects (which are not YMYL).
You probably know the website that if you have a question about flowers, plants and bamboo, you will refer to it first. A website that is trustworthy in its own right (for example, publishing information about bamboo storage).
Credibility is also a feature that a content writer and a website should have. An authoritative author is someone who has expertise and fame in a particular subject. He is someone that other experts in the field know and trust in his opinions because they know he is independent and speaks based on evidence and reasons. A person who knows the primary sources and references in his field of work and uses them.
Credible content is content that provides you with accurate, factual, accurate, scientific, up-to-date information based on evidence and references. Content written or approved by an expert. Content that is not stolen and is genuine. Content that is not created by overlaying other people’s content.
A reputable website is a website that values its user. A website that does not publish false, untrue, fake, or stolen information. It’s a website where everything is transparent and everyone knows it. Everyone knows who owns the website or which organization or group, where its address is and who its authors are. Because everything is written on the website. A website that if you email, someone will definitely respond to you.
Needless to say, the credibility of sites dealing with YMYL issues should be high and high. But for example, if the flower and plant breeding site has only one phone number and does not mention any other information about itself and its owner, its credibility will not be damaged much. (Finally, it is important that your bamboo is saved.)
E-A-T and its impact on SEO
Now that we know what E-A-T is and where it comes from, we need to answer two other important questions: Does this concept affect SEO and its future? If yes, what should SEO experts do with this effect and what changes should they make in their work?
As we said, E-A-T is not an algorithm to directly affect your site ranking and rank it up and down. But know and be aware that with each passing day, it affects the ranking and position of your site more and more, and if your site does not have expertise and credibility and is not reliable, it will definitely be fined. But why?
If you remember, we said that Google’s goal of evaluations is ultimately to improve the algorithms. This means that Google’s ultimate goal is to get those algorithms to the point where they can measure E-A-T themselves. They may not have this ability now and in the not-too-distant future, but they certainly will.
Of course, right now Google is penalizing black hat SEO and is also sensitive to gray hat SEO. It has already upgraded algorithms in measuring YMYL pages and fined many of these types of pages with low E-A-T.
So the answer to the first question is yes. Every site with any topic, if it wants to have a place on the first page, must show a high E-A-T to Google. Let’s go to answer the second question.
How to optimize your site for E-A-T concept?
Say goodbye to black hat SEO. Google is looking for people who use these techniques, and you can be sure that it will catch everyone by the wrist.
Your website should be safe for the user. Follow all security protocols. Of course, transparency and accountability also create a sense of security in your user. The contact information of the operators and officials of that site must also be published correctly and completely on the page about us and contact us.
Never forget to update the main content of all pages. This is another part of your job. If your site is dedicated to YMYL topics, you should take this task 10 times more seriously than others.
Do not copy content. Do not publish stolen, second-hand, poor quality content. You need to take the time and money to write accurate, up-to-date, and credible content. On any subject, try to ask an expert, or at least a literate person, to provide you with content.
The author of the main content of the website or the person responsible for publishing them must be known. Provide complete information of the author or responsible person to the user.
Backlinks are very, very important. Get links from well-known and reputable sites and people in the field of activity of that website. It’s important to Google what other people in the same field think about your site, in addition to ordinary people.
Be patient and work correctly, accurately and honestly. Take refuge in white hat SEO.