December 7, 2022

What is E-A-T in SEO & Why Is E-A-T Important?

When researching SEO you might have come across the term E-A-T and want to know a bit more about what this is. Many questions may come to mind such as ‘Is it a ranking factor?’ and ‘how important is it?’. These questions have plagued the minds of many SEO professionals for a few years now, causing them to fire question after question to Google’s employees on Twitter and in interviews. In recent interviews, we’ve been given more information about how important E-A-T actually is and how it affects Google’s metrics.

So, what is E-A-T in SEO and why is it important? E-A-T stands for expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness and was introduced in 2018 within the Search Quality Evaluator guidelines. Google values each of these factors and judges the E-A-T of the website, the content, and the creator of the content. E-A-T is especially important for Y-M-Y-L niches.

Read on to find out more information about what each factor in E-A-T is, along with why it’s important and whether Google actually considers it a ranking factor.

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What is E-A-T in SEO on a Website?

As we’ve stated, E-A-T means expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness. Each of these factors are judged on every website, including the content, and who created the content. Google wants to serve the best possible content to the search engine user, and therefore wants to ensure that it only shows users trustworthy websites with content created by experts who have authority in their field.

E-A-T is especially important for Y-M-Y-L niches. This originally meant “Your Money or Your Life” but now also means “Your news, health, religion, sexual orientation, happiness, safety, financial stability or Your Life”. Google considers Y-M-Y-L niches sensitive topics and therefore E-A-T should be a high-priority implementation on all these types of websites. Examples of Y-M-Y-L niches include industries such as healthcare, education, finance, law, and surveying to name just a few. 

We’ve written an extensive blog on the topic of Y-M-Y-L which you can find here.

Let’s break down each factor to try to understand what the difference is between them. 

Expertise

An expert in their field should know what they’re talking about because they either have qualifications, experience, skill, a large amount of knowledge or all of the aforementioned for their particular topic or field. This can be shown within the content, citing authoritative external sources or previous experience where necessary. Google wants the content to be created and/or approved by an expert on the subject matter in question. With Y-M-Y-L niches, such as finance, Google will want the content to be written by someone with financial qualifications and formal expertise rather than someone who’s read a couple of blog posts on finance projections and bookkeeping.

This was a key strategy for our veterinary client, Knutsford Vets. Learn more about this in our detailed blog, How to Do SEO for Vets, or in our Knutsford Vets Case Study.

Authoritativeness

Authoritativeness is built over time, but essentially it’s the reputation of a website or person within an industry. If many other websites link to your website when discussing a certain topic, this shows Google that your website has authority in this niche and will be more likely to show it higher up in the search results. Authority comes in the form of reviews (e.g. Google reviews), news articles, backlinks and recommendations. These should come from websites, articles, or individuals that don’t work for, or aren’t a part of the website or organisation in question. While a website may have authority in one particular area, for example in Quantity Surveying, it probably won’t have authority in Human Resources.

Trustworthiness

We all want to be able to trust the content we read and the websites we’re browsing. If we don’t trust them, not only could it be harmful to the devices we’re using to browse, but the content may also be incorrect, and the creator of the website may be trying to trick us into making bad decisions such as buying ‘magic beans’. Trustworthy websites are transparent, secure, and state who is responsible for the creation and approval of content on the website. This is why it is important to source any questionable statements in your content toward trustworthy and authoritative websites backed up by experts.

Why is E-A-T Important?

There are a number of reasons why E-A-T is important. Google considers E-A-T important enough to mention within their Search Quality Evaluator guidelines along with constant mentions from Google’s employees in their tweets and interviews. Google wants to show pages and websites of high quality to its users, rather than low quality, and potentially unsafe content.

Another reason why E-A-T is important is that a website user will consider the content on a website helpful if they believe it’s created by an expert, the content links to authoritative sources, and the content is transparent and legitimate. The legitimacy of the content will promote users to click around the website more overtime and stay on its pages for longer, therefore indicating to Google that this website or page is very helpful.

Is E-A-T an SEO Ranking Factor for Google?

There are many differing opinions in articles and from SEO professionals around whether E-A-T is actually a ranking factor, so it’s hard to determine what the truth is.

The first thing we need to understand is that there are differences between ranking factors and guidelines. Technical SEO ranking factors are controlled by Google’s algorithm, whereas the guidelines are set up by Google for their Search Quality Evaluators. These Evaluators measure the quality of search results on an ongoing basis.

John Mueller, Senior Webmaster Trends Analyst at Google, has said E-A-T is not a Google SEO ranking factor, and there are no E-A-T scores, but that E-A-T is more important for Y-M-Y-L websites. On the other hand, the VP of Google Search, Hyung-Jin Kim, said “E-A-T is a core part of our metrics” and “we do it to every single query and every single result”. From these quotes it may be hard to determine what the answer is, however the best thing we can do is apply E-A-T to all of our content on all of our pages on our website. This is especially true in Y-M-Y-L niches.

Learn more about the different ranking factors in our recent blog, What are Google Ranking Factors and How Do They Impact SEO?

How to Implement E-A-T on a Website

When thinking about implementing E-A-T on a website we should start with the basics. What does a website need to be considered an Expert, an Authority, or Trustworthy? Here’s a list of things to consider:

There are many other ways to improve a website’s E-A-T but these are the easiest to identify and add.

SEO Services at Wildcat Digital

Wildcat Digital is a digital marketing agency in Sheffield that provides SEO services to businesses and organisations that want to punch above their weight online. We conduct E-A-T site audits on every website within the setup of our SEO campaigns.  Get in touch for more information regarding our SEO services or for a free, no-obligation consultation.

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Paul Pennington

Will Hitchmough

Founder

Our founder, Will Hitchmough, worked at a number of high profile Sheffield Digital Agencies before founding Wildcat Digital in 2018. He brings an extensive knowledge of all things related to SEO, PPC and Paid Social, as well as an expert knowledge of digital strategy.

Digital Marketing can be a minefield for many businesses, with many agencies ready to take your money without knowing how to deliver results. I founded Wildcat Digital to deliver digital success to businesses with smaller budgets in a transparent way.

Chloe Robinson

Content Strategist Team Lead

With a degree in Marketing and a background in more traditional, offline marketing, Chloe joined Wildcat in 2021 after deciding to move into the digital marketing industry. She joined us as a Content Specialist and quickly moved up the ranks, becoming a Content Strategist and later an SEO Team Leader.

Outside of work, Chloe is an avid creative. If she’s not knitting, you’ll likely find her behind a sewing machine or in the kitchen trying (and often failing!) to make sourdough.

Paul Pennington

SEO Account Director

Paul has a strong background in SEO, having previously founded and ran a successful eCommerce business, as well as running a personal blog that achieves an average of 17K users per month. Paul’s knowledge of SEO is extensive, with a strong emphasis on client handling and technical SEO.

Outside of work, Paul enjoys spending time with his family and staying active with weight lifting and combat sports.

Nadea van der Merwe

Head of Operations

Nadea joined Wildcat in 2021 and has since overhauled the way we work. She has a background in various administrative, operations and HR roles, which gave her the experience and skills needed to lead and organise a growing business. 

Outside of work, Nadea loves anything that keeps her active, but she especially enjoys hiking, camping and mountain biking.

Molly Sturgeon

SEO Account Manager

With a background in sales, Molly is a natural Account Manager, brilliantly handling any issues that come her way. Having joined us as a Digital Marketing Executive, and working part-time through her final year of University, Molly is a shining example of how hard work pays off. She is now an SEO Account Manager with a particular interest in Content and Client Management. 

In her spare time, Molly loves to get out in nature, hiking and exploring the Peak District. She also loves cooking and likes to unwind with a bit of yoga.

Libby Oldale

Senior PPC Account Manager

Libby joined Wildcat in 2021 as our first PPC hire. With a degree in Digital Media Production, a Master’s in Digital Media Management and previous experience in Social Media Management, Libby hit the ground running and has since climbed the ranks to Senior PPC Account Manager and has a particular interest in the eCommerce sector.

Outside of work, Libby likes gaming, and cooking and likes to keep active by lifting weights.

Jasmine Savery

SEO Team Leader

Jasmine joined Wildcat in 2022 with a strong background in SEO and Account Management. At the time, she was finishing up a Level 4 Apprenticeship in Digital Marketing from the Chartered Institute of Marketing, and has since worked her way up to SEO Team Leader. Jasmine excels at content writing and promotion, and particularly enjoys finding creative ways to join the dots on multi-channel campaigns.

In her spare time, Jasmine volunteers at a charity, helping combat loneliness & social isolation experienced by older neighbours. Outside of Wildcat, she owns a catering company, Savery Grazing, creating delicious grazing tables & platters for a range of events. She also loves skiing and exploring the Peak District.

Braden Godley

Senior PPC Executive

Prior to joining Wildcat, Braden founded and ran his own Social Media Management agency where he gained valuable skills in growing brands’ online presence, which has since proven invaluable in his role at Wildcat. 

Outside of work, Braden is a big football fan, regularly travelling to Pride Park to support Derby County. He also enjoys watching and playing snooker, hiking in the Peak District, and attending air and car shows.

Jon Herdman

SEO Executive

After spending ten years managing businesses, restaurants, cafes and event spaces across Sheffield, Jon decided to change careers and joined Wildcat as an SEO Executive in 2022. He especially enjoys the client management side of the job, helping them to understand digital marketing and ways in which they can build their business’s presence online. 

Outside of work, Jon likes to keep fit with running, badminton and football, and also loves music. 

Rachel Davies

SEO Executive

Rachel joined us as a graduate, having recently graduated from Sheffield University with a degree in English Literature. Since joining, Rachel has proven herself to be a Content Queen, and particularly enjoys getting stuck into projects that allow her to explore her creative side. 

Outside of work, Rachel enjoys a wide range of hobbies, including rugby, singing, reading, and spending time with her family and three labradors.

Carl Atterbury

PPC Team Leader

Carl joined Wildcat in 2023 with a wealth of experience in PPC. He has experience working with a wide range of clients, industries and budgets, from small local businesses all the way to international e-commerce businesses. Carl has a particular interest in strategic planning and forecasting. He is passionate about data analysis and creating sustainable long-term cross-channel strategies.

In his spare time, Carl enjoys keeping fit by lifting weights, bouldering and running. He’s also a keen musician, having played the double bass and bass guitar for 20 years.

Dariusz Baczyk

Team Lead & Technical SEO Account Manager

With a degree in Computer Science and SEO experience dating back to 2017, Dariusz has a wide range of SEO skills and knowledge. His specialist knowledge of Technical SEO has firmly landed him the title of Wildcat’s Technical Wizard, and he has recently taken on the responsibility of Team Leader for the Panthers Team.

In his spare time, Dariusz loves hiking, experimenting and trying new coffees and loves learning new things. He is currently learning more about CRO and AI and how this could benefit our clients.

Jamie Stowe

SEO Account Manager

With a degree in Film and TV production, and a varied career history, Jamie made the move to marketing with a Masters degree in Digital Media Management. He has since worked in SEO at Agencies across Sheffield, before joining Wildcat and working his way up to SEO Account Manager. Jamie has a particular interest in backlinks and Digital PR and has recently gained a client a valuable backlink from Forbes!

In his spare time, Jamie is an avid foodie and loves trying new restaurants and cuisines. He also loves to travel and spent a year travelling to Australia after university.

Andy Blanchard

SEO Executive

Andy joined Wildcat in 2023 after starting his digital marketing career in-house for a local Sheffield company. Since joining, he has developed a strong interest in Technical SEO and has strong skills in Account Management. 

Outside of work, Andy loves music and plays in a couple of bands. He also enjoys rock climbing, cycling, photography and good food.

Siena Russell

Client Success Coordinator

Siena joined us in 2023 with a background in sales and digital marketing. She leads on client relationships across the company, ensuring that our customers are happy throughout their journey with us, from their initial consultation through to onboarding and beyond. 

Outside of work, Siena enjoys travelling and getting stuck into the local culture. She likes to make the most of her experiences and particularly enjoys watching sunrises and sunsets from beautiful locations around the world.

Thea Chapman

Senior SEO Executive

Thea has a wealth of experience in SEO, having previously worked for other Digital Marketing Agencies in Sheffield. She has a particular interest and skills in Technical SEO, but is more than willing to get stuck in and give anything a go. 

Outside of work, Thea spends most of her time with her children, but also loves reading, photography and gardening. 

Tom Brookes

PPC Executive

Before joining Wildcat, Tom worked across different industries, building skills in sales and customer service. He later developed a passion for digital marketing whilst working on personal marketing projects and freelance ventures, and gained numerous certifications in PPC and Social Media. 

Outside of work, Tom enjoys staying active by going to the gym and hiking. He also loves travelling and motorbiking.

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