What Does E-A-T Have To Do With SEO?

What Does E-A-T Have To Do With SEO?


In 2015, Google flexed its muscle as the guardian of the cyber realm and issued guidelines on the kind of content that it would help push. This was in a 160-pages document that they named the Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines. These guidelines were founded on E-A-T which is stands for Expertise, and Trustworthiness. Google has been combatting poor quality, duplicated and uninformative content because it also makes the search engine also look bad.

 In effect, E-A-T guidelines were a signal to webmasters and marketers to up their game. In the subsequent Google algorithm changes that have happened, those who have not toed the line have been punished with low rankings and even de-indexing in extreme cases. This has been more so in money and health, where poor quality, incorrect and misleading content can have disastrous consequences for the uninformed web users. How does E-A-T fit in SEO?


In simple terms, having expertise means being knowledgeable about a subject, more so at a deeper level than the average person does. Google’s guidelines on expertise recognize two types of expertise;

•    Formal expertise- This is expertise that comes from formal training and is recognized with formal credentials e.g. a degree. A physiotherapist with a degree is more knowledgeable on the workings of different muscles than a self-taught YouTube yoga instructor. A college-trained economist would be at a better position to explain government bonds than a person reading about finance off a series of online tutorials.

•    Informal expertise – This is expertise that is garnered by having been practicing something for a long time. This is seen in subjects that are amorphous and unregulated in the way things are done.  Do It Yourself activities like house painting are only perfected by long experience in doing them. So are others like cooking, gardening, origami, blogging etc.

How can you add expertise to your content?

Guest writers – This involves asking a formally recognized expert e.g. a medical doctor to write on a certain topic. Guest blog posts are a perfect example of doing this. The challenge with this is that expert writers are not always experts in the art of writing. Having an editor work on their work overcomes this challenge.

Training – Expertise can be built, especially informal expertise e.g. blogging. Some of the more popular blogs and YouTube channels document the author’s journey to becoming an expert on a subject.


The best description of authority as relating to SEO would be the power to influence other people because of knowledge in a certain subject. Neil Patel, for example, is considered as having authority in SEO. This is on account of having a successful blogging career. Don King would be considered an authority in boxing on account of having several successful boxers.

How can you make content authoritative?

Link building –  having links pointing back at your content (backlinking) shows Google that other people are looking to this content for reference, which says that the content is influencing others. Backlinking is an old practice in SEO whose effectiveness should not be ignored.

Flaunting credentials – An expert guest writer will not be properly recognized if his/her credentials are not well documented. Adding a bio at the end of a post informs the reader of the writer’s expertise in the subject.

Citations – References to other respected authorities adds credibility to content. This is more so for ‘serious’ subjects like medicine and science. A finance article linking to another in the Harvard Business Review will have more credibility than one without.


Google is aware that its users will feel that the search engine has been more helpful when it shows content that they consider informative and valuable. Trust is also built when search engine users feel that their experience is safe. This is more so in the face of more sophisticated cyber attacks which include whole fake websites.

How can you build trust?

•    Accurate and informative content – Ensure that all content is accurate in facts and figures. Correct grammar also helps.

•    Secure website – Google gives preference to httpss websites

•    More human contact- An ‘About Us’ section puts a face behind the content. Deploying Live Chat and Social widgets also help users make quicker contact.

With E-A-T forming the foundation of SEO rankings, it is only prudent for any webmaster or marketer to become conversant with the guidelines and strive to implement them. While Google continues tweaking its algorithms, any content with proper E-A-T will continue ranking highly and pulling traffic.  Remember to also avoid these SEO mistakes as you build your online reputation.

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