That’s a great one. It’s actually funny because I mentioned SEMrush and I was just on a webinar yesterday with SEM rush on EAT, specifically, it was a four-hour thing. I only did one hour, God thank goodness! But EAT is incredibly powerful, and it’s an area that I can measure. I’m a more technical sort of person so I can measure stuff and that’s what I do. My wife and business partner, thankfully, is a UX person.
You build pretty things and make sure people like stuff. I will just measure how that works after the fact. But so I’ll be speaking about it from a more technical pragmatic standpoint. One of the most important things about EAT, I think for people who might not be in the SEO industry to understand is, it’s not an algorithm. We think EAT is an algorithm; it’s not. The reference to EAT is in the quality raters guidelines by Google, which I’m once again, about to write an article on them because I got to read those again. It’s been like a year and I should probably familiarize myself with them. But the quality raters guidelines are given to human beings who are hired to judge websites by Google. Now they don’t adjust rankings. They can’t impact rankings, but they can say, was this site good or bad on a scale of like basically horrible to an incredibly high-value site. That’s where EAT gets defined because they go to very high-value sites or even a high-value site will have expertise, authority and trust.
Now, what it means for a medical query is different than it means for a cat gift query. But the desire at the end is to have these things. One of the things that I think is misunderstood by people coming in who aren’t SEOs, who aren’t in the industry and sort of go-‘ I know where it comes from, I either read the guidelines, or I’ve read a number of articles on them.’ It’s not actually a formula, it guides the formula. Google sends a bunch of machine learning systems over all this data and what looks like the ones that these Raiders did. Other formats of their algorithm take the principles of EAT, but only because human beings have sat there and gone this is what it looks like. So then they mathematically come in after the fact and look at what functions of that site. So John Hopkins would get a good EAT for medicine but would get a horrible score for cat gifts. It just that’s how this would sort of work out.
So when we go in, we can look at expertise. The unique thing about expertise is it deals with the content creator only. That specific piece, that specific query, that ranking page, it’s A and T both relate to the site as a whole, but the E only relates to that one piece and the one content creator. Now, whether that content creator is IBM as an entity or Dave Davies as a human being author on Search Engine Journal, that expertise is put to that specific piece. For expertise, you would look at how knowledgeable this person is based on all of the different factors. How knowledgeable is Dave on SEO? We’ll look at the other places we see Dave Davies. Now, unfortunately, I got the singer. The Kinks also competing for my name; hopefully, they can think and figure us out.
The A and the T both relate to the site as a larger sort of hole. There’s a lot of blur between all those aspects. Like you look at expertise, what’s the difference between expertise and trust? It’s if I ever I’m an expert, I am trusted but just because I’m trusted doesn’t mean I’m an expert. You can get those individual things but some of the things they list specifically you use as an example, but it’s hard to say, here’s what you should do. Because expertise is different for cat gifts and it is for medical information, your money or your life sites. But some examples would be if you’re an expert in an area, do you have multiple places that are published? It would be good for me that would be A thing I would look at. Do I publish in a number of places that’s going to reinforce my name right? Do I get a knowledge panel? I don’t worry about it for me because that kinks guy gets it from my name. He is more notable than I am and that gets into different entity patents that they’ve gone.
Notability is a factor, prizes are a factor. Did you win a Pulitzer Prize? Then your entity as an author goes up. One of the specific examples they give is numbers of reviews are a factor in EAT. That doesn’t mean spam your reviews because that’s actually written in there. People spam reviews; Better Business Bureau listing is also counted, that doesn’t mean go out and jam it up. In that reference, they only look at bad, they’ve sort of gone, we don’t look at good, but we do look at bad if you have bad, then that’s a clear signal that you’re bad, but it doesn’t good is just sort of a default, you’re sort of getting out of the gate. So if you had a lot of reviews and feedback there, and it was sort of like you’ve done your job to maintain things, good to look at EAT, and sort of go, I am doing my job.
There’s specific things that I would look at. I would look at my analytics and go when I write a piece of content. Don’t worry too much about how many people are visiting it, especially early on. Later on, you should worry about how many people are visiting. But early on, are they doing it when they enter that piece of content? Maybe, run a paid campaign and land people on that content to go they do what I expect them to do? Do they do what they should be doing? If they do something better awesome. If they do something worse, you need to revisit that. It isn’t a signal Google would use. But clearly, you’re not fulfilling EAT. Otherwise, they’d be doing what you should think they should do.
That doesn’t mean convert on your site, it means engage with that content in the way that they should be engaging with your content. Look at your social shares. Social shares are not a ranking factor, but if a lot of people are sharing it, you are probably passing yourself off as an expert in a field properly. I don’t mean passing off dismissively or judge mentally. You are probably engaging properly with your target audience. Now, Google is not looking at it that specifically, but it is a signal that you’re doing what you’re supposed to do. Does it acquire links naturally? Or is it easier to link build to if you’re trying to do it manually? The links are a signal but that you can link they’ll easier isn’t a signal, but it is a sign that this content is fulfilling all of those criteria because people are wanting to link to it more readily. So it has that trust, you are obviously being an expert in that, and you’re obviously authoritative. The easier something is to link build to the more EAT you probably have. Even though the links don’t give you the EAT directly until they start to write and you look at. If you’re starting to get links from like CNET or something, and I’m speaking on a technical site, or you’re referenced on like a Stack Exchange as the best answer for a highly technical problem, you’re probably getting some EAT score passed you through that. Your general out of the gate link building wouldn’t pass it directly, but it would be a sign that you already have it and that’s why it’s easier.