Understanding Google E-A-T and SEO: The Potential for Higher Rankings

Google E-A-T

Your search for the key to higher search engine rankings ends here. If you’re a website owner, then you’re probably familiar with the term Google E-A-T, which stands for Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness. 

Originally introduced in Google’s 2014 Search Quality Guidelines, E-A-T has since become a crucial factor that marketers and website owners need to understand and prioritise. So what exactly is E-A-T, and why should you care? 

Keep reading to find out how E-A-T plays a significant role in SEO, and how you can improve your website’s E-A-T score to create quality content that satisfies your most valuable ally – Google.

The Core Concepts of Google E-A-T

E-A-T is part of Google’s algorithm and it’s baked into Google’s Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines. Since its inception, E-A-T has gradually become one of the more important elements of SEO.

Simply put, E-A-T is one of the criteria that helps Google determine the value and ranking potential of a website’s content. It’s a characteristic that indicates a page’s helpfulness and value to users. And it’s made up of three separate, yet equally significant portions. If you want to know how to produce quality content that resonates with Google, then E-A-T is your best friend.

Without further ado, here is what E-A-T actually stands for.


This first component refers to the qualifications and earned knowledge of the content creator. Do they have the credentials or experience to back up what they’re saying? Do they walk the walk or are they all talk? 

To be an expert, you really should have extensive real-world experience and/or formal training. What expertise means in your field may vary; for instance, medical professionals and artists are going to have vastly different criteria to meet to qualify as an expert. But meeting these criteria is only one piece of the pie.


The second piece refers to the authority and reputation of the creator, the content itself, and the website as a whole. Are they generally respected by their audience? 

Authoritativeness goes beyond expertise. A piece of paper or years of experience are obviously great, but are you everyone’s go-to for information on a topic? To become an authority requires a reputation constructed from steady excellence and continuing development and interest in your field. 


The last (and arguably, the most important) piece of the pie focuses on the reliability and honesty of the content, the creator, and the website. Do people have good reason to believe what you’re putting out? Or are there seeds of doubt planted in their minds? If there’s one aspect of E-A-T that Google cares about most, it’s that users can rely on the information it presents to them.

Why is Google E-A-T So Important For SEO?

Ultimately, it’s because quality content takes home the crown.

And since E-A-T has a direct impact on the quality and relevance of the content, it has an inherent importance in SEO. Search engines (Google, Bing) place high priority on user experience and what their users find valuable. Therefore, websites that are able to demonstrate expertise, authority in their domain and reliability for end user consumption are more likely to be given a higher ranking in the search engine results pages (SERPs) of these search engines.

By taking E-A-T guidelines into consideration, websites can improve their own ranking and visibility to their target audience. On the flipside, websites and pages that spread misinformation or deceive users are likely to receive lower E-A-T ratings.

So, is Google E-A-T a ranking factor?

This is where it gets a little grey.

In a technical sense, E-A-T is not a ranking factor because it’s not a single measurable metric. But expertise, authoritativeness and trustworthiness do influence your content and therefore, your website’s rank as they are evaluated by other factors that are measurable.

Why Does Google Care What You E-A-T?

Everyone has a reputation to uphold and Google is no different. As the number one search engine in the world, Google puts the reliability and quality of the information it presents to users as its highest priority.

Think of Google like a hotel concierge: its sole concern is user experience and providing the best possible service for visitors. It’s not going to risk sending you to the dodgy restaurant that failed a health inspection last week or the cinema whose roof is caving in. 

Google carefully combs through content creators and websites, evaluating expertise, authority and trustworthiness before presenting you with options it thinks will meet your request.

By ensuring that it presents accurate, trustworthy information from credible sources to its users, Google can enhance the overall search experience of its users while maintaining its own reputation as a reliable search engine.

How To Improve Your Website’s E-A-T

You’ve got your explanation of the acronym, your wishy-washy answer on ranking factors and some semblance as to why Google cares what you E-A-T; now you want to know how to improve these factors on your website.

Here are 6 strategies you can use to improve your website’s E-A-T and write quality content that gives Google a big, stupid grin.


People want to get to know the person behind the website. A thorough About Us page that tells your story and background (along with any credentials) helps establish expertise, authority and reliability.

If you’ve got multiple contributors or authors to your site, creating an Author page for each goes a long way in building the collective expertise and authority of the entire team.

And if it’s just little old you, consider interviewing other experts in their field to lend credibility to your website and garner trust in your audience (and Google).


Google has ostensibly outlawed keyword stuffing and user readability is high on its priority list when it comes to judging quality content. You can contribute to this by using clear titles and headings that accurately reflect the purpose of your content.

Employ the ‘less is more’ approach in the language you use and favour conciseness over flowery words and metaphorical writing. People know when they’re being talked down to and if they don’t, they’ll just get bored and find a website whose content makes sense to them.


SEO does not benefit from a ‘set and forget’ mentality and neither should your content. Ensure that you’re consistently updating your content to reflect industry changes and maintain accuracy. Staying up-to-date in your domain helps the longevity of your expertise and authority, not to mention adapting to Google’s ever-changing algorithms. 

This applies site-wide; make sure that you’re always checking in on best practices, scouring for dead links and fixing issues in a timely manner.


Unless you’re a proficient writer, you’ll likely be outsourcing the content that is to be displayed on your website. There are pros and cons to this; on the one hand, it’s easy to just pay someone else to do it, but on the other hand, they likely won’t have in-built industry knowledge from which to draw.

Google wants its users to find information from people who know what they’re on about and it’s pretty good at identifying when this isn’t the case. To avoid this, it can help to collaborate with credential-holding experts who have firsthand experience in the field or topic. If your website displays information from the realm of health, for instance, this is of particular importance.


In high school, essays were all about opinion and the strength of your arguments. If you went to university, you would’ve discovered that your opinions were, unfortunately, no longer enough. 

Building your links to credible and authoritative sources enhances your own trustworthiness and shows that it’s not just you presenting this information; it’s backed up by other professionals. Sources to use include studies, research papers, or even quotes on social media – so long as they were made by an industry expert.


You can’t be everywhere at once but your brand should certainly try. Your online reputation and how you manage it can have a marked effect on how users perceive your website and content’s trustworthiness. 

Managing your reputation involves keeping an eye on any negative press, responding to all user reviews (positive or negative) as promptly as you can and claiming social accounts for your brand name so that others can’t claim them and go around sullying your good name.

Google E-A-T Takeaways

By now, you’ve probably had a gutful of E-A-T and want to just sit back and digest for a while. Your final takeaways should be that, while E-A-T is not itself a ranking factor, it is a highly valuable guideline that contributes to how Google judges the quality of your content. 

It’s not the be all and end all for your search rankings by a long shot, but implementing E-A-T principles means that you can create website content that pleases Google and your target audience at the same time.

So, watch what you E-A-T and experience the content (and possibly, ranking) benefits for yourself.

Get In Touch Today