Ah, Google. The go-to place for those pressing questions like, “How to build a brand?” or “What’s the meaning of life?” or even “Why do cats hate water?”
But let’s be honest: when you search these questions, do you want Google to give you a bland, one-size-fits-all answer? Didn’t think so.
Your quest for relevance is shifting gears, my friends, and it’s taking a scenic route through the new world of Google E-E-A-T: Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness.
This has led to the importance of two pillars that directly affect the future of your blog: content vs context.
Whether Google implemented E-E-A-T because it saw the rise of AI-written articles or to refine its algorithm, the point is it’s here, and it’s changing the game.
Key Takeaways (TLDR)
- Experience enhances content by understanding the intricacies of a searcher’s specific needs.
- Detailed search queries still generate significant organic traffic due to their precise nature.
- Expertise in Google’s E-E-A-T framework is about mastering the specifics of a subject.
- 81% of consumers need to trust the brands, highlighting the importance of credibility.
- Transparency is vital, with 86% of consumers emphasizing its importance in trustworthiness.
Google E-E-A-T Two Pillars: Content VS Context
First things first, what’s this whole Google E-E-A-T thing? It’s a set of criteria Google uses to evaluate content. But why should you care? Well, it’s not just about being relevant anymore; it’s about being contextually relevant. That means your content needs to fit seamlessly into the lives, needs, and even the emotional states of the searchers.
For instance, someone looking for “best gaming PCs” isn’t just looking for any computer; they want specifics, like “best gaming PCs for teens” or “best gaming PCs under $1000.” These are tailored, context-rich solutions that answer the searcher’s specific needs.
Steps to Embrace the Google E-E-A-T Paradigm
1. Understanding Experience
This isn’t about just answering a query. Anyone can do that. This is about providing a response that speaks to the exact situation the searcher is in.
For example, if someone wants tips on training large dogs, a site with experience training Great Danes will be more helpful than a site focused on Chihuahuas.
Content is King, and Experience is the Royal Adviser
We’ve heard the mantra “Content is King” so often that it almost feels like a cliche. Let me introduce a plot twist in this regal story.
Experience isn’t just about answering a question; it’s about understanding the different layers that wrap around that question like a complex Russian doll. So when someone is searching for “how to train a large dog,” they might ask, “How do I train my newly adopted, three-year-old German Shepherd who’s never lived in a house before?”
When we look at these two search results, we find that, as expected, the 3rd result for “how to train a large dog” has around 151.2K organic search traffic. However, the first ranked result for that incredibly long search for “How do I train my newly adopted, three-year-old German Shepherd who’s never lived in a house before?” still brought in 17.6K organic search traffic, and it’s not a number to be scoffed at.
Experience lets you answer that multi-layered question in an actionable, personalized, and profoundly relevant way.
The Nuanced Layers of Experience
What makes the experience so invaluable? The nuance. With the rise of AI technology, generating generic answers is easier than ever. While AI might tell you that “dogs love treats and positive reinforcement,” experience tells you that “a newly adopted, adult German Shepherd may require a different training approach than a puppy.” This nuance comes from years of hands-on experience, professional training, or specialized education.
According to a study by the Content Marketing Institute, 73% of consumers prefer to get their information from content rich in personal experience and expertise rather than just generic advice.
Combining Empathy with Experience
Another facet of experience is empathy, or the ability to understand and share the feelings and life experiences of others. When you combine empathy with experience, you create content that resonates on an emotional level. This means going beyond just practical advice and diving into emotional nuances.
For instance, someone searching for “how to deal with a breakup” isn’t just looking for logistical advice like “remove them from your social media.” They are likely also seeking emotional support and validation from an experienced standpoint that understands their emotional rollercoaster.
Experience Speaks to Specific Audiences
Remember, not all experience is created equal. What’s highly relevant to one audience may be entirely off-base for another. Suppose you’ve got a blog focused on luxury travel. In that case, your experienced take on the “best 5-star hotels in Paris” will resonate far more with your audience than a backpacker’s guide to Parisian hostels. Catering your content to your specific audience’s interests and needs is paramount for establishing contextual relevance.
Wrapping Up the Experience Conversation
Understanding experience in the context of Google E-E-A-T is essential for anyone looking to make a real impact in digital content. It’s not about one-size-fits-all solutions; it’s about nuanced, empathetic, and specialized advice that helps your audience meaningfully.
Even as I am writing this article, I try to provide various examples since each one has the potential to click with different people in different ways. And remember, Google’s algorithms are getting smarter, almost like a valedictorian on a caffeine high, so generic just won’t cut it anymore. Experience is your ticket to standing out, so make sure you’re boarding the right train.
2. Understanding Expertise
In a world of information overload, the word “expertise” is often thrown around rather loosely. But in the Google universe governed by E-E-A-T, expertise is more than just a buzzword; it’s a critical pillar.
Expertise isn’t just knowing a lot about a subject; it’s about understanding the intricate details, the subtleties, and the nuances. It’s being the Gordon Ramsay of cooking blogs or the Warren Buffett of financial advice. In simple terms, expertise is your VIP ticket to the high table of Google’s search algorithm and rankings.
Why Is Expertise Important?
You might wonder, “Isn’t quality content enough?” Not really. Your expertise not only adds weight to your content, but everyday expertise also establishes your brand as a reliable authority.
According to a survey by Edelman Trust Barometer, 81% of consumers need to trust the brands they buy from. That’s where your expertise transforms trust into clicks and shares.
How to Showcase Expertise
How do you stand out as an expert in a sea of content creators? First, credentials matter. If you’re a certified nutritionist, let that be known. If you’ve got years of experience in digital marketing, showcase it. Second, original research papers or data can separate you from the pack. Remember, anyone can summarize a study, but if you’re the one conducting the study, that’s a game-changer.
The Intersection of Experience and Expertise
Here’s the magical sweet spot. While experience gives you practical insights, expertise lends those insights credence and depth.
For example, a seasoned traveler could suggest great backpacking destinations. Still, a travel blogger with a degree in cultural studies could offer deeper insights into why specific locations are culturally enriching. Combining experience with expertise makes your content palatable and delectable to search engines.
Expertise in a World of AI
With AI-generated content becoming more sophisticated, human expertise’s unique perspective and deep understanding become irreplaceable. You can’t automate the intuition and nuanced understanding from years of focus on a particular subject.
So, if you’ve been shying away from flaunting your credentials or diving deep into your subject matter, now’s the time to change. Expertise is not just another box to tick off; it’s a key ingredient in the potent mix of Google E-E-A-T, which could significantly flavor your brand’s online presence.
3. Understanding Authoritativeness
If “Experience” is the frontline soldier of Google E-E-A-T, consider “Authoritativeness” as the seasoned general who’s been through the battles and emerged victorious. But what exactly does it mean to be authoritative in the context of your content?
Let’s debunk the myth that authoritativeness means having a lot of content. Nope, it’s not a numbers game. It’s about the quality and credibility of your content and, more importantly, the sources backing it up. Google’s evaluation of authority works the same way we evaluate authority when talking to others.
Think of it like this: if I said, “Post Malone loves Rocky Road ice cream, there are numerous ways I can claim to have authority on this through numerous ways.
- A friend of a friend told me their sister’s second cousin told them Post Malone loves Rocky Road. If your friends are unlikely to believe you, Google and your readers will feel the same.
- Post Malone’s butler told me Post loves Rocky Road ice cream. Here’s a picture of them together. This would be like backlinking to a reputable source where they provided the proof.
- I’m Post Malone’s friend, and I know personally that he loves Rocky Road ice cream. This one relies on you establishing the facts through all the other articles you’ve written that prove the likelihood that you know what you are talking about.
Expert Testimonials and Reviews
Nothing screams authority like a thumbs-up from someone in the know. If you’re writing a post about “Healthy Eating Habits,” getting a quote, product review, or testimonial from a registered dietitian can add a layer of trustworthiness to the page quality of your content.
A 2019 study from the Content Marketing Institute shows that expert opinions make content 50% more credible.
Cite Reliable Sources
Being authoritative doesn’t mean you have to be the authority. You can often rely on the authority of others to help add authoritativeness to the post. Wikipedia is lovely, but it won’t turn heads regarding authoritativeness. Aim for academic papers, reputable news organizations, or specialized publications in your field.
According to HubSpot, articles with relevant, credible source citations are more likely to earn high-quality backlinks.
Also, in case you were wondering, having more external links won’t hinder your SEO in Google’s eyes. In an example from the HubSpot article above, they showed how a particular page from Backlinko had at least 150 external links. Yet, it still ranked number one on the Google search results for several keywords. The key is to ensure that every external link to a source makes sense and is relevant.
Showcase Credentials and Certifications
Do you have a degree in psychology and writing about mental health? Flaunt it! Your audience is more likely to trust you when they know you’ve got the educational chops to back up your statements.
A 2020 study by Edelman Trust Barometer showed that 71% of consumers rely on academic experts or industry experts for credible information.
User Engagement and Social Proof
A robust comment section filled with grateful readers or many social media shares can boost your authoritativeness. The logic is simple: if many endorse your content, it must be an authoritative or trustworthy source. A study by CognitiveSEO on social signals found that 70 Facebook shares and 50 Facebook likes could increase the ranking by up to 6.9%.
Consistency and Longevity
Being a one-hit-wonder may get you some eyeballs, but sustaining authority requires consistent, high-quality output over time. Think of your content as a long-term relationship rather than a one-night stand.
A SEMrush study revealed that websites with regular, authoritative posts increased their domain authority by up to 30% over six months.
The Downside of Ignoring Authoritativeness
Skimping on authoritativeness is like serving a cake with no frosting; it needs the final touch that brings it all together. With authoritative content, your web pages may stay in Google’s search results and rankings, lost in the Internet maze.
In contrast, authoritative content is a beacon, drawing both Google’s algorithms and discerning readers your way. So, when shaping your content strategy, ensure authoritativeness is not just a box you tick but a cornerstone you build upon.
After all, in Google E-E-A-T, Authoritativeness is the most critical component of the A-game you want to take advantage of.
4. Understanding Trustworthiness
Trust is not given; it’s earned. In the Google-verse, this translates to your content’s reliability, accuracy, and credibility. But trustworthiness isn’t just about presenting facts. It’s about the transparency of your sources, the balance in your arguments, and the ethical strength of your content. Let’s dive deeper:
Transparency of Sources
If you cite statistics, mention where they’re from and link back to the original studies or reports.
According to Sprout Social, 86% of consumers say that transparency from a business is more important than ever, and 73% of consumers are willing to pay more for products that guarantee total transparency.
So, if transparency matters on social media, imagine how much it counts when people are actively seeking trustworthy information. Here’s a chart from SproutSocial that shows how consumers define transparency today.
A balanced view lends credibility to blog posts and adds depth to your content. It tells your readers that you’ve considered multiple perspectives before arriving at a conclusion. This isn’t about creating a debate but about enriching the understanding of the topic.
This goes beyond not publishing fake news. It’s about respecting your reader’s intelligence and need for unbiased information. Advertorials or sponsored posts should be clearly marked as such.
According to Harvard Business Review, ethical lapses can be fatal and damage an organization’s reputation and relationships, making it difficult to retain consumer trust and market share.
Incorporating these elements can go a long way in making your content trustworthy. By ticking off the “T” in E-E-A-T, you’re not just contributing to a higher search ranking. You’re building a brand that people can rely on.
Moving Forward with Google E-E-A-T
By now, the advantages of following the Google E-E-A-T criteria should be crystal clear. From better positioning your brand with experience to crafting content targeted through long-tail keywords and micro-niches, there’s a whole array of ways to make Google—and your audience—love you.
But remember, it’s not just about short-term wins; it’s about building a long-lasting, trustworthy brand. And if you’re serving up a dish of trustworthiness, you can bet that Google will put you at the top of its menu.
5. Utilizing Long-Tail Keywords
People’s search queries are getting more specific, so your content should follow suit. Use long-tail keywords that directly address the searcher’s unique context.
According to a study by Ahrefs, 95% of all search queries in the U.S. get fewer than 10 searches per month, and a majority of them are long-tail keywords, making them a vital part of modern SEO strategy.
6. Targeting Micro Niches
With the rise of personalized content, micro niches are growing, albeit slower than general niches. These serve a particular audience and are key to being contextually relevant.
Whether it’s a subreddit for vegan keto dieters or a YouTube channel focused on indie game reviews, micro niches are the future.
Key Considerations for Google E-E-A-T Success
If you want to score high on the Google E-E-A-T scale, consider a blend of broad and specific content.
Broad content attracts a general audience, but specific, context-rich content converts. Also, consider the source of your information.
Expertise matters more than ever, so ensure your content is backed by reliable data and authoritative sources.
Leveling Up Your Google E-E-A-T Strategy
Think you’ve mastered the basics? Great, now let’s take it a notch higher. Experiment with AI-driven analytics to understand the emotional tone of search queries.
Dabble in multilingual content to reach a broader, yet still specific, audience. And always appreciate the power of user-generated content to provide authentic, contextually relevant insights.
Wrap-up—Why Google E-E-A-T is a Feast You Don’t Want to Miss
So, to sum it all up, the search landscape is different from what it used to be. Google’s algorithm itself is growing, and it’s urging all content creators to do the same.
By focusing on Google E-E-A-T criteria, not only do you serve more personalized and accurate content, but you also make Google happy.
And a happy Google means better search rankings for you. So, dig in and feast on the opportunities Google E-E-A-T offers. Your brand and Google search rankings will thank you.
Frequent Asked Questions
What is Google E-E-A-T?
Google’s E-E-A-T stands for Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness. It’s a framework used by Google to assess the quality of content that appears in search results. The goal is to ensure that users receive accurate, reliable, and relevant information that answers their queries and offers a contextual understanding of the subject matter.
What are Google’s E-E-A-T guidelines?
Google’s E-E-A-T guidelines serve as a quality control checklist that helps human evaluators assess the value of a piece of content. These guidelines examine the level of expertise involved in creating the content, the authoritativeness of the website or author, and the overall trustworthiness, which includes factual accuracy and transparency. Websites that meet these stringent criteria are more likely to rank higher in Google search results.
What is the difference between experience and expertise in E-E-A-T?
While “experience” and “expertise” are integral to Google’s E-E-A-T, they serve distinct roles. Experience refers to the depth of understanding from hands-on involvement or firsthand knowledge, providing a practical, nuanced perspective. Expertise, on the other hand, relates to the qualifications and credentials of the content creator or the website. It’s about theoretical understanding, adequate expertise, and professional insight, often backed by education and scholarly articles.
What is E-E-A-T in digital marketing?
In digital marketing, E-E-A-T is a high-quality content quality and standard that every content marketer should strive for. Adhering to the principles of Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness helps in better ranking on Google and establishes brand credibility. Businesses focusing on these criteria can craft and create high-quality, SEO-friendly, valuable, and reliable content, ultimately leading to a more engaged and trusting audience.
Content VS Context: how does it affect search ranking?
If content is king, then context is queen. Content still plays a vital role in creating relevant and valuable content in Google’s eyes. However, when it comes to “helpful content.” Google really means the context of the content, where searches for specific topics are provided with contextually relevant and very specific answers, saving users time and effort.
Branding & Marketing Evangelist Namanh Hoang is a business, startup, marketing, and branding blogger with over 30 years of experience working with today’s top brands across all industries, from luxury fashion to consumer electronics. He has published research papers in the field of branding in Sociology Scientific Journals. His lifelong passion for gaming and anime led him to serve as an industry advisor for Intel, AMD, NVIDIA, and Microsoft as a youth culture marketing and branding expert.