Earlier this week, Google overhauled their help document for Google Discover to make it clear what the web feature is and how it can supplement regular searches.
If you don’t already know or haven’t used it yet, Discover works by recommending pieces of content to users based on their previous Google searches. It doesn’t work in the same way as organic search as it isn’t based on something that a person has typed into Google, and searched for at a given moment in time. Instead, it takes a more long-term view of what you might like so it can send the right information your way.
What’s especially interesting with the help document update is the fact that they have added a section that refers to a key website ranking factor called ‘E-A-T’.
“Our automated systems surface content in Discover from sites that have many individual pages that demonstrate expertise, authoritativeness and trustworthiness (E-A-T). Those looking to improve E-A-T can consider some of the same questions we encourage site owners to consider for Search.”
This highlights again the importance of following the ‘E-A-T’ principles, and suggests that if you do so, you are also more likely to be featured on Google Discover.
Here at Fibre Marketing, we spend a lot of time working on E-A-T for our clients. That’s why today we’d like to explain more about how E-A-T works and what you can do to improve your website with this in mind.
What is E-A-T, anyway?
The acronym ‘E-A-T’ stands for expertise, authority and trust.
These three characteristics are what Google looks for when it evaluates the quality of your website. They’re becoming increasingly important when it comes to getting your web pages to rank highly.
- Expertise means that you should be knowledgeable and capable in your chosen field (and often have the credentials to back yourself up.)
- Authority means that your website and its authors are respected by others in the industry.
- Trust means that people should feel safe and secure on your website.
By using these characteristics to measure a website, Google can find the best quality content for its users and can avoid falling for some of the spammy SEO tricks used in the past.
This gives users a better experience, allows websites to showcase that they have to offer, and helps Google work better.
Although there isn’t currently a direct E-A-T score as such, these factors underpin everything else to do with rankings.
Therefore, if you want to get noticed online in 2020, you must focus on building and showing your expertise, authoritativeness, trustworthiness and provide the best possible user experience.
How can you improve your E-A-T scores?
The following tips can help this to happen:
1. Create great content
As we’ve explained many times on the blog, one of the best ways to improve your SEO and increase rankings is to consistently create high quality content.
By ensuring that it’s relevant, regularly updated, free from typos or grammatical errors, comprehensive and trustworthy, you will demonstrate your expertise in your field. Your website visitors will also enjoy the experience and want to come to your website again and again.
They’ll be more engaged, they’ll be more likely to be loyal to your brand and they’re more likely to make a purchase in the future.
To read more tips on creating outstanding content for your website, read our blog post “How to Create Great Web Content for SEO”.
2. Make your authors visible
If you want to build your website authority, Google needs to see that you have connections to other knowledgeable and authoritative figures in your field.
The simplest way to do this is to attribute your website content to an author by linking their name to the top of the page. You could also use an ‘author box’ at the bottom of the post that includes their name, biography, photo and a link to their website if possible.
This won’t just help your website to gain authority but will also help build the writer’s reputation too so it’s well worth taking the time to do.
3. Link to reputable websites
If you’ve done any link building to help build your site authority, you’ll know how beneficial it can be in terms of your SEO and web rankings. By linking out to authoritative websites within your niche, you’ll associate your site with it while backing up your knowledge.
However, it’s important that any site you link to is reputable and offers high quality content. The last thing you want is to link to a spammy site that ends up causing you trouble or even gets you blacklisted.
If you do find any unwanted links, you might want to get rid of them via a process called ‘disavowing’. Read this article to learn more about the process.
4. Improve your website security
Having a secure website isn’t just an excellent way to show your website visitor that they can trust you with their details.
Google also treats website security as a key ranking feature these days as it demonstrates that you take user experience seriously and are therefore more likely to provide a high quality experience.
The quickest way you can do this is to switch over to https as it adds encryption to your site to prevent hackers from accessing your information.
There are also various pieces of security software and security certificates you can add to your website to keep it safe from hackers, spam and unwanted visitors. Speak to your web master or host to discuss the options available to you.
According to SEO experts, Search Engine Watch, 82% of customers said they’d leave a website if it wasn’t secure so this is a tweak you need to make to your website sooner rather than later.
5. Focus your content
Instead of writing website content spread across a variety of topics, get focused.
Learn more about what your audience wants when they visit your website then create content that answers their questions, provides solutions and adds maximum value possible.
When you do this, you’ll be showing your audience that you understand and care about their problems and can provide a solution. Not only does that leave them feeling happy with their experience on your website, it builds your authority, trust and brand image at the same time.
Because this content is almost certain to include a variety of targeted and natural keywords which centre around a particular topic, Google are also more likely to see you as an authority in your field- another win.
The recent updates to the Google Discover help document demonstrate that E-A-T is more important than ever when it comes to SEO and improving your rankings. Keep working on your website expertise, authority and trust and you’ll see excellent results.