E-A-T and E-E-A-T for WordPress Publishers

Google's E-E-A-T stands for Expertise, Experience, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness. It's a concept used by Google's search team to evaluate the quality and credibility of a website's content.

If you have a WordPress website, E-E-A-T is going to have some influence on where you appear in Google's search results.

In this post, I'll explain what E-E-A-T is and how you can improve your WordPress website to provide more of the content that Google will rank highly.


What is E-E-A-T?

Originally, the acronym was only E-A-T, which stands for expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness.

E-A-T wasn't designed to be an official ranking factor. Instead, it is part of the guidelines that help Google's human evaluators check the quality of search results. E-A-T is part of Google's Quality Rater Guidelines (QRG), which the evaluators use to review content.

It's not clear when Google first introduced E-A-T, but people working in search engine optimization started to notice it in 2018.

What happened in 2018? In that year, Google released an algorithm update called “Medic Update,” which particularly affected websites in the health and wellness niches. For that reason, a lot of people in those niches are very focused on E-A-T-T because they think it impacts their sites' search engine rankings. Google is particularly keen to ensure accurate rankings for the most important topics such as health and medical advice. Google describes it this way:

“Search seeks to surface reliable information, especially on topics where information quality is critically important.”

In 2022, Google updated the QRG to include “Experience”. This update was added because “there are some situations where really what you value most is content produced by someone who has first-hand, life experience on the topic at hand.”


What does E-E-A-T Mean?

Here's an overview of how Google defines each of the four terms:

  • Expertise: This refers to the level of knowledge and skill demonstrated by the creators of the content. For example, if you're writing about medical topics, Google expects the content to be authored by individuals or organizations with expertise in the medical field.
  • Experience: Has the writer had direct experience, such as with the actual use of a product, or by actually visiting a place? Many product reviews online are written by people who have never used a product.
  • Authoritativeness: Is the content creator or the website known as a go-to source for that topic? Google looks for signals such as backlinks from other authoritative websites, mentions in reputable publications, and social proof (such as social media followers or engagement) to determine the authority of a website. For example, WordPress.org should rank highly for topics related to WordPress plugins.
  • Trustworthiness: This is the most important of the four factors. Trustworthiness involves factors like transparency, accuracy, and the overall reliability of the information provided. Websites that exhibit trustworthiness typically have clear disclosure of who is behind the content, cite credible sources, and provide accurate information that's backed up by evidence.

Google's guidelines also provide this chart to show how the terms fit together. Trusthworthiness is the key value. If you add together the other three factors, does that produce a website that you can trust?

E-E-A-T Google chart

How to Increase the E-E-A-T of WordPress Sites

There's no simple solution to help you increase your site's E-E-A-T.

One reason for this is that you can't accurately check your E-E-A-T. These are subjective guidelines that are used by human reviewers.

Another reason for this is that some different criteria are more important for different search results. For example, “Expertise” is absolutely critical for medical search results, but “Experience” is more important for restaurant reviews.

However, there are some ways that you can improve your site's overall E-E-A-T value.

Expertise

  • Content Quality: This is the most obvious advice I can give. Focus on creating high-quality content that demonstrates your expertise in your niche. You probably know things about your niche that no-one else does.
  • Update Your Content: You should regularly check your articles and update information that is old and no longer accurate. Here at PublishPress we're constantly updating old posts because they fall out-of-date due to new versions of WordPress.
  • Authorship: You should clearly attribute content to specific authors or contributors, especially if they have relevant expertise or credentials in the topic area. This helps establish authoritativeness and builds trust with your audience. I would not recommend attributing your content to general authors such as “The PublishPress Team” or “The PublishPress Staff”. We use the PublishPress Authors plugin on our blog, and make sure to specify how much WordPress experience each author has.
PublishPress Authors plugin

Experience

  • Talk About Your Experience: Try to include your unique, first-person experiences in your posts. For example, in our PublishPress posts, we often mention conversations with customers. When introducing a new feature, we'll include specific quotes from customers explaining why they want that feature. I suggest using pronouns such as “I” or “we” rather than the more generic “they”.
  • Use Emotion Words: Your posts can showcase experience focusing on answers to questions like this: “Is it worth it?”, “How does it feel?” or “What is it like?”
  • Focus on Reviews and Testimonials: Get reviews on your product or testimonials for your services. For PublishPress, this means reviews on WordPress.org. For software products, this means reviews on G2 and Capterra. Your industry will have its own review opportunities.

Authoritativeness

  • Credibility Signals: Incorporate elements on your website that signal credibility, such as customer testimonials, reviews, awards, certifications, and affiliations with reputable organizations.
  • Backlink Profile: Work on building a strong backlink profile by obtaining links from other trustworthy and authoritative websites in your industry. This can improve your website's authority in the eyes of Google. This is something that you can measure, using a SEO service such as SEMRush.

E-E-A-T Conclusion

Understanding E-E-A-T is crucial because it directly impacts a website's search engine rankings. By creating high-quality content that demonstrates expertise, experience, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness, you can improve your site's visibility in Google search results and attract more organic traffic. This might involve ensuring that your content is well-researched, written by experts in the field, and backed up by reputable sources. Additionally, building a strong backlink profile and maintaining a positive online reputation can further enhance your site's E-E-A-T score in the eyes of Google's reviewers.

  • Steve Burge

    Steve is the founder of PublishPress. He's been working with open source software for over 20 years. Originally from the UK, he now lives in Sarasota in the USA. This profile is generated by the PublishPress Authors plugin.

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