If you’ve had any exposure to digital marketing since as far back as 2014, the chances are you’ve already heard of Google’s E-A-T guidelines: expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness. Although Google highlights that content that demonstrates these factors doesn’t have a direct influence on ranking, it’s incredibly useful for content creators to have these guidelines in mind as they massively help the quest to provide users with helpful, people-first content, which is imperative.
Refresher on E-A-T guidelines
Even if you’ve forgotten the exact meaning behind Google’s E-A-T guidelines, the chances are, if you’re a good writer or have decent writers in your team, you’re already adhering to them. Your brand is likely already showcasing expertise and authoritativeness through your service or product offerings and FAQ or blog content, and trustworthiness comes with things like up to date, accurate content that genuinely helps your site visitors. Here’s a quick overview of what each element of E-A-T encompasses, before looking at how it’s evolved to include ‘experience’ too.
Google rewards content that’s written by experts with a high level of expertise in their field. This means that content writers need to demonstrate their knowledge by providing accurate, insightful, and informative content that’s based on research and data.
Google rewards websites that have a high level of authority in their niche. This means that content writers need to build a strong reputation and demonstrate their authority by providing high-quality content that is well-researched, up-to-date, and relevant to their target audience.
Websites need to show that they’re trustworthy and transparent in their content. This means that content writers need to ensure that their content is accurate, unbiased, and free from errors. They also need to make sure that they provide references and sources to support their claims.
How have the E-A-T guidelines evolved?
E-A-T is now E-E-A-T, or Double-E-A-T
The original acronym has evolved in late 2022 when Google highlighted an update to include a new E at the beginning. This new E stands for Experience. It will come as no surprise that Google has included this additional dimension to assess the quality of online content, making sure it helps users on their search journey. Here’s something directly from Google to think about when you’re writing or editing content:
“Does content also demonstrate that it was produced with some degree of experience, such as with actual use of a product, having actually visited a place or communicating what a person experienced? 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.”
This will be more relevant for some brands than others, but it’s something that every content writer should be considering in 2023 and beyond. So, that leads us onto our key question: Is E-E-A-T still important for content writers in 2023?
Google’s algorithm will always prioritise high-quality content that demonstrates experience, expertise, authority, and trustworthiness with a people-first approach. And, with the increasing competition for online visibility and the growing concern about fake news and misinformation, Double-E-A-T guidelines are more important than ever.