With Google’s ever-evolving algorithms updates, many of the old SEO practices become outdated quickly. Also, it’s becoming harder to outsmart the artificial intelligence and the machine learning technology set up by Google.
If you’re really serious about SEO and want to build websites that are profitable in the future, you must keep yourself up-to-date about Google search algorithms and the changes taking place in them.
Post-BERT algorithm update, EAT (Expertise, Authority, and Trust) and YMYL (Your Money or Your Life) are the two crucial elements that have a significant impact on search rankings.
This post will explain to you about E-A-T, as well as YMYL, and provide actionable tips for how you can use these elements to boost your SEO.
Let’s have a look at how to boost your SEO with EAT & YMYL.
- All You Need To Know About E-A-T
EAT is an acronym that represents Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness. These three metrics are used by Google’s Search Quality Raters (the human raters employs by Google) to quantify whether a content creator, webpage, or website is a leader in its respective niche.
Makes perfect sense, right? Google wants to reward the sites that are producing high-quality content with better rankings and sites that create low-quality content get less visibility.
Now let’s look at each of these three metrics individually.
Are subject matter experts creating your content?
Experts are people who possess the necessary understanding and knowledge related to the specific field that they can discuss the particular topic deeply. This knowledge can be very general or highly specialized.
Even Google is OK with something called “everyday expertise.”
What exactly does it mean?
Let’s see what Google said about this term:
“Some topics need less formal expertise. Many people write extremely detailed, comprehensive, and helpful reviews of products or restaurants. Various people share tips, guidelines, and life experiences on forums, blogs, etc. These normal people may be considered experts in topics where they have life experience. If it appears as if the individual creating the content that has the type and amount of life experience to make him or her an ‘expert’ on the topic, we will value this as ‘everyday expertise’ and not penalize the person/webpage/website for not having ‘formal’ education or training in the field.”
In nutshell, Google wants to offer links to websites that have published helpful content that is relevant, comprehensive, accurate, and useful.
People are coming to Google to find answers to important questions. Therefore, Google doesn’t want to send its users to incorrect content or websites that deliberately misinform users. So, offering inaccurate, outdated, or unhelpful content on your website is a formula for SEO disaster. Especially, it’s important to validate your expertise in certain niches like medical, legal, and financial.
So, you must ensure the people who create content for your website possess subject matter expertise.
Also, do the necessary research and fact-checking of any content before you hit publish.
As stated in Google’s Search Quality Raters Guidelines, Google has used PageRank to understand authoritativeness right from the start.
“Our ranking scheme is specifically designed to recognize sites with high indicia of expertise, authority, and trustworthiness.”
This “smoking gun” sentence from the guideline indicates that backlinks have been one of the top signals for authoritativeness; especially the quality of those backlinks is a top-ranking factor.
For many years now, we’ve heard people compared votes to links, where the more votes aka links your webpage or website get the more authoritative/popular it is.
Expertise means having the required knowledge and skills, whereas authority is what happens when others both within and outside of your industry recognize that expertise.
This recognition can come in the form of shares, mentions, links, reviews, or any other type of citation.
Authoritativeness sounds like your online reputation, right? Because in a way it is. So, creating useful content is the best way to build your authoritativeness online.
It requires tons of hard work to earn the trust of both the people and the search engines.
Your efforts must be able to make people trust your brand or business and be willing to buy from you or endorse you.
You can increase the level of your trustworthiness by highlighting your content creators’ credentials as well as your website. Awards, endorsements, and testimonials are some of the trust factors to improve trustworthiness.
- How to Check Your EAT Score
With checking your website’s domain authority, you can also check your EAT score by the ratio of your website’s bounce rate, the number of search queries related to your brand, your brand’s social media impressions, favorable to negative reviews that your brand has received and so on.
Unluckily, you must check your performance in every category to evaluate your EAT score, because there isn’t just one tool to check your EAT ranking.
Simply, people need to feel they can trust and rely on all the information they find on your website. In the same way, Google wants to give high-ranks to the websites and content that it can trust.
- YMYL: Your Money or Your Life.
As mentioned in the title YMYL acronym refers to Your Money or Your Life. That means YMYL pages consist of information that might have a significant impact on a user’s wallet or wellbeing. WebMD and eTrade are great examples of YMYL sites.
According to Google’s Search Quality Raters Guidelines’ section 2.3, YMYL pages have a potential impact on the happiness, health, financial stability, or safety of users.
As mentioned in the above image: Ecommerce, legal, financial services, and healthcare are some of the industries that fall under the YMYL category.
Google gives the highest standard for these kinds of YMYL sites because this type of content holds extremely high stakes. So, when it comes to YMYL, just make sure that any content on the website will help and not hurt the people who consume the content.
Simply, if you take great care of the users, Google will take great care of you.
- Why Are EAT and YMYL Important for SEO
For as long as I can remember, there is a clear relationship between what Google considers high-quality content and what appears in the Google SERP results. And EAT and YMYL playing a role in determining high-quality content. Hence, there is a correlation between EAT, YMYL, and SEO.
Google works with more than 10,000 human search quality raters worldwide who work with real search queries and evaluate how accurate and useful Google’s SERP results are. Also, they evaluate the impact of Google’s search algorithm updates and verify if the changes are functioning correctly.
In short, raters define EAT scores of web pages and help to ensure that pages that demonstrate high EAT, as well as meeting all the YMYL requirements, are ranked higher on SERPs. That’s the reason EAT and YMYL can have a direct effect on your SEO and rankings in the SERPs.
- How to Boost Your EAT & SEO
Here are some of the effective steps you can start doing right now to improve your Website EAT that boosts your SEO and SERP rankings.
- Boost Your EAT & YMYL with Your Content
You always need to provide authoritative content on your website that is written by professionals who do the required research and write well. Here are a few key points to be considered if you’re really keen to boost your EAT and YMYL with your content.
EAT is really important for SEO, especially if you cover YMYL topics. Improving your website’s EAT and YMYL is a two-steps process:
- Have values, be legit, and hire experts. Take care of your customers and do real company stuff.
- Work to signify your expertise and values to Google.
It just takes some effort and time to do it.
If your EAT and YMYL scores improve, you can easily reap the rewards of professional SEO, and gain a much better ranking in Google’s SERPs. So, pay heed to the important EAT and YMYL factors and boost your SEO in 2020.
Finally, remember, based on users’ expectations of search, Google’s guidelines are constantly changing, and so do you.