Navigating the world of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) can feel like trying to catch a moving train. Especially when Google, the conductor, regularly changes its algorithm. For a business owner or an all-in-one marketer, these changes aren’t just interesting tech news; they directly influence your visibility online and, by extension, your business growth.
It’s a full-time job keeping up with the SEO landscape! In my 16 years of marketing experience, I’ve weathered both the significant changes and the minor blips of the SEO landscape. So, I know firsthand how scary it can feel when you start losing rankings or traffic and don’t know why or how to fix it.
This article is your roadmap to one of the most important aspects of content creation for SEO, so you can start shifting the tide in your favor.
Understanding the Significance of E-E-A-T in Google’s Algorithm
As the world of Search Engine Optimization perpetually evolves, standing still is not an option. Google, in its relentless pursuit of enhancing user experience, increasingly raises the bar for content creators – and 2023 bar has been no exception. With the March 2023 Google Algorithm change and the generative AI tipping point we’ve reached, content quality and credibility are thrust to center stage, and more critical than ever.
In my 16-year marketing career, I’ve seen my share of changes to the world of search in a never-ending quest to appease Google. Some are easily overcome shifts and others are seismic disruptions. This change has shaped up to be the latter for those who have not yet heeded the most important rule to date: Quality content is king.
To determine if content is high quality or not, Google uses the E-E-A-T model: Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness. These 4 pillars lay the foundation for the basis of what Google considers quality content. So what is E-E-A-T?
Breaking Down Google’s Magic E-E-A-T Model
The E-E-A-T model stand consists of 4 distinct, yet interconnected, elements: Expertise, Experience, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness. Each of these elements plays a crucial role in shaping the digital footprint and, ultimately, the SEO performance of any online content.
Expertise is all about the depth of knowledge and skill in a particular field or topic. It could be a practicing cardiologist writing about heart health, showcasing their professional expertise. But expertise isn’t confined to professional knowledge alone – it could also stem from personal life experiences, as long as the content is insightful and adds value to the reader. Consider a seasoned backpacker sharing tips on the best hiking trails in the Rockies; their years of personal adventures bring a unique level of expertise to their content development.
Experience, the newest component of the model, amplifies the impact of expertise. It places importance on hands-on involvement and practical understanding. Take me for example. As a senior marketing consultant with years of experience in search engine optimization and marketing strategy, I’m writing an article about Google’s E-E-A-T. Notice how I told you above that I’ve been in marketing for 16 years? You didn’t think I was bragging about my age, did you? As a marketing coach, I’m able to share from a place of having devised and executed strategies for clients, highlighting our own learning and demonstrating my expertise and experience. This shows you that I’m delivering insights that are both theoretically sound and practically applicable.
Authoritativeness is built upon the foundation of a strong reputation and recognition from other experts in the field. It is often demonstrated through other people linking to or citing your work. It’s essentially letting Google know that you’re a credible person to be talking on the matter because other credible people are citing your work. Here’s a great example. As a Prospect Attraction Authority and Sales Expert, Kendra Lee gains recognition through references from reputed sales organizations, publications, and speaking events. Now Google sees multiple relevant places talking about Kendra Lee, which bolsters her authoritativeness. See? Exposure does pay.
Trustworthiness, the final pillar of the E-E-A-T model, hinges on creating a secure, transparent, and reliable online environment. It’s more than just having a secure website, although you absolutely want to make sure that you have that to start with. It encompasses everything from user-friendly policies and excellent customer service to positive user reviews and testimonials. Consider a digital marketing services company that provides a secure website, transparent policies, and amasses positive customer reviews. Such actions underline their trustworthiness.
Grasping and integrating these elements of E-E-A-T into your online content strategy significantly improves your SEO performance, paving the way for better visibility, credibility, and user engagement.
Deciphering E-E-A-T’s Influence on SEO
Google’s E-E-A-T guidelines offer much more than a mere algorithm update or a fleeting trend in SEO. They represent a significant paradigm shift over the past decade of search. One that reflects the evolution of the internet itself.
Remember the early days of Google? When you’d search for the American Revolution for your history paper due the next day, and your results would return keyword-stuffed spammy websites that were definitely not helpful for your school paper.
Since the dawn of time, so-called Black Hat SEO artists have existed to attempt to thwart Google’s algorithm – which in turn updates their requirements to thwart the ne’er-do-wells; setting up a perpetual game of cat and mouse that keeps every other player on the web jumping like a pogo stick.
Now, as our digital landscape continues to mature, Google is pushing us all to elevate our content to new heights of Expertise, Experience, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness. This shift carries profound implications for every aspect of SEO.
For the forward-thinking SEO strategist, these implications are not a threat but an opportunity. For those who are not in the business of SEO, the ever-moving target of SEO creates confusion and frustration – it makes it challenging to know what you need to do and why. Consider this your call to pivot and stand out from your competition. By delving deeper, offering more value, and cultivating credibility, you carve out a competitive edge in the crowded online world.
Rankings That Reflect Real-World Value
E-E-A-T directly influences how Google ranks web pages. It raises the bar for what it means to provide quality content. Today, it’s not enough to stuff a page with keywords or to share superficial information on a given topic. Google’s algorithms now demand that we provide genuine value to our audience. They demand that we offer insights that reflect both professional expertise and practical experience, and that we build a solid reputation for trustworthiness and authority in our niche. By doing so, we not only satisfy E-E-A-T guidelines but also make our content more attractive to users, thereby enhancing our SEO performance.
The Path Forward: Navigating Google’s 2023 Algorithm Change
As we grapple with Google’s 2023 algorithm change and the ever-increasing role of generative AI, one thing is clear: Our approach to SEO must be dynamic, forward-thinking, and centered around providing real-world value to our users.
In this landscape, E-E-A-T isn’t just a set of guidelines – it’s a strategic roadmap, leading us toward more meaningful, impactful, and successful SEO strategies.
By aligning your SEO efforts with E-E-A-T, you’re not just ticking off boxes on a checklist – you’re affirming a commitment to offer the highest value content to your readers. And in this endeavor, you’ll find that improving your E-E-A-T isn’t just about satisfying an algorithm. It’s about enriching your content, increasing your visibility, and most importantly, nurturing a genuine connection with your audience.
This, then, is the call of the hour. Elevate your content, refine your strategies, and redefine what it means to succeed in search engine optimization.
Forging the Path: Boosting Your E-E-A-T Score
First, let me explain that an E-E-A-T score is not something Google gives you. It is, at present, an imaginary number. It simply helps to give you something to work towards. Improving your E-E-A-T score isn’t an overnight process; it’s a conscious commitment to elevate the value you provide to your audience through your digital platforms.
Crafting Content That Resonates
It’s not a secret, by this point, that at the heart of E-E-A-T is the drive to create content that truly matters to your audience.
We’re no longer just content creators. We aren’t pumping out content as fast as we can using AI for Sales and Marketing. We’re knowledge brokers, experienced advisors, and trusted confidants in the world of our readers.
High-quality, comprehensive content is the backbone of one’s digital value proposition. That’s why we use these principles in writing content for our clients at KLA Group.
This is a moment to reflect on your content. Are you focused on quantity over quality? That strategy is unlikely to yield results.
PULL: Guiding Principles for Content Creation
- Prioritize quality. Make every word count, every insight matter, and every piece of content a testament to your commitment to serve your audience.
- Understand your audience. Know their needs and address them with your content.
- Leverage your individual expertise. Ground your content in your unique professional journey and experiences.
- Lead your reader. Take your audience on a journey, engage their interest, and provide them with actionable insights.
Building a Brand Identity That Exudes Authority
In the E-E-A-T model, the way we present ourselves, our credentials, and our brand matters. It’s about painting a vivid picture of who we are, what we stand for, and why our audience should trust us. Showcasing our professional accomplishments and areas of expertise is crucial. Yet, beyond that, it’s about establishing a strong personal and website user experience – one that resonates with our audience and aligns with our core values. Time to dust off the old LinkedIn profile and start keeping it active.
Cultivating Trust Through User-Friendly Website Experience
Trustworthiness forms the cornerstone of the E-E-A-T model. It’s the glue that holds the other elements together and the undercurrent that runs through every aspect of our digital presence. One way to establish trust is to gather things like Google reviews or other reviews on public platforms.
Key Considerations for a User-Friendly Experience
· Safety First: Ensure your website is secure and data privacy practices are in place.
· Ease of Navigation: Make it easy for users to find what they are looking for.
· Responsive Design: Your website should perform well on any device, from desktop to mobile.
· Transparent Communication: Clear and easy-to-understand policies and contact information build trust.
Ultimately, improving your E-E-A-T score is about more than just SEO performance. It’s about embodying a user-centric approach, one that is committed to serving your audience in the best possible way. It’s about being reliable in a world of unreliable information, being the voice of expertise in a sea of noise. Above all, it’s about being the source of value in the ever-evolving digital landscape.
The Future of E-E-A-T
The future waits for no one. Has it ever? This reality has become more apparent than ever with the recent Google algorithm changes, which have hit hard for websites that have prioritized quantity over quality in their content strategy. Add to this the advent of generative AI like ChatGPT, and it’s clear that we are on the brink of a new SEO landscape.
AI content is going to further enhance people’s hunger for connection – and you can meet that connection through your website.
This is not the time to be complacent or stick with what worked in the past. Technology continues to develop exponentially, and SEO is no exception. So let’s do what we’ve all learned to do well in this decade: pivot.
If these strategies all sound overwhelming to you, don’t let that deter you. Contact KLA Group, and let’s embrace the future together. We use these practices together and can coach your team or do it for you.
About the Author:
Kristin Logan is a visionary marketer with over 16 years of experience. She leads KLA Group’s consulting and digital teams, specializing in strategy, brand messaging, and SEO. Her strategic insight helps businesses navigate the digital landscape to expand.