In a special training document, Google lays out for its human website reviewers how to determine a site’s E-A-T: Expertise, Authority, and Trustworthiness. These are three of the biggest factors Google uses to determine whether a site deserves a spot in the top results, so it pays to understand them. Let’s talk about what E-A-T is and how Google judges it.
Google likes content that shows a special knowledge of a the field. You can demonstrate this to Google by giving searchers pages and FAQs that provide information and answers that match their search intent. Search intent is another major factor that Google uses to determine what results to show since it differentiates between looking to buy vs looking for advice or someone who just needs a single piece of info like a phone number.
Authority is largely determined by off-site factors like backlinks for other sites with good reputations. Google sees links from one site to another as a sign of endorsement. Google factors in both link quality and quantity, with the reputation of the sites linking to you mattering more than how many links you get.
To establish trustworthiness, you need to make it very clear who you are and how people can get in contact with you. If you’re a business, this means having easily accessible customer service. An e-commerce site should have a clear refund policy and secure checkout. If you’re sharing knowledge, the author’s bio and credentials should be shown and links to references given.