E-A-T It, Don’t Cheat It: Google’s Acronymic Algorithm, Explained

Ah, SEO: the catch-all grab-bag of marketing concepts. Don’t understand something? Must be SEO-related. Site not bringing in revenue? Gotta be an SEO issue. What do our parents keep telling their friends we do? SEO, no matter how much we try to correct them. The reason we put so much stock in SEO is because, well, your ability to show up in search results can make or break your website. How should you plan content for top-ranking results? Find out today on Marketing Is Broken!

Welcome back to Marketing Is Broken, the weekly marketing talk show where smart people explain things, so I don’t have to! I’m your host, Josh Braaten, and today we’ll be tackling Google’s latest favorite acronym, E-A-T.

No, Google hasn’t gotten better at recommending restaurants. E-A-T actually stands for Expertise, Authority, and Trustworthiness — three factors the search giant is weighing more heavily than ever when it comes to ranking search results.

Essentially, Google judges your website by 1) how useful your content is, 2) who YOU are as an authority and 3) whether other trustworthy websites link to or reference your site.

So… in order to be trustworthy, you have to be trusted by other sites that were deemed trustworthy before you. Somehow this is an algorithm, not a Ponzi scheme.

The update was mainly aimed at lowering the search rankings of dubious medical and health related sites. You know, like from those sidebar banner ads: Soccer Mom Burns Off 15 Pounds of Belly Fat In Just 3 Minutes a Day! Not exactly The New England Journal of Medicine.

Google knows that sites like this spread misinformation and can even cause harm to users, so it's working harder to bury bad content like your grandparents buried their post-WWII PTSD.

Honestly, Google has always made decisions about what's best for us behind the scenes. They're just making it official now.

What If Google's Wrong?

But, as you know, sometimes Google gets it wrong.

So what steps do we, as genuinely trustworthy content producers, need to take to ensure Google doesn't lump us in with the fat-burning soccer moms?

To answer that tricky question today, we've got Jenny Halasz, founder and resident SEO expert at JLH Marketing. Jenny will share a few tips on how to create E-A-T-friendly content, without needing to be an SEO expert… or an expert in whatever your parents think you do.

(In case you're wondering how the soccer mom burns off her fat, by the way, it’s a literal burn. Third degree. Very serious. Moment of silence.)

Tune in to the episode to watch Jenny answer these questions:

  • Real quick — what's the easiest way for people to understand expertise, authority, and trust as Google defines it?
  • Does the E-A-T score lead to better search results? What flaws or shortcomings do you see with this update to how the search engine works?
  • How should people or brands work on their personal or brand E-A-T scores so the content they publish is more trustworthy?

Thanks for being here, Jenny! Whew, I’m stuffed. Stuffed full of knowledge, that is! Maybe I’ll even publish a new post explaining the difference between SEO and “marketing” for my parents’ friends... In 37-point font!

Author: Josh Braaten

CEO - Brandish Insights

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