EAT: What Is It and How Does It Impact Marketing?

Google has people called search quality raters who evaluate sites based on guidelines. A rater can give a site a quality score based on these guidelines. If the score is high, the site has the potential to rank higher. If the score is low, the site will not do well in search results.

As a site owner, you’ll want to influence the search quality raters so that if your site is scored, it will score high. One of the ways to do that is to pay attention to EAT.

EAT is an acronym that stands for Expertise, Authority, and Trust. It’s a key factor for raters in evaluating your site.  There are several ways you can influence your site’s EAT.

Some of the quality raters will be asking these questions about your site when they consider how to rate it.

  • Why should a reader spend time on your site compared to your competitors?
  • Do you have expertise related to the content of your site?
  • How can you demonstrate your expertise?
  • Why should you and your content be trusted?
  • Is the site’s author an authority in their field?
  • Do others quote or cite your content?
  • Who else trusts your site (enough to link to it or share it)? What is their authority level?

Basically, you want to make sure Google can find all of the credibility-builders that we have been teaching for the last 20 years.

Implementing EAT

Your bio is a key place to list accomplishments such as degrees, credentials, awards, publications, speeches, and press mentions.  Your contact page should include all of your contact information so that you can easily be reached and you don’t look like you are a fly-by-night company or hiding something.

Encourage people to share the contents of your site on social media. When your site is shared, it means to Google that others feel strongly enough about your content that they want others to see it, boosting your authority.

Encourage people to mention you or your site. This boosts third-party mentions, and you can add a press page listing all of your press mentions.

When someone else mentions your site or writes about you or your company, we call this earned media in marketing.  The more positive earned media you can get, the more your EAT will be positive.  Raters are encouraged to perform “reputation research” which is to look for these mentions when evaluating a site.

Another huge area to encourage is client reviews. Clients that have written reviews for you via Google My Business, Facebook, or other platforms help you earn additional credibility.

One of the most overlooked areas where you can make a huge difference in your rankings is to have a section on your website for customer service. Software companies do it regularly, with knowledge bases, support videos, and multiple ways to contact their support department including chat. As accounting firms, there is a lot we can do to build a support section for our clients:

  • Post organizers online
  • Have materials available for download
  • Create and post short videos on how to perform simple tasks, such as
    • Logging into their accounting software
    • Logging into their client portal
    • Uploading and downloading documents
    • Logging into their payroll system and entering time
    • Checking on their tax refund
    • Updating their credit card
    • Paying their bill

Other credibility builders that will boost EAT include posting privacy policies, terms of service, refund policies, and any guarantees or warranties that come with your work product.

A few EAT and SEO experts say adding popular or well-known authors to your site can help boost your EAT.

Remember writing term papers in college and including all those scientific references? If you are writing about things like tax law, including a reference and link to the actual law will show Google that your content is well-researched and cited properly. Originality is rewarded as well.

It goes without saying that accuracy and being current are also good ideas.

Ultimately, when Google ranks your site on the search engine results page, it’s looking to show the pages that answer the searcher’s question in the best way.

EAT is covered in Google’s Guidelines for Search Quality Raters, which are here: