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How Google’s E-A-T Guidelines Affects Your Site’s SEO

In 2018, the Google Algorithm’s update introduced an E-A-T Guideline that looks into site and page quality. E-A-T is an acronym for Expertise, Authoritative and Trustworthiness. The guide provides a standard for SEO experts if they want to be on the good side of Google.

The Google Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines Document

The Google Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines document made widely available in 2015 is a guideline that instructs human quality raters on how to evaluate the quality of Google’s search results and provides relevant examples. It gives basic information as well as criteria that quality raters should consider when assessing a web page. The document includes 3 major concepts:

  1. Beneficial Purpose (the reason why the page was created)
  2. YMYL (Your Money or Your Life) – this refers to content that addresses the reader’s happiness, health, safety, wealth, finance, etc. and,
  3. E-A-T (Expertise, Authoritativeness and Trustworthiness) — which is our major focus here. This gives webmasters insight into what google looks for in a web page.
Google E-A-T Guidelines and SEO best practice
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Why is E-A-T Important?

A lot of Site Owners wonder about how to create quality content without losing Search Engine visibility. Previously, it seemed like quality content and SEO were at cold war. “How do you create search engine optimized content that will also meet the needs of your site visitors?” This was the question on the mind of most site owners. With time, SEO professionals found a way to make this work. A win-win situation for site owners and Search Engines. They found a way to get on the good side of algorithms with white hat techniques. With the E-A-T guideline, one knows how to serve content that’s good enough for the users and the Search Engine.

According to the E-A-T guidelines, Google wants to provide information from trustworthy sources who have sufficient expertise in a given topic. This is to ensure that users get the right information on the sites it recommends.

The E-A-T guideline applies to various content types and websites created for specific purposes. Although it may not be a direct SEO strategy, professionals and webmasters will do well to pay attention to its recommendations.

Google E-A-T Guidelines- how does E-A-T affect SEO
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How is E-A-T Evaluated?

While E-A-T concepts are similar, they are not identical. Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness are all assessed individually. Let’s take a closer look at each of them.

01. Expertise

Google prioritizes content provided by experts on a given topic. Hence, expertise is about the creator of the main content on a particular page. Do they have sufficient knowledge to qualify as experts on a subject matter? Or do they have the long-standing experience to validate the information they provide on certain topics? With this, quality raters use the information about the content providers.

Your site’s content is the basis for evaluating expertise. You must be able to develop well-researched content that relates to the searcher’s need (intent).

It is important to provide thorough and informative pages. For example, an architect or one with enough exposure to the industry is a more reliable source for information about building design or construction but not for health-related content.

02. Authoritativeness

The keyword here is reputation. The reputation a content provider has among other experts in the industry determines his authoritativeness. It is important to note that authority is also determined by the website a particular content appears. Is this website considered a preferred source of information when they need information on a particular topic?

To this end, Quality raters assess authoritativeness by checking reviews, recommendations, references, news articles and other reliable information from independent sources (not from the site that’s under evaluation). The aim is to find out what real users and experts think about the website.

It is also important to note that authority here is directly related to the specific topic under consideration. This means that a comedy website would not be a reliable source for topics related to finance.

03. Trustworthiness

This focuses on how legitimate, accurate and authentic the content is. Raters evaluate trustworthiness by looking at a variety of factors, including the information the website provides about the publisher of such content, contact information, customer support and other relevant information sources.

The raters also assess the content’s accuracy based on what other experts say and the referenced sources of the information, especially with regards to statistics and factual information.

Domain security, website terms of use, privacy policies, author biographies, product specifications and contact information are important qualifiers of your site’s trustworthiness.

Google E-A-T Guidelines and SEO best practice
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How Does Google’s E-A-T Guidelines Affect SEO?

 E-A-T guidelines are primarily human concepts because they were developed for human quality raters. So websites do not have E-A-T scores as they do with backlinks. As a result, most people believe that they have no business with algorithms and SEO. Google, on the other hand, confirms that E-A-T is an essential part of their algorithm. The E-A-T concept is ingrained in the algorithm process.



Here’s how: Google constantly adjusts its algorithm to enhance the quality of search results. In this process, the Google engineers will present the Quality Raters the search results (with and without the recommended changes implemented). The Raters will then provide feedback to Google. Google uses the feedback to determine if the proposed change would have a positive or negative impact on search results and implement the approved recommended changes. This reveals that Google engineers can understand the vital signals that correspond to E-A-T and modify the ranking algorithms accordingly.

Google E-A-T Guidelines and SEO best practice
 Photo Credit: Myriam Jessier on Unsplash



How Can You Improve E-A-T?

Having established what the E-A-T Guideline covers and its importance to SEO, we’ll show you some effective ways to improve your site for EAT.



  • Build high-quality backlinks and avoid spammy ones.
  • Ensure that the purpose of your site is clear by providing accurate information on your About page.
  • Create exhaustive terms of use and privacy policy pages.
  • Ensure that your site’s SSL certificate is active and updated.
  • Include Author bios on your blog page.
  • Site relevant and high-authority sources when your content includes data.
  • Provide relevant content on specific topics.
  • Ensure that your site contains accurate content.
  • Get reviews and research what other experts are saying about a topic.
  • Include sufficient contact information on your site.



On a final note, like algorithms, Google’s raters guidelines are subject to reviews and updates, this means that they may include some new criteria or modify old ones. Hence, it is important to ensure that you are aware of recent changes. The E-A-T guideline reveals that growing your site is an incremental process and not some overnight magic. It takes time to build Expertise, Authoritativeness and Trustworthiness but it’s not impossible.

We are consistently commited to providing technical and professional digital solutions that will help your business stay relevant in a highly a competitive marketplace. Our team of proffesionals at the9tynine will help you attract your target audience through effective digital strategies. Get in touch with us today.

what is the meaning of SEO - the 9tynine

On-Page Vs Off-Page SEO: Best SEO Practices

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the use of various strategies to improve your website’s visibility on search engines.

Without SEO, your site has a lower chance of appearing on the first page of Search Engine Results which is considered the best position because the sites on this page get the best Click-Through-Rate (CTR).

The absence of a good SEO strategy makes it difficult for people to find your web page when they are looking for information you provide. Proper SEO positions your site among the top-ranking results on Search Engines.

Why is Ranking Important?

Your site’s ranking is important because it contributes to organic traffic which leads to engagement or sales on your business site. Also, ranking on search engines helps you maximize the platform as a crucial visibility tool for your business.

A blend of On-site and Off-Site SEO techniques will make your site more discoverable by those who are intentional about getting information or buying from you.

what is search engine optimization - the 9tynine
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What is On-page SEO?

On-page SEO refers to the optimization you make directly to your web page.

It relies on using the right keywords in specific areas of your site’s content such as HTML tags, Titles, Meta Descriptions, Image/video ALT Texts, Meta Tags, URL slugs, etc.

This improves the quality of your content and gives search engines more information about the content so they can index it in a relevant category.

The quality of content on your web page also determines your site’s speed which is a crucial consideration for your On-page SEO implementation. With On-page SEO, you have control over what you add to or remove from your web page to optimize it.


What is Off-page SEO?

Off-page SEO uses external techniques like backlinking, social signals, directories, reviews, etc. to improve your site’s Search Engine visibility and drive leads to it.

Search Engines will index pages with more referrals linking to it because they qualify how relevant it is to the information users need.

Off-Page SEO relies on the discretion of external site administrators. For instance, backlinking will depend on the response you get from various webmasters, reviews depend on the willingness of clients, directories need to be approved by the administrators. Various social media platforms have limited features, terms, and conditions that will determine how much you can do.

However, these things do not negate or remove the importance of Off-Page SEO.

SEO for a wordpress website - the 9tynine
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How to Implement On-page and Off-page SEO

Both on-page and Off-page SEO are important to your site’s discoverability. Note that, the aim of SEO is to help search engines provide high-quality content and relevant information to users.

On-page SEO: Best Practice

Good On-page SEO makes it easy for visitors to find resources they need on your web page.

Therefore, focus on the content itself even when you tweak meta-descriptions and other post attributes. On this note, here are a few things you should optimize on your webpage:

01. Keywords

Keywords refer to the words or phrases that users will type into the search bar when they need information. Adopt keywords that are specific to your products, services, and the needs of your target buyers. Avoid stuffing your page with keywords because this will be detected by search engines. Lately, search engines have become more specific about connecting your site’s information to the user’s needs rather than using only exact keyword matches.

02. Page Structure

This includes optimizing HTML tags, ALT tags, Meta descriptions. Although HTML tags are not visible on the webpage, they are seen by search engines. This makes it easier for them to detect what your site is about.

  • Title tags refer to your page title. It should include keywords that reflect what your page is about.
  • Meta descriptions appear below the URL and Title on the SERP; they should also contain relevant keyphrases.
  • Header Tags come in various categories (H1, H2, H3, H4) that help you organize your content into sections and subsections.
  • Alt Texts are used for images or videos and help the search engines understand what they are about. Using ALT texts will help you rank with images on google.
03. Optimize Images

Including images in your content will create a visual balance that helps users enjoy surfing through your page. Ensure that you optimize the images on your page so that they will show up on google images.

Use the right image formats (JPEG. or PNG.); Use a descriptive file title – it is advisable to rename your files before uploading them; Use images with smaller file sizes and high quality so that they load faster, and use ALT Texts so that your site is more accessible. The images should also be responsive so that they are decent across various devices.

04. URL Structure and Internal Links

To make your website crawlable by search engines, use a proper URL structure that includes your keyword. URLs should not be a jumble of numbers and symbols. Clear use of words will improve your site’s indexing. The URL structure should also reflect the page that it leads to.

Internal Linking is another effective On-site technique, it keeps users engaged on your page and links related content within your website.

05. Page Performance

Place priority on User Experience (UX) and User Interface (UI). Your site should be responsive (suitable for various screen sizes), user-friendly, and easy to navigate. The Site’s speed will improve your page viewership and improve navigation across all pages.

onsite vs offsite seo the 9tynine
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Off-page SEO: Best Practice

Because off-page SEO is external and depends on the discretion of other users in the digital space, trust is a great asset to you. Establishing authority and connecting to those in your niche will help you break through.

01. Backlinking

Backlinks are links to your site from other websites. They help search engines determine the authority of your webpage. Backlinks are either high-quality or low-quality; search engines will prioritize backlinks that are high-quality. These are links from sites with high domain authority. Avoid links from spammy sites. Only use backlinks with sites that are relevant to your niche and use the right keywords as anchor texts.

02. Local SEO and Directories

Using local SEO software like Google My Business, SEMRush, Moz Local, Yext, etc. also counts as an off-page technique that will boost your visibility. These platforms will allow you to create and optimize a business page with all the important details.

03. Social Signals

“The correlation between social signals and ranking position is extremely high” –

Social Media pages do not directly influence your position on search engines. However, sharing your site’s content on social media sends tangible signals to web crawlers especially when the content becomes popular. Social Media profiles (Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, etc.) also rank on search engines.

In some cases, people also search for information directly on social media apart from search engines. Therefore, a social media presence will help you maximize your SEO opportunity.

04. Domain Authority

Your domain authority helps search engines determine how trustworthy your site is. It depends on factors like compliance to SEO guidelines, duration of site existence, the number and quality of referring domains.

Implementing the above-mentioned techniques and doing them consistently will help you build a high domain authority that places you in a favourable position on the web.

Google E-A-T Guidelines- how does E-A-T affect SEO

How to Improve Organic Search Ranking for your site

Organic Ranking refers to your site’s position on Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs) when a certain search query is made. Websites that show up on the first page of search engines are said to have high-search rankings, this is beneficial because it generates more traffic to the relevant web pages. A site’s position on Search Engines can either be boosted through paid search ads or grow with some helpful tweaks. Hang on, we’ll show you a few ways to boost Organic Search Ranking and get more traffic to your website.

Why Organic Ranking Is Important

When people need certain products, services, or information about them, they go to search engines with queries.  The Search Engine provides a list of results that are relevant to what they are looking for through algorithms that determine the relevance based on the information provided by the numerous content indexed on the platform by looking out for certain keywords and links to these web content. It achieves this through web crawlers. This brings us to the importance of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) which of course, leads us to Keywords.
If you own a website, it is a smart move to ensure that your content lands on the top of these results provided by the search engines – aim for the first page. Organic Search Ranking indicates that your SEO techniques are effective because SEO aims at improving your web content to be discoverable on the web, it also improves the authority of your site because a high ranking will provide more traffic.
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6 Ways to Improve your Organic Search Ranking

1. Specific Keywords 

Because of how competitive the digital space is, it may be difficult to rank for all the keywords that are specific to your niche. However, with keyword research tools like SEMrush or Google Keywords Planner, you can find keywords with low or medium competition – they are easier to rank for and have the potential to generate traffic. Using long-tail or short-tail keywords will improve your organic search ranking and boost your discoverability.

2. Use Cornerstone Content 

Cornerstone content works as a parent page for similar content within your website. They come in handy when you want to build internal/deep backlinks. Asides from that, because they are long-form articles or blog posts, they give algorithms detailed information about what your webpage is about and help you rank better for the related content. 

3. Emphasize Content Quality 

While it may not directly boost your appearance on SERPs, publishing high-quality content will bring visitors to your site even when you’re not trying. Why? Because it makes your website more valuable. Not only will you gain the interest of users, but they will also help with the spread of your content either by sharing or backlinking to it. This type of content could be educative, informative, or entertaining. It could also be focused on trends in your industry. If your content gets more backlinks, shares because people find it valuable, be assured that search algorithms will enlist your web page as one that is worthy of the first page.

4. Use Keyword in the content

Including relevant keywords in the body of your post will also promote your site’s organic search ranking. These keywords should flow naturally and not be stuffed. Include them in strategic places like headings, paragraph starters, image descriptions, and alt texts. You can also alternate focus keywords with secondary ones.

5. Page Title, URLs, and Meta Descriptions

Page titles and Meta descriptions are important to your visibility and search engine positioning because they will show up in the SERP. You should optimize them for this purpose. Page titles should be brief and include the keyword/phrase. Meta Description refers to a short explanation of what the web content is about. They should be concise, encouraging, and spark curiosity. It is advisable to capitalize on the user’s search intent here. Your URL should include the focus key phrase you want to rank for. It should also be readable, so you want to avoid the jumble of numbers and special characters. Ie. Keep it clean and concise. 

6. Use Backlinks 

You can also improve your organic search ranking by getting External Backlinks (new links from external domains). This will indicate the relevance of your web page and boost your domain authority. Use the relevant keywords as anchor texts for your backlink so the algorithm can easily detect what it’s about.


In a bid to get quick results, you may be tempted to use black hat SEO techniques – Don’t fall for it. Although they seem effective at first, in due time your site will be discovered and penalized. Search engines like Google are constantly updated and algorithms are getting smarter. It is best practice to stick with the Whitehat SEO techniques instead. You can also opt for paid search ads while you work on building your site’s organic ranking.