By now, it’s safe to say that most people are at least aware of Google’s quality rater guidelines—the metrics the company uses to assess its own algorithms internally.
Although these metrics never directly influenced PageRank, Google’s system for ranking web pages, most people involved in the field of search engine optimization agree that understanding and adhering to them is still extremely important. This is because, in large part, E-A-T (Expertise, Authority, Trustworthiness) is the closest we’ve ever gotten to an inside look at how Google’s algorithms actually work.
In mid December Google introduced a new metric to its guidelines—experience. Although we’ve known for years that a website’s user experience is critical, that new “E” metric isn’t what you’d expect. Rather than evaluating the website, it’s an assessment of authorship. In other words, experience measures whether or not someone has real-world, first-hand experience with a topic.
As Google states:
“For example, if you’re looking for information on how to correctly fill out your tax returns, that’s probably a situation where you want to see content produced by an expert in the field of accounting. But if you’re looking for reviews of tax preparation software, you might be looking for a different kind of information—maybe it’s a forum discussion from people who have experience with different services.”
In a broad sense, E-E-A-T, or “Double E-A-T,” doesn’t actually change all that much. Authorship has been an important element of content quality for quite some time now, and even Google acknowledges that the ideas behind the new metric are by no means new.
Double E-A-T simply represents a new effort by the search engine to further refine its algorithms, delivering content that’s more relevant, valuable and reliable. Provided that you’ve already made an effort to understand and adhere to E-A-T prior to this announcement, it’s unlikely you’ll have to change much about your overall content strategy.
However, if you regularly publish content without proper attribution or your website lacks author profiles, this is the perfect opportunity for an update. Consider the relevant credentials of each person on your team, and use that to assess who may be the right expert to speak on each of your core topics. And if there are any areas in which you lack expertise, don’t be afraid to bring in a contractor, freelancer or guest blogger to fill in the gap.
Google isn’t the arcane, unknowable entity some people regard it as being. It’s actually a great deal simpler to understand than most people realize. Although success is never guaranteed, writing high-quality content and performing adequate keyword research can go a long way towards helping you rank higher on the search engine results page.