It has been two years since Google rolled out its quality rater guidelines. The guidelines have been updated frequently since then and contain detailed instructions for quality raters all around the world. Following these instructions, thousands of quality raters around the world sift through tens of thousands of websites, rating them for expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness (E-A-T). They identify the author of the content for a page and rate them according to the guidelines. They also rate websites for the quality of their content. While websites that offer financial or health and wellness advice are at the top of their priority list, it is only a matter of time that this (E-A-T) criteria will be scaled to other types of websites. So if your website falls in the YMYL (your money, your life) category, or any category for that matter, here’s what you can do to meet the EAT criteria.
1. Build Your Author Profile
Do you have multiple authors on your website or do you have only one author? In either case, you need to have an author bio that’s relevant to the topic being discussed on the page. It is also a good idea to include links to the author’s LinkedIn bio, twitter profile, and blog etc. since that would help the Google quality rater verify the author’s authority over a subject. Before this was rolled out, a professional content writer could outrank a real life dentist on a topic like ‘everything you need to know about root canals’. With Google putting increased emphasis on the E-A-T criteria, it is now significantly difficult for anyone other than medical professionals and legitimate medical websites to rank for such topics.
So what can you do to build your author profile? You have to make sure that you pick a niche, an area, a topic around which you will build your authority. If we expand this to beyond medical and financial areas, let’s say a lawyer writing about divorce settlements will immediately have more authority than a content writer writing about the same topic. Also, make sure your author bio as well as your social media profiles reflect your profession. Expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness is easier to achieve of your credentials, your educational background, and your profession are relevant to the topic you are writing about.
2. Keep An Eye On Your Online Reputation
There’s an entire section dedicated to ‘reputation of the website or creator of main content’ in the search quality guidelines evaluated by Google. The quality raters will search for testimonials, reviews, articles, discussions, reddit threads etc. about you (or your website) and rate you based on what’s being said about you online by real people. This means that if you are a plumber and you have wonderful reviews, your website will be rated higher than your competitor’s. Having no online reputation is better than having a negative online reputation, because if the quality raters cannot find anything about you online, they will move on to other criteria without giving you a positive or negative rating.
3. Make Sure The Main Content Of The Page Is Described Properly
Have you ever landed on a webpage and wondered, what is this page about? It happens on rare occasions, mostly because google does a good job of matching your search engine to the pages it shows in SERPs, but it does happen from time to time. There are times when authors do not stick to the topic or when the title of the page promises one thing and the article delivers another. The Google quality raters take this into account when rating the page as well as the author for E-A-T. The quality raters are looking for “a satisfying amount of high quality main content, including a descriptive or helpful title”, so that’s what you should give them.
4. Use Schema Markups To Communicate With Google’s Raters As Well As Bots
There is an easily available schema markup for all types of content out there. Ranging from product descriptions to recipes and medical articles, you can go to schema.org, get the type of schema you want, add it to you html and communicate to Google the type of content you are publishing. The amount of detail that goes into these schema markups is amazing. Look at the schema markup for recipes, it has everything ranging from duration, ingredients, instructions, type of diet and so on. By using a well-defined structure for your content, you will make it easier for the bots as well as the human quality raters to find the information they are looking for and rate your page.
5. Make It Clear Who Is Responsible For The Content On The Website
The content on your page should have a clearly marked author, and your website should have easy-to-find information on who is responsible for the website. Think of a website that offers tutorials of forex trading, is full of content, but does not have clearly marked author and there’s no contact page. From a user’s point of view, the advice on the website will be similar to a stranger’s advice, and the google quality raters will not rate it high. In addition to a detailed author profile, there should be a contact us page on your site that offers detailed information that establishes you as a legitimate source of information.
The introduction of Google quality raters proved to be a game changer for a number of websites back in 2018. Primarily it was just websites related to medicine, health, wellbeing and fitness that were affected, and there was a perception that E-A-T only applied to medical websites (hence the term, the medic update). However, with time these guidelines will be applied to all types of websites. By following the best practices mentioned in this article, you can establish your website as a reliable source of information and beat your completion in the rankings.