Although it hasn’t officially been announced by Google, there are many sources reporting that they suspect around December 14th/17th 2018 an update took placed that focused on quality. The update does seem to be somewhat significant and may combine signals around the E-A-T topic.
E-A-T, that was first talked about in August of 2018, is taken from Google’s Q.R.G. or Quality Raters’ Guidelines that detailed, Expertise (E), Authoritativeness (A) and Trustworthiness (T) are important aspects to cover on your site and will count towards ranking higher in search results.
According to Section 4 of Part 1 of the guidelines, high-quality pages possess the following traits:
- Enough main content (MC): content should be ample enough to satisfy the needs of a user for a page’s unique topic and purpose (broad topics require more information than narrow topics, for example)
- The page and its associated content is expert, authoritative, and trustworthy for the topic they discuss
- The website has a positive reputation for its page topics
- The website features enough auxiliary information, for example, “About us,” “Contact,” or “Customer Service” information
- The website features supplementary content (SC) that enhances the user’s enjoyment and experience of a web page
- The page is designed in a functional fashion that allows users to easily locate the information they want
- The website is maintained and edited regularly and frequently
We've also come across several other recommendations that may help towards building a high EAT score such as; include author profiles, credentials and qualifications, link your site author’s Linked In profile, use Author schema mark-up on your site, implement an SSL certificate, work towards strong on-page engagement metrics on content pages, generate backlinks from strong, reputable and relevant websites.
The E-A-T topic has been closely linked to YMYL Your Money or Your Life; sites that are about medical advice, financial advice and the like, will need to show a high level of E-A-T otherwise they won’t rank very highly.
What Wildfire Digital read this update as, is a movement towards brands using more expert writers. While some content can be written by people without technical training or accreditation, all content needs to possess a high level of E-A-T in order to be viewed favourably by Google.