Are you craving a bigger slice of website traffic? Take a bite out of the competition by optimizing for Google’s E-E-A-T algorithm and you’re likely to see more visitors while strengthening your brand reputation. This can lead to more sales and increased revenue.
What is Google E-E-A-T?
Websites are evaluated with quality standards similar to parts coming off a manufacturing line. Google applies a complex quality ranking process to sites. The features that Google deems important have evolved over the years; staying on top of these can ensure a higher position on Google searches.
Developed in 2014 — and modified in 2022 — E-E-A-T (Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness) is a set of guidelines Google uses to determine the value of your content and how well it should rank. By focusing on elements that Google considers favorable for a legitimate company doing business on the internet, your manufacturing website will meet Google’s Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines, which should lead to higher rankings.
It’s worth noting that E-E-A-T principles extend beyond the site. Data, such as a content author’s other published work across the web, also figure strongly into the algorithm.
Let’s dive into each component of E-E-A-T to learn more.
When originally developed, Google’s algorithm was known simply as E-A-T. Google updated their search rater guidelines in Dec. 2022 by adding a second E, representing experience, to emphasize content quality and add weight to content created by somebody with first-hand life experience on the topic at hand.
Experience is especially relevant when it comes to product reviews and travel. People don’t want to make buying decisions based on someone who has never used the product; similarly, planning a trip after reading about a previous visitor’s experience there is much more valuable.
Expertise is the content creator’s knowledge of the topic. Google is looking for information beyond what they consider “everyday expertise.” How much experience and competency with the topic you have is key.
An author with existing articles, professional certifications, and awards will hold more weight than an author who is not deemed an expert in the field.
Authoritativeness pertains to the content author, the content itself, and the website. The site is rated based on factors that show it is a reputable source of information. Are people getting the right answers to their questions from the website?
Inbound links and mentions on authoritative websites can positively influence a site's authority. Google still sees a link as a vote of confidence. Therefore, if a tube fabrication website receives inbound links from other authoritative tube fabrication websites, Google will conclude that the site being linked to is also authoritative.
The Trustworthiness of the content creator, the content, and the site is part of the evaluation. A site that is a source of true, accurate, honest information from an expert is weighted more favorably. The steps you take to protect user information also factor in. Web pages that spread misinformation, hate, harm, or use deceptive practices can receive a lower quality score.
Negative feedback should be addressed as soon as possible. An imbalance of good to bad reviews is an indicator of poor quality. Authentically positive reviews can help address this.
What Kind of Content Affects E-E-A-T?
Google’s automated ranking system is designed to help users find quality content on the topics or questions for which they are searching.
According to Google Guidelines, content should be:
- Helpful to Users
- Written by a knowledgeable source
- Posted on an authoritative site
These pages are referred to as “Your Money or Your Life” YMYL pages. Google has stricter guidelines for these types of pages:
- Medical advice
- Journalistic news pages
- Financial, legal, and tax advice
- Informational pages on scientific topics
- Advice pages on high-stakes topics (home improvement, parenting, etc.)
- Pages that require expertise such as photography or playing guitar
Depending on the industry, a manufacturing website may have pages with this type of content. These pages should be considered when optimizing for Google E-E-A-T ranking signals.
Why Does Google E-E-A-T Matter to Manufacturing Websites?
Fortifying your website with trusted professional information from experts in the industry will strengthen the site’s Google E-E-A-T ranking signals. Implementing these features that signal a trustworthy site provides the following advantages:
- A better experience for users with features they would expect to see on a trustworthy site.
- An edge over competitors not optimizing for expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness signals.
- Strengthens brand trust across the web, not just on the website.
- Builds the authority and expertise of staff associated with content across the web.
Demonstrate Google E-E-A-T Ranking Signals with Site Features
Website features can be used to demonstrate your site’s expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness. E-E-A-T principles protect users from harmful or misleading sites and pages.
These features have varying degrees of implementation. Many can be addressed with site footer changes. Others will require new pages to be built.
Ecommerce sites have special ranking signals because of the nature of the site. Google expects sites to have transparency on how the business sells its products or services.
- Whole Site Features
- Email - Typically an info@domainname address or a catchall for general inquiries.
- Twitter Card - Can attach rich photos, videos, and media experiences to Tweets, helping to drive traffic to websites. Twitter uses a variation of the Open Graph protocol to create rich content on its platform. Twitter allows attribution with the “twitter:site” field. This field accepts a Twitter username that can be associated with the brand’s account.
- Phone number - A direct way for a customer or potential customer to contact the business.
- Social Media Links - Links to the site’s social media platforms.
- Open Graph Tags - Originally developed by Facebook, this protocol helps to standardize content metadata. It is used for social sharing. The social platforms can recognize the Open Graph provided tags and generate a content-rich card for the web page when the site is shared across media.
- Authority Outbound Links: .gov - Linking to government sites. Metal fabrication processes often have ISO, AISC, and MIL-SPEC standards that can be linked to the content.
- Awards/Won link displayed - Showcase awards, industry membership badges, achievements, or anything to show that the business received special recognition or has relevant memberships.
- Average Internal links without 404 - There shouldn’t be errors with internal links, because Google does not want to rank poorly constructed content.
- Business Address - A strong trust signal that shows the business has a physical location.
- Copyright declaration - Copyright law automatically gives full ownership rights to the owner’s creation. A properly formatted copyright declaration can simply contain the copyright sign (©), the current year, the business name, and the sentence following, “All rights reserved.”
- Update content frequently - Updated content means that the site is keeping current with information and Google can see changes in the page content.
- Specific Page Features
- About Us Page - Demonstrates authoritativeness because the page is about the business itself.
- Contact Us Page - Displays verifiable information for contacting the business.
- Meet The Team Page - Associates the people with the brand to build the authority of the content created.
- Person Schema - Uses structured data to represent content authors at the end of the content. Google is analyzing the authority of the author across other places they may have written content.
- Terms of Service - A page about the legal agreements between a service provider and a person who wants to use that service.
- Cookie/GDPR Policy - A statement of cookie usage with GDPR language included. The General Data Protection Regulation is a set of guidelines for the collection and processing of personal information from individuals who live in the European Union. This applies to websites outside of the EU, so it is worth addressing.
- Blog Page - Attributions of authors and the brand to content through a blog feature of a website may help strengthen authoritativeness on a topic.
- E-commerce Site Features
- Customer Service Page - A way for customers to contact the business before, during, and after purchasing goods or services.
- Exchange Policy - A defined exchange policy for instances when a customer needs to swap one product for another.
- Payment Policy - A policy outlining which currencies are accepted and what payment terms are available.
- Return Policy - A statement of the business’s policy if a customer needs to return a purchased item.
- Inbound Links from authoritative sites - Inbound links occur when other websites link to a site. The more of these links come from high-quality authority sites, the more trustworthy a site can be perceived by Google as an authority on the subject matter.
- Fix negative sentiment against the site’s brand - Sentiment is an interpretation of positive, neutral, and negative emotions associated with the content. Google analyzes a site’s sentiment across the entire web. When a brand’s sentiment trends downward, it may impact rankings in the search results. These sentiments come in the form of social media posts, product reviews, and also what employees say about their company.
- Social media properties - People communicate with businesses over social media. Being present on the platform gives businesses another avenue for sales. Social profiles are tied to the brand and the website. Also, the website is establishing trust by displaying identical, verifiable company information.
Demonstrating Google E-E-A-T signals can help a manufacturing website ultimately increase product and service sales. Additionally, site features help give site owners many different ways to show the business is legitimate and that the information presented is trustworthy.