How exactly the brains in Silicon Valley put together Google's algorithms remains shrouded in mystery. Yet we know quite a bit about it. To update the algorithm Google uses machine learning. An algorithm learns to make independent choices, in this case how high a site appears in the ranking. To get there, the algorithm needs examples of what is good and bad.

Get there manual raters look around the corner: people who indicate, based on Google guidelines, how well a site scores on certain components. Nowadays those are guidelines freely available. This shows that manual raters score based on, among other things, EAT. Below we explain what EAT is, why it is important and how you can make your site EAT-proof.

Huh what, EAT?

EAT stands for expertise, authoritativeness and trustworthiness; three criteria that manual raters use for their scores. They look at the website and its content as well as the author of content on that website. So it concerns these criteria:

Expertise
Website: Is the website organization an expert on the subject? Example: a news platform that has won many Pulitzer Prizes.
Author: Is the author of a website page an expert on the subject? Example: A doctor writes a medical article. But also: an author with experience as a parent on a baby website.

Authoritativeness
Website: How do third parties rate the quality of the website? Example: high substantive appreciation in external reviews.
Author: Number of citations and type of sites on which the author appears. Example: if Jan mainly writes for culinary websites and now suddenly for a car website, his authority is low.

trustworthiness
Website: How reliable is the website? Example: Is there a clear and relevant 'about us' page and, where relevant, clear customer service information?
Author: Same criteria as for authoritativeness.

Why is EAT important?

Google's algorithm is based on more than the EAT score. Implementing all the principles of EAT does not give you a conclusive guarantee of a high place in the ranking, but it does play an important role. EAT belongs to the top 3 considerations for page quality rating. The quality of your website has an impact on how Google judges and ultimately ranks your website. Moreover, a high EAT score implies high quality of your website, which can be a good reason for users to visit your website.

How do you make your site EAT-proof?

With the following seven tips (arranged per section) you can ensure a high EAT score for your website:

  1. overall: ensure a good user experience. Create a logical site architecture, a clear and good search function, label all your content and put it in relevant categories. This gives raters the feeling that they are dealing with a reliable website and it ensures better reviews from third parties.
  2. overall: make it clear on every page who the author is, only then can you score high on this criterion.
  3. expertise: Have your content written by experts. This does not have to be a trained expert, relevant life experience also counts.
  4. Authoritativeness: Own reviews on your site don't help, you have to get it from third parties - especially professional organizations. You can check how you score on this by Googling your organization and excluding results from your own site (search term: 'van ons reviews -site:van-ons.nl').
  5. Trustworthiness: provide a terms of service and privacy policy for the use of cookies.
  6. Trustworthiness: create an easy-to-find contact page and 'about us' page in which you provide clear information about your organization.
  7. Trustworthiness: consider blogging on your site. This shows that your site is up-to-date and that your site is relevant to the important topics you want to be found on.