Demonstrating first-hand experience is now one of the most important factors for Google search rankings. If you want guaranteed rankings, it is important to follow the E-E-A-T principle, which stands for Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness.
This concept was introduced by Google through its Search Quality Raters Guidelines, and it uses it to evaluate the content quality of websites and subsequently determine their rankings on SERPs. Let’s take a deeper look at E-E-A-T and the importance of first-hand experience.
What is E-E-A-T?
The E-E-A-T principle has completely changed how content creators draft content on their websites.
The experience aspect involves Google considering the writer’s first-hand experience related to the topic they’re writing. Expertise refers to the level of knowledge and skill a writer has with respect to the type of content they intend to create.
Authoritativeness refers to the reputation and respect of the content creator or website in question, and trustworthiness relates to the overall reliability and integrity of the content and website.
Google places great importance on the E-E-A-T principle within its ranking algorithms and systems. In areas such as health, finance, and technology, where accuracy and trustworthiness are fundamental, there’s an even greater focus on the E-E-A-T principle. Websites with a higher experience, expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness are likely to rank higher in SERPs.
Experience recently became a part of Google’s new content evaluation system. The move was announced by the QRG and released on December 15th, 2022. As mentioned, experience refers to the knowledge or skill gained by the content creator through a particular activity.
Experience can be gained through practical implementation or observations. For example, a writer with strong financial acumen and background will rank higher for experience when writing content specific to their industry.
Google added experience because it believed that people like to read first-hand experiences when browsing websites when making important decisions, specifically health or finance related ones. Content pertaining to the topics associated with such industries is quite significantly impacted by Experience.
So, if you are a creator looking to create quality content to get Guaranteed rankings in 2023, make sure to gain ample practical experience, especially when you’re writing content that impacts a reader’s physical, emotional, or financial well-being.
Experience and Expertise
Experience and expertise are two terms that are often used interchangeably, but they are fundamentally different from each other. When talking about experience, Google considers the level of first-hand life experience or practical implementation of the content they are writing.
Most pages automatically become trustworthy and authoritative when written by people with plenty of experience in the subject matter. For example, would you trust a product review from someone who has used the product or from someone who hasn’t?
On the other hand, expertise refers to the level of skill or knowledge of the content creator on a particular subject. For example, would you consult a skilled plumber regarding your plumbing issues or a DIY enthusiast who isn’t qualified to resolve your issues?
Generative AI and Experience
The rise of Generative AI content technologies has made quality content more accessible. These technologies can develop human-like content that oozes accuracy. It makes it quite challenging for the reader to distinguish between AI-generated content and the one created by humans.
That said, while AI content generation is inarguably relatively faster and more efficient, they lack the experience, expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness readers look for when making important decisions. AI doesn’t possess the same level of empathy and personal connection that authors can generate with their content.
Even though AI content is accurate, it lacks authenticity and originality and may consider errors or inconsistencies. It may also lack inclusivity, which is fundamental to many people when they’re reading content and making decisions.
Such factors can impact your website, leading Google to look for E-E-A-T when ranking content, and if you’re solely using AI to dish out content, you won’t get the guaranteed search engine rankings that provide you with greater visibility.
Demonstrating Experience in E-E-A-T
In today’s world, where a plethora of content is floating around, it is important to demonstrate experience so that your content ranks higher. However, showing experience and displaying it within the content in a creative way can be pretty challenging. To optimize your content for experience, you first need to understand the difference between expertise and experience.
Make sure to use both principles strategically and when required. Share your experiences wherever relevant. For example, if you have taken out mortgages from a particular institution, share your experience so first-time homebuyers can benefit from your content. Your experience can list details about the institution, the entire process, personal experience, and recommendations.
When writing content that demonstrates experience, make sure you’re transparent and honest in what you write. Provide facts and direct encounters with a product or service. You can also feature insights from industry experts within your content to demonstrate experience.
As a website owner, it may not be easy to curate content that adheres to the E-E-A-T principle. You may not have the necessary time or expertise to do it. Therefore, hiring expert content writers and SEO specialists can help you curate content that goes above and beyond in attracting your audience and ranks you higher on SERPs.
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Guest article written by: Julie Andrews has worked as an SEO specialist in New York for six years. She has helped hundreds of business owners and websites to reach their target audience with impeccable content creation and SEO services. She is an avid follower of Google’s content creation principles and helps clients understand the newly released E-E-A-T principle.