Google’s algorithm is designed to judge the quality and trustworthiness of the content that it crawls. Did you know that Google has a team of humans responsible for verifying this information? Google hires algorithm spot checkers called Quality Raters (QRs) to verify the accuracy of the algorithm by following the Search Engine Rating Guideline. Google has now associated “E-A-T” (Expertise, Authoritativeness, Trustworthiness) with “Page Quality”. What does this mean? It means that your content has a better chance of ranking higher if the author of the website has high E-A-T. It is important for your website to demonstrate why you should be considered an expert. All published content must be well-researched, reputable and trustworthy. E-A-T is still a fairly new SEO concept but is becoming increasingly important for rankings of financial, medical, legal, news content, and anything that gives advice. It is time for pet businesses to stay ahead of the curve and comply with E-A-T now, especially if your content is giving advice. Just because you own a dog, doesn’t mean you are credible to give dog training or pet-related advice. Optimizing your website will help you stay ahead of your competition and help establish your content as high-quality with Google.
So, what is E-A-T anyway?
As mentioned, E-A-T is made up of 3 main principles: Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness of your website’s content. Google uses these principles when crawling website content to determine the quality of content so they can deliver the best results in search engine results pages (SERPs).
The author of an article should be an expert on the topic they published. These raters are instructed to find experts experience to see if they are indeed a reputable source. This means that as a professional pet sitter or dog walker, your website should clearly display your education and/or experience to prove you are a credible source to give pet-related advice.
What Should You Do?
- Review your ‘About Us’ page and ensure that your biography clearly identifies why Google should trust that you are a reputable source for information about pets. Ditch the information on what you did before pet sitting and focus on why you should be trusted as an expert on the subjects you are writing about.
- How many years of experience do you have? What do you have experience with? How long have you owners your business?
- Proof and explain why you should be considered a trusted expert.
- Display all formal education associated with the pet industry.
- Volunteer work at local rescues, humane societies etc..
- Recognized certifications and courses in animal behaviour, pet first-aid and CPR etc..
- Invest in personal branding in addition to business branding to establish yourself as a thought-leader.
- List memberships like NAAPS, PSI, BBB, IBPSA etc..
- Submit citations in global, local, and industry-specific directories.
The author should be well-known in the subject matter or an industry leader. You don’t need to have 10,000 Instagram followers but being active on social media can help! If you are well-known locally, local link building can help build your authority.
What Should You Do?
- Have you won awards in your industry or service area? List those on your website.
- Gain local backlinks from reputable sources like local vets and other related organizations.
- Use anchor text to hyperlink your content to high E-A-T articles.
- Stay active on social media, engage, and continue to grow your following.
- Include the name of the author and short biographies on all blog articles.
- Share news articles on your website and social media where your business is mentioned.
- Guest post for local businesses like vets, newspapers and other related high E-A-T websites.
There should be proof that you and your website is a trustworthy source for information. Out-dated websites that have not been well-maintained can really damage your professional reputation.
What Should You Do?
- Ensure that your website is professional with high-quality error-free content.
- Get rid of any low E-A-T content, like old and now inaccurate blog posts, as this can harm your sites overall reputation
- Keep your website up-to-date and secure with SSL Certificate (HTTPS).
- Link to sources like Google Reviews, Facebook Reviews, Yelp! etc.. that establish credibility in your business
- Do not post inaccurate information
- Never buy or sell links. Ever!
“Establishing your EAT is becoming more and more important on all websites, especially on those that dispense advice. In order to make yourself stand out, be sure to have a fully-packed biography on your About page, and one specifically for your author bio on blog posts. List your education, training, degrees if they’re pertinent to your business, certifications, and industry memberships (PSI, NAPPS, IBPSA, etc). Also list any training you and your staff do, like pet first aid and CPR. It also helps to link out to all groups you mention.” Amy Toman, Pet Sitter SEO
Author Bio Example:
How does Google Evaluate E-A-T?
Google wants to make sure that their algorithm is following the E-A-T guidelines. This is why they hire human contactors to do spot checks. High E-A-T can be categorized into one of these categories:
- High Reputation – the publication is written by a well-known individual.
- Good User-Experience – the publication helps users do what they need to do and answers their questions.
- Self-Reference – the website is about itself.
Low E-A-T can be categorized into one of these categories:
- Unprofessional – The main content is written and formatted poorly, and full of grammatical errors.
- No Expertise in Industry – There’s no proof that the author has enough experience on what he or she is writing.
- Demonstrably Inaccurate Information – There is clear evidence that the content displays wrong information that is inaccurate or out-of-date.
A good reputation can take years and years to build. If you don’t have a high-reputation currently, that doesn’t mean you can’t have high E-A-T. Start now and focus on providing a great user-experience, publish well-researched content that is high-quality, and make sure your website is clear and concise. Help Google understand who you are and why they should consider YOU an expert, authoritative, and/or trustworthy source for information on the pet-related topics.
Erika Godwin is the President of Barketing Solutions and the Co-Founder and CMO of ProPet Software, an industry-leading kennel management software. Erika has over 8 years of experience with WordPress and graduated from Elmira College in 2009 with a BS, Business Administration- Marketing and Management.