Ep 3.8: The First Half of E-E-A-T

HomeGeek SpeakPodcastEp 3.8: The First Half of E-E-...

S03e07 – Post


Genny: Experience, expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness—this mouthful, otherwise known as E-E-A-T, is at the tip of everyone’s tongue these days, especially since Google is on the hunt to derank any content that it deems low quality. It’s mentioned in Google’s Search Quality Rater Guidelines, which is used by Google employees to make sure that the search engine is doing a good job ranking YMYL or Your Money or Your Life sites, or sites that talked about people’s finances or health. But seeing as how E-E-A-T shows us exactly what Google considers high-quality content, obviously we want to follow it down to the letter…even if it’s technically not a ranking factor.


E-E-A-T is a huuuuge topic, so rather than try to cram everything into one episode, I think we should take our time unpacking these aspects. Of course, it’s not always easy to differentiate experience from expertise from authoritativeness from trustworthiness because they all overlap and point to each other, in a way, for example, a medical doctor’s experience informs her expertise, and after three decades of working at a hospital, how the heck do you separate one from the other?


I initially wanted this episode to be strictly about Experience, the last aspect added to these guidelines (all thanks probably to the limitless number of spammy reviews and the onslaught of crappy AI content). But then, as I started writing and fixing the script, I realised that expertise and experience are so similar that it’s hard to talk about one without the other. So here we go, let’s talk about E and E.


Introduced in 2022, Experience is the creator’s ability to show the reader or audience that you’ve been there, done that, got the t-shirt, and therefore, know what you’re talking about when you say X. The more you can prove that you have real, lived, first-hand experience in the subject matter, the more likely you’ll show yourself as an authority on the topic and the more trustworthy your content will be. That’s the stuff that Google loves to see, people.


But don’t worry, I’ll get to YMYL in a moment.


In Google’s own words, “Consider the extent to which the content creator has the necessary first-hand or life experience for the topic. Many types of pages are trustworthy and achieve their purpose well when created by people with a wealth of personal experience. For example, which would you trust: a product review from someone who has personally used the product or a “review” by someone who has not?”


So how does one go about demonstrating their experience, you might be wondering.

Start by using the first person in your content.


“My experience using Python for 365 days in a row has taught me this….”, “As a lab manager with over 20 years’ experience…blah blah blah”, “We got 20 of our most skilled gamers to play and rank all the Grand Theft Auto games in chronological order, and here’s how they rank.”


But the internet is crawling with liars and con artists who’ll say just about anything for a buck, so you’re going to have to show your audience that you did, in fact, use Python for an entire year non-stop, that you do in fact have 20 years of experience in a lab, that you really do work with 20 skilled gamers.


How do you do that? Prove it! Upload a pic of you as a high-school dork learning programming languages; shoot a video of the 20 gamers at their desks playing GTA; Create an author page that includes links to previous publications, awards, participation in conferences, etc.


If you are who you say you are, there’s probably more proof of it out there on the internet, so make sure to link it all together to support your claim, and build trust and authority.


Now, you might be confused, because back there, it kind of sounded like I was telling you to prove your expertise and not just your experience. Sometimes, these two things aren’t different.


Paul McCartney is one of the most famous and talented musicians in our lifetime, owing in large part to his classical training in guitar and piano at a young age. John Lennon was only taught to play music by his family members, but are you going to tell me that John Lennon had less musical experience than Paul McCartney at the time of his death?

I hope I’ve made it clear that proving your experience doesn’t always mean “show me your diploma.” In the case of YMYL sites, you should definitely show your diploma, but a lot of the time and in the right context, people are looking for first-hand experience, i.e. honest reviews.


You see why it’s so tricky to talk about experience and expertise as two separate things? Anyway, how else can you showcase your experience:


Create really good content. If you have years of experience in a particular industry, I’ll bet you probably have more interesting things to talk about than what ChatGPT can pull out of its ass.


Good content is not only written well, but it’s also helpful, original, informative, engaging, and probably most of all, true. Do you think a PhD student waits a month before their thesis is due before they get started, or do you think they take their time researching and developing their ideas, conducting interviews, writing drafts, getting feedback, and finally, going through rigorous editing. They don’t just slap some words on a page and call it a day.


They make content that showcases their knowledge and expertise and research. And I’m not saying this to tell you that you need to spend 5 years working on your next blog post, but to focus more on quality than quantity. It’s actually kind of easy to tell when a writer has taken pride in their work. Come on, you can spot it a mile away.


How much of this gold-star content should you be writing every month? Don’t focus on the number. Instead, redirect your focus on writing something that shows off your experience and make it worthy of your audience’s time. Google is shedding itself of thin content, so if you err on the side of loquaciousness, it’s more likely that your content is of a higher calibre than any AI spittle.


And I don’t just mean create a good piece of content, I mean really do the work you set out to do. Go the extra mile. Don’t just make it up—actually test the full functionality of both monday.com and trello; Be that photographer that camps out in the wilds of Kathmandu to get that rare shot of the snow leopard; go to every Italian bakery in Lower Manhattan and try every cannoli; go that extra mile to make your content not only spectacular but definitive and authoritative.


I’m just asking you to care.


Now, none of the examples above quiiiiite apply to the main listeners of this podcast, but I hope I’ve made myself clear enough.


Other ways to demonstrate your experience? How about collaborating with others in the industry outside of your domain. If you’re an experienced so-and-so, you’ve probably participated in seminars, conferences, field research, interviews, guest lectures, or someone else’s blog. The possibilities here are endless, but demonstrating that your expertise is respected and relevant by others in the industry also builds your authority and trustworthiness, and trust me, trust is at the centre of this whole operation. Collaborating with others and lending your expertise is great no matter what. But from an SEO standpoint, getting links from these associated pages is a very strong signal that will contribute to better rankings.


What kind of content should you stick with? Well, fortunately for you, it’s flexible. If you’re comparing monday.com to trello, it makes more sense to make a video with images and screen shares, or at least a well-written but heavily visual article. If you’re interviewing an outspoken university professor about a government’s recent decision to overturn an important piece of legislation, you might find that a video or podcast interview makes more sense. Is your content about how your technology can improve the efficiency and accuracy of data collection in unstable environments? Describe it in a study and show us your findings. If you’re comparing vegan butter, we better see you in your kitchen in a video walking us through the selection process, describing the tastes, the texture, the colours as you show us on camera your top choices. We wanna see you put that vegan butter in your mouth. What better proof of your experience can there possibly be than that?


It’s funny because this could sound like a lot of work, but really, you’re probably doing all of this anyway. It won’t take much to tweak your content to satisfy your SEO needs because it’s already all there.


Now is time for my caveat. Inserting your experience into every piece of content isn’t always appropriate, and in some cases, it’s not going to help you rank. Remember what I said at the top of the episode about your money or your life topics?


These topics are in a league of their own in terms of how Google rates content quality, so be mindful that your experience might be considered untrustworthy or potentially harmful if you use your experience in the wrong context.

For example, having six kids doesn’t make you an expert in paediatrics, and your content about baby formula and cough medicine might score low on E-E-A-T if you’re telling parents which of these medications they should buy. But if you’re creating content for the purpose of sharing your experience with other parents without claiming to know which cough medicine or baby formula is more effective, you might score higher on E-E-A-T.


It’s all about context. Start a friendly forum discussion about how you supported yourself financially through college, and no one is going to accuse you of giving financial advice to young and aspiring freshmen. But, change the language and platform ever-so-slightly so that it does sound like advice, and suddenly your content might be rated low on the quality scale.


Building trust is the heart and soul of this whole expedition. How one builds trust in a reader is the same way doctors build trust in their patients, or friends build trust in their other friends: be honest, don’t manipulate, be transparent, and don’t try and screw over other people for your own gain.


Google’s quality raters also base your trustworthiness on other factors, like your author bio page. Is it indicative of someone with expertise and experience in the topics you discuss? Does your author page link to other sources outside of your website? And while we’re looking outside of your website, does your name or website pop up anywhere else on the internet, i.e., in peer-reviewed publications, popular forums, and other sources? And do these references corroborate what you say about yourself?


These things are also crucial for the quality rater to look at because, as Google explains, the best con artists in the world can most definitely display experience and expertise, but that doesn’t make them trustworthy, which is why your self-purported claims need to be backed up by outside sources that are trustworthy in their own right.

This episode seems like it’s been running around in circles, but if you’ve ever seen Google’s literature on the topic, E-E-A-T isn’t a formula so much as it is a Venn diagram, ergo, a little bit of overlapping was inevitable.

I will cover authority and trustworthiness in a subsequent post, but for now, here’s what I would like for you to walk away with:

  • The quality of your content is based on your experience and expertise on a topic.
    Your experience and expertise are markers of trustworthiness. The more you can demonstrate these factors, the more trustworthy your content will be.
  • Higher levels of trust are needed for sites that talk about finances, personal well-being, or the well-being of society.
  • Your experience on a topic may not be as relevant as your expertise, especially if the topic you’re discussing is highly complex or highly specialised.
  • Experience carries a lot of weight in the context of honest reviews, but not so much as expertise in the context of YMYL topics.
  • Quality raters won’t take your word for it. To be deemed trustworthy, your content—as well as your experience and expertise—has to be corroborated by other experts outside of your domain of influence.

It’s so funny that there’s so much about EEAT that we can pick apart, when really, it all falls under common sense, doesn’t it?

So, go back and give your existing content the royal EEATment. Use the first person, spruce up your author page, get links from outside sources, and evidence your experience.


I think that’s all I’ll say about the topic for now. Stay tuned for the other half of the EEAT equation, which I will talk about in June. Thanks for listening, everyone. Don’t forget to follow us at geekytechgeeks on social media and if you have a few seconds to spare, we’d really appreciate you leaving a review on your favourite podcast app—the more reviews we get, the more visible we are to other marketing geeks.

Until next month muchachos y muchachas, adios.

Get all your digital marketing questions answered (without having to ask).
Tune in to listener-led episode.
Blog post S01E06

Show Notes

  • In this May episode, Genny dives deep into the first two components of E-E-A-T: Experience and Expertise. Understanding these elements is crucial for creating high-quality content that Google values, especially for Your Money or Your Life (YMYL) sites. How do these aspects influence content quality and how can you demonstrate them in your content?

    Key Episode Takeaways

    • Importance of E-E-A-T: Why Google focuses on these factors and their relevance to YMYL sites.
    • Experience vs. Expertise: The similarities and differences between these two components.
    • Demonstrating Experience: Tips on showcasing real-life, first-hand experience in your content, i.e. prove it!
    • Creating Quality Content: The importance of creating original, helpful, and truthful content.
    • Context Matters: How the relevance of experience and expertise varies depending on the topic.
    • Building Trust: How links and mentions from trusted outside sources are crucial for building trust.

    Practical Tips

    1. Use the First Person: Share your personal experiences directly.
      • Example: “Using Python for 365 days in a row has taught me this…”
    2. Provide Tangible Proof: Show evidence like photos, videos, and links to relevant publications or awards.
      • Example: Upload a video of testing products or participating in relevant activities.
    3. Create High-Quality Content: Focus on writing informative, engaging, and well-researched articles.
      • Example: Detailed comparisons, original research, and in-depth reviews.
    4. Collaborate with Industry Experts: Enhance your authority by associating with recognized figures in your field.
      • Example: Guest posts, interviews, and participation in seminars or conferences.

    Stay tuned for the next episode in June, where we will cover the remaining components of E-E-A-T: Authoritativeness and Trustworthiness.

Helpful Links

Implement these strategies and watch your site climb the rankings. Here’s to your success! Now go forth and optimise!

Support your fellow marketing geeks! Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram @GeekyTechGeeks for all things SEO and advertising related—and while you’re at it, why not subscribe, like, and follow us on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, or wherever you listen to your favourite shows.


Have any questions you want answered on the show? Email us at contact@geekytech.co.uk.


Thanks for listening 🤓

Share This Post
About the Author
Picture of Genny Methot
Genny Methot
Genny Methot is Geeky Tech’s storyteller. She heads up our social media content, blog posts, and the Geek Speak podcast. Click here to learn more about Genny.
Shopping Basket