E-A-T & Algorithm Updates: What You Need to Know

E-A-T & Algorithm Updates: What You Need to Know

Understanding E-A-T

E-A-T, which stands for Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness, is a concept that has become increasingly important in the world of SEO and content marketing. It’s not an algorithm in itself, but rather a framework that Google’s human quality raters use to assess the credibility and reliability of websites.


Expertise refers to the depth of knowledge and skill possessed by the content creator or the website as a whole. Demonstrating expertise involves:

  • Creating high-quality, accurate, and informative content
  • Having authors with proven credentials and experience in their field
  • Providing evidence-based information backed by research or data


Authoritativeness signifies the reputation and influence of a website, author, or brand within a particular industry or niche. Building authoritativeness requires:

  • Earning backlinks from reputable websites
  • Receiving positive mentions and reviews from industry experts
  • Establishing a strong social media presence with engaged followers


Trustworthiness focuses on the legitimacy and transparency of a website. Factors that contribute to trustworthiness include:

  • Having a secure website with HTTPS encryption
  • Displaying clear contact information and a physical address
  • Providing a positive user experience with easy navigation and accessibility
  • Adhering to ethical practices and avoiding deceptive tactics

How E-A-T Impacts Algorithm Updates

Google’s algorithm updates are designed to surface the most relevant, high-quality, and trustworthy information to users. E-A-T is a crucial factor that Google considers when evaluating websites during these updates. Websites that demonstrate strong E-A-T signals are more likely to rank higher and maintain their positions, while those with weak E-A-T may experience ranking drops or penalties.

Algorithm Updates and E-A-T: A Symbiotic Relationship

Here’s a deeper look at how E-A-T plays a role in various algorithm updates:

  • Panda Update: This update targeted low-quality content, making E-A-T more important than ever. Websites with thin, uninformative, or plagiarized content were penalized, while those with well-researched, original, and valuable content were rewarded.
  • Penguin Update: This update focused on manipulative link-building practices. Websites with spammy or unnatural backlink profiles were penalized, emphasizing the importance of earning authoritative backlinks naturally through high-quality content and outreach.
  • Medic Update: Though not officially confirmed, this update appeared to heavily impact websites in the health, finance, and legal sectors – areas where E-A-T is paramount. Websites lacking clear author credentials, secure payment gateways, or trustworthy medical information experienced significant ranking fluctuations.
  • BERT Update: This update enhanced Google’s understanding of natural language processing, making it more adept at identifying the intent behind search queries. While BERT itself doesn’t directly assess E-A-T, websites with well-written, informative, and relevant content are better positioned to benefit from BERT’s improved language comprehension.

E-A-T and Your Website: Actionable Steps

Improving your website’s E-A-T is an ongoing process that requires a multifaceted approach. Here are some actionable steps you can take:

1. Content is King (and Quality is Queen)

  • Create high-quality, original, and informative content that provides value to your target audience.
  • Conduct thorough research and cite reputable sources to support your claims.
  • Use clear, concise, and engaging language that is easy to understand.
  • Update your content regularly to ensure accuracy and relevance.

2. Highlight Your Expertise

  • Showcase the credentials and experience of your authors through author bios, about us pages, and contributor profiles.
  • Encourage your authors to establish themselves as thought leaders by contributing guest posts to reputable websites and participating in industry events.
  • Highlight any awards, certifications, or recognitions your website or brand has received.

3. Build Trust Signals

  • Ensure your website has a valid SSL certificate (HTTPS).
  • Display clear contact information, including a physical address, phone number, and email address.
  • Provide a positive user experience with a clean design, easy navigation, and fast loading times.
  • Implement user-friendly features such as search functionality, clear calls to action, and mobile responsiveness.
  • Publish a privacy policy and terms of service to be transparent about your data collection and usage practices.

4. Cultivate Authoritativeness

  • Earn high-quality backlinks from reputable websites in your industry.
  • Engage in guest blogging on relevant platforms to reach a wider audience and build backlinks.
  • Participate in industry forums and communities to establish yourself as a thought leader and connect with potential customers.
  • Encourage customer reviews and testimonials on platforms like Google My Business, Yelp, and Trustpilot.

5. Monitor Your Online Reputation

  • Regularly monitor your brand mentions and reviews across the web using tools like Google Alerts and Mention.
  • Respond to negative reviews promptly and professionally, addressing concerns and offering solutions.
  • Actively engage with positive reviews and thank customers for their feedback.
  • Maintain a consistent brand voice and messaging across all platforms to strengthen your online presence.

The Future of E-A-T and Algorithm Updates

As Google continues to refine its algorithms and combat misinformation, E-A-T will likely play an even greater role in determining website rankings. Websites that prioritize building strong E-A-T signals will be better positioned to weather future algorithm updates, attract and engage their target audience, and achieve long-term success in the ever-evolving digital landscape.

E-A-T is Here to Stay

E-A-T is not a temporary trend; it’s a fundamental aspect of building a trustworthy and authoritative online presence. By focusing on creating high-quality content, establishing expertise, and fostering trust, you can improve your website’s E-A-T and enhance your visibility in search results, ultimately driving more organic traffic and achieving your business goals.

10 Frequently Asked Questions about E-A-T and Algorithm Updates

1. What is the difference between E-A-T and YMYL?

While both relate to website quality, E-A-T (Expertise, Authoritativeness, Trustworthiness) applies to all websites, while YMYL (Your Money or Your Life) focuses on sites that could impact a person’s health, finances, safety, or happiness. YMYL sites are held to even stricter E-A-T standards.

2. How do I know if my website has good E-A-T?

There’s no single metric. Google doesn’t give an E-A-T score. Look for:

  • Strong backlink profile from reputable sites
  • Positive brand mentions and reviews
  • Clear author credentials and expertise displayed
  • Secure website, clear contact info, positive user experience

Consistent high rankings over time can also indicate good E-A-T.

3. Can I recover from an E-A-T-related penalty?

It’s possible, but requires sustained effort. You must genuinely improve your site’s E-A-T, not just quick fixes. This takes time for Google to recognize.

4. How often does Google update its algorithms?

Constantly! Major updates are announced, but minor tweaks happen almost daily. Focus on long-term quality, not chasing every small update.

5. Does social media impact E-A-T?

Indirectly. While not a direct ranking factor, strong social signals can boost brand awareness, drive traffic, and potentially lead to authoritative backlinks, all of which help E-A-T.

6. Is E-A-T only important for large businesses?

No, it matters for ALL sizes. Even small businesses benefit from showcasing their expertise and building trust with their audience.

7. What are some common E-A-T mistakes to avoid?

Some common mistakes include:

  • Thin, low-quality, or plagiarized content
  • Lack of author information or credentials
  • Ignoring negative reviews or online criticism
  • Using deceptive or manipulative SEO tactics

8. How can I measure the impact of my E-A-T improvements?

Track your website’s organic traffic, keyword rankings, backlink profile growth, and user engagement metrics over time. These can indicate if your E-A-T efforts are paying off.

9. Is E-A-T the only factor that matters for SEO?

No, it’s a key part, but SEO involves many factors, including:

  • Technical SEO (site speed, mobile-friendliness, etc.)
  • On-page optimization (keywords, content structure, etc.)
  • User experience (navigation, design, etc.)

E-A-T works in tandem with these.

10. What’s the best way to stay informed about E-A-T and algorithm changes?

Follow reputable SEO blogs, industry news sites, and Google’s own announcements. Stay curious, keep learning, and adapt your strategies as needed.