How to Establish E-A-T & Rank your Medical & Finance (YMYL) Content?
Introduction to E-A-T
E-A-T stands for Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness. E-A-T has to be established on the website with topics related to medical, financial, or any topic related to Life (health) or Finance or any site taking financial transactions. Google wants website owners to establish E-A-T for the criticality of the topics and has kept it as a ranking factor for the website with Life & finance-related topics (YMYL space).
Pages with medical and finance topics fall under the YMYL category (Your money, your life pages). That’s not it, any site that takes financial transactions is YMYL.
To rank for YMYL related topics you must establish E-A-T (Expertise-Authoritativeness and Trustworthiness) to rank on Google. This is because they may contain a topic that could impact the life/health or finance of the user and the opinion of an authoritative person or an expert with trusted qualifications and experience can make a significant difference.
Example: Who would you trust for the content related to steps to prevent a heart attack? A doctor/medical practitioner or blogger who is not certified for these things. A doctor, right? Google wants you to establish E-A-T on your website pages so that it comes from a qualified and certified source.
Right now, you need to establish E-A-T on the pages/websites with health and money-related topics, but we are sure that Google will expand its ranking criteria of E-A-T to other important topics as well. Why? Because E-A-T guarantees the content to stand every test of authenticity.
In order to establish E-A-T, an author has to show or indicate in its content his or his company’s E: Expertise and A: Authoritativeness, and T: Trustworthiness. If these 3 criteria are matched in health or finance-related content, only then Google will consider these topics to rank on its search engines for relevant keywords.
Steps to establish E-A-T on your website are as follows.
Before mentioning the steps, be informed that we have classified the steps as 1) Must do: Easy 2) Should do: Difficult and 3) Aspire to do: Very difficult.
The “must do” steps are the easiest to establish E-A-T, a webmaster must complete “must do”
The “should do” steps are difficult ones but are the next milestone after “must do”
The “aspire to do” steps are the most difficult, yet one must aspire to complete these steps in future to have
Must do: Add Legal Pages: Terms & Conditions, Privacy Pages, Return Policy
Terms and condition state that how this website can be used. They are absolutely essential if you are selling any product or service on the website. As the users need to know how they are allowed to use these products or services. However, if your website doesn’t involve any financial transactions, it is not as important to have this page. Having said that it is so easy to have a T&C page that you really should have it done on your website. There are multiple free plugins & websites out there offering ready-to-use terms and conditions based on your style of business or services.
Must do: Get SSL on your website
You may already have SSL installed, but the main question is what has SSL got to do with the E-A-T?
As E-A-T stands for expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness, so the last one is trustworthy is something SSL is related to. Will a trustworthy site is not encrypting its traffic with them? Of course, yes.
It may not matter for a static website sitting there for years with no point of interaction with the visitors. But these days, almost every website collects emails from its user. Be it through a Pop-up, through subscription or contact us form, or even in a comment section. So having your site data encrypted Ads the layer of protection between you and your user’s data.
Try Free SSL from Cloudflare.com
Must do: Create a LinkedIn Page of you as an author
Have your LinkedIn Page of yours as an author or a company page, this may serve as an online resume for you or as an online portfolio of your company.
This is to show your career journey/your company path. There are people following you and you post jobs, run ads, and thus it stands as a credible source for google to verify you, your standing in your professional field.
There are exceptions though, if you are a website owner of let’s say about flyfishing, then you may not need a LinkedIn profile in which case it is ok not to have it but you may want to analyse if it’s a proper fit for what you do. Regardless, it is so easy to create LinkedIn Page, and points scored by adding a LinkedIn page would add up to your E-A-T score that it is a must-do step.
When you create a LinkedIn page, make sure it is linked to your website (on the about us page) and your website links back to LinkedIn Page to establish the connection in Google’s eye that you are the same person.
The Linkedin Profile of Indian Author Devdutt Patnaik is the best example of this.
Must do: Approval & verification of the content from the Certified Person
If your page or content falls in the YMYL category or Your money or your life-related category (Medical or finance information)
Bring in an expert on board: Example: A certified Doctor for Medical Articles, Financial Advisor for the finance-related article.
Approach an authoritative person to have your content checked and verified. Use the expert’s name and other contact details on the very article page. This will be the medium for your visitors to verify from the expert that he has approved the article on the website.
Following is the example of the content being approved by the authoritative figure from the very field
Must do: Have Refund-Return policy, Testimonials, Rating, Specs &safety rating
As mentioned, any website taking financial transactions falls under YMYL category. This also applies to the websites passing its visitor to third-party payment sites such as Paypal, Amazon Pay, Skrills etc.
It is a must, that these sites should have the following page
- Refund-return policies, have it linked in the footer.
- Customer’s testimonials, rating & reviews of the product is important, especially when two companies selling the same product, customers may select the one with more ratings/reviews and thus the site with more reviews will really make the difference.
- In-depth spec and safety ratings, especially for the physical products are a must. This may include the performance of the product and the instructions to use these products and safety ratings which may caution users of say, hazards when handled inappropriately or excessively, etc.
Must do: Use unique photos on the author’s bio and about page site
Google Engineer a while ago confirmed that they even consider photos in the author’s bio section and about page. This is a simple yet important step as it is easy to take a unique photo and increase the chance of qualifying for E-A-T. Do not stock photos, Generic photos(pen/diary), use unique and photos specific to you.
If you want to remain anonymous, that’s fine you can ignore this step, google does give you the option (as it states in the quality raters guidelines) of remaining anonymous. There is another option though, you can use any face app to replace your real face with any other or older version of your face.
Must do: Add Contact information inside the footer & on the Homepage
Having your contact information inside your footer & Homepage helps, especially to establish Local SEO for your business. The details must include the name of the business, the Address of the business including the city, state, and the country, it must also include the phone number of the business.
This is essential and helps Google to identify the correct companies when somebody inquiries for job-related or services-related inquiries which involves mentioning of locations. Ex: Car repair in Kansas City Missouri or accountant in Star Idaho. It makes more sense for google to show, its users, the companies within your vicinity, or at least the one near to you rather than showing the page result of a company more relevant and with higher website authority but thousands of miles away.
Must do: Create Quora and Reddit Profile
These two are the most underrated social media site which can matter a lot to establish E-A-T.
Create a profile on Quora and Reddit and then help 20 people (on each of the mentioned platforms) to solve their problems, answer their queries, etc. Take care not to think of this as a spamming opportunity to paste your links as you help them out.
Create an author’s bio add your link as they allow the link of your own website. Put all the information inside the bio. Make a bio line. The whole thing is about you trying to help people, this will elevate your personal branding and not about spamming links wherever you find the opportunity.
Most do: Add Editorial Policy to your website
Adding the editorial policy could add a lot of credibility to what you write.
These policies can have certain guidelines on the steps a content should go through before publishing on a website.
It may involve the two or three paragraphs long policy containing something like what kind of sources you link to, does any authoritative designated or authorized person else proofread your content, etc, and follow the process.
If you are in the YMYL (Your Money Your Life) space or your website is about Health (Human or animal) or Finance or Investment or Bitcoin, Stock Market consider adding a line in each article, perhaps at the bottom or at the top as a grey text. Stating that “This article has been reviewed by our editorial board and it has been approved for publication in accordance with our editorial policies”.
It’s something you can do to let your users know what process your content goes through before being published to enhance the content reliability. In simple terms it is saying that I have these guest writers, I tell them these policies what they need to do is they have to link this to 5 credible sources and then it comes to me the editor and I check if all the guidelines have been followed before approving it.
Must do: Establish E-A-T on the Contact us (me) page
Individuals shy away (rightly so) from adding contact information to their contact page, thinking their privacy will be compromised, as their contact information will be out in the public domain. This is not the case with the organization with a brick-and-mortar setup. However, there is a notion or a myth in the minds of the people that contact information largely means your phone number or residential address (in case of people with no office).
The truth is the Contact us page should have the contact information, which is not necessarily limited to your personal address or phone number. Remember the days when the Telephone directory had every contact detail (Name/address/phone number) published inside a book that was distributed to almost every home, if that happens today, we’ll be exposed to so many scams and abuse.
Why does E-A-T require contact information?
A legitimate organization will always have contact information for its visitors or customers to contact them. So when Google tries to determine if the company or individual is legitimate it searches for contact details. (To instill trust)
Contact details are also required to report abuse or infringements of the users. (to instill authority)
Contact details are required to have two-way communication in case of addressing grievances, that is, to address complaints related to the content or product or service sold or suggested on the website. (to instill authority)
Contact details are essential to give feedback or suggestions to the webmaster about the content, products, or services on the website. (to instill Trust)
Thus, Google wants your contact information to trust your website/company/as an individual. Now, that does not mean, Personal Website owners should enter their residential addresses.
Very often, we have been asked, “I have a blog. What information should I add to the contact information page to establish E-A-T on my website”?
You can add the following information to the contact page without compromising your privacy
- Add Email id to address grievances, complaints, suggestions, queries etc.
- Add Social Media profile page links
- If possible, get a separate phone line or Google voice number dedicated to your business and add the number to the contact page
- Have a contact form set up on the page
- Note: No need of adding an address if you have a blog or personal website, it is not required
What Information is required for a company to add on the Contact us page to establish E-A-T?
For companies with addresses or offices, the location must add the following information to establish E-A-T
- Detailed Office Address of every office location with the location marked on the Map
- Company Email id to address complaints, queries etc.
- Company email id for recruitment or Email id to contact for Sales/Product/Service-related inquiries
- Company Telephone numbers, Board Number to contact, the Phone number to contact for Sales/Product/Service-related inquiries
- Contact us form should be present
Remember, the goal of the Contact us page is to provide visitors with easy ways to contact you.
Must do: Steps to establish E-A-T for Company on About us Page
Unlike the author’s profile, the company requires a different set of content to establish an E-A-T on the about us page. For companies, you need to include the following content to establish E-A-T.
- Content about company
- Company Story
- Customer Testimony
- Map with the correct address and reviews
- Brief about successful projects
- Contact us form(optional)
Example: About us page of this company named “Apptopia”, we think is the best example.
Must do: Steps to establish E-A-T for an Author on About me Page (Personal Website)
Do have the following things on the about us page to establish E-A-T.
Make an author’s bio in WordPress by visiting users <all users < add new. Make sure to link the ‘About’ page inside the bio.
Inside the about us page, state the following things about the author.
- your company in detail
- your idea or story to start this endeavour or blog
- your company’s expert panel and their expertise in their relative fields
- your education qualification
- your expertise
- your experience
- your testimony
- your project names
You can link the above points (wherever possible) to the relevant page of your bio. You can link your Linkedin or SlideShare profile or to the very project links inside the bio to have established credibility. You can also link your social media profile (if relevant to the website topic) on the about us page.
Example: The about page of the author Veronica Roth is a good example.
Why to Establish E-A-T on the About us (me) page?
The First Step to Establish E-A-T is to work on your About us page. While trying to establish EAT you must consider the entity for whom you’ll establish EAT. You have to choose between the Author or the company.
There are different steps involved when you write on the ‘about us’ page for the author(s) and company.
For example, if there are many authors on the website then you are expected to establish EAT for each author. This is a difficult thing than establishing EAT for a company or an Individual Author.
The alternate way is to have a bunch of authors ghost-write for one author and so you need to establish EAT only for that one author.
Must do: State the beneficial purpose of your website.
This will add to the credibility of your website as this step will clearly state to your audience or visitor about whom they are dealing with and what that website is trying to accomplish.
Mention a clear statement above the fold on the Homepage or About us Page stating clearly the benefits of following you/your company stating your beneficial purpose etc.
Must do: Get active on Social Media
Create a Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Youtube, Pinterest account, Tumblr account and be active on social media. Having a social media account for your website won’t increase your credibility overnight.
But having an account on these many social media account and remaining active will definitely boost your authority as a personal brand/company brand and will enhance the stature of you/your company.
In that way have your Facebook/Instagram followers increased. Have more Youtube subscribers etc.
Must do: Feature yourself as an expert author on another website
This is applied to bloggers and personal website owners. It is a fairly advanced technique to establish E-A-T, but a killer one. All you have to do is approach similar website owners from your niche and request them to feature you as an author.
The danger of this step is that you don’t have to do it on paid basis nor on a link share basis because that is a Blackhat method and so Google may penalize your site if it sees a reciprocal link or a fishy link suddenly promoting you as the authoritative figure (author).
It could be a text interview. You can find another blog in the industries. Example: Maybe you are a veterinarian and somebody has a website about pets. You can approach the pet website personnel asking them to do they want to do an article on what it’s like to be a veterinarian? This may include how much a veterinarian makes, the required score, etc.
Google’s quality raters check your website manually, if you pass their quality guidelines then you are through the E-A-T (as long as you pass other things mentioned by Google). This is how Google’s quality raters check websites, make sure you do this and see where your website stands.
Website Name -Site:websitename.com
This is an advance search wherein you search the term of your website and ask google to display a website showing results of that term barring the result of your own website.
Embora Pets -site:emborapets.com
This will let you know what others are saying about your brand. You can see scam vs legit comparison of your website, other results may have your product or course reviews, your site social media presence, etc.
The same thing can be done for an individual term or personal branding terms
Tony Robbins -site:tonyrobbins.com
This very important step to having this reputation test pass as this is what Google will see when they Google you.
We believe that the Quality rater is training AI by just fetching data manually. What they are doing is by providing manual data to their AI they are actually training their system to recognize or catch the patterns by differentiating between the content developed organic (real review) vs built artificially (fake reviews)
Must do: Consider having User-generated content or UGC
The User-generated content has some bad reputation, this is mainly because of the comment section on which other webmasters spam their links by giving fake reviews.
If you can actually cut out the majority of the spam can actually be a very beneficial thing. Example: If you write a content about say “How to cook Pizza without an oven”. There are 100s of articles out there presenting the best solution to cook pizza without an oven.
Then, how do you expect Google to know which one is the best among those? So, Google uses few yardsticks to measure the content quality such as backlink profile, CTR, Time spent on the webpage, comments, feedback, and reviews, etc. Thus, we have comments, reviews on your website that are user-generated content. If you eliminate the spam part out of the comment area, then you have neat UGC content which can help your content rank better ahead of others and can significantly impact your ranking ahead of the competition.
Consider the example of Amazon’s comment section, how helpful they are for you to know various factors about the product which you never thought before.
Think beyond the comment section, use Q&A schema, let people ask you the question over the website and you answer them.
This step adds credibility among users and enhances the user experience.
Should do: Sign-up for HARO (https://www.helpareporter.com)
Sign up for HARO (Help a reporter out)
Inside HARO there are two types of sign-ups, on one side there are 1) Sources and on the other side there are 2) Reporters, journalists and bloggers.
Reporter/Journalist/Blogger can sign up as people who need citation during research for articles. Experts in the field can sign up to be linked to or to be cited.
Example: So, if you are an expert on personal finance and the market has collapse people have lost their money and going into debt.
The journalist, publisher, or blogger will be going out to reach out to these bankruptcy attorneys and get him as a source. So, by signing up and making the profile, the sources can reach out to you by putting out a call and say here are the 5 things, I need a source on that and you fit the best in one of those.
Sign up for this service to be involved as much as possible. It is possible to have these done without the paid account but paid account will definitely fetch you more give you more mentions from bigger publications.
This is for Google to recognize you and your company from a genuine third-party source (HARO) as the expert who can mentor or advise on the matter.
Should do: Create Google My Business (GMB) Listing
This is an exceptional or optional step applicable for the businesses only websites and especially for local businesses. So, if your business has face-to-face interaction with your client, your customers visit your office, etc have your GMB Account created. Basic information required for you to register for Google My Business is your business Name, Address, and Phone number.
You need to provide information as this will enable your company/business to appear on Google Maps, view your phone number, review your business. All these things’ ads up to establish the trustworthiness of the business (and E-A-T).
Once you open the GMB account add all necessary details plus add some photos, add detailed information about the organization, timing, etc.
You can refer to this link to know more about registering and adding your details to GMB
Individual bloggers, there is no need to do anything, just skip this step.
Should do: Conduct an Audit to separate CTA pages and Knowledge content Pages
The knowledge content is to give information about the query, problem, topic, etc. It shouldn’t drive the visitor to unwanted call to action such as buy this course or buy this product to get rid of your problems etc
CTA content is the one that drives you to take actions such as buy this product, take this course, etc.
It is advisable to conduct an audit to differentiate CTA vs Knowledge page and remove any unwanted sales call to action from the Knowledge page.
The idea here is to reduce spamming products and service recommendations on every page (as bloggers are tempted to recommend products whenever possible)
Should do: Try getting more and more reviews
Reviews are very important to Google, as they are the feedbacks from the end-user. They are very important for physical products compared to non-tangible services or even eBooks and courses.
For a larger company you may see reviews from Trust Pilot, Yelp and Better Business Bureau, Google My Business etc are the one that matters the most.
To receive good positive reviews, you must look into the following things
- Your product should solve the problem it promises
- You should provide customer support: demo, troubleshooting, quick start steps, etc
- Answer the questions asked by the audience
- Solve the problem related to the product
If you address all of the above, then the chances of getting a positive review increase many folds. This will help enhance your E-A-T score as reviews (mostly positive review) will be a signal of reliable and trusted brand.
Remember, asking for a review always increases the chances of having reviews, and that too positive reviews. So, always ask for reviews.
Should do: Create Authorship profile on Google Scholar
This may not be applied to every blogger or publisher.
If you are a lawyer, an accountant, a medical doctor, and if you’ve ever written any kind of scholarly article, it is suggested to create an Authorship page on Google scholar and have that linked to the papers that you’ve written and try to link it to your website as well. This can be a really great source for you.
Authorship will literally certify you as a credible, reliable and trusted source (for E-A-T) formerly certified by Google itself.
To create Google Authorship Profile, visit this website: https://scholar.google.com/citations
Aspire to do: Link your articles to Authoritative & reputable sources.
When you finish writing articles, always make sure to link them to a reputable and authoritative source. Use the points from the sources and link to them as a reference site from your website.
This is a good practice and gives confidence to Google to rank you as your references are authoritative and reputable.
Find out a reputable source or the very direct source to link to, especially the government sites, sites of the OEM, or site of Government, University, etc. for example. These sites are more reputable and authoritative.
Consider linking to articles from Google scholar, search reputable sources (unclick patients)
Find white papers there (Google scholar), people would have written scholarly articles on the topic. Link to a good resource.
Aspire to do: Have a Wikipedia Article about you/your organization.
Can’t emphasize more on how much Google puts its weight in terms of authority and ranking (for the branded keywords) to the entity (Individual/Organization) that has its Wikipedia page. The problem is you cannot have a Wikipedia page made for yourself or your company.
So, this is the only activity that you cannot conduct for yourself. If you are an individual or organization with healthy brand value or celebrity status, the sources will add your information based on the criteria of Wikipedia and if Wikipedia approves it, then you are set to have a higher authority figure in the online world. But, as mentioned early you cannot take any actions now, at this moment by yourself for this step.
Aspire to do: Have an interview of you on a podcast or a video
Interview or podcasts are great sources for you to have developed yourself as a personal brand. The reason being as follows
- A third-party entity will have your name and website to have featured on their platform.
- They’ll usually have some amount of traffic or audience that will see you/your company.
- It will be a good signal for Google to see yourself being showcased as a brand or an authoritative figure to be on a trusted website.
It is not as difficult as it seems to have yourself published on these platforms, especially podcasts. The individuals in the podcast world are in constant search of collaboration. Just look into the noteworthy section of iTunes or any podcasters directory such as iTunes / Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, TuneIn, Spreaker, Google Play Music, Blubrry, Digital Podcast, iPodder, Podcasts. Alltop. At first, it may take more than 10 attempts t0 struck a deal with the correct podcaster but with the newer podcaster, you may have to try a bit less hard.
Not restricting to Podcast, you may try featuring in someone’s YouTube video. Try to find someone who can collaborate for your video inside your niche or the one covering your niche. Here, it could be tit for tat
Try getting yourself/your company covered as an authoritarian figure in multi-media interviews of yourself.
Aspire to do: Encourage Branded Search
When Google introduced E-A-T as its ranking factor and started implementing it in the real world, few of the clues were obvious while few were disguised.
Brand-related searches according to us are some of the disguised factors to establish E-A-T. Brand-related searches indicate the popularity, trust, and reliability of the brand.
We’ve been attending seminars of many Google Engineers and this is the thing that they talked about. So, there are plenty of reasons to indicate that the brand-related searches are real things to consider while establishing E-A-T on your website.
How would you promote brand-related searches?
In the companys video mention the brand name wherever possible.
Instead of telling your web address name by character, try asking people to google your brand and click on the first result appearing (if it is appearing of course). If you make a donation, sponsor an event, have a delivery vehicle all should be branded with the same logo, same messaging appearing on every place. This will establish brand consistency and leverage your branding effort to give more impact. This will also enhance E-A-T in the eyes of Google as it will see people are searching for your company with your brand name.
Aspire to do: Try to get your brand/website featured on another website
This one is not easy, getting your own brand/your company featured on another website is difficult. Why would a third-party website or a publisher or a local news channel cover you or your website on their platform? Among few things, which come to mind is how “Brand name” is changing the way people do business, or how “brand name” with their expert information help people save for their retirement?
This is placed in the advanced level, as it can be done in 2 ways.
1) Have your brand set up & established to the level that people would start recognizing you with your brand name. Your brand name would be a reliable destination and very few people can achieve or come close to the feet you achieve.
2) Hiring a PR agency: Perhaps the easiest way, to boosts your company name as an established name in the market.
If you manage to get your, it will enhance your E-A-T score many folds as this will give a very strong, probably the strongest signal of trust & reliability. As the publication featuring your company will surely do research, would rate your company before qualifying your company/your brand name to be published on their website.
Aspire to do: Do something Newsworthy
This is the most difficult among all the steps, do something newsworthy. The easiest way of doing something newsworthy is to do something new/unique in your campaign or in your work. If you want to become newsworthy, try the following things.
- Run a contest to say donate food to underprivileged children or homeless
- Try donating a certain percentage of your profits to the homeless
- Break some record in your industry
- Sponsor community sports team
- Hire a PR agency, build rapport with the journalist
Do the above thing under the name of your brand or your personal brand and the Local news media will have to cover it, as it is a unique way of helping local homeless and needy people, it is for a good cause and done as a very good gesture. The local news agencies, couldn’t help but cover your story.
Go through the whole steps and try to complete as many steps as you can. At least complete the “Must do” steps and you’ll be ahead of most of the websites in establishing EAT, as vast majority of the websites are simply deaf to E-A-T they are just wondering why their traffic is falling all of a sudden.