You are what you EAT: How to optimise SEO towards Google E A T scores


EAT is an important concept in the Google Search Quality Rater's Guidelines. While it's surprisingly complex, there are some easy things everyone can do to improve their Google EAT score. Our SEO Director Helene Klaustrup shares her best practice insights on getting your score up.

TL:DR - Download our EAT takeaway menu to have the basics always on-hand.


If you haven’t heard of EAT before, it is an acronym devised by Google to describe a set of criteria set out in Google’s Search Quality Evaluators Guidelines, a  somewhat intimidating 175-page document that instructs how Google’s Search Quality Raters should score results when doing a search review. It stands for

Expertise. Authority. Trustworthiness.

Yes, you read that right. Google employs flesh-and-blood people to manually review search results to ensure that when a new major algorithm update is released, it promotes high-quality sites containing factually accurate information.

This old-fashioned, labour intensive process is done for a very modern reason: to reduce the amount of hoax and conspiracy sites that appear in Google’s search results.

Back in 2016, Google came under serious scrutiny when the Guardian published an article dissecting the misinformation in Google’s search results and suggested search terms. 

While these results were most probably shown because the algorithm responded to strong engagement signals, it raised the question of Google’s responsibility to filter search results and ensure accurate and appropriate results are shown.

To their credit, Google rose to the challenge and at this very moment their Search Quality Raters are reviewing and scoring search results to identify the Expertise, Authority and Trustworthiness (E-A-T) of the sites shown. 

In practise this means every major Google algorithm update favours sites with high levels of positive E-A-T signals.


Does every site need to care about EAT?

E-A-T is important for all websites to consider. But it’s more critical for certain industries than others.

Sites that deal with money, health or significant life-decisions - coined as “Your Money or Your Life” (YMYL) sites by Google - need a higher E-A-T score than non-YMYL sites.

For example, if you’re trying to rank for ‘cancer treatments’ or ‘how to get a mortgage’, your site will need to have a higher level of E-A-T than if you were trying to rank for ‘cute kittens’ or ‘what do you call a group of giraffes’. Apparently some people think that cute animals are not a life or death matter, but whatever.

Similarly, if your website has an ecommerce element, you are considered a YMYL site because you handle money and thus are held to a higher standard than sites which do not sell products.


What influences a site’s EAT score?

While there is some overlap between the three elements of E-A-T, we know Search Quality Raters look at each element individually. So when you’re looking at improving your site’s signals - so should you.

How to increase your Expertise

Expertise is driven by the proven expertise of the content creator or author. To enhance your score, you need to focus on ways of demonstrating you are good at what you do. That could mean winning awards from reputable organisations, or referencing and linking to endorsements from other well-established experts in your industry.

Building backlinks from highly reputable websites identifying your website/organisation as experts is never a bad idea. Neither is creating detailed, useul, relevant content that shares your expertise with the people who need it.

If you are generous with your expertise and offer it willingly, you will be rewarded with a big E score and better searchability.

Those are all ways of showing your organisation;s expertise. But you can also show Author Expertise at the individual level.

This means it’s wise to create profile pages for content authors on your website, and where they have them, reference their formal qualifications (this is especially important in finance and pharmaceutical industries, or anywhere that has high regulation and compliance requirements. 

You can build your authors’ reputation and expertise by having them published on influential and credible external sites. And it’s a great idea to engage your in-house experts to update and proactively manage their overall web presence, whether it’s on LinkedIn or author pages on web publications.

How to increase your Authority

Authority is different to expertise, though it is easy to get the two confused. Authority is closer connected to your website’s stability, strength and reliability as a platform. 

Authority comes from having and showing confidence in what you do, which you can boost by publishing new and original thought leadership content. After all, if you have authority, you are not afraid of shaping the agenda from the front. If you create and publish solid independent research, this could be a goldmine for your Authority score and you should make sure that this content can be viewed and indexed by search engines - and hosted in a folder on your main domain, not a subdomain or externally!

But technical quality is critical for Authority too. Your website needs to be a reliable performer. Ensure your on-page usability is excellent, and that all your content is factually accurate and supported by expert consensus where possible.

Raise your domain’s authority with positive customer reviews and encourage backlinks and interaction with other industry authorities. Make any awards and endorsements from authoritative and accredited organisations especially prominent - even if they don’t link to your organisation, the fact that they mention you or cite your work will positively impact your Authority score.

As before, display your writers’ credentials and show off about their formal qualifications.

How to increase your Trustworthiness

Trustworthiness is probably the ‘softest’ and most human measure of the three, and possibly the hardest to define.

But everyone knows it when they see it.

To make sense of it we can break it down into four further categories for easy thinking:

1. Customer Service

For websites which deal with money, customer service is a massively important trust factor.

Extensive customer service information should be easily available on-site.

Trustworthiness is an effect of openness - so have your customer service contact information available on every page. And in your dedicated customer service area, offer as many methods of contact for people to reach you as possible. customer service phone number prominent on all pages & offering as many methods of contact as possible.

And of course make sure your Contact us pages are prominent and easy to navigate to from all key pages.

2. Security

This is another technical stability issue - but all content should be hosted securely with proper security certifications. Insecure content will greatly reduce your search engine Trust score.

3. Reputation

Ensure website information such as site ownership & responsibility are easy to find on the site. A strong ‘About Us’ content section including clear information on the purpose of the website and contact information helps to dispel doubts and grow trust.

And don’t repeat yourself. Duplicate copy could be viewed negatively. But legitimately licensed or syndicated copy is not considered to be "copied". So ensure the origin point of your content is clear and open.

4. External Trust Indicators

Do all you can to encourage linking from reputable financial experts and organizations. Awards from prestigious groups & other forms of recognition such as recommendations from experts or organizations in your field all point towards your Trustworthiness and help you rank higher in more searches.

If you operate as an ecommerce site or a physical location, you want to pay especially close attention to review sites such as Trustpilot, Tripadvisor, Feefo and even your Google reviews. These sites publish independent customer reviews and are a key source of Trust indications for anyone looking to shop with you or visit your location.


There is a lot here to take in. Building healthy E-A-Ting scores takes time and effort - along with strategy and expertise. 

Think of Google EAT scores as a multi-course, silver service banquet - not a light snack.


We have put the TL:DR of this article in a handy one-page menu to keep handy for your SEO and EAT strategy.

Download it here - and contact Anything is Possible to chew over any big SEO challenges.