Ultimate E-A-T Factor Checklist

July 29, 2020 5 min read No Comments

If you’re operating a YMYL (Your Money, Your Life) site, or simply need to evaluate whether your website is meeting quality guidelines around E-A-T.  I have put together a comprehensive list of E-A-T factors Google and quality raters will look at when evaluating your website or webpage.  I will keep this E-A-T factors checklist updated regularly with new information.  I included the letter E, A, or T next to which specific signal the item relates to.  In some cases, it may relate to multiple signals.

E-A-T FACTORS FOR ALL WEBSITES:

About Pages

Have an about page that is easily accessible and discoverable. Make sure your “About” page contains the following information:

  • Who you and/or your brand is.  It’s a good idea to include information about the company as well as the founder.
  • Mention any certifications, degrees, or other relevant information that will help people establish your expertise on the topic.
  • Link to any important press or media mentions of your brand. 
  • Include the year you started operating
  • List any relevant partnerships
  • Include your contact information

Author Pages:

If your website includes a blog or article section, make sure that you also have author bio pages.  Ideally, the author’s name will link to a page about that author, but if you are unable to do this, include a short snippet about the author on each post.

Author pages should include:

  • Relevant experience, degrees, etc.
  • Other sites they have written on as a subject matter expert
  • Links to places they have been mentioned or seen in, such as conferences, podcasts, news articles, wikipedia pages, etc.
  • Links to their relevant social media profiles

HTTPS: 

Regardless of whether or not you accept transactions, make sure that you have HTTPS certification.

  • Also consider other types of trust-seals and certifications that show your website is deemed trustworthy and secure, for example, McAfee’s Trusted Site seal or other relevant seals

Non-obtrusive advertising: 

If you run website ads or banners, make sure these are non-obtrusive and do not obstruct important information on the article.  Your website should contain limited ads, as too many may take attention away from the content and make your website seem untrustworthy.  Avoid pop-ups and interstitials that negatively affect a users experience on your site.

Social Proof: 

Showcase social proof to highlight positive experiences with your brand

  • Testimonials, ideally including a photo, or better yet get someone to upload a video testimonial to their youtube and embed this on your site.
  • If you can get celebrity endorsements or endorsements from highly recognized people in your industry
  • Links to reviews on external sites like Trustpilot or relevant sites to your industry (Tripadvisor, Yelp, etc)
  • BBB certification and rating,  and a link to your official BBB page 
  • Links to “as seen in” articles

Positive Sentiment

Google will look at discussions around the web to see if people discuss your brand positively or negatively. 

  • Set up alerts for brand mentions and try to actively participate in discussions
  • Respond to reviews whenever possible
  • Encourage people to share your content on social media and start discussions around it.  When sharing something yourself, ask a question that may provoke a discussion.

Use Schema Markup

Schema markup should be used wherever possible to help Google identify information.  Examples of important Schema markup include:

Disclosures: 

Include disclosures and information related to:

  • Ads, advertising policies, etc
  • Editorial guidelines and policies
  • Affiliate links, partnerships, or other compensation received
  • If giving medical advice, financial advice, etc and you are not a doctor, make sure to state that people should always consult a qualified individual for their circumstance,

E-A-T factors for Retail, E-Commerce and other sites accepting payment

In addition to the checklist above, which are important factors for every site to have, if you have an eCommerce site or accept any form of payment in return for a product or service, it’s important to also have the following factors in place:

Products:

  • Individual products should include ratings and reviews so customers can make an informed decision on their purchase
  • Include many images of the product and relevant data such as weight, dimensions, etc.
  • Allow customers to upload their own images of the product, sites like Modcloth are a great example.  Amazon allows consumers to upload images alongside their reviews.
  • Include any relevant safety information
  • Include clear pricing

Return Policies:

All products accepting money in exchange for a good or service should have clear return policies

  • Return window (for example 30 days, does it require a receipt)
  • Clear instructions on what you need to do to return the item
  • If the customer is liable for any return shipping fees
  • What makes a product eligible for a return
  • Will the product be returned for cashback or store credit, and how long it will take to receive funds or credit

E-A-T factors for Nutrition, Fitness, Diet & Recipe sites

Accuracy: 

Always be as factual as possible and cite any studies or research done regarding why a certain diet, recipe, exercise plan, etc is shown to be beneficial.  Link to relevant studies and data whenever possible.

Recipes: 

Try to include as much data as possible in regards to nutritional values, ingredients, substitutes, and more.  Include any relevant statements on allergen info.

  • Allow people to review recipes as this is not only a great way to get star ratings in search results, which can help your click-through-rate, but it can also help establish expertise when a recipe has positive comments and reviews.

Links: 

When linking to ingredients try not to always use affiliate links as this may look disingenuous, and only recommend products you would personally use outside of any compensation

Disclosures: 

Always disclose any compensation you earn for recommending products

Photo originality: 

Stock photos are okay in some cases, but if you will be showing before/after photos of a customer’s (or your own) success with a diet or nutrition plan, make sure these are legitimate photos and not stock ones.  Remember, Google does have the capability to recognize images, and the text around them. 

Rebekah May

Instructor and course creator for UC Davis SEO Certification program. Industry speaker, author and mentor to SEOs. SEO veteran of over 10 years with experience freelance, in-house and directing a team at a marketing agency where I worked with fortune 500 clients around the world.

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