25. ONE TAKEAWAY
E.A.T. is important for backlinking because E.A.T.
is at the heart of Page Quality scores.
If your link INCREASES the Link Prospect’s PQ
Score, you are in with a shout. But if it reduces
or makes no difference to their PQ Score, you
have nothing to bargain with.
26. Booker T Washington said
"Associate yourself with
people of good quality, for
it is better to be alone than
in bad company."
Title: How to EAT Links
Someone will tell you that EAT has NOTHING to do with backlinks. I beg you to watch this presentation and make up your own mind. Because I may talk rubbish sometimes, but I do have more than a passing understanding of links and backlinks…
**Description: The idea of “Expertise, Authority and Trust” is a central pillar in Google’s Quality Rater Guidelines. Unfortunately, they talk very little about links – but the idea makes for a sensible and readily transferrable way of looking at links. This talk looks at how you can think of links in terms of Expertise, Authority and Trust and use this to build a better presence on the web for your brand.
This is Majestic
This is me.
EAT is used heavily in the Quality Rater Guidelines.
What are QR Guidelines? 170 pages
Why important to SEOs?
What Google’s algo aspires to.
The recommendations come from Google themselves… not from third party opinion.
EAT stands for
Expertise, Authority and Trust
Does the QR Guidelines talk about BACLINKS? No.
The guidelines mentions link (or links) 120 times.
But they are MOSTLY talking about links OUT of a page.
This will be obvious, because the quality-rater doesn’t have access to the backlink profile.
But these things that Google is asking their raters to check for helps you both write better content AND get better links.
Quality Raters are asked to set a PQ score for every page they visit.
Google’s algorithms are trying to emulate these scores.
So you want links from pages that will get GOOD scores.
You probably also want CONTEXTUAL links from these pages, but if you get non-contextual links, then you are likely to have the effect of reducing the PQ score in the future.
Transition => because Google has already set an expected PQ score by machine. PQ is checking that Google’s algo got it right. So over time, any spam technique that is visible to Quality raters will gain in numbers and start to affect the PQ score which, in turn, will cause the engineers to consider how to mitigate low PQ scores.
Note that below a certain threshold of quality, Google engineers really do not have to worry.
This is my favourite Quote, form an advisor in the Whitehouse in Roosevelt’s time.
Because Google is really trying to assess quality.
The links OUT of a page get the E-A-T treatment. Because a link OUT of a page says something (a lot actually) about the Expertise, Authority and Trust of that page, the link itself affects the PQ of a page.
Think about this when you ask for a link… Are you making their page better or worse? Be honest…
There are a few other acronyms in the document that are important
The rate guidelines ask the rater to Keep their eye on the ball and look hard at the difference between:
MC – Main Content
SC – Supplementary Content
Ads – Monetized content.
This doesn’t mean supplementary Content is bad! Quite the opposite. It is a link opportunity
Sometimes, google is looking for focus in content.
If I am trying to improve the Page Quality, then Instead of a 10,000 word article, I might consider short paragraphs and then linking out to pages with more detail on that section.
This can work for you in an outreach situation. You might persuade others to link to you, because you have that supplementary content and level of detail within your content?
Do the QR guidelines gus a clus as to whether Wikipedia links are good?
Links from Wikipedia are noFollowed. But noFollowed links still matter, because Qraters are not TAUGHT about NoFollow!
They ARE, however, encouraged to research Wikipedia to see if the page or MC stands up to scrutiny!
Now… Google is trying to mimic what the Qrater sees. I propose that it must do that by recognizing links TO a page from Wikipedia as a signal of quality.
Unless the link is inapproporiate! In which case, it’s 6 of 1 and half a dozen as to whether Google (the the Qrater) notices.
By the way – not even all Wikipedia pages are of the same quality.
Majestic has a great Chrome (and Firefox) extension that lets you see the key metrics of ANY web page instantly without leaving the page.
There is even a free version and no data is shared with Majestic. So every SEO should have it in their arsenal.
I use it ALL the time.
So this is an example in the QR guidelines of perhaps the lowest Page Quality.
Very little content
Question is not answered or even consistent.
Not all pages on this site are bad… Page quality is NOT site quality. (TF?CF > DA/SA)
By the way, I tracked down this page. It has since been updated to just list the ”BEST” answer and the related links have come off,
But Majestic still sees the page as pants.
A Caveat, here… Ever since Google started to offer answer boxes, not just 10 blue links, Answers.com is a competitor to Google. So even though Google is right in this case, I want to make it clear that other pages or articles on Answers.com may be excellent.
Consider everything at the PAGE level. A great site has bad pages. Some bad sites may even have the odd good page.
The Qraters do not just analyze web pages.
They also check SERPs and things like Maps (This one)
Here’s a SERP relating to Google maps and they cite a link as being beneficial to the user here.
The point they make is that it is a link to directions, but the QR will be looking for a better UX.
So claiming your GMB listing and adding the link is REALLY a good link building “thing” to do.
From here on. Imagine each Gif was the content on a web page….
So the QR Guidelines are all about a web page demonstrating E.A.T.
So your two questions as a link builder are:
Does this web page ooze E.A.T. and
Can a link on this page help THAT PAGE’s E.A.T. (and OPQ) scores?
You can only evaluate this based on what a link does for THEM… not what it does for YOU!
So let’s look at the three pillars of EAT in turn and how you can play to them.
This – by the way – is one of the few Gifs that I found that demonstrated all three pillars of EAT.
-If this gif was on a wildlife centre website. I would EAT them.
But it is not as easy as you think to get all three pillars in one web page. As the link builder, ask if you can give that web page the missing pillar.
Let’s look at these one by one.
Visual cues are brilliant for demonstrating expertise. Look at this GIF. This guy IS an expert. No question. You want links from pages that demonstrate this level of expertise in THEIR subject matter.
If the site/page doesn’t already show some level of expertise, then this may not be fertile ground for a link. But perhaps you can help them along that route.
- A YouTube video or a Slideshare are really easy things for site owners to embed. Also really easy for the web owner to decide whether it adds real value to their visitor. YouTube assets can make for great links! If someone embeds your video into their page, do you really need to ask for a link as well? Certainly, offering a video or slideshare or even and infograophic that makes the page content contain more evidence of expertise is much easier than asking for a link! And once that asset is there, a link request is MUCH easier, as you are asking for attribution, not just a link.
So let’s move on to Trust.
How might you offer to make a page more “Trustworthy” by adding a link?
An example of using the Trust pillar to develop links (with a widget)
This page (one of mine) is a home page DESPARTELY trying to ooze trust!
But there may be link opportunities for third parties here.
What if the Global Search awards had a video of the award ceremnony or comments by the judges?
What if those brands had a review of my product
Or what if the SEOs had reviews on their sites?
These might all influence me to put a link on the home page. I wouldn’t… because the home page is sacrosanct… but I might link to an internal “trust signals page” which could link out for verification.
But links from home pages DO happen!
Here Smartmoney business awards has managed to get a link on the home page of Starlingbank. It demonstrates extra TRUST, for the bank, but only if you trust the awards. A bit of digging by the QR would help determine that, but Google could use simple Pagerank like scores on Smartmoney business awards wensite to emulate the WR’s research.
But I believe a BETTER link opportunity would be from the FCA.
Third is Authority.
Demonstrating Authority is MUCH. Harder. Both for you and for the web page.
I even found it really hard to find a Gif that demonstrates or oozes “authority”. I wanted to FEEL like this when I was looking for the right GIF. Animation or someone pretending to be an FBI officer just wasn’t cutting it for me.
This may be why .gov pages are perceived to carry so much weight. It is less likely to be a function of the domain tls. More about the perception of authority.
How might the QR assess “Authority”? How might a link to YOUR site improve the Authority of the source page? It’s really not easy.Certification badges – especially ones that link to the badge issuer. Has certainly helped
If Starlingbank linked to THIS URL, THAT would be a sign of authority!
This would be a link that… if the FCA asked for… would benefit all parties. Firstly, the user would be easily able to verify whether Starlingbank is indeed, allowed to operate as a bank. Second it would give the page a potentially higher PQ score and thirdly, it would do no harm for the FCA as they lend their position of authority to their members’ pages.
When it comes to Authority, people of authority may have an advantage for getting links.
There is a lot in the guidelines about WHO is responsible for the (MAIN) content (MC)
The content writer
The Website owner
An Advertising network
If the author is responsible, then they better have some kudos relating to the MC, which is evidenced on the page or in the SC. Otherwise the PQ will not be good enough to get a link benefit.
Not even Bill Gates is authoritative about Popular Culture.
The author’s persona matters!
I am truly honoured to once again be allowed to talk with you today at Brighton SEO. I never take these opportunities for granted.
I’m going to leave on the same slide that I started with. I think it may ring more true than when we started.
Goodbye and thankyou.