Domain Authority used to be all about links.
Today, Google also evaluates your site based on Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness.
Also known as E-A-T. In many ways, E-A-T is Domain Authority 2.0.
Last year’s Google Quality Rater Guidelines REALLY focused on E-A-T.
To be clear:
E-A-T has been a part of the guidelines for years.
But E-A-T seems to be a more important ranking factor than before.
For example, Google’s new “How Search Works” report mentions that they want to rank “reliable sources”.
They even cite E-A-T as a key ranking signal:
Here’s how to bump up your site’s E-A-T.
Be An Expert (Or Hire One)
If you hire random freelancers to write your content, you’re in trouble.
That’s because Google wants to feature content that’s written by legit experts in their field.
They even go as far to say that medical content needs to be written by health care professionals.
This is a tough thing to fake.
In fact, Google might be using a new form of Google Authorship to figure out who’s behind a piece of content… and whether or not they’re experts in that space.
So if you want your content to rank in 2020, it needs to be written by people that know their stuff.
(Especially in the health niche)
Google probably focuses on off-site signals to figure out your site’s E-A-T.
The rater guidelines spend a lot of time on evaluating the site itself.
For example, the guidelines point out that:
This means having:
- Thorough about page
- Easy to find contact page
- References and external links to sources
- Author bylines on every article
Most of Google’s evaluation of E-A-T happens off of your website.
Which makes sense.
Any random person can claim to be an expert.
But getting other websites to agree with you?
That’s a totally different story.
In fact, Google’s guidelines state that:
Besides creating an awesome site, how do you get other people to mention you and your site as a go-to resource?
First, you need to be cited on lots of other trusted websites.
These don’t even have to be linked mentions.
Something like this can help Google see you as an expert on a given topic:
Second, your site as a whole needs to be associated with a specific topic.
Again, this comes down to off-site mentions. Specifically, mentions from other authorities in your field.
For example, getting listed as the #1 SEO blog by Ahrefs probably boosted Backlinko’s reputation in Google’s eyes.