SEO is dead. Here’s why it’s all about EAT: Expertise, authority, trust

Google seo eat

Because Google is constantly updating and changing its algorithms, the whole business of SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) is like trying to hit a moving target. However, there is good news for business owners, and there are clear steps you can take to get your fair share of Google juice. 

There are now two distinct SEO aspects: technical and content. The technical aspects of SEO are so complex that it’s effectively dead to the average business owner. To be done properly, it requires an expert service provider who lives and breathes it, but the content side of SEO is where you can take the reins. What you need is to focus your content on three potent words.

Expertise, authority and trust

In 2015 Google released a report highlighting the difference between high quality and low quality web content. This report introduced the ‘EAT’ model, as it’s become known. When used for your content creation, these three words can significantly transform your website visitors’ experience and positively impact your Google rankings.

Let’s look at each one individually and in detail to see what they mean for you and how they can influence your Google position.


Google wants you to showcase your expertise on your topic through your content. The adage ‘an inch wide and a mile deep’ is your guide here. It means that when you’re writing website content (such as a blog), stick to one particular topic and go deep. Don’t try to fit everything you know into one article.

Google is looking for content that’s created by a subject matter expert, so take every opportunity to show the depth of your knowledge. The more you go into detail on a narrow topic, the higher Google will rank your content for that topic.


When it comes to authority, Google is essentially validating your reputation. It‘s providing proof that supports word-of-mouth recommendations. So make sure you allocate time to collect reviews of your business, products and service. Use your Google Business Profile for this to keep everything Google-optimised. 

Google will also consider media articles and other expert recommendations as excellent sources of confirming your authority.

Additionally, Google says it looks at Wikipedia as a form of authority so if you don’t have a Wiki page, now is the perfect time to add this to your tool kit.


Google is looking to confirm your website is a trustworthy source of information, so, for example, if you quote research or statistics, always corroborate the source of your claims. 

Another way you can show trustworthiness on your website is to ensure your contact information is easy to find and remains up to date. This is particularly important if you have an e-commerce component to your site.

As a side note, think about adding the story of the people in your business. This will help to build a sense of familiarity and trust. And, according to Family Business Australia, 75% of consumers trust family owned-businesses.

Three steps to Google success

Using your new knowledge of Google’s EAT model, here are three simple steps to ensure your website performs strongly:

  1. Keep your content up to date. Google loves updated content on websites. If you do nothing else, please ensure you have a strategy for frequently creating new content and updating existing content for your site;
  2. Ask for customer reviews. Reviews are a very effective way to build your reputation online and customers increasingly rely on them. If you don’t have a strategy for obtaining reviews from your clients, now is the time to put one in place and actively pursue new recommendations; and
  3. Get high quality backlinks. What you want is a link to your website from another website with high organic traffic that’s owned by a company that shares your client base. Spend time on a project to place a high quality blog on its website with a link back to yours.

Focus on the content things you can positively influence, and leave the technical SEO heavy lifting to someone who has built their reputation in this.


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