Have you lost organic traffic? Say welcome to Google E-A-T

Have you also experienced a loss in organic traffic since the 1st of August 2018? Then it’s probably due to Google’s new E-A-T update. E-A-T (Expertise, Authoritativeness, Trustworthiness) is a new, major update of Google’s algorithms that penalize the visibility of websites by applying new quality parameters. That’s why it’s important to understand E-A-T to avoid loss of valuable organic traffic.

Why have you lost organic traffic since the 1st of August? Learn more about Google E-A-T

Did you open your website data log in August to find out that something was completely different than usual? If so, you’ve been hit by Google’s latest search algorithm update, which manages what is shown first on a user’s search hits.

Google launched a major update of its algorithm that determines website rankings in its search hits list on the 1st of August this year.

The objective with the E-A-T update was to enhance the visibility of websites with high-quality content and authority, which has not been rewarded sufficiently until now. Google has particularly focused on ensuring the quality and trustworthiness of key landing pages for product purchase, financial sites and those with general information content. This is to be able to give users the best and most relevant results.


Some industries are more exposed to Google's E-A-T

After the first two weeks, the update gives a clear indication that some industries are more exposed, by being penalized for poor quality and trustworthiness. That’s why a major drop in rankings and incoming traffic has been widely experienced. 

Businesses that focus on healthcare have so far experienced the biggest change and drops in rankings, and many experts therefore nicknamed the update ‘the mediq update’.

Software company Rank Ranger has compiled a list illustrating the major changes in ranking stability within the health industry. Websites with rankings on the front page in particular have experienced considerable changes in their position, and whilst others have benefited, some have been severely penalized and lost decisive visibility in user searches.

Table from Rank Ranger


The E-A-T update does not just concern the health industry, which is why any business should make sure they read the updated rules and check that their digital content complies, to ensure continued presence in Google search hits. We are happy to help with this process.


What is E-A-T all about?

As mentioned above, E-A-T stands for Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness. Google has shifted focus from brand reputation and domain authority. It now ranks the quality of website content and sources higher. 

“Expert” – You need to be an expert in your field. This means you need to show you have the appropriate credentials (college degree, job experience, etc.) and mention it in your content. Expertise is less important for humor or gossip websites, but it’s vital for medical, financial, or legal websites. The good news is any site can show expertise if the content is truthful and useful for users.

“Authority” – You need to show that you are an authority. And you can get this from the expertise of your writers. If your page is a community or forum discussion, the quality of the conversation drives authority. Credentials are important, but so are personal experiences like reviews.

“Trust” – You need to show users they can trust the page they are on. This is especially important for eCommerce websites that ask users for their credit card information. Everything about your site should make users feel safe while they’re visiting.

That makes it even more important to have expert resources and content experts for your website to ensure that content trustworthiness is high. And that’s why it’s also even more important to use clear sources and authors to meet the criterion of sufficient expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness in website content. 

Google EAT


What can you do if your rankings have dropped after Google’s E-A-T?

There is no ready solution to dropped rankings. Your webmaster needs to continue to improve UX and content. A good place to start is to identify the most important pages on your website in Google Analytics and check for lost organic traffic. You can then draw up a plan for optimization based on the E-A-T principles. 


Klaus Colding

Director, Ecommerce