Do you want to improve the perceived quality of your content? Of course, you do. This article will show you how structured data can be used to support establishing E-A-T for your website.
How To Use Structured Data To Support E-A-T
Google’s purported emphasis on Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness (E-A-T) as a key issue in the current ranking algorithm, has ignited a lot of interest, views, and opinions within the SEO community in recent times as well as being the basis of many myths and misinformation.
A major and recurrent question surrounding E-A-T is whether, and to what degree, it’s an integral ranking factor in Google’s algorithm.
Google has been consistent in its assessment of the role played by E-A–T in its algorithms, as well as the way it is utilized by the search quality raters declaring the following “Google’s algorithms identify signals about pages that correlate with trustworthiness and authoritativeness,” as contrary to E-A -T being a quantifiable, quantifiable measure used by Google’s algorithm.
To prove this, Google recently provided an update to this issue to clarify that E-A-T is not in itself a ranking indicator, but more of a framework that encompasses the various indicators Google utilizes to determine and rank the best content.
In an update for March 2020, Google stated that:
“Assessing your own content in terms of E-A-T criteria may help align it conceptually with the different signals that our automated systems use to rank content.”
Google’s communication on E-A.T leaves plenty of possibility for debate and interpretation, which can lead to the same question being asked by many SEO experts:
If E-A-T is that important what can I do to optimize my content in order to improve its perception of E-A-T?
If you follow E-A-T principles when creating your content you will be providing valuable content for your site visitors. It doesn’t take a brain surgeon to work out that any site that manages to create Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness, is heading in the right direction.
Although Google’s official responses to questions regarding E-A-T make many SEO professionals unsure about the next actions to take, there’s one proven, under-utilized strategy that can be used to boost not just E-A-T but overall organic performance as well. Utilizing organized data (Schema.org) up to its maximum capacity.
How Structured Data Can Help With E-A-T
Structured data is a method of letting the search engines know what your content is about so if we want them to assume that your content is there to establish Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness, schema or structured data can certainly help with that.
The proper use of structured data can assist with E-A.T for many reasons. One reason is that structured data can help establish and consolidate the relationship between different entities, in particular between the many places where they’re mentioned online.
In Google’s words, the markup “helps” them by “providing explicit clues about the meaning of a page” which Google utilizes for its own purposes to “understand the content of the page, as well as to gather information about the web and the world in general.”
Utilizing organized data for establishing these connections will make it easier for Google to determine the E-A-T of a particular web page, website, or any other entity as it could aid in:
- Reduce confusion between entities.
- Make connections that Google would not have created in the Knowledge Graph.
- Give additional information on an entity Google may not have found without the structured information.
As Knowledge Graph and Google patent expert Bill Slawski commented:
“Structured data adds a level of preciseness that a search engine needs, and might not grasp, because it doesn’t have the common sense of a human.”
If your search engine isn’t sure of the entities that are listed on a webpage and their connections, it can be difficult for their algorithms to assess the competence, authority, and credibility of the content.
Structured data can also help identify entities that have identical names, which is essential when looking at E-A-T.
Slawski gave a couple of intriguing instances of this:
“When you have a person that is the topic of a page and they share a name with somebody else, you could use the SameAs property and link to a page on them on a database of knowledge like Wikipedia, to clarify that when you speak of somebody like Michael Jackson, you mean the King of Pop rather than the previous Director of Homeland Security – they are distinct individuals. Some businesses have names they may share with other businesses like the group Boston who shares its name with the city of.”
Structured data is basically a method of feeding Google important information on the subjects on your website as well as the people who are contributing to it. It is also a tool to clarify what may be ambiguous information and make sure the search engines are looking in the right places for additional data.
This is a big help for Google when assessing the credibility and trustworthiness of your website and the people who created the content.
Implementing Structured Data for E-A-T
In the case of WordPress web pages, Yoast is the renowned SEO plugin that includes a number of built-in Schema capabilities. It has been constantly expanding new Schema kinds and features in the last few months.
In order to improve E-A-T, the process of applying structured data isn’t as crucial as the different types of Schema that are listed on the site. Enhancing E-A-T means giving Google multiple data entries concerning the reliability, reputation and trustworthiness of the writers and experts who add information to your site and form your business.
E-A-T also covers your brand’s reputation as well as the experience your customers have on your site and making use of your products or services. These elements are crucial to reinforce with Schema whenever it is possible.
It is also essential to correctly structure your Schema so that search engines recognize the different properties of an entity as well as the connection between them and other entities.
Alexis Sanders offers a fantastic explanation of the advantages of nesting Schema and the best way to properly do it in his article on JSON-LD.
Schema nesting is both correct and powerful and allows you to:
- Simply read the Schema in the tool for testing Structured Data.
- Learn about the principal entities listed on this page, and also their connections to each other.
- It also removes the typical problem of having multiple duplicate or contradicting Schema kinds on one page (often because of multiple plugins that inject Schema concurrently).
When creating a product’s page, for instance, it’s crucial to clearly explain and differentiate the relationship between the Organization that publishes the site and the Organization that manufactures the product. If you place them correctly inside a nested arrangement, you can clearly define the different roles they play rather than simply declaring that they appear “on the page.”
Which Schema Types To Use To Improve E-A-T
There is a myriad of Schema varieties and properties to be included on your website in order to transmit the appropriate messages to the search engine concerning the E-A-T of your business.
Below are five instances of some of the top-priority possibilities to utilize Schema to identify good E-A -T However, this list still can be added to.
1. Person Schema
Google’s initial mention of E-A.T. within their Qualitative Rater Guidelines starts by asking raters to look at “the expertise” as well as “the authoritativeness of the creator of the main content.” This information can be sent to search engines via using Person Schema.
This Schema type has a variety of possibilities for properties that can be included to provide additional details about the person and many of them strongly endorse E-A.T. This includes (but not only):
You should consider including Person Schema on these properties, so that your founder, creators of content, or experts who contribute to your content (at a minimum) are listed on your website. A biography page for the author is a good idea and the ideal place for displaying this Schema type.
You should be aware that it is a requirement to ensure compliance with structured data, that the information is visible on the webpage.
Another method to improve your usage of Person Schema is to use it to distinguish that person’s name from the other names that are similar on the Google Knowledge Graph. If that person is listed as a member of the Knowledge Graph (which you can check) you might want to consider linking to the Knowledge Graph URL using the sameAs property. This can provide Google an extra level of confidence to make sure that the correct person’s Knowledge Panel is displayed for queries that are unique to them.
While Google declared that it had been removing sameAs markups for Facebook profiles, you may still make use of sameAs for different reasons, by linking to:
- The user’s Knowledge Graph URL.
- The Wikipedia site, their freebase profile, or Crunchbase profile.
- Other reliable sources in which the person is listed on the internet.
It’s also worth noting that there are other search engines that utilize Schema than Google. So listing social profiles with sameAs is still a great method.
Organization Schema is undoubtedly one of the most effective Schema models to aid E-A-T efforts. This Schema type has a wide range of properties that could give additional information about your brand or business For instance:
- the founder
- the date of founding
- parent organization
A lot of companies use Organization Schema without leveraging these fields or the numerous other features that are available with these Schema type. Think about incorporating these details into the most relevant webpage about your company (generally usually an “About Us” or “Contact Us” page) and then marking the page in accordance with this.
3. Author (Schema property)
The Author is a Schema property that is utilized to create every Schema category that comes within either the CreativeWork Review classifications, like Article and NewsArticle. This property is intended to be used to mark up the author’s byline on the document.
The typical type for an Author’s property is the person or Organization If your website publishes content for the company, you must identify that the writer is an Organization and not a person.
4. reviewedBy (Schema property)
The property reviewed by offers a wonderful opportunity to show off your website’s great E-A-T. If you have experts who review your products or content, for instance, legal or medical reviewers, you should consider placing their name on your website as the person who checked your content’s exactness. You can then leverage the property reviewedBy to display the individual (or organization)’s address.
This is a fantastic strategy to consider if your authors might not have E-A-T or a prominent online presence, yet your reviewers are experts and have a well-known online presence.
For WordPress websites that use Yoast reviewBy, a feature is currently being evaluated for their roadmap. This feature will let you identify the reviewer who reviewed your content, by choosing one of your authors from within WordPress.
5. Citations (Schema property)
The Citation Schema property allows you to list other articles, publications, or works of art your content references or hyperlinks to. This is a great method to demonstrate to search engines that you’re referring to credible, reliable sources to back up your work. This is an excellent strategy for E-A-T.
In addition, listing citations within Schema markup could help you place your brand’s image against other brands you are associated with, which could help provide Google with information on the credibility of your brand.
Use Structured Data to Support E-A-T Initiatives
Schema.org is a library of schema templates that are continuously being developed. It is an invaluable resource that shows you how to use and format your schema.
Although structured data is not a rank factor, Google always recommends the use of structured data and making use of as much of it as is possible to aid the search engine to understand the significance of your website.
It is likely that aiding Google to better understand your content and the people who are on your website through structured data, it will help streamline and improve their efforts to determine the quality of your site and its E-A-T.
Keep an eye on the constantly changing Schema.org library and make use of the various Schema properties and types that are listed here to help you decide the way your material should be organized.
Schema is a great way of getting information into Google. You have a lot of control over what information is given and by using the many options available cleverly, you will be able to help them understand better how much Expertise, Authoritativeness and Trustworthiness your website should be credited with.
Although you will need to continue updating and adding schema to new pages, it is largely done once and benefits forever approach. So take the time and effort to get it right and if you are one of the many that prefer to have a team of professionals takes care of this, just get in touch with our team and we will be pleased to help.