The Lawyer’s Guide to E-E-A-T SEO

E-E-A-T is not a shiny new thing. It’s been around for many, many years. There probably is not a single lawyer in the world needs to worry about it. But, if you arrived here for a detailed explanation, it’s your lucky day. We’re going to talk about E-E-A-T, and then never talk about it again.

The Short Version:

Law firms need a fast, secure, easy to use site with great content on it. Assuming the site belongs to a legitimate firm and follows basic Bar rules, when combined with good backlinks (from powerful / legal / local websites), their websites will usually rank very well in Google’s search results.

Here’s where you say: “But Len, I’m not satisfied with that answer and I have tons of time on my hands. Please, tell me more!”

Ok. Fine.

What is E-E-A-T?

EEAT is an acronym which stands for Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness.

Google’s “Search Quality Raters” evaluate search results. According to Google’s Search Quality Rater Guidelines Overview, Google has ~16,000 external Search Quality Raters who “assess the quality of search results”. Basically, they score Google’s search results. Their human feedback is then provided to Google’s engineers. Future algorithms could be tweaked in an effort to algorithmically provide quality search results, however, Quality Raters’ feedback is not directly impacting search results or algorithms.

In Google’s own words: “Search raters have no control over how pages rank. Rater data is not used directly in our ranking algorithms. Rather, we use them as a restaurant might get feedback cards from diners. The feedback helps us know if our systems seem to be working.”

That’s it.

So, as you can see, EEAT itself is not a ranking factor. Google has repeated this many, many times.

eeat screenshot

Do Attorneys and Law Firm Websites Need E-E-A-T Anyways?

Sure, but hopefully your website already FAR EXCEEDS what Google wants to show in search results. If it doesn’t, you’re probably violation of the Bar Rules.

If you’re not sure, see our article: Law Firm Website Bar Compliance and ABA Rules.

Anyways, here are a few things that Law Firms (or any other business) should have on their website (and this is all  from the “Search Quality Rater Guidelines (QRG)” which is linked at the bottom of this article):

  • Who is responsible for the website?
  • What do you do?
  • Are your review legitimate?
  • Is your firm in basic legal directories?
  • Is there an “about us” page?
  • Where are you located?
  • Is the Google Business Page working?

Isn’t E-E-A-T a Big Deal?

Algorithms affect different types of websites differently. For example, a website about heroin addiction, a website about used vehicles for sale, a casino’s website, a Law Firm’s website, a recipe website and a news website are all treated much, much, much differently.

A search for “diabetes” is going to bring up websites such as the CDC, Mayo Clinic, and the American Diabetes Association. A huge correlation in the trust of these sites is the backlinks. You just can’t fake the type of links these sites get.

A website providing advice on the best dog food for Golden Retrievers is held to a totally different standard than a site providing advice on cancer treatments.

For some niches and verticals, being a true authority is extremely important. That said, doctors, lawyers, mechanics, etc., don’t have to worry about ranking for this level of scrutiny.

Misconceptions and What Won’t Work:

A plethora of inexperienced, self-proclaimed SEO gurus out there noticed that after August 1, 2018, when a major core algorithm rolled out, some sites gained traffic while others lost it. The only problem was, they looked at the most extreme examples. Prior to 8/1/18, people were ranking for treating cancer with green tea (think: “just click here on my affiliate link to buy the tea bags”). Desperate for answers, they noticed that high end sites, such as, utilized author bios, peer reviews, etc, etc.

Since then, the ignorant have been attempting and failing to rank websites by sprinkling E-E-A-T on them.

The Lawyer's Guide to E-E-A-T SEO

Solutions and What Will Work:

Despite that masterclass workshop, invite-only, limited-seating, super special E-E-A-T zoom meeting by Mr. Rainmaker, you simply need a good website, as stated at the very top of this page.

If you don’t rank, stop wasting time reading about E-E-A-T and contact us. We provide SEO for Personal Injury Law Firms. If we’re not a match, we’ll even point you in the right direction.

That’s it.

Now I’m hungry.