EEAT as a Knowledge Panel Qualifier

by Wayne Smith

There are misconceptions about how EEAT functions in search, these exist even though Google has specifically said EEAT is a qualifier. It may appear to operate as a ranking factor, but this appearance can be explained as an effect rather than a cause. Most pages have more than one entity or subject and a page can have the minimum required EEAT for one entity but not others ... A page that qualifies for all entities can rank higher. How EEAT functions as a qualifier for the knowledge panel is easier to observe.

Knowledge Panel Needs Verifiable Information

One misconception is EEAT can be established by stating qualifications on one's own website. What can be self-qualified is limited. A website can provide the site name to Google via schema, and provide a self-starter about using schema.

Using Schema to make site name unambiguous

... For Local Business Some Information is easy to verify ...

When somebody signs up for Google My Business, Google mails a letter with a PIN. The postal system delivers the mail to the person at the stated address. With the knowledge that said entity is at the address the person can use the PIN to provide information about the business to "Google My Business," and Google creates a knowledge panel; Business Name, Address, hours, and type of service are all information that the person receiving mail at the address can provide. Two-factor authentication is possible because the business phone number can be provided to "Google My Business."

Your SEO specialist should be able to help in getting a local business established in "Google My Business."

... having EEAT for a location does not mean one has EEAT for topics...

Every subject is a unique entity and every subject has its qualifications. Subjects that involve, "your money your life, (YMYL)," have a high standard. Registering a local business to provide health services does not make one an expert in health care. Health care would require the site entity or business to have verifiable authority or the author to have verifiable authority for the topic.

... Pages with a Knowledge Panel for the site that do not have EEAT for the subject matter ...

Pages on a site where EEAT does not exist for the subject ... still appear in search for navigational intent searches; Those are searches that include the site name with the keyword for the subject. But, may not appear for the subject alone ... hence the appearance that EEAT is a ranking factor. The tell for EEAT on the subject is these pages rank without needing to add other words to the search query, which exist only on that specific to the page.

Your SEO specialist should be able to help in getting topical authority.

Subject or Topical Authority is not Old-School Domain Authority

Page rank is sometimes associated with domain authority, as to increase page rank a common practice is to get links from authority domains for the subject. Page rank would be considered a ranking factor, but E-E-A-T is not a ranking factor and the reason for E-E-A-T existence is to qualify content.

Authority, for EEAT, may be best considered as what source of information can exercise the legitimate influence of one entity over another. Depending on the subject or topic the sources of influential information vary from user groups, publications, and authors who have websites that have been recognized as authorities. For some subjects like recipes, there is no authority other than popularity, or user reviews. For products like the iPhone, the manufacturer is the authority. For services like electrician, the electrician has a legitimate influence on the proper way to do electrical wiring.

Determining authority for a topic requires natural language processing for the topic. The state of the art for natural language processing is by no means complete, and anything that relies on NLP is subject to change. Each topic or search entity has its own set of authorities. How a site or author interlinks to these authorities defines its placement in the hierarchical arrangement of authority.