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Google’s SEO High T-E-A Ceremony

Written by: Eric Yaillen, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.


Recently, I’ve started doing business with many expat coaches and influencers who have relocated to Bali where they regularly engage in daily tea ceremonies. It’s something that is quite common in many Asian cultures whether it be in India, China, Japan, or Indonesia.

man & woman sitting while drinking tea on a cold morning

The purpose of these ritualistic ceremonies, especially when it comes to business, is practicing presence, respect, consideration for others and receptivity without judgment. While these principles can be a reminder of how to best establish the foundation for any business brand, similar principles embodied in three words can also best describe what is essential for today’s marketers to grow their audience.

These are the three pillars that prop up the presence, respect, and consideration – or should I say, the credibility of your brand.

Trustworthiness, Expertise and Authority – or T-E-A.

You’ve probably heard the expression that consumers today want to do business with those they “Know, Like and Trust.” This has become incredibly important. As of late, each year marks a further devolution in trust according to Edelmann’s annual Trust Barometer. It’s further evidence why consumers flock to those that establish and reinforce trust with their customers. In order to build trust into your brand, you need content and websites that help build or reinforce your reputation and that deliver outstanding value. In fact, it’s become so important that T-E-A today also signals what Google and prospects are looking for - expert-level content that answers all the right questions. T-E-A first showed up in Google’s Search QualityGuidelines in 2014 and has progressively become one of the most important aspects of SEO. It became especially critical after the August 2018 GoogleMedic update. Having stellar SEO content to support T-E-A can improve your chances of ending up near the top of Search Engine results and outlasting the test of future Google algorithm updates. It is essential for any successful endeavor. It can also play a role, due to AI being used in email deliverability, having your emails end up in the Inbox rather than in the Spam or Promotions folder.

The basics of T-E-A

In its Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines, Google explains that T-E-A content has a “high level of Trustworthiness, Expertise, and Authoritativeness,” therefore it can easily be construed that placing high-level content on a web page or in an email can result in the following benefits:

  • Higher search engine rankings: Google’s algorithm loves content that promotes your site’s T-E-A.

  • Increased behavioral metrics such as time on page and click-throughs to other pages on your site.

  • Increased social shares and backlinks: People are more likely to share valuable T-E-A information.

  • More featured snippets at the top of Google’s search results can command attention over even the first paid ads.

  • Email has a better chance of ending up in the Inbox rather than Spam or Promotions folders.

Still unsure of the meaning of the concept of T-E-A when it comes to marketing? Let’s break it down further.

Trust (or Trustworthiness)

I put building trust at the top because it is the most important foundational element of your business, and it should be the end result of everything and every interaction you have with your audience. Being trusted by Google and being elevated to a trusted space is quite an honor. You simply won’t rank very high on Google if your content lacks credibility. Trustworthy, quality content that is timely, up-to-date and accurate should be reflected in everything from the title to the copy. An equally important consideration (for Google’s algorithm) is user-friendly organization and quick load times. Here are four additional tips to ensure trustworthy communications:

  • Https to ensure data security on your domain.

  • Cite sources and link to other authoritative websites.

  • Note site ownership and contact information.

  • Be compliant with GDPR, CCPA and FTC rules including readily accessible PrivacyPolicy, Terms and Conditions and other applicable Disclaimers.

Trust doesn’t come overnight. It is generated over time and is constantly reinforced by how you, your company and those who work for and with you interact with your stakeholders, whether they be investors, employees, vendors, customers, or prospects.

When it comes to your communication efforts, the underlying elements to build trust are based on your expertise and how you are judged for your authority on a subject.


Show your audience what you know by creating expert-level content. Content should be relevant to your area of expertise. For example, if you are in real estate, content could be based on what red flags to watch for when buying a house. You can determine exactly what your audience needs and wants to know by analyzing search intent using free sites such as which scans all search engines for relevant questions. Story-telling pulled from personal experience on a topic can also show expertise. The goal is for your audience to see you as a trusted expert in your field and therefore want to rely on you and your product or service. It all comes down to becoming the go-to in your niche by providing users with the accurate, high-quality content they’re seeking.


Don’t stop at expertise. That’s only the beginning. You’re also the authority. You establish authoritativeness when your work receives mentions within your niche on niche topics. What you want is related websites with established authority in your industry promoting your content. Other experts linking to your content demonstrate how polished and trusted your work is. This shows that your content delivers what the headlines and title tags promise. The more your content is able to regularly earn mentions or backlinks on other sites, the more your content and therefore you or your brand will be perceived as authoritative.

You can’t have SEO success without authority which in turn increases your domain authority ranking. That’s T-E-A marketing in action.

Why Is T-E-A important?

Aside from Google saying it’s important, T-E-A marketing is a good way to hold your content accountable, too. So, what’s the big deal? It’s a pages’ value within a site that impacts where the site lands in Search Engine Results. T-E-A, in essence, defines a website’s value. Google’s Quality Rater Guidelines (QRG)do not directly influence page ranking, but Quality raters do keep T-E-A in mind when determining how effectively a site or page meets users’ needs because they assess whether information fits a users’ expectations. A site receives higher T-E-A signals if raters believe visitors might share or recommend the information In other words, get on Google’s good side.

T-E-A and YMYL sites

YMYL (“Your Money or Your Life”)pages are topics that impact visitors’ legal, financial, medical, and safety. These are the types of topics that can seriously affect a person’s health, well-being, or finances and therefore it is easy to understand that T-E-A is extremely important to Google’s YMYL pages. As high-stakes topics, content must be exemplary in its trustworthiness and is reflected in rich expertise and authority, so it’s understandable why Google should hold these types of sites to high T-E-A SEO standards. Just think of the consequences of YMYL that misses the mark. That’s why I find it so disheartening those big tech players from Twitter to Google made subjective decisions based on pressure from government officials to suppress valid information that went against a desired narrative when it came to Covid response.

Public health officials led efforts to have big tech censor and shadow-ban research-supported medical advice that criticized policies resulting in severe health consequences to users who relied on or were conditioned to believe the information they were provided. It’s one of the main current examples of why Trust has continued to devolve. Credible, high-quality YMYL content that matches search queries and is high in T-E-A value puts users at ease. Sites that genuinely provide helpful information or a solution to a problem are more likely to meet these demands. The pages and sites doing T-E-A justice help people make tough decisions, that’s why Google and other content providers should not be subjectively suppressing free speech. Ultimately, users must be the decision-makers as to what is most accurate and trustworthy. T-E-A is critical to creating genuinely helpful YMYL content. Do it right, and you’ll be positioned as a credible resource, and people will trust your research-based advice.

Best practices for T-E-A in your content

Now that you know that the T-E-A we have here is not about something you drink but is really about Google’s algorithm, you should hopefully understand why it matters to your email communication and web pages. When you emphasize trust, expertise, authority, you’re adopting a comprehensive approach to SEO and content marketing. Let these three pillars prop up the credibility of your content. If you want your pages to rank high on Google for the most relevant and searched for terms in your niche, you will want your content to be as helpful and accurate as possible. Apply these T-E-A best practices to make your website more authoritative and trustworthy:

  1. Create an About page to let your audience know who you are.

  2. Collaborate with fellow experts.

  3. Regularly review your content and refresh it as needed so that it does not appear outdated.

There are no shortcuts to developing trust, expertise, and authority.

Your goal is to maintain an organically growing brand with a positive online presence.

Put these tips into action to elevate your brand, increase your SERP and enhance your revenue potential.

Play the game as best as you can, regardless of big tech’s recent missteps simply because, like it or not, Google analyzes everything.

Always strive to ensure every aspect of your digital communication aims to hit high T-E-A standards. By doing so, you give your business the best chance of getting to the top of Google’sranks.

Are you taking appropriate steps to ensure high T-E-A content?

Follow me on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and visit my website for more info!


Eric Yaillen, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Known as a Marketing Technology Wizard, Eric helps his clients save countless hours and expense by streamlining their processes and eliminating unnecessary systems for managing customer information and marketing programs. As the creator of The MegaFluence Method, he applies his extensive knowledge and decades of experience coaching businesses on becoming market leaders in their niche. Email him at or go to to get a free 30-minute introductory business analysis.



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