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Google’s E-A-T is now E-E-A-T

3 min read
Google's E-A-T is now E-E-A-T

Google updated its Search Quality Valuator Guidelines on 15 December 2022. While many are familiar with the concept of E-A-T, an acronym that translates to Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness, Google has prefixed it with another E, which stands for Experience. The concept, according to Google, is now E-E-A-T or “Double-E-A-T”, if you prefer. Every piece of content will now also be evaluated by Google on the basis of if it has some degree of Experience in what the communication presents is experiential.

What is E-E-A-T?

Google says “Now to better assess our results, E-A-T is gaining an E: experience. Does content also demonstrate that it was produced with some degree of experience, such as with actual use of a product, having actually visited a place or communicating what a person experienced? There are some situations where really what you value most is content produced by someone who has first-hand, life experience on the topic at hand.”

“For example, if you’re looking for information on how to correctly fill out your tax returns, that’s probably a situation where you want to see content produced by an expert in the field of accounting. But if you’re looking for reviews of a tax preparation software, you might be looking for a different kind of information—maybe it’s a forum discussion from people who have experience with different services.”

But…

T-rust is most important factor in the PQ Rating

And that’s because no matter how much of E-E-A a page can bring into the picture, if it is not accurate, honest, safe, and reliable, everything else is simply thrown into the bin. That makes Trust the most important critical component of the E-E-A-T concept. However, how a page is determined “Trustworthy” depends entirely on the type of page. For example (according to Section 3.4 of Google’s Search Quality Valuator Guidelines):

  • Online stores need secure online payment systems and reliable customer service.
  • Product reviews should be honest and written to help others make informed purchasing decisions (rather than solely to sell the product).
  • Informational pages on clear YMYL topics must be accurate to prevent harm to people and society.
  • Social media posts on non-YMYL topics may not need a high level of Trust, such as when the purpose of the post is to entertain its audience and the content of the post does not risk causing harm.

How is E-E-A-T evaluated by Google?

Google evaluated E-E-A-T on 3 different scales: Lowest, Medium, High Level, and Very High Level.  And websites are evaluated and rewarded on the same. Let’s take a detailed look into how Google has defined each of these scales in its Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines.

Section 4.5.2: Lowest E-E-A-T

Section 4.5.2 of Google’s Search Quality Rater Guidelines states:

“If the E-E-A-T of a page is low enough, people cannot or should not use the MC of the page. If a page on YMYL topics is highly inexpert, it should be considered Untrustworthy and rated Lowest. Use the Lowest rating if the website and content creator have an extremely negative reputation, to the extent that many people would consider the webpage or website untrustworthy.”

Section 6.0: Medium E-E-A-T

Section 6.0 of Google’s Search Quality Rater Guidelines states:

“Medium quality pages have a beneficial or non-harmful purpose. A page on any topic or any type of website may qualify for Medium. Medium quality pages have adequate information about the website and content creator for the purpose of the page. For stores or websites that process financial transactions, examine the customer service information. They are created with adequate effort, originality, talent, or skill such that the page achieves its purpose.”

Chapter 7.3: High Level of E-E-A-T

Section 7.3 of Google’s quality rater guidelines has information regarding the criteria for achieving a high level of E-E-A-T. Regarding demonstrating experience, Google says:

“Pages with High E-E-A-T are trustworthy or very trustworthy. Experience is valuable for almost any topic. Social media posts and forum discussions are often High quality when they involve people sharing their experience. From writing symphonies to reviewing home appliances, first-hand experience can make a social media post or discussion page High quality.”

Section 8.3 Very High Level of E-E-A-T

Section 8.3 of Google’s quality rater guidelines has information regarding the criteria for achieving the highest level of E-E-A-T:

“Very high E-E-A-T is a distinguishing factor for highest quality pages. A website or content creator who is the uniquely authoritative, go-to source for a topic has very high E-E-A-T. A content creator with a wealth of experience may be considered to have very high E-E-A-T for topics where experience is the primary factor in trust. A very high level of expertise can justify a very high E-E-A-T assessment. Very high E-E-A-T websites and content creators are the most trusted sources on the internet for a particular topic.”

Irrespective of the nature of your website, you’d do well to stick to these guidelines and create content accordingly. Slight deviations aside, you should strive to touch every aspect of the E-E-A-T strategy with equal focus. You can go through these guidelines in detail here before taking the next big step your website.

Mohit Behl
[email protected]