E-A-T: Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness

E-A-T stands for expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness.

E-A-T- is an acronym created by Google in its Search Quality Guidelines and is used throughout that document as the criteria evaluators use to assess the quality and credibility of content.

What is E-A-T?

In Google’s Search Quality Guidelines, Google defines E-A-T as the level of expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness of the creator of the main content; the main content itself, and the website. E-A-T is more important for websites that are classified as YMYL (your money, your life).

What is YMYL?

YMYL is another acronym from Google’s Search Quality Guidelines, which stands for Your Money, Your Life. Examples of YMYL topics or pages are ones that can impact a person’s future happiness, health, financial stability, or safety.

How does Google use E-A-T?

E-A-T is the criteria Google’s search quality evaluators use when they evaluate search results during the 380,000+ quality evaluations Google conducts every year with over 10,000 human quality raters. Google trains these raters on the specific criteria they are looking for with good or bad content quality and E-A-T.

The raters’ feedback is then incorporated into Google’s future algorithms, although it’s important to understand that the raters’ scoring does not directly influence Google’s results; but rather, in aggregate, Google uses their feedback as data points that helps ensure that the content surfaced by their algorithms is in line with what humans would expect from high-quality search results.

Why has there been such a huge emphasis on E-A-T in SEO?

The volatility in Google’s organic search results starting with the Medic Update of August 1, 2018, appears to be tied closely to Google’s emphasis on E-A-T. Google’s core updates of the past 2 years have disproportionately impacted YMYL (your money, your life) websites and content, especially in cases where that content was lacking sufficient E-A-T.

Many sites whose content contains medical, financial, or legal advice saw big traffic declines between 2018 and 2020 as Google’s search results adjusted to surface only the highest-quality, most authoritative and trustworthy content. As a result of these changes to Google’s algorithms, many brands have made the focus on E-A-T a primary part of their SEO strategies to be able to stay competitive in SEO.

Is there an E-A-T score?

No, Google has confirmed there is no specific score for E-A-T or YMYL. My article about common E-A-T myths and misconceptions elaborates further on this topic.

How do you optimize for E-A-T?

The main goal of optimizing for E-A-T is to make the good qualities about your brand, your leadership, your experts, and the people who write for you as prominent as possible on the website. This helps to instill a sense of trust in your users (as well as search engines) that the content you provide is safe, credible, and accurate. The materials provided throughout this page present a variety of actionable tips that website owners can use to improve E-A-T.

Does Bing have a version of E-A-T?

Yes, Bing’s version of E-A-T is referred to as QC: quality and credibility.

To determine QC, Bing looks at the author or site’s reputation, the level of discourse, transparency of authorship, and conversely, the use of name-calling or offensive statements, which can demote a sites’ rankings.

I talk and write about E-A-T a lot. In fact, Google referenced my BrightonSEO presentation about E-A-T as one of several examples of how E-A-T principles can be applied to a website’s SEO strategy.

lily ray talks about e-a-t a lot

Here is a portfolio of my work on the topic of E-A-T (the last video is in Spanish):

Videos

Jump to 5 hours and 48 minutes for my presentation.

Articles

E-A-T meter – graphic by Hayley Carloni

What Does It Mean to Have Good E-A-T?

For the 2019 Pubcon conference in Las Vegas, I conducted original research among 60+ sites that benefitted from recent Google core algorithm updates in order to demonstrate what it means to have good E-A-T.

How to Improve Your Website’s E-A-T

Google’s E-A-T: Busting 10 of the Biggest Myths and Misconceptions

The Mechanics of E-A-T: How Google Patents Can Help Explain How E-A-T Works

5 Ways to Evaluate Your Authors for SEO

How Much Do Users Trust Google’s Search Results in 2020?

We Surveyed 1,400 Searchers About Google – Here’s What We Learned

Webinars

SEMRush: Winning with E-A-T and Algorithm Updates in the Age of Coronavirus

Podcasts

Search with Candour: E-A-T, YMYL, Google Patents and More

Deepcrawl Podcast Episode 14 – Lily Ray – Open Dialog

News with Lily Ray

Recovering from a Google Core Algorithm Update with Lily Ray – Ep. 176

Bill Hartzer and Lily Ray on E-A-T Expertise, Authority, and Trust with Google