Andrew Raso February 14, 2023

Everybody wants to produce top-ranking content that gets clicks, but it is always easier said than done. These days, if you want your website and content to stand out from the crowd, you will need to get on top of Google’s quality guidelines. One element of its guidelines is the E-E-A-T formula. 

But what do these letters stand for, and how can you ensure your content meets the latest requirements? In this blog, we’ll look deeper at Google’s E-E-A-T principles, how you can demonstrate them in your content, and how the search engine determines whether your website is up to scratch with its content.

What are Google’s E-A-T principles?

Over the years, Google has taken its search experience for users more seriously and has developed a framework to ensure only quality and useful top-ranking content is displayed following a search. This framework is known as the Search Quality Rater Guidelines and is where Google’s E-A-T principles can be found. 

E-A-T stands for expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness. Let’s explore these three principles in greater detail. 

Expertise 

Whether you’re Googling which washing machine to buy for your new home or want to know the benefits of seeing a chiropractor, you want to know you’re getting your information from an expert. Google understands this and will only display good content from:

  • An established expert in the field, like qualified professionals or trusted figures within the industry. For instance, if you are searching for information about purchasing a property, Google is more likely to offer content from lenders, real estate agents, or other experts in the property industry
  • A person with proven real-life experience in creating content around a particular topic or subject, such as a public speaker, content creator, or entrepreneur
  • An individual who can demonstrate expertise across particular subjects and topics by sharing personal experiences. For example, someone who has struggled with fertility issues posting about their experiences through blogs or forums

It’s important to remember that under the expertise principle, Google prioritizes the page for its content, not the website itself. This means that Google believes the author is the expert, not your business.

Authoritativeness 

When talking about authority, we generally think about someone with the knowledge and expertise to make major decisions. And when it comes to sourcing good content online, you and your website must be regarded as the ‘go-to’ for information on particular topics related to your industry. 

Of course, there is no easy way to determine which website is more ‘authoritative’ than the other, which is why Google uses two sources to determine the authoritativeness of a website: the voice of the people and the opinion of other experts. Google collects this information via reviews, media coverage, awards, other accolades, references, and more. 

Trustworthiness 

Like anything in the digital space, trust is crucial. Users should be able to trust that the website they are visiting is not only legitimate but transparent and is providing true and accurate information. Google does not and will not direct users to websites it believes have unethical practices or has very little information providing the business’ legitimacy. 

Here are a few factors Google looks for when considering trustworthiness:

  • Sufficient contact information, such as a physical address, phone number, email, or social media handles 
  • References or mentions to trustworthy sources and websites 
  • Accurate information that can be supported with another resource 
  • Transparency for the owner of the business or website 

What about the extra ‘E’ in E-E-A-T?

Until recently, digital marketers and content specialists developed and published E-A-T content to help businesses and online websites improve their search engine optimization (SEO). However, in December 2022, Google launched its latest formula update for content, E–E-A-T

While this was a minor update, E-E-A-T content means creators have one more element to consider with their content. However, the search engine has reassured creators that if their websites are already following the standard E-A-T formula, the new addition will not cause a major change in content production.

But what exactly does this extra ‘E’ stand for? 

Experience 

The additional ‘E’ in the E-E-A-T content formula stands for experience, making the new formula stand for experience, expertise, authority, and trust. This addition refers to the ‘extent of experience’ the creator has to justify producing the content. Or, as Google puts it:

“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?”

Think of ‘experience’ as a review for a product you’re interested in buying. Would you trust a review from someone who hasn’t even used the product? The same logic applies to Google’s understanding of experience. 

How do you demonstrate ‘experience’?

As we mentioned, if your website has already adhered to the previous E-A-T content formula, you may not need to make major changes to your existing or upcoming content. 

In fact, according to Google, content creators with a wealth of experience in their respective fields may already be considered to have high E-E-A-T for topics where trust is essential.

What is the importance of Google’s E-E-A-T principles for SEO?

Many factors make for effective SEO, from high-volume keywords to internal linking and unique content. E-E-A-T is also essential for successful SEO, as Google prioritizes and ranks pages that follow standard SEO best practices and the E-E-A-T content formula. 

What is YMYL in relation to E-E-A-T?

YMYL stands for ‘Your Money’ or ‘Your Life,’ which can reference various topics, sites, or industries where the content can impact a person’s livelihood — websites pertaining to finance, well-being, health, or personal safety. Websites that fall into the YMYL bracket must have a high level of E-E-A-T to get to the top ranking in Google.

The seven types of YMYL websites 

Wondering if your website falls under the YMYL category? It’s important to ensure you know your digital standing, as failing to acknowledge your obligations can impact your SEO tactics. Google considers the following websites to be a part of the YMYL category:

  • News and current events sites — This refers to any news sites or publications reporting on topics that impact a person’s well-being, such as politics, natural disasters, and major business decisions.
  • Government and law sites — These are sites that deal with a person’s civilian rights, local government, local community developments, and more.
  • Finance sites — From financial comparison sites to financial advisors, banks, and insurers, these websites provide information surrounding financial or investment advice.
  • Health and safety sites — These websites provide information about medicine, hospitals, medical treatments, and personal and workplace safety, which can impact a person’s well-being.
  • Online retail sites — These websites are considered eCommerce or provide information about shopping or other shopping services. 
  • Community sites — This can refer to a website that focuses on a specific social group, including religion, sexual orientation, nationality, disability, and more.
  • Other sites relating to a person’s decision-making — While these may not carry as much weight as the sites mentioned above, these sites can still impact a person’s decision-making process, such as fitness and nutrition, college selection, or employment opportunities.

How important is E-E-A-T for non-YMYL topics or websites?

If you run a non-YMYL website, following E-E-A-T guidelines may not be as necessary, but it’s still not a bad idea to optimize your content to appease Google. However, it’s important to remember that if you host a YMYL website with some non-YMYL pages, you must prioritize E-E-A-T as part of your SEO strategy to ensure your rankings are not impacted.

How Online Marketing Gurus can help you tick all of Google’s E-E-A-T boxes

Since the introduction of ‘experience’ to the E-A-T content formula, businesses must be willing to go the extra mile to ensure their content remains relevant and in Google’s top-ranking positions. 

That’s where the help of a specialized digital marketing agency comes in. Online Marketing Gurus has extensive experience assisting businesses across various industries, from finance to fashion, nutrition, electronics, and much more.

Our gurus are highly experienced and passionate about what they do and only use the latest SEO tools and resources to craft bulletproof SEO campaigns. Every SEO plan is tailored to the needs and goals of our clients. Whether you’re looking to become a content leader in your industry or supercharge sales, OMG can help. 

To learn more about our SEO services, contact us today.

About the Author

Andrew Raso

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