SEO Impact of Google E-E-A-T and How To Improve Your Score

Are you struggling to achieve a high ranking in Google's search results? It might be time to consider the importance of E-E-A-T.

Written by
Daniel Højris Bæk
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April 24, 2024

Google has earlier used E-A-T (Expertise, Authority, and Trustworthiness) as a guiding principle to score content.

Now they released an update where they add an extra E for Experience and turn E-A-T into E-E-A-T. Let's explore what this means for you, why it is important when working with SEO and how to score high on E-E-A-T.

What is E-A-T?

Let's start with the beginning. E-A-T stands for Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness.

It is a concept developed by Google to help determine the quality of content on a website. Google uses E-A-T to assess the credibility of a website and its content, and it is a significant factor in how Google ranks websites in its search engine results.

So if you want to rank high in the SERPs you need to pay attention.

E-A-T is based on the idea that websites should provide accurate, reliable, and trustworthy content. To be considered credible, a website should have content that experts in the field write, is authoritative, and is trustworthy.

For example, a website about medical advice should have content written by a doctor or other medical professional and be reliable and trustworthy. Google looks for these qualities when evaluating a website's content and ranking it in its search engine results.

Medical advice by a high school student is an example with low E-A-T

An example of a website with a low E-A-T would be a blog about medical advice written by a high school student with no medical background. This website would not be considered credible by Google because it does not have content written by an expert (=low expertise) in the field, it is not authoritative, and it needs to be more trustworthy. As a result, Google would not rank this website high in its search engine res

What is the new E-E-A-T?

The newly introduced E-E-A-T (or "Double-E-A-T") is now part of the updated search rater guidelines.

Illustration of E-E-A-T and how the are centered around Trust

These guidelines are used for the manual people-driven process that supplements Google search algorithms when determining rankings and quality of content, the so-called Search Quality Raters.

We constantly experiment with ideas to improve the results we see. One of the ways we evaluate those experiments is by getting feedback from third-party Search Quality Raters. Quality Raters are spread out all over the world and are highly trained using our extensive guidelines. Their feedback helps us understand which changes make Search more useful.
From Google.

This concept is used to evaluate if the search ranking systems are providing helpful, relevant information and if the content demonstrates expertise, authoritativeness, trustworthiness, and experience.

These guidelines are in place to guarantee that the content is unique and beneficial for people, and that useful information can come from different sources. The criteria are employed by search raters to help evaluate the performance of the search ranking systems, and can also be advantageous to creators who want to know how to produce helpful, user-oriented content.

Google is trying to prevent bad content

Like most of Google's guidelines improvement, this new concept of E-E-A-T is a way for Google to benchmark the quality of content in order to present as good results as possible when someone is searching.

The new Experience parameter seems to yet another way to indicate that a lot of the content that might be produced that is just being a duplicate of what others have written (think of the Google Helpful content update as well) will not rank high if Google spots the missing E.

A tourist guide by someone who has never visited the destination they are writing about and would have low E-E-A-T.

You need to demonstrate real experience to get a high E-E-A-T score

This type of guide would lack the experience of the destination, and would not be able to provide an accurate description of the attractions, restaurants, and other activities available.

It would also lack the insight of someone who has actually experienced the destination and would be unable to provide helpful tips or advice. As a result, this type of tourist guide would be of low quality and would not be ranked highly by Google.

How does Google score and determine Experience?

As with everything with Google how their algorithm works is a big secret.

But we can get an idea of how the algorithm might work by looking into the 176-page long search raters guidelines mentioned before.

Here experience is defined in these two different ways:

  • Experience: Consider the extent to which the content creator has the necessary first-hand or life experience for the topic. Many types of pages are trustworthy and achieve their purpose well when created by people with a wealth of personal experience. For example, which would you trust: a product review from someone who has personally used the product or a "review" by someone who has not?
  • 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.
Google's scheme outlined what leads to high levels of E-E-A-T

When it comes to Page Quality rating, your assessment of E-E-A-T should be informed by one or more of the following according to Google in their Quality Rater guidelines:

  • What the website or content creators say about themselves: Look at the "About us" page on the website or profile page of the content creator as a starting point. Is the website or content creator a trustworthy source based on this information?
  • What others say about the website or content creators: Look for independent reviews, references, news articles, and other sources of credible information about the website or content creators. Is there independent, reliable evidence that the website or content creator is experienced, has expertise, is authoritative, or is otherwise considered trustworthy? Is there independent, reliable evidence that the website or creator is untrustworthy?
  • What is visible on the page, including the Main Content and sections such as reviews and comments: For some types of pages, the level of experience and expertise may be clear from the MC itself. What evidence can you gather from examining the MC or testing the page out? For example, you may be able to tell that someone is an expert in hair styling by watching a video of them in action (styling someone's hair) and reading others' comments (commenters often highlight expertise or lack thereof).

Google also outlines how when it comes to YMYL topics that Experience and Expertise should lead to different types of topics;

Table for Experience vs Expertise content

Google provides many examples for training of the Search Quality Raters.

If we look at one of the examples that ones that want to write high ranking blog post might find most relevant, Google outlines how to evaluate a fictional blog post about baby strollers like this:

This is a blog post on a newspaper that has won several prestigious awards. The author of this blog post has become known as an expert on parenting issues (Expertise) and is a regular contributor to this and other media websites (positive content creator reputation). The MC [Main Content] demonstrates effort and is original to this site.

In this case Google states that the page is to be given almost top score on the 'PQ Rating' scale.

So how does this translate into guidance for Google's algorithms?

My guess is that Google uses a lot of human-rated content to train it's machine learning/AI algorithms on. So it learns understand these different cues to look for. By being able to understand these cues (without actually understanding the content like the more advanced language models) will make the Google bot able to rank pages at scale.

How to meet E-E-A-T when working with SEO?

So what does E-E-A-T mean for you as a SEO professional?

It's all about signaling to Google's algorithm (or any human reviewer) that your content is trustworthy.

An this can be taken in either a professional angle, where you demonstrate expertise with ques like years you have been covering a topic, consistent theme of what you write, educational or work experience etc.

Or it can be done with a more personal angle, where you clearly shows you actually have done what you write or comment.

Both these angles or directions also clearly illustrate the point about Google's guidelines on AI generated content. Eg. its not possible to have a full article being written by an AI and then at the same time illustrate either.

That's why we also recommend using AI tools like our own platform as a supplement and to speed up your content creation process, and supplement it with your unique perspective, whether this is insights or perspectivation based on your professional background or anectodal experience.

In general we recommend that you focus on:

  • Ensure that your content is written by experts in the field and is authoritative and trustworthy
  • Consider adding a personal touch by including your own experience and insights in your content
  • Avoid duplicating content (so not just character by character duplication) that is already available online
  • Focus on creating original and helpful content for your readers
  • Consider the quality and credibility of your sources when researching and citing information in your blog
  • Include relevant and high-quality images and videos to enhance the user experience and credibility of your blog
  • Consider seeking out external reviews or testimonials to add credibility to your blog

SEO Impact of Google E-E-A-T and How To Improve Your Score

This is an article written by:

+20 years of experience from various digital agencies. Passionate about AI (artificial intelligence) and the superpowers it can unlock. I had my first experience with SEO back in 2001, working at a Danish web agency.