E-E-A-T stands for “expertise, experience, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness,” and it comes from Google’s Search Quality Rater Guidelines.
Google uses E-E-A-T as the main criterion used to evaluate page quality during its experiments with human search quality raters. These raters are tasked with providing Google with feedback via extensive testing that determines the extent to which Google’s search results are satisfying users’ expectations.
E-E-A-T is used extensively throughout Google’s search quality guidelines and in various other documents related to what they are looking for in high-quality content and websites. One important aspect of E-E-A-T is that it plays a bigger role for content and websites that Google classifies as “YMYL” – your money, your life. YMYL content has the potential to cause harm in a user’s life.
According to Google’s rater guidelines, YMYL topics can directly and significantly impact people’s health, financial stability or safety, or the welfare or well-being of society because of the following reasons:
- The topic itself is harmful or dangerous. For example, there is clear and present harm directly associated with topics related to self-harm, criminal acts, or violent extremism.
- The topic could cause harm if the content is not accurate and trustworthy.
E-E-A-T will matter more depending on the extent to which the content can be considered YMYL. If the topic on the page can cause harm to the user’s life, the questions below are especially important. But even for trivial topics, these questions should still be prioritized in an SEO strategy, because they are great for user experience and building trust with the brand.
For content that provides YMYL (your money, your life) information that could potentially impact the reader’s health, safety, finances, or well-being. Reply to the following questions if you want to estimate your E-E-A-T:
- Do your authors have legitimate expertise in the field and are they authoritative on the topics they are writing about?
- Have you listed the name of the author or the organization who wrote the content on the page*? (*this is not needed for every page, usually just articles, research papers or other types of pages where users would expect to see an associated author)
- Is there a clear way for the user to get more information about the author, such as a link to an author biography or an author biography on the page?
- If the author is not a credentialed expert in the subject matter included in the content, has an expert reviewed the content?
- If yes to the above question, did you list the expert’s name and provide the user with a way to get more information about them, such as a link to an expert biography or a biography on the page?
- Do you have dedicated pages for each of your authors and expert reviewers?
- Do your author pages include a biography about the individual, especially with regard to their credentials and expertise in the field?
- Do your author pages include links to their personal websites and/or links to their official social media accounts?
- Have you used Person-structured data on your author pages and listed the author as a relevant attribute within your Article schema (or whatever other Schema you are using on the page where they are writing content)?
- Have you Googled the author, and do they have a clean digital presence? (Ranking for their name, social media accounts, Knowledge Graph presence, no reputation issues)?
- When you Google your company’s name, do you “own” the brand SERP?
- Does your brand appear to have a positive reputation?
- Do you own all possible social media profiles your brand is eligible to own (e.g. Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Soundcloud, etc.)?
- Is your brand listed in Google’s Knowledge Graph? You can use this tool to confirm.
- If you are listed in the Knowledge Graph, have you claimed your Knowledge Panel?
- Is your brand leveraging 3rd party review sites such as TrustPilot or G2? If so, are the reviews largely positive (4+ stars)?
- Is your brand listed in the BBB (Better Business Bureau)? If so, are the reviews largely positive? If not, have you taken steps to mitigate or address poor reviews?
- Have you monitored/responded to your business’ reviews on Google Business Profile? Have you answered any Q&A questions listed there?
- Do you have an “About” page about your organization?
- Have you listed all the awards, accolades, and accomplishments your brand has won and and achieved on your website?
- Does your website mention any charitable work your brand does?
- Does your website include pictures of the people who work at your brand? Does it name who is on its leadership team?
- Has the content been fact-checked and checked for accuracy?
- Has the content been edited for grammar and spelling?
- Are you citing your sources in the content using external links and/or a bibliography?
- Do you break up your content using clear headlines that use appropriate elements?
- Do you support your claims with evidence?
- Are you using the appropriate Schema type that mentions the author/reviewer (if applicable)?
- Do you include summaries or “key takeaways” at the top and/or throughout articles?
- Do you provide disclaimers or warnings when content is considered controversial, or there are multiple angles the user should consider?
- Does your brand’s website have an editorial policy that explains your process for reviewing and editing content?
- Do your images and videos convey authoritativeness and expertise?
- Does your brand receive authoritative links from sites in its same general category?
- Do others link to your content because you are providing original information?