Revenue driven for our clients
A pie chart that describes Google's E-E-A-T guidelines.

An average person doesn’t know what goes on in the background when they enter a few words in the search bar and hit Enter.

An SEO professional, on the other hand, is different.

They have extensive knowledge of the events that happen after the Enter key is pressed. That’s because they’re SEO professionals, and that’s their job. You’re better off asking about SEO to one of these guys than your accountant cousin.

The example above is E-E-A-T in a nutshell. I’ll explain everything in detail below.

Before discussing the new E, let’s see what E-A-T is about.


What is E-A-T?

E-A-T stands for,

E - Expertise

A – Authoritativeness

T - Trust

There is another abbreviation, YMYL, that’s relevant to E-A-T. I’ll talk about that a bit later.

Google has a bunch of guidelines called Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines. Feel free to go through all 176 pages to learn more about the Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines.

In short, the linked document talks about guidelines that quality raters follow to evaluate search results. Raters are actual humans who find out whether Google’s search results satisfy user expectations.

E-A-T is a part of these guidelines. They were added in 2014, and in 2019, Google started considering them as an important factor in determining Page Quality.


E-A-T in detail.


Pretty self-explanatory. You can’t call yourself an expert in a particular field just because you saw a few YouTube videos about it. You need to have formal training to be an expert in your field.

Quality evaluators study the creators of pages to decide whether they are experts on the topic.

There’s another category called “Everyday Expertise.” Creators who fall under this category don’t have formal training, but their expertise stems from using a product or other occurrences.




Authoritativeness = Reputation.

The more authoritative your website is, the more trustworthy your content is. In other words, you’d be better off trusting an article about joint pain from WebMD rather than a random Facebook post. A person may have real-world experience or expertise on a topic but may not have the authority to teach others or experts in your industry.



This metric combines Expertise, Authoritativeness, and the second E. Trust determines how reliable a web page is. This metric varies based on the type of webpage. For example, online stores require secure online payment systems to be called trustworthy. Pages that display product reviews should give equal importance to the positive and negative aspects rather than prioritizing just one.


The Second E

The second E in E-E-A-T stands for Experience.

Experience popped up alongside E-A-T in late 2022.

This inclusion aims to identify content where the creator has/had some actual experience related to the topic they’re discussing.

Let’s look at an example. Journalists can create content on any topic you ask them to. They conduct research on multiple sites, create content that is relevant to the task they’re assigned to and call it a day. They don’t have any experience with the topic they write about.

They may do a good job of converting content from hard-to-understand technical jargon into simple everyday language. But they aren’t experts in the topics they’re writing about, nor have they experienced anything related to what they write.

Their knowledge is only limited to the sites they visit. This means that they will simply omit the information they cannot find.

The omitting part is not true for experts or authoritative sources, or even people with day-to-day experience with the topic. They know everything about the content they create and will take special care not to miss important details.

The example above perfectly describes what Google wants to avoid. A content creator needs to have first-hand or life experience about the topic they’re about to discuss.

It’s about trusting a review from someone who has actually used the product than someone who’s just spamming overly positive or overly negative reviews on different websites.


Why is the new E important?

Because it changes how traditional content has been working.

You cannot be called an expert or authoritative figure if you research and create content related to insomnia. You must either be a qualified medical practitioner or someone suffering from insomnia.

In the case of the physician, their content can be trusted due to their expertise and authority in their field.

As for the person suffering from insomnia, their content can be trusted because of their experience dealing with the condition.

This is basically what Search Quality Raters look out for when ranking content.

The above statement rings especially true when it comes to YMYL topics.


What’s YMYL

YMYL stands for Your Money or Your Life.

The internet has tons of pages that talk about various topics. Some topics are pretty harmless. A discussion about a person’s favorite video game character, someone’s choice of clothes, or preferred types of house plants, these discussions are perfectly safe to have.

On the other hand, some topics may cause serious harm to one’s health, financial stability, other people, or certain aspects of society. These topics come under the YMYL category.

A content creator who’s discussing YMYL topics should practice caution, considering the effects their content may have on individuals or society.

Google has issued guidelines to determine what qualifies as a YMYL topic based on the harm it may cause.

YMYL Health & Safety

Topics that cause physical, mental, and emotional disturbances. The topics that discuss safety, both physical and online, fall under this category as well.

YMYL Financial Security

Topics that can lead to loss of money, thereby directly contributing to the inability of a person to support themselves or their family.

YMYL Society

Topics that could show a group of people in a negative light. Topics that go against general public interest and trust in public institutions fall under this category as well.

YMYL Other

Content from other topics that may cause serious harm to financial or physical well-being.

Consider these conditions when you plan to create content, as your rankings may take a hit based on your expertise and authoritativeness in your industry.


E-E-A-T, YMYL Why should I concern myself with these abbreviations?

Because Google says so.

And whether you like it or not, Google has a monopoly in the search engine market. It has been the most-used search engine since 2010. SINCE 2010. Let that sink in.

Image Credit

Since Google holds such a huge market, it is only natural that it would want its users to have a safe and user-friendly experience. (and hold the top spot for many more years)

Hence, the need for stringent guidelines.

Sure, E-E-A-T or YMYL may not directly contribute to SEO, but they are essential in creating accurate and informative content.

And the fact is, Google takes the quality of content pretty seriously when ranking webpages.

This is especially true when writing content that revolves around real-life experience or medical and financial advice.

Key Takeaways

·        Content creators must have first-hand or life experience about the topic they’re discussing

·        Expertise in a topic also includes everyday expertise in addition to formal qualifications and being in the same line of work

·        Authoritativeness is determined by the content creator’s reputation in their industry as a source for credible content

·        The requirements for trust change according to the type of website/content

·        Google has exceptionally high Page Quality rating standards if your content revolves around any of the core YMYL topics, i.e., Medicine, safety, and money-related posts

Wrapping Things Up

Google has been regularly making changes on how its search engine works. The addition of E to E-A-T is one such change.

Good content isn’t just fun to consume; it is informative, accurate, and produced by someone with a high level of trust and authority in their domain.

Keeping the basics of E-E-A-T in mind when creating content not only helps your readers but is also beneficial in terms of SEO.

Published on: 2023-04-28

Tags: SEO

Written By: Mahesh

Let's improve your
Valuable business!