EEAT: What it is and why it is important for SEO

EEAT is the acronym for Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness and Trustworthiness – values that play a fundamental role when it comes to content quality and search engine optimization. In this article we explain in detail what it is, how the content quality is assessed and how to build and improve the EEAT.

Anyone with a minimum of experience with search engine optimization, commonly called SEO, knows that Google prefers authoritative, reliable content written by those who really have the skills to deal with the topic.

All these concepts translated into the acronym EAT, that is, Expertise, Authoritativeness, Trustworthiness.

However, recently Google has updated the concept of EAT, adding another E: that of Experience. The acronym then evolved into EEAT – Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, Trustworthiness. The guidelines for the qualitative evaluation of content have been updated accordingly.

So, let’s see how Google assesses the EEAT and the importance of each concept.

What does EEAT mean

Before we proceed to understand how the Page Quality rating is assigned, let’s do a quick review of what each acronym means. To do this, we can rely directly on Google’s definition.

  • Experience. It indicates the extent to which the content creator has the necessary first-hand or life experience for the topic.
  • Expertise. It considersthe extent to which the content creator has the necessary knowledge or skill for the topic.
  • Authoritativeness. It measures the extent to which the content creator or the website is known as a go-to source for the topic.
  • Trustworthiness. It considers the extent to which the page is accurate, honest, safe, and reliable.

With the addition of the concept of Experience, demonstrating first-hand experience is now a prerequisite for achieving a good Page Quality rating.

To better understand it, Google itself invites you to think in these terms: would you trust more a restaurant review from someone who’s never eaten there or the review of someone who actually ate in that restaurant?

The same is applicable online to any type of content: if we find an article written by someone whose experience is dubious, we would question the accuracy of the content itself, as well as the authority of the site hosting it.

Simply put, the lack of real experience ends up undermining the other concepts as well. In fact, this new dimension combines perfectly with the other three, completing them: can we really consider ourselves experts, authoritative and reliable if we talk about things we have never had the opportunity to deal with first-hand?

The importance of the concept of trust for Google

This update actually aims to further strengthen the concept of trust, the most important of those expressed by the acronym EEAT, as Google itself states.

In fact, if the page that hosts our content is not considered reliable, the experience, authority and skills of the writer will be in vain.

This is what Google declares in its guidelines for Search Quality Raters, those in charge of assigning the quality score:

“The Lowest rating should be used for pages or websites you strongly suspect are engaging in deceptive or malicious practices. Some untrustworthy pages are created to benefit the website or organization rather than helping people. Some untrustworthy pages may even exist to cause harm to people who engage with the page, such as scams or malicious downloads. Your assessment of untrustworthiness may be based on the content of the page, information about the website, information about the content creator, and the reputation of the website or content creator. Your assessment may also be based on a lack of critically important information.”

How Google rates the quality of a page

Search Quality Raters have to consider three main factors:

  1. The true purpose of the page. If the website or page has a malicious purpose or is designed to mislead people as to its true purpose, the rating score will be the lowest.
  2. The potential of the page to cause harm. Websites or pages that are harmful to people or society, untrustworthy, or spammy are rated Lowest.
  3. If the site does not fall within the first two cases, the Page Quality rating should be based on how well the page achieves its purpose.

Therefore, assuming our website doesn’t aim at tricking or harming anyone, it will be precisely the quality and reliability of our content with respect to EEAT that will determine a more or less high rating.

To define Page Quality, i.e., how well the page achieves its purpose, Search Quality Raters must assess the quality of the Main Content (MC), defined as “any part of the page that directly helps the page achieve its purpose”.

For most pages, the quality of Main Content can be determined by the effort, originality, and talent or skill used to create the content. For information pages or YMYL topics (acronym for Your Money or Your Life, which indicates sites that deal with topics that “could significantly impact the health, financial stability, or safety of people, or the welfare or well-being of society”), accuracy and consistency with well-established expert consensus are also important.

For example, consistency with expert consensus is important when it comes to medical advice. On the other hand, skill is important for how-to videos. Talent and originality are important for artistic expression. The amount of effort required for a short video shared on social media is less than a professionally produced documentary on a streaming website, but both require enough effort to create content that fulfils its purpose. Hence, Search Quality Raters will always need to think about effort, originality, talent or skill in relation to the type of page they are evaluating. The PQ rating will not depend on the format of the content (text, audio, video, images, etc.), nor on its length (videos or short texts, full documentaries or white papers…), nor on the type of website hosting them (small personal sites, large corporate sites, forums, social media…). Rather, the rating will be given according to the overall and contextualized assessment of all the elements mentioned so far.

How to improve EEAT

Although Page Quality ratings do not directly affect the ranking in the SERP, in fact they provide important feedback to Google to improve the work of the algorithms. And it is precisely these that establish the ranking of a page. Therefore, working on the creation of content in line with Google’s quality requirements can only do good for the ranking of our pages.

How to do so?

First, let’s talk about what we really know. It seems trivial but it is not difficult to find websites that deal with the most varied topics in a superficial way. However, one of the ways to offer users thorough answers to their queries is precisely through specific and exhaustive content. In fact, let’s not forget that our main goal should never be merely to rank among the first results, but rather to offer our target accurate and truly useful information. If we are committed to do this, the rest will follow.

Let’s also bring our skills and experience into play. If we share marketing and communication insights, it is because we were the first to train, get informed and translate theory into practice. The same should be true for any other field.

Over time, all this will contribute to building both our reputation and a relationship of trust with those who follow us, who will be able to personally assess the quality and reliability of what we publish.

If you need support to create SEO-friendly content, contact us: you can count on our experience!

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