What is Google E-E-A-T and YMYL in SEO?

What are Google E-E-A-T and YMYL in SEO?

Explore our guide on Google's E-E-A-T and YMYL Pages.

Google E-E-A-T (a.k.a. "Double EAT") is Google's Quality Rater Guidelines for evaluating the quality of your website. Initially introduced in 2014 as E-A-T, Google raised its expectations in 2022 by tacking on an additional 'E' for Experience. That means the full acronym EEAT now stands for Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness.

Google’s YMYL stands for "Your Money or Your Life." Google uses this term to categorize web pages that could potentially impact a person's future well-being, happiness, safety, or financial stability. For example, pages that offer medical advice, legal advice, financial planning, and other topics that require a high level of expertise and accuracy. Google applies more stringent evaluation criteria to these kinds of pages because they have a more significant impact on people's lives.

If you want to dominate in the SEO arena, you've got to excel in each of these four categories. Understand them, implement them, and watch your site rise through the ranks.

We created this all-inclusive article to get you up to speed on both topics.

What is Google E-E-A-T? An explanatory image.

Why is E-E-A-T important for SEO?

You might ask, why does E-E-A-T matter for SEO? E-E-A-T helps Google measure the quality and relevance of websites and web pages. Demonstrating Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness can lead to higher rankings in search engine results pages (SERPs).

When your content reflects a high E-E-A-T score, Google perceives it as valuable and worthy of being displayed to users. This, in turn, can increase organic traffic to your site and improve your overall online visibility.

What is Experience in E-E-A-T?

Now, let's first talk about the newest letter in the acronym, Experience!

Experience in E-E-A-T refers to the background and history of the content creator. This encompasses their industry-related experience, past projects, and any relevant accomplishments.

For example, if you're writing about medical topics, having a background as a healthcare professional adds to your credibility. Similarly, for cooking content, sharing your journey from a culinary enthusiast to a seasoned chef boosts your authority.

How do you prove your experience?

Think about your social media presence, the author box underneath your article (check out mine below this article 😉), guest posts that you wrote on the same topic, backlinks to your article, testimonials, mentions on other websites, etc.

What is Expertise in E-E-A-T?

Expertise is all about the knowledge and skills of the content creator. Your education, career path, and relevant courses and certificates play a crucial role here. It's not just what you know, but how you demonstrate it in your content. Whether you’re a medical guru or culinary genius, expertise showcases your know-how and helps build trust with your audience.

How to demonstrate your expertise? According to Google you should ask yourself this:

  • Does your content present information in a way that makes the reader want to trust it, such as clear sourcing, evidence of the expertise involved, background about the author or the site that publishes it, such as through links to an author page or a site's About page?
  • If you researched the site producing the content, would you come away with an impression that it is well-trusted or widely-recognized as an authority on its topic?
  • Is this content written by an expert or enthusiast who demonstrably knows the topic well?
  • Does the content have any easily-verified factual errors?
  • Would you feel comfortable trusting this content for issues relating to your money or your life?

What is Authoritativeness in E-E-A-T?

Another key aspect is Authoritativeness. This one's about the reputation and influence of the content creator. How many quality backlinks point to your content? Are you active on social media and other online platforms? Being an authoritative figure in the digital realm matters!

How to show your Authority on your topic?

Backlinks are a very strong signal. When others in your industry or niche acknowledge your expertise and link to your content, it's a strong sign to Google that you're a reliable source.

Also, engaging with your audience on social media and establishing yourself as an influencer can further boost your authority and E-E-A-T score.

Another way to show authority is by updating your older content. Make sure that optimizing old content is part of your SEO content strategy and that the information on your website is always up-to-date.

What is Trustworthiness in E-E-A-T?

Trustworthiness is vital! It revolves around the reliability of the information presented.

Visitors need to trust that the content is accurate, complete, and transparent. Google frowns upon misleading or deceptive content, so keep it real and make sure your content is not written by an AI bot. And yes, Google will know:

Google's Guidelines on how AI generated text can be helpful
Google's advice for creators considering AI-generation and EEAT

Source: https://developers.google.com/search/blog/2023/02/google-search-and-ai-content

Other ways of being trustworthy include making sure your sources are credible and citing them when necessary. So:

  • Provide transparent author information, like a detailed About page and contact details
  • Have clear a privacy policy on your website
  • Make sure your website is HTTPS and not HTTP
  • Have a complete Google My Business Profile
  • Share facts and figures. Add graphics to your content.

Is Google E-E-A-T an SEO Ranking Factor?

You bet! Google E-E-A-T is a significant SEO ranking factor. But remember, it's just one of the many factors Google considers when evaluating content quality and relevance.

While having a strong E-E-A-T position is crucial, it's equally essential to focus on other SEO aspects like on-page optimization, mobile-friendliness, site speed, and relevant keywords. A holistic approach to SEO ensures that you're not only authoritative and trustworthy but also technically sound.

What Is an E-E-A-T Score?

No official E-E-A-T score exists. Google takes a comprehensive approach, using a blend of algorithms and human evaluators to assess E-E-A-T for websites and web pages.

The Google E-E-A-T evaluation process involves multiple data points, user feedback, and expert assessments. Google's algorithms analyze content and its creator's expertise, while human evaluators provide subjective feedback to refine the algorithms further.

As a result, your E-E-A-T “score” is fluid and dynamic, constantly evolving based on your content's quality and user feedback.

How Does E-E-A-T Impact Your Website's Ranking?

Google's algorithms are designed to assess the expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness of your content. Websites that score well in these areas are more likely to rank higher in search results.

So, focusing on improving your E-E-A-T can lead to better organic traffic and increased visibility.

How to Improve Your E-E-A-T

Now that you understand the importance of Google E-E-A-T, let's explore some actionable tips to enhance your score:

  • Showcase Your Credentials: Highlight your qualifications, certifications, and industry affiliations to establish your expertise.
  • Demonstrate Thought Leadership: Regularly publish high-quality, well-researched content that showcases your knowledge and insights.
  • Build a Strong Backlink Profile: Engage in guest posting, collaborate with reputable websites, and create shareable content to earn quality backlinks.
  • Engage with Your Audience: Respond to comments, messages, and feedback promptly to show that you care about your audience.
  • Update Outdated Content: Keep your content fresh and relevant by updating outdated information and adding new insights.

Myths and Misconceptions about E-E-A-T

What is being said on X about EEAT

source: x.com

There are some misconceptions floating around regarding E-E-A-T. Let's bust those myths and set the record straight:

  • E-E-A-T is Only for YMYL Sites: While E-E-A-T is crucial for Your Money or Your Life (YMYL) sites like health and finance, it's essential for all websites. Every site can benefit from showcasing expertise, authority, and trustworthiness.
  • E-E-A-T is a Guaranteed Shortcut to #1 Ranking: Although E-E-A-T is vital, it's not a guaranteed shortcut to the top spot in search results. It's just one of many ranking factors that Google considers.
  • E-E-A-T Can't be Improved: By consistently producing high-quality content, engaging with your audience, and building a strong online presence, you can improve your E-E-A-T over time.

How Often Does Google Evaluate E-E-A-T?

Google continuously evaluates E-E-A-T, but it's not a daily or real-time process. The frequency of evaluation may vary based on the website's niche, content updates, and user feedback. For established websites with a strong track record of quality content, evaluations might happen less frequently.

Frequently Asked Questions about E-E-A-T

Q: Can a Lack of E-E-A-T Hurt My Website's Ranking?

A: While a lack of E-E-A-T might not necessarily hurt your ranking, having a strong E-E-A-T can certainly give you a competitive advantage. By showcasing your expertise, authority, and trustworthiness, you increase your chances of ranking higher and attracting more organic traffic.

Q: Is E-E-A-T More Important than Keywords?

A: E-E-A-T and keywords both play significant roles in SEO. While keywords help search engines understand your content's topic, E-E-A-T determines the quality and credibility of that content. It's essential to strike a balance between relevant keywords and demonstrating E-E-A-T.

Q: Can Negative Reviews Impact E-E-A-T?

A: Negative reviews can affect your perceived trustworthiness, especially if they're abundant and repetitive. However, what's more crucial is how you respond to these reviews. Addressing them professionally and taking feedback constructively can demonstrate your commitment to providing a positive user experience.

EEAT and YMYL in SEO

What is YMYL?

Alright, now we’ve covered Google E-E-A-T, let’s talk about Google’s YMYL. Before we delve into the relationship between E-E-A-T and YMYL, let's first understand what YMYL means.

YMYL stands for "Your Money or Your Life." Google came up with the term to describe web pages that could have a significant impact on a user's health, finances, safety, or happiness. These YMYL pages often provide information related to medical advice, financial planning, legal matters, and other critical life decisions.

How does YMYL affect your SEO?

The YMYL principle has a profound impact on SEO, especially for websites that fall under this category. Google holds YMYL pages to higher standards because the information they provide directly affects users' well-being. As a result, Google's algorithms and human evaluators scrutinize such pages more rigorously, with a strong focus on E-E-A-T.

To rank well in YMYL-related industries, your content must demonstrate not only expertise but also authoritativeness and trustworthiness.

For example, a medical website offering health advice must have content written by medical experts, must be backed by reputable sources, and must be presented with transparency about its authors and sources of information.

Websites that fail to meet the E-E-A-T guidelines for YMYL information, risk receiving low rankings or even penalties. Therefore, if your website deals with YMYL topics, investing in robust E-E-A-T strategies becomes extremely important for SEO success.

What is a YMYL Page? Some clarity

ymyl pages explained

The E-E-A-T guidelines and the YMYL principle are closely intertwined.

While E-E-A-T is a broader set of guidelines used by Google to assess website quality, YMYL is a specific category that Google identifies based on content's potential impact on users' lives.

In essence, YMYL pages face more stringent scrutiny concerning E-E-A-T factors due to their sensitive nature.

For YMYL content, Google places a higher emphasis on the content creator's expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness.

  • The expertise of the author is vital in providing accurate and reliable information in fields like medical, financial, and legal advice.
  • The authoritativeness of the website is crucial in building user trust and showing that the advice comes from a reputable source.
  • The trustworthiness ensures transparency and reliability, which are crucial in topics that can have significant real-world consequences.

In conclusion, the E-E-A-T guidelines and the YMYL principle complement each other, as E-E-A-T serves as a critical framework for evaluating the quality of YMYL content.

Adhering to the E-E-A-T principles is essential for YMYL pages seeking to establish credibility, earn user trust, and rank well in relevant searches. By consistently maintaining high E-E-A-T standards, YMYL pages can better serve their users and thrive in the competitive landscape of SEO.

Conclusion

And there you have it, fellow SEO aficionados! E-E-A-T is your secret sauce for SEO success, especially if you are writing YMYL content. Emphasize Experience, showcase your Expertise, establish Authoritativeness, and ensure Trustworthiness in your content, and you’re way ahead of the curve.

By paying attention to these vital elements, you can build a solid foundation for your website's reputation and rankings.

Not sure about your website? Let us know! Our SEO Specialists are here to guide you into the right direction!

Keep creating valuable, reliable content, and Google will surely take notice!

Sources for more information:

Josien Nation profile picture

Josien Nation

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Co-Founder & Head of Marketing

Josien Nation is a co-founder and partner at Operation Nation. She is the leader of all things SEO at Operation Nation. She has 6+ years experience helping businesses grow their audience and get found on search engines.

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