Technical SEO

Google and EEAT, Explained

Google hires thousands of personnel to view and evaluate web pages for organic search rankings. A key metric for those human raters is “Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness.” Google emphasizes pages that demonstrate those qualities.

What’s unclear, however, is how Google integrates EEAT into its algorithm. Google executives have shared conflicting views.

In 2022, Google’s vice president of search, Hyung-Jin Kim, stated that EAT was a “core part.” (Google originally coined the metric as “Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness.” In December 2022, it added “Experience,” morphing “EAT” to “EEAT.”)

In 2024, Google’s search liaison, Danny Sullivan, tweeted it had never been a ranking factor.

Google’s “Search Central Blog” states:

Search raters have no control over how pages rank. Rater data is not used directly in our ranking algorithms. Rather, we use them as a restaurant might get feedback cards from diners. The feedback helps us know if our systems seem to be working.

Hence EEAT is for Google’s quality control. But it’s also for creators. The blog post adds, “… the guidelines may help you self-assess how your content is doing from an E-E-A-T perspective, improvements to consider… .”

The bottom line is Google wants to rank web pages with strong EEAT. The guidelines (PDF) include:

  • Expertise of the author. Add details such as work history.
  • Research methods. Explain how the content was created. For example, for product reviews, state how many you tested and how.
  • Purpose. Address the rationale for publishing the content. It’s a vague suggestion, although it reinforces the goal of helping humans, not search engines. Potential reasons might include client interactions, outside commentary, new data, and more.

EEAT applies to informational content, not product or category pages. Moreover, Google scrutinizes content that impacts “the health, financial stability, or safety of people, or the welfare or well-being of society.” Google calls such content “Your Money or Your Life” — YMYL.

Google tells its raters that YMYL pages require much expertise and authority. So if you publish financial or health advice, closely follow the guidelines.

EEAT in Brief

Here’s my interpretation of EEAT in practice. The underlying principles existed long before the acronym. Many are more or less common sense: Ensure your content is trustworthy, thorough, authentic, and helpful to humans.

Content TypeEEAT Inclusions
Health topicsDetailed author info to demonstrate expertise. Include citations in the content to (i) professional research, (ii) opinions of doctors and scientists, and (iii) reputable publications.
Financial or legal adviceDetailed author info to demonstrate expertise. Include citations in the content to (i) opinions of accountants and lawyers, (ii) professional organizations, and (iii) reputable publications.
News reportingAccurate factual information; expertise of experienced journalists; quotations from experts on the topic.
Legislation, public policy, societal concernsOfficial government sources; reputable media sources; trusted and varied opinions; independent research.
News or advice related to childrenViews and recommendations of professionals (doctors, educators, counselors); professional publications and organizations; independent research.
Product reviews.The writer's first-hand experience, including the number of products tested and the process and timeframe.
Ann Smarty
Ann Smarty
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