What Is E-A-T (Expertise, Authority, Trust)?

EAT- Expertise Authority, Trust as a light up sign
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When people use search engines like Google, they are looking for results that, yes, answer their inquiry, but more importantly, are answers that users can trust. But how can any search engine produce reliable sources when billions of photos are uploaded to social media sites and over 40 million messages are sent worldwide daily? The current raw data estimate alone is 1.145 trillion MB of data per day to organize!

That’s a lot of data for search engines to sift through, categorize, and authenticate. And, let’s face it, search engines are far from perfect. Even when top search engines like Google update their algorithms an average of 6x per day, every day, for decades, false, spam, and harmful information has been prevalent everywhere online.

This is why Google’s Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines have E-A-T built into their algorithms.

When did E-A-T become a quality factor?

E (Expertise), A (Authority), and T (Trust) was first built into Google’s search Quality Evaluator Guidelines in 2014. This concept is utilized to better capture the nuances of how people use Google to search for information and diversify the quality of online content. E-A-T is one of many guidelines used to determine whether the content is valuable to readers and if it should rank well.

The original E-A-T can be summarized as

  • The expertise of the content creator.
  • The authoritativeness of the creator of the content, the content itself, and the website.
  • The trustworthiness of the content creator, the content itself, and the website.
Quality Control for User experience

What is involved with E-A-T?

On December 15, 2022, Google added to this base with an additional “E” for experience, now forming E-E-A-T or Double-E-A-T. According to Google, “Trust” is the “most important member” of Google’s Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines, which is part of the reason for the additional E. Reading reviews from other people with personal experience with a product or service is an integral part of research that individuals do to gain trust in a brand.

For example, suppose you’re seeking information about increasing your website’s visibility on Google’s Search Engine Results Page (SERP). In that case, you’ll want to see 5 Essential Strategies to Help you Rank Higher in 2023 from an SEO expert. But if you’re looking for reviews of web developers in the Orlando, Florida, area, the information you’re looking for is different. You might prefer a forum discussion with people who have experience in other areas and with different companies.


Search quality raters review the Main Content (MC) creator to determine expertise. Raters consider whether the author is an expert on the topic by looking into their expertise, qualifications, and credentials on the subject they are writing about. “Everyday expertise” is considered an expert credential, like that of a food blogger who reviews restaurants thoroughly and is found helpful by others – through review ratings, comments, and favorable click-through rates. It’s important to note that Google has stricter guidelines for “everyday expertise” on medical and finance related content, more commonly known as Your Money or Your Life (YMYL) content.


Google quality raters review the authoritativeness of the creator of the MC, the MC itself, and the website. Simply, this means your overall reputation in your industry or niche. If people know you and your background and consider you a leader in your industry, they generally accept that you provide a good source of information. Your authority rating will increase if other industry leaders link your content for its value.


Hand-in-hand with authority, quality raters research the creator of the MC, the MC itself, and the website to gauge trustworthiness. This research goes beyond just the content, but each page itself for the author of the content, factual accuracy, citing of trustworthy sources, and noting whether your content is readily visible or hidden behind a wall of ads. If you have an e-commerce site, your shopping checkout page must have a secure connection lest Google flag it as untrustworthy.

Is E-E-A-T a direct ranking factor?

While E-E-A-T is not technically a ranking factor, it can impact your content’s rank. Part of several aspects of Google’s ranking algorithm, E-E-A-T guidelines tell the real human reviewers exactly what type of content Google considers high-quality.

The core of great content should be:

  • Helpful to users
  • Created by an expert of the subject or field of study
  • Posted on an authoritative site
  • Detirmed trustworthy by others
  • Updated regularly to always reflect the latest and most accurate information

Most sites create their own content, while others (like review sites, social media, Reddit, etc.) rely on user-generated content. However your site manages its content, feedback from quality raters about it helps Google make algorithm improvements over time.

How can I improve authority and trustworthiness?

Improving your SEO requires a multi-faceted approach and several strategies. There is no one-size-fits-all SEO plan. Building your authority and dependability on your site is an excellent place to start. Here are seven steps we recommend to get you started.

About your company and who you are

Step 1 - Tell Visitors Who You Are

All four prongs of the E-E-A-T guidelines advise that Google wants to know who creates content. They also want to know whether that person(s) and website are legitimate sources for that knowledge. Creating and maintaining a current About Us Page, Team Page, or Author Page with credentials for the featured individuals is a simple way to establish your team’s expertise, authority, and trustworthiness.

Step 2 - Create Content with Experts

While “content is king” is a popular phrase in the SEO industry, Google wants more than just “good content.” They, and your readers, want content from people who know what they’re talking about. This means being an expert or working with experts in your field to create recognizably trustworthy content. Some avenues include interviews with experts, working with another trustworthy or reputable company, or hiring an SEO expert who may already have these connections.

Step 3 - Show a clear purpose for your content

Whether your content is meant to inform, explain, convince, or describe, it’s vitally important that a user immediately understands the purpose of your content. Readers don’t typically read all of your content. They skim it. Use titles and headings with clear and straightforward language to guide your reader to the specific content they seek. The most efficient way to engage your readers is to be concise, thorough, and avoidant of long, eloquent prose. Save it for your best-selling biography.

Step 4 - Regularly update your content

Keeping in mind that trillions of MB of data are uploaded daily to the internet, it stands to reason that the average lifespan of content is about two years. The lifespan of content varies per industry and topic, but most readers want current information, and they want it now. You can refresh older content to boost your SEO with current statistics, update best practices, and check for dead links every few years. Updating content is especially important for content that may have been high-ranking at one point but has since dropped.

Step 5 - Link high-quality content

Content may be king, but the data to support your content matters most. Linking your content topics to real data from official sources, studies, and research papers will show your readers you know what you’re talking about. Implement links to reports from industry professionals, tweets, or other social media to emphasize your key points.

Step 6 - Write from multiple perspectives

If you only write from one perspective, your own, you limit your audience to only the people who share your viewpoint. Many angles contribute to the conversation you’re writing about, so address each of these – at least the major ones. Extending the number of viewpoints in your articles further extends the number of people who will feel included and recognized by the problem you’re addressing. This builds trust and shows how much of an expert you are on the topic.

Step 7 - Your online reputation matters!

Content may be king, but the data to support your content matters most. Linking your content topics to real data from official sources, studies, and research papers will show your readers you know what you’re talking about. Implement links to reports from industry professionals, tweets, or other social media to emphasize your key points.

Online Reviews matter to your online reputation

Google first used the YMYL acronym in its June 2013 version of search quality evaluator guidelines. “YMYL pages should come from reputable websites, and the content should be created with a high level of expertise and authority,” per Section 7.2 of the 2013 Google search quality evaluator guidelines. The YMYL guideline category was officially implemented in 2014, along with their E-A-T quality guidelines.

There is a wide variety of topics and pages online that influence users in any number of ways. Topics and pages likely to significantly impact a user’s life are considered “high quality” by Google’s quality raters. High levels of expertise and authority are expected from this content as these YMYL topics can cause harm to

  • The individual who views the content
  • Other people affected by the individual who views the content
  • Groups of people affected by the actions of those who viewed the content

In the July 2022 update of the quality guidelines, Google clarified which topics fall under the YMYL umbrella.

E-A-T well with an SEO expert

E-E-A-T are characteristics that indicate a page is high-quality, which makes it helpful to users, but not a direct ranking factor. Missing out on some E-E-A-T aspects won’t tank your ranking. Utilizing these guidelines will influence Google to list your site more frequently. My Website Spot has been pioneering the Google landscape since 2005 and implements diverse SEO strategies under E-E-A-T guidelines to help you expand your online presence.

We are always willing to provide FREE advice. If you have any questions, need assistance with how to get started on a new website project, or just want to give us feedback on this article, We’d love to hear from you! Drop us a line, and we’ll get in touch!


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