Google E-A-T – A short explanation of terms

Google E-A-T is a ranking factor of the most important search engine. It was introduced in 2018 and measures the expertise, authority and trustworthiness levels of a website. The Quality Rater Guidelines serve as the basis for assigning these scores. The E-A-T score is another step in the evolution of Google’s algorithms, which focus on the quality of content as well as the reputation of authors when evaluating websites.

What does Google E-A-T assess?

Google’s E-A-T score is determined by three values:

  • E (Expertise): The website occupies an expert position. It offers valuable information and content on specific topics.
  • A (Authority oder Authoritativeness): The website has had a decisive influence on a topic and is therefore an authority in this field (example: the manufacturer of a product).
  • T (Trust oder Trustworthiness): The website or the authors of the articles are trusted by the user with regard to relevant topics.
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The manual checking of websites is based on the Google Quality Rater Guidelines. The following characteristics, for example, are checked in detail in order to distinguish high-quality websites from those of lesser importance:

  • content
  • navigation, structure
  • legal information
  • topicality, web design, user-friendliness
  • reputation of the site

The rating scale is made up of the gradations Lowest, Low, Medium, High and Highest.

How is the E-A-T Score determined?

The aim of the Google E-A-T Score is to show how relevant and useful a website is for a specific search query. Human beings are also involved in determining this score. However, ultimately Google E-A-T is only one of many points in a complex evaluation system. In practice, the process is as follows:

  • For a search query, the Quality Rater receives two different SERPs (Search Engine Result Pages, i.e. Google lists for a keyword entry). One of these SERPs is an update.
  • The user compares the two result lists in terms of relevance to the search query. When evaluating the factors, users are guided by the Quality Rater Guidelines.

The results are in turn analyzed with the help of artificial intelligence. Using machine learning, it identifies structures that distinguish the content of the relevant websites from the less relevant ones. This means that the Google E-A-T score is ultimately determined through the interaction of humans and machines.

E-A-T and SEO

Not every online presence and not every blog must observe the E-A-T Score in SEO. EAT is mainly relevant for so-called YMYL pages: Your Money or Your Life. This refers to websites dealing with money, finance, economics (Your Money) or technology, politics, science, minorities or other sensitive topics (Your Life).

The finance sector naturally also impacts online stores or sites that are generally geared towards commercial success. Online marketing must therefore carefully monitor EAT as a SEO factor. Anyone doing SEO for an online store should therefore pay greater attention to customer reviews or trust elements such as seals of approval. The following factors are included in Google E-A-T:

  • Links from high quality pages give your own website a higher E-A-T value. Individuals (authors, for example) are given an E-A-T score as well. Backlinks or mentions coming from such authorities also have an effect on one’s own EAT.
  • Content that provides answers to common questions can increase the authoritativeness factor in the long run.
  • Trust elements are a legally compliant imprint and contact options, recognized payment methods and good customer service.

Decisive for Google E-A-T: Content

Content is also important for the SEO factors expertise, authority and trust. It has an effect on the Google rating of the website and the authors behind it. This is reflected in the E-A-T score. High quality texts are still the basis for high quality websites that rank well in Google.