What does E-A-T stand for in SEO?

How does Google calculate E-A-T?

Now that we've answered the question "What is E-A-T?" let's look at how Google determines a page's E-A-T. At a high level, the Google search quality evaluator guidelines list three primary components

You've probably heard of E-A-T unless you're completely new to the search industry. Despite the fact that the concept has been around since 2014, it has gradually become one of the most important aspects of SEO.

Unfortunately, it is also one of the most perplexing — even for industry insiders.

So, what exactly is E-A-T SEO? Continue reading to learn what it is, why it matters, and how it affects your SEO efforts.

What does E-A-T stand for in SEO?


Expertise, Authority, and Trustworthiness are abbreviated as E-A-T. The idea stems from Google's Search Quality Rater guidelines, and it gained popularity following the infamous Medic Update in August 2018. E-A-T is one of the factors that Google considers when determining the overall quality of a web page.

Key Points 

  • Google favors websites that demonstrate expertise, authority, and dependability (E-A-T).
  • The creator, the content, and the website all contribute to E-A-T.
  • E-A-T is especially critical for websites that publish YMYL (your money, your life) content.

Page quality, as you might expect, has a significant impact on where a page ranks in Google organic search results. According to Google's guidelines, the most important factors used to determine the overall quality of a web page are:

  • The Page's Purpose (Is there a beneficial purpose?)
  • Expertise, Authoritarianism, and Integrity
  • Main Content Quality and Quantity
  • Information about the website or the creator of the Main Content
  • The website's or the author's main content's reputation

So, all else being equal, the higher a page ranks, the more it demonstrates expertise, authority, and trustworthiness.

How does Google calculate E-A-T?

Now that we've answered the question "What is E-A-T?" let's look at how Google determines a page's E-A-T. At a high level, the Google search quality evaluator guidelines list three primary components:

  • The Main Content's creator's expertise.
  • The authority of the Main Content's creator, the Main Content itself, and the website.
  • The credibility of the Main Content's creator, the Main Content itself, and the website.

Provide accurate, truthful, and useful information

E-A-T is essentially Google's attempt to ensure that it returns accurate, truthful, and useful information to searchers. Anyone can make a website and publish anything they want on it. You don't have to be a doctor or have a finance degree to start a medical information website or write about investing.

Of course, this is a good thing in some ways. It does, however, pose a problem for Google. People make important decisions based on the information they find in search results. As a result, Google strives to ensure that those decisions are based on the most reliable information available.

As a result, Google considers the individual creator of page content, the content itself, and the entire website's expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness. A thorough medical article written by an experienced doctor on the Mayo Clinic website is far more valuable in Google's eyes than a random blog post dispensing unverified medical advice.

What exactly is expertise?

Google understands that E-A-T will appear differently depending on the type of website. Expertise on a gossip site is very different from expertise on a news site. They also recognise that someone can have expertise in a field even if they haven't received formal training in it. The QRG's Google E-A-T guidelines are summarised below:

Guidelines for Google Quality Raters:

"Some subjects necessitate less formal knowledge. Many people write extremely detailed, helpful product or restaurant reviews. Many people share advice and personal experiences on forums, blogs, and other online communities. These ordinary people may be regarded as experts in areas where they have firsthand experience. If it appears that the person creating the content has the type and amount of life experience that qualifies him or her as a "expert" on the topic, we will value this "everyday expertise" and will not penalise the person/webpage/website for lacking "formal" education or training in the field."

That being said, there is one type of website E-A-T SEO that Google truly values: Your Money or Your Life.

What exactly is YMYL?

YMYL is an acronym that stands for "Your Money or Your Life." This acronym is used by Google as a guiding principle when categorising pages that affect your finances, health, safety, and/or happiness.

Because of the subject matter and the consequences for a user if that information is misrepresented, YMYL sites are held to the highest possible E-A-T standards.

Google claims that:

Because low-quality YMYL pages can have a negative impact on a person's happiness, health, financial stability, or safety, we have very high Page Quality rating standards for YMYL pages.

YMYL website types

The following pages are frequently referred to as YMYL:

  • News and current events: Topics such as international events, business, politics, science, and technology are covered. (Not all news, such as entertainment and sports, falls under YMYL, but you should strive for high E-A-T regardless to raise the profile of your content.)
  • Civics, government, and law: The dissemination of information about voting, government agencies, public institutions, social services, and legal advice.
  • Finance refers to any financial advice or information pertaining to investments, taxes, retirement planning, loans, banking, or insurance.
  • Shopping: Ecommerce content that includes product research or the investigation of goods and services that will result in a purchase.
  • Health and safety content includes or disseminates information or advice on health and medical issues, such as hospitals and pharmacies, as well as drugs (emergency preparedness or content that defines or discusses dangerous activities)
  • People groups: Information or claims about people based on ethnicity, race or nationality, religion, age or disability, gender (gender identity), sexual orientation, or veteran status

Depending on the context or how the information is presented, the list may also include more subjective topics and content. Parenting information, housing or remodelling information, researching schools or colleges, finding employment, or fitness, nutrition, or weight loss information are examples of such items.

E-A-T SEO significance

Google understands that a person's life can be changed by what they read online. As a result, a poor source of information in Google search results can have serious consequences.

If your web pages or content fall into any of these YMYL categories, you must proceed with caution. Make it abundantly clear that it was written by people in positions of authority.

The more you can follow and apply the E-A-T standards to your content, the better your chances of organic search engine visibility and ranking success.

Does E-A-T play a role in ranking?

E-A-T is not a direct Google ranking factor in terms of measurable metrics. However, Google uses other signals to determine expertise, authority, and trust, which are ranking factors.

Google published a white paper titled "How Google Fights Disinformation" in February 2019 that emphasises the importance of E-A-T in its rankings. Furthermore, in the most recent version of its Search Quality Rater Guidelines, Google mentions "E-A-T" 137 times. As a result, it's clear that it's an important concept.

However, there is no single metric that can be used to calculate a Google E-A-T score. It instead assesses other, measurable factors that indicate the quality of authors, web pages, websites, and brands.

The overarching procedure is as follows. Search quality raters assess and measure the quality of websites, and the feedback is used to improve the Google algorithm. Furthermore, Google's algorithm can clearly measure the signals that are associated with E-A-T. (e.g., backlinks).

According to Danny Sullivan (@dannysullivan), Google's Public Liaison of Search, on October 11, 2019:

Why is E-A-T essential for your SEO strategy?

  • If you've been paying attention to major Google search core algorithm updates in recent years, you'll notice a recurring theme: always improving the user experience.
  • Google penalised keyword stuffing a long time ago because it interfered with the reading experience. When the majority of people began using mobile devices to search the internet, they made mobile responsiveness a ranking factor. Google chose HTTPS over HTTP because it wanted to provide greater security to searchers. They created Core Web Vitals in order to quantify a quick, seamless user experience.
  • E-A-T is no exception. It's another way for Google to give users what they want.
  • E-A-T aids in determining credibility. It serves as the foundation for determining whether a website and its individual pages provide real value to the user. Google wants to serve up the pages that provide the most value in relation to a specific search query because that is how it keeps people coming back.
  • If search engine optimization (SEO) is critical to your digital marketing success, E-A-T SEO should be at the top of your priority list when developing your SEO strategy.

How to Boost E-A-T SEO

  • Given how important it is in organic search, let's go over some Google E-A-T SEO best practises.
  • Fortunately, there are a number of specific steps you can take to vastly improve your website's content and ensure it conveys the trust signals that Google (and users) desire. Remember that if your site is designated as YMYL, it will be held to an even higher standard.

1. Use off-page SEO to build the right backlinks.

  • Backlinks from relevant, high-authority domains are the foundation of a successful SEO strategy and one of the most effective ways to demonstrate that you are a trusted authority in your industry.
  • If you work in IT consulting and get a backlink from a teen fashion website, it's unlikely to help you. In fact, scaling those types of tactics may result in a manual action penalty. One insurance lead generation website discovered this after generating hundreds of thousands of low-quality links on unrelated websites and eventually losing all of its page one rankings. (Many dropped to page 15.)
  • Off-page SEO, on the other hand, is not easy to master.
  • You must consistently create valuable, unique, high-quality content that people want to link to in order to earn them. A generic 500-word listicle posted once a month on your blog will not help you much. Invest time and resources in establishing yourself as an authority figure (whatever the subject). Then, cultivate relationships with the appropriate publishers and influencers. Those high-quality backlinks will undoubtedly @2. Obtain more mentions from credible sources.
  • Aside from backlinks, getting mentions from reputable sources can help your E-A-T credentials. The more your brand/name appears in authoritative sources across the internet, the more Google sees you as a trustworthy authority. Check out our article on public relations and SEO for more information.
  • According to Google Patent 8,682,892, "implied links," or plain text mentions of your brand name, can be considered a type of backlink. Incoming links are described in the patent as "express links, implied links, or both," and they can be actual links or plain text. In other words, all incoming links – express and implied – from credible websites are counted toward determining the quality of your page. Gary Illyes, a Google representative, has since confirmed that mentions from high-authority websites are indeed measured and factored into ranking decisions.
  • How do you secure mentions now that you understand their potential value? 
  1. There are, in fact, dozens of ways to get more mentions. As an example:
  • Guest posts on reputable websites
  • Obtain interview opportunities.
  • Participate in podcasts
  • Collaboration with influencers
  • Participate in or host events
  • Charity events should be sponsored.
  • Create high-value assets.
  • starting new innovations

3. Maintain accurate and up-to-date content

Unless your website's content is static, there's a good chance you have pages with information that is either obsolete or outdated.

Maintain as much of your content as possible with the most up-to-date information. This is especially true if your website contains pages with time-sensitive information, such as news. Consider medical information, where it is critical to keep the content up to date based on the most recent medical knowledge and discoveries.

4. Obtain more reviews (and respond to them)

Earning and promoting online reviews for your products or services is always a good business strategy. Those same reviews contribute to your site's E-A-T in Google's eyes. A high number of positive reviews across multiple review sites (Google, Trustpilot, Facebook, Yelp, and so on) demonstrates that your company is trustworthy in the eyes of customers.

Take the time to respond to all reviews, even the negative ones, as they come in. In fact, responding to your customers' feedback will increase your trustworthiness as a brand that is both reputable and committed to keeping its customers happy.

Google recently released an update to its product reviews. The update aims to promote review content that goes beyond the typical templated information found on the internet today. Google has stated that it will prioritise these improved types of product reviews in its search results rankings.

"The overall goal is to provide users with content that provides insightful analysis and original research and is written by experts or enthusiasts who are well-versed in the subject."

5. Make use of or hire experts

Google appreciates expert content. They appear to favor content created by someone who possesses the necessary credentials or qualifications. If your site is in YMYL territory, expertly sourced materials are especially important. This is why many of the most popular health information websites (Healthline, Verywell, and so on) have their content written or reviewed by medical professionals, or both.

You can improve your site's E-A-T by collaborating with contributors who have extensive real-world experience and credentials to back up their knowledge.

From an E-A-T standpoint, "hiring experts" does not imply hiring a copywriter who can write about a topic but has no actual experience in the field.

6. Display your credentials

Do not simply refer to your authors as professionals without first demonstrating their level of expertise. Verify their credentials and post them alongside the content they create on your website. You should also include links to the authors' websites and social media handles to assist Google in determining the entities behind your content.

Your experts should also be listed on pages that describe the people behind your website, such as About, Team, and Contributors. Don't be afraid to brag about the writer's credentials.

If your writers have credentials, accreditations, degrees, or have put in the time to be recognised as an authority in a specific field, your brand has earned the right to tell people (and Google) about it.

Anything related to your area of expertise is fair game:

  • Education \sAwards
  • Authored books Certifications
  • Appointments to speak
  • Conference panelists

7. Display your contact information

This may seem insignificant, but displaying your contact information on your website demonstrates that you are a real company with real people. Websites that do not provide contact information are probably uninterested in their audience.

Include all of the ways people can contact you on your website, as well as your company's physical address.

8. Create a Wikipedia page for yourself.

Having a Wikipedia page, believe it or not, can help your site's SEO for two reasons.

First and foremost, Wikipedia has a strict editorial process. As a result, a backlink from this domain to your website can be interpreted as a vote of confidence.

Second, a Wikipedia page allows you to further establish your brand as an authority in your industry. You can discuss your achievements, include links to notable news publications, and more. Your Wikipedia page provides Google with yet another indication that your brand is legitimate.

9. Examine your brand

Auditing your brand will strengthen the foundation for its trustworthiness, in addition to being good general business practise. Examine how your brand is perceived in your industry and look for specific ways to improve that perception.

Examine your company's online presence, including search results. Do you have access to your websites, blogs, and social media profiles? What about third-party publications, association websites, community service, and the press?

Consider the What is E-A-T section of this post. Do you have all of the signals that Google seeks?

If your audit reveals a few flaws, devise a strategy for improving your brand's visibility. The goal is to reposition your brand by emphasizing its expertise, authority, and dependability.

10. Conduct a content audit

Unless your website is brand new, you most likely have some existing content, such as blog posts, articles, reports, case studies, data sheets, white papers, lookbooks, and so on. Conduct a content audit to ensure that everything you've published over the years complies with EAT guidelines.

There are three options for each page:

  • Refresh it
  • Remove it.
  • Combine it with other pages that are related to it.

For example, suppose you have a blog post from four years ago. If the information is out of date, update it so that it is current for your target audience. Or is it completely out of date, not generating traffic or conversions, and therefore not worth updating? Then remove it. To make the page more valuable, if it's a really thin blog post, either significantly beef it up or merge it with other related blog posts.

Just keep in mind to use proper 301 redirects when deleting and combining pages.

11. Create a framework for content marketing.

Creating consistent content is an excellent way to establish your authority. Effective content marketing allows you to demonstrate your expert knowledge in tangible ways, whether you're blogging, podcasting, or creating videos.

The challenge, of course, is that creating good content on a regular basis requires a significant amount of effort. As a result, a content creation framework is required. As a marketer, you need a defined, repeatable process that you and your team can use to consistently create high-value content.

Your framework should include a content calendar that includes the following items:

  • The nature of the content
  • Your rate of publication
  • Resources required
  • Personas or segments of the target audience
  • Specified keyword (s)
  • Each step entailed (content brief, draft, edits, reviews, publication, etc.)
  • Who is in charge of each step?
  • Desired result or goal

It is much easier to reap the benefits of content marketing while improving efficiencies when you have a defined framework in place.

12. Take it easy on the advertisements.

It is certainly permissible to include advertisements on your website. Google is aware of this — and frequently benefits from it.

However, if you have an excessive number of ads, especially if those ads have a negative impact on the reading experience, be cautious. Too many advertisements can give the impression that your website is biassed and untrustworthy. Users may believe that everything is sponsored or compensated, which may cause them to lose trust in your content.

13. Encourage offsite promotion

It is not enough to simply create great content, though this is necessary. After you've created it, you'll need to promote it to the appropriate audience. And that is unlikely to happen unless proactive outreach is undertaken.


Share it on social media, email it to your list, optimise it to rank higher in search, and collaborate with others.

E-A-T and SEO's Future

A broader, deeper, and more robust application of E-A-T to identify speakers, authors, websites, and brands is likely in the future.

For example, Google was granted a patent in 2020 called "Speaker Identification," which aids in the identification of specific speakers using speech recognition technology. This could be used in the future with YouTube videos, webinar recordings, and media interviews. And this is most likely only the tip of the iceberg.

The Search algorithm will continue to evolve over time as a result of broad core updates and micro-adjustments. Google's goal, however, remains the same. To that end, the Google algorithm is constantly improving at determining what people are searching for and providing them with the most relevant results.

This mission is perfectly aligned with Google's E-A-T.

Your SEO efforts will be more likely to succeed if you understand what your audience wants and can deliver it to them in an expert, authoritative, and trustworthy manner.

If E-A-T is one of your core frameworks for SEO, you'll always be in a good position to succeed.

E-A-T Frequently Asked Questions

What exactly is E-A-T?

Expertise, Authority, and Trustworthiness are abbreviated as E-A-T. The idea stems from Google's Search Quality Rater guidelines, and it gained popularity following the infamous Medic Update in August 2018. E-A-T is one of the factors that Google considers when determining the overall quality of a web page.

What is the significance of E-A-T in SEO?

E-A-T assists in determining whether a website and its individual pages are reliable sources of information on a specific subject that provide real value to users.