Anyone who has ever wondered how to decrypt Google’s ranking algorithm is not alone. The acronym “EAT” stands for Expertise, Authority and Trustworthiness.
Although the volatility may have calmed down somewhat, there are still major brands that are having difficulty understanding and responding to Search Quality guidelines. If you haven’t read the guidelines, Stickyeyes “Google EAT Survival Guide” provides a more condensed analysis.
The guide explains how Google’s search quality team determines whether a search result contains expert content and should be considered an authority on the subject, as well as whether the searcher could trust a particular brand or page. It stands to reason that Google moderators will check websites to recognize the most trustworthy information, so that users can be confident that the search results are credible.
At the end of 2018, Google reiterated the critical nature of EAT and released it to the public. Google employs a team of human search reviewers whose sole task is to manually evaluate the results of the content and pages of websites across the Web that appear in Google’s search results. This is the same team that Google, the human search evaluator, looks at when it manually examines a website and determines how elements of its algorithm apply to a YMYL website.
E.A.T., also known as expertise, authority or trustworthiness, originated in the early days of search engine optimization (SEO) and the training of people. Think of medical, legal, and financial advice where what Google calls “formal expertise”. The Search Quality Evaluator Guideline trains human-quality “rats” to help Google understand the quality of results generated by the user experience, interface, content, design, ease of use and other factors of a website.
For example, the Panda update and the Penguin update are believed to be the same. The YMYM website underwent a dramatic change in its rating due to Google’s EAT algorithm update, nicknamed the “medical update” by Google because it affected the medical content of the website in question. Google began to apply strict quality criteria to its search engine results based on EIT guidelines for medical and financial advice.
If you read Google’s Quality Raters Guidelines, you can learn more about creating better, more relevant content by reading their policies and the Google E.A.T. People use Google’s Quality Rating Guidelines to mark search results and to assign a quality rating to search results for a particular search query. In other words, the pages that would receive the highest quality rating from the reviewers who apply these guidelines are the kind of pages that Google would like to rank well.
While the policies of Google’s quality assessors do not increase a site’s ranking, the fact that those with expertise, authority, and trust matter because they determine the value of a site to visitors. Simply put, pages that apply to this policy receive the highest quality rating if they are likely to be well placed on Google SERP and are the kind of content that Google would like to place well.