What is E-E-A-T? How to improve it?

Have you ever wondered how Google decides which websites should appear first when searching for something? It follows various search algorithms that evolved to help it pick the best and most trustworthy websites. One of these is called E-A-T, which stands for Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness.

But wait, there’s a new update! Now, it’s not just E-A-T; it’s E-E-A-T. In December 2022, Google added an extra “E” for Experience. This means that Google is also looking at whether the person who wrote the content has real-life Experience with what they’re talking about.


In this blog post, we’ll discuss the evolution of E-E-A-T, why it matters, and improving your website’s E-E-A-T. So, let’s get started!

Understanding the evolution of Google’s E-E-A-T guidelines can provide valuable insights into how the search engine giant views quality content. Here’s a brief history of key updates related to E-E-A-T:

  • March 2013: Google officially publishes its Search Quality Rating Guidelines.
  • March 2014: Google adds E-A-T (Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness) to the guidelines. This addition signaled Google’s focus on not just the quality of content but also the credibility and reliability of the source.
  • August 2018: The Medic Update rolls out, significantly impacting websites in the health and wellness sector and emphasizing the importance of E-A-T.
  • October 2019: BERT Update is released, focusing on understanding the context of search queries but also having implications for E-A-T. Websites with high E-A-T scores better match user intent.
  • 2020-2021: Multiple Core Updates are released that continue to emphasize the importance of E-A-T, making it a fundamental part of Google’s algorithm.
  • December 2022: Google introduces E-E-A-T, adding an extra “E” for “Experience.” This update emphasized the user experience’s importance in evaluating a web page’s quality, making it a more holistic approach to assessing content.

What is E-E-A-T?

E-E-A-T stands for Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness. It is a framework used by Google to evaluate the quality of content on websites. Let’s break down each component to understand what E-E-A-T means:


Experience refers to a content creator’s firsthand knowledge or practical wisdom about the topic they are discussing. It’s not just about theoretical understanding; it’s about having “been there, done that.” For example, if you’re writing about hiking trails, having hiked those trails would add “experience” to your content.

By emphasizing “Experience,” Google signals that content created based on firsthand experience is often more valuable and trustworthy than purely theoretical or researched content.

Experience is particularly crucial in YMYL (Your Money or Your Life) topics, such as healthcare, finance, and legal issues.


Expertise refers to a content creator’s specialized knowledge or skill set in a particular subject area. It’s not just about a surface-level understanding of the topic. It’s important to have an in-depth knowledge of the content you are creating. Expertise is what sets you apart as an authority in your field.

Expertise can range from academic qualifications and professional experience to self-taught knowledge. For example, a certified nutritionist writing about diet plans has professional expertise, while a self-taught home cook may have practical expertise in creating budget-friendly meals. Both are forms of expertise but in different contexts.


Authoritativeness refers to the level of recognition you have as an expert in your field, not just by yourself but also by others in your industry. Being authoritative means that your content is considered a reliable source of information and is often cited or recommended by other experts or reputable platforms.

According to Google’s updated Search Quality Rater Guidelines, authoritativeness is a crucial component that supports a quality rater’s trust assessment. Google aims to “reward” pages where the author has expertise and a level of authority in the topic they are writing about.

This is particularly important for YMYL (Your Money or Your Life) topics, where the quality of information is crucial.

Multiple chapters in the Search Quality Rater Guidelines evaluate E-E-A-T from high to low. For instance, Chapter 8.3 of the guidelines states that a content creator who is the “uniquely authoritative, go-to source for a topic has very high E-E-A-T.” This implies that to achieve the highest level of E-E-A-T, you need to be the most trusted source on the internet for your topic.


In the digital landscape, trustworthiness refers to the credibility and reliability of your content, as well as the security features of your website. It’s about ensuring users trust your information and feel secure while interacting with your site.

It is considered the most crucial part of Google’s E-E-A-T SEO. Google’s Quality Raters are instructed to consider the creator, the content, and the website when evaluating trustworthiness.

Building trustworthiness is a long-term commitment that involves multiple facets, from content accuracy and transparency to website security. By focusing on enhancing the trustworthiness of your site and content, you not only align with Google’s E-E-A-T guidelines but also build a loyal and engaged audience.

User-generated content can also play a role in establishing trustworthiness. Positive reviews, testimonials, and other forms of UGC can act as trust signals. However, it’s essential to manage and monitor UGC carefully, as it is considered Main Content (MC) according to Google’s Search Quality Rater Guidelines.

Importance in Google’s Search Quality Guidelines

E-E-A-T is a significant part of Google’s Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines. Human evaluators use these guidelines to assess the quality of Google’s search results. While E-E-A-T is not a direct ranking factor, it plays a significant role in influencing the quality rating of a page, which can indirectly affect how well the page performs in search results.

E-E-A-T serves as a comprehensive framework for evaluating the quality of content. It helps ensure that the information served to users is accurate and comes from credible and experienced sources, thereby providing the most value to the end user.

What is YMYL?

YMYL stands for “Your Money or Your Life.” The concept of YMYL was introduced to ensure that information that could profoundly affect someone’s life is held to the highest standards of accuracy, reliability, and trustworthiness.

E-E-A-T Topic Category

In other words, Google aims to ensure that any content that could influence crucial life decisions related to health, finance, or safety is accurate and comes from reliable sources.

Why YMYL Matters in SEO

Regarding YMYL content, where information provided can significantly impact the person who views the content. But it’s not just about that one person. The wrong information can also hurt others connected to that person or sometimes a larger section. Let’s say someone reads terrible financial advice and loses money. This could affect their whole family, not just them.

Therefore, Google holds these websites to a higher standard and expects them to provide accurate, up-to-date, and trustworthy information. Optimizing your website for YMYL is essential to improve your rankings in search results and provide valuable content to your users.

How to Improve Your E-E-A-T Score

Improving your website’s E-E-A-T score is akin to fine-tuning a musical instrument; every adjustment you make contributes to a harmonious performance. In this section, we will discuss how to improve each aspect of E-E-A-T—Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness—so that your website can hit all the right notes in the SEO symphony.

1. Create High-Quality Content

First and foremost, your site should focus on delivering content that puts people first. This means creating content that answers questions, provides valuable advice, and leaves the reader feeling satisfied. Google has rolled out content updates designed to ensure that the content is original, helpful to users, and written by people for people.

To ensure your content maintains a high level of E-E-A-T, regularly audit it. Even if your content was once groundbreaking, it won’t be helpful if it contains outdated information.

2. Provide Author Info and Transparency

Transparency is critical when it comes to establishing E-E-A-T. Google wants to know that the person writing a piece of content is a legitimate source of information. Therefore, it’s essential to have an ‘About Us’ page that introduces your team and individual author pages that highlight each writer’s credentials and past work.

3. Use Credible Sources

When crafting content, especially for YMYL (Your Money or Your Life) topics, always link to official sources, studies, and research papers. This not only establishes credibility but also enhances the trustworthiness of your content. For example, if you’re writing about health topics, linking to reputable sources like Healthline can add a layer of trust to your content.

4. Create a Positive Brand Reputation

Your brand’s reputation can significantly impact the trustworthiness of your content and site. Therefore, online reputation management is crucial. Keep an eye out for negative reviews or press and respond to them promptly and professionally. Positive interactions with customers can help your brand reputation in the long term.

5. Leverage User-Generated Content

User-generated content (UGC) can act as a trust signal and establish brand loyalty. For example, 79% of online shoppers say UGC highly impacts purchasing decisions. Encourage your customer base to share reviews, images, or videos of your product. This not only builds trust but also provides you with valuable content that you can share.

Earning backlinks from other trusted sites can significantly boost your site’s authority. Think of backlinks as word-of-mouth recommendations in the digital world. The more high-quality backlinks you earn, the better your site will fare in Google search rankings. Focus on creating linkable content assets like helpful infographics or video guides and reach out to other publications to earn those valuable backlinks.

7. Make Your Website Secure

Security is often overlooked but critical to your website’s E-E-A-T score. A secure website protects your business from potential threats and builds user trust. Google’s Search Quality Rater Guidelines mention that an “insecure connection” on a shopping checkout page is untrustworthy. Therefore, ensuring your website is secure is not just good practice; it’s essential for your E-E-A-T score.

  • Implement SSL Certificate: An SSL certificate encrypts the data between the user’s browser and your server, making it difficult for hackers to intercept this information.
  • Secure Payment Gateway is non-negotiable if you’re running an e-commerce website. Payment gateways like Stripe, PayPal, and Square are known for robust security measures, including data encryption and fraud detection algorithms.
  • Regular security audits can help you identify vulnerabilities before they become a problem. These audits can check for issues like SQL injection, cross-site scripting, and other security threats.

Security is not a one-time setup but an ongoing process. Regular updates, constant monitoring, and staying abreast of the latest security threats are essential for maintaining a secure and trustworthy website.

Common misconceptions about E-E-A-T and YMYL

There are several misconceptions about E-E-A-T and YMYL in the world of SEO. One common myth is that E-E-A-T and YMYL only apply to specific industries or niches. These principles are essential for all websites, regardless of their topic or industry. Focusing on E-E-A-T and YMYL can help improve the overall quality of any website.

Another misconception is that E-E-A-T is a direct ranking factor but it is not. It is plays a significant role in determining the quality of a website, which in turn influences its rankings. Website owners can indirectly improve their search engine rankings by optimizing for E-E-A-T.

Case studies:

Health website One health website I’ve worked with significantly improved its search engine rankings and user trust by focusing on E-E-A-T and YMYL optimization. By collaborating with medical professionals, providing well-researched content, and maintaining a secure, professional website, the site has become a go-to resource for users seeking health advice.

Financial advice website: I’ve helped optimize a financial advice website that has seen tremendous growth by implementing E-E-A-T and YMYL strategies. By showcasing the qualifications of its financial advisors, citing reputable sources, and addressing users’ financial concerns, the website has become a trusted source for financial guidance and has experienced improved search engine rankings.

Legal advice website Another successful case study involves a legal advice website that embraced E-E-A-T and YMYL principles. By collaborating with licensed attorneys, providing accurate and up-to-date legal information, and prioritizing user experience, the website has established itself as a trustworthy source of legal knowledge and has seen significant improvements in its search rankings.

Additional Tips for E-E-A-T Optimization

To enhance E-A-T and YMYL for your website, you should:

  • Engage with your audience: Building strong relationships with your users is important to improve E-E-A-T. Engage with them through comments, social media, and email to gain insights for your content strategy.
  • Audit and update content regularly: Ensure high E-E-A-T by auditing and updating your content regularly. Remove outdated information, add new insights, and keep your content relevant, signaling active maintenance.
  • Prioritize quality over quantity: Quality matters more than quantity regarding E-E-A-T and YMYL. Create in-depth, valuable content that improves user experience and search engine rankings.
  • Stay informed on SEO practices: Keep up with SEO trends and updates, educate yourself, and adapt strategies to optimize for E-E-A-T and YMYL, maintaining strong search performance.

By implementing these tips, you can enhance E-E-A-T and YMYL for your website, ensuring a trustworthy and valuable online presence. Continuous improvement leads to long-term SEO success.

FAQs about E-A-T and YMYL.

You should showcase your credentials, provide well-researched content, and collaborate with industry experts.

The time it takes to see improvements in search rankings after optimizing for E-E-A-T and YMYL can vary depending on several factors, such as the current state of your website, the competition in your niche, and the effectiveness of your optimization efforts. It’s essential to be patient and consistent in your optimization efforts, as it may take several months or even longer to see significant improvements in your search engine rankings.

Can small businesses and new websites compete with established websites regarding E-E-A-T and YMYL?

Yes! Small businesses and new websites can still build their E-E-A-T and optimize for YMYL, even if competing with established websites. Small businesses and new websites can gradually improve their E-E-A-T and search engine rankings by creating high-quality content and building a solid online reputation.

Are any tools or resources available to help optimize for E-E-A-T and YMYL?

Several tools and resources are available to help you optimize your website for E-A-T and YMYL. Some popular tools include Google Search Console, Google Analytics, and various backlink analysis tools.

How important are social media and content marketing in building E-E-A-T and YMYL?

Social media and content marketing can play a significant role in building your website’s E-A-T and YMYL. By sharing valuable content, engaging with your audience, and promoting your expertise on social media platforms, you can establish your brand as an authoritative and trustworthy source of information in your niche. This, in turn, can help improve your website’s E-E-A-T and search engine rankings.

Final Thoughts

I hope sharing my experiences and insights into E-E-A-T has inspired you to optimize your website for these important principles. Doing so can improve your search engine rankings, build trust with your users, and, ultimately, create a more successful online presence.

E-E-A-T and YMYL are crucial concepts in the world of SEO that should not be overlooked. Understand the importance of these factors and make a strategy. With a perfect plan, you can create a more valuable online presence that serves your users and ranks higher in search engine results.

Remember that SEO is a long-term strategy; your optimization efforts must be patient and consistent. Keep learning, stay informed about the latest trends and best practices, and refine your website for E-E-A-T and YMYL. With dedication and persistence, you can achieve lasting success in the ever-evolving world of SEO.

Ashok Kumar

Ashok Kumar working in the Search Engine Optimization field since 2015. And worked on many successful projects since then. He shares the real-life experience of best SEO practices with his followers on You also can learn Advance level SEO for WordPress, Blogger, or any other blogging platform. Stay tuned.

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