Google’s quality rater guidelines underwent an update in December 2022, with the addition of an “E” to the existing E-A-T framework. The new acronym, E-E-A-T, stands for Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness and Trust. Although these guidelines do not directly impact search rankings, they provide valuable insights into Google’s priorities, especially regarding the creation of high-quality content. In this article, we’ll explore the changes in the updated guidelines and discuss their implications for your SEO strategy.

Expanding the E-A-T Framework

The additional “E” is for “Experience” and highlights Google’s emphasis on evaluating the suitability of content creators’ expertise. For instance, when assessing product reviews, raters now consider whether the reviewer has firsthand experience with the product, rather than simply rewriting existing reviews. This update aims to ensure that content is produced with a suitable degree of expertise, depending on the topic or niche.

Understanding the Four Factors of E-E-A-T

The four factors of E-E-A-T; Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness and Trust, play a crucial role in evaluating the quality and reliability of content. Google’s guidelines provide insights into each factor:

Experience – Content creators with firsthand or life experience relevant to the topic are considered more trustworthy. For example, a product review from someone who has personally used the product holds more credibility than a review from someone who hasn’t.

Expertise – Different topics require varying levels and types of expertise. Raters are instructed to consider the extent to which content creators possess the necessary knowledge or skill for the subject matter. Expert advice from professionals in the field is more reliable than opinions from individuals lacking expertise.

Authoritativeness – Websites or content creators recognised as go-to sources for specific topics are considered authoritative. While theer may not always be one official authoritative source, reputable and trustworthy profiles, publications, or websites contribute to establishing authority.

Trust – Trust is the most important factor in the E-E-A-T framework. Raters assess the accuracy, honesty, safety and reliability of content. The level of trust required depends on the nature of the page. For example, online stores should have secure payment systems and reliable customer service.

Unveiling the Importance of Trust

According to Google’s quality rater guidelines, trust is paramount within the E-E-A-T framework. Pages that lack trustworthiness, regardless of their experience, expertise, or authoritativeness are considered to have low E-E-A-T. Raters evaluate trust through multiple factors:

  1. Website and Content Creator Information: Raters examine the “About us” page or profile page of content creators to gauge their trustworthiness. Is there evidence to support the credibility of the website or content creator?
  2. External Reputation: Independent reviews, news articles, references, and credible sources play a crucial role in determining trustworthiness. Raters look for evidence that confirms or disputes the trustworthiness of the website or content creator.
  3. Visible Content: In some cases, raters can assess the level of experience and expertise directly from the main content itself. For example, watching a video of a hairstylist in action and reading comments that highlight their expertise can establish trust.

Google also acknowledges that there are other aspects of trust not explicitly mentioned in the guidelines, and raters are encouraged to use their judgment in assessing these signals.

Emphasising the Role of Google’s Quality Rater Guidelines

Google’s quality rater guidelines are essential for its human quality raters to evaluate search results. While these guidelines do not directly influence rankings, they provide valuable insights into Google’s priorities. Content creators and SEOs can benefit from understanding the guidelines to self-assess their own content and align with Google’s expectations. The updated E-E-A-T framework offers a useful model for content creation and SEO strategies.

Do You Need Professional Assistance?

Staying updated with Google’s quality rater guidelines is crucial for ensuring the quality and is relevance of your content. The recent addition of the E-E-A-T framework underscores the importance of experience, expertise, authoritativeness and trust. By aligning your content with these factors, you can improve its chances of ranking higher in search results. If you need assistance in producing high-quality content or adapting to algorithm changes, reach out to our digital marketing experts to help you succeed online.