Glossary | 3 mins
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Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness and Trustworthiness E-E-A-T is an updated acronym, building on Google’s 2014 update to their Search Quality Rater Guidelines ‘E-A-T’. The handbook now features the additional trust factor ‘Experience’, as of the December 2022 update, which helps Google to measure the success of its algorithm updates and search results.
Google is adamant that while E-E-A-T is not a direct ranking factor it does want to serve results that display websites with strong E-E-A-T. In conjunction with SEO, E-E-A-T is a major focus for websites aiming to improve trust, engage customers and lead to an improved conversion rate.
Mar 2013: Search Quality Rating Guidelines Introduced
Mar 2014: E-A-T (Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness) added to the guidelines
Dec 2022: Updated to E-E-A-T, with the additional ‘E’ for ‘Experience’
Good quality content should demonstrate an expert level of understanding with subject matter, proving that insights are authentic and ‘tried and tested’. Adding ‘Experience’ to the E-A-T guidelines is a signal that consumers of the content can trust its authenticity.
Expertise differs from experience, though there is some overlap. While experience shows a real life understanding of the subject matter, expertise demonstrates a professional connection, through credentials, qualifications and a deep level of knowledge that qualifies authors to provide reliable information.
Authoritativeness, like expertise and experience, derives from the same place of being qualified to provide reliable information on a subject matter. Unlike the previous two, however, authoritativeness is reputation based, leveraging the power of industry peers to support your credibility as a trusted source of information. In this sense, authoritativeness is sourced by backlinks and citations from other credible, reliable sources of similar information.
In essence, Trustworthiness is the combination of the above and in essence, the most important factor of the E-E-A-T guideline – especially in subjects considered to be YMYL. Raters must consider the content as a whole, the look and feel of the website where the content lives, and the author who created it. Being clear, upfront and honest about who wrote it, its sources and any other factors that may encourage a transaction of conversion from users.
When did E-A-T become E-E-A-T?
In December 2022 Google updated its Search Quality Rater Guidelines to include ‘Experience’ to the ‘Expertise, Authoritativeness & Trustworthiness’ measure, which was originally introduced in March 2014.
Why was experience added to E-A-T?
Experience demonstrates an additional layer of credibility to audiences and Google. A strong level of experience is measured by an individual or brand’s first-hand or life experience on the subject matter outside of its basic theory or principles.
If the E-A-T signals are there, experience should further empower authors to speak authoritatively on a given subject.
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