Things to Know About Google’s E-A-T Principle

When it comes to SEO, quality content is king. 

Now, you’re probably wondering how search engines measure “quality”?

Google has developed a framework called E-A-T to help with this. 

As you can guess, Google’s ranking factors are pretty complex. There’s a lot that goes into establishing how credible a page is and why it should rank above others. One very important element involved in this is E-A-T.

This principle may be questioned as a direct ranking factor, but it’s certainly a crucial element of any SEO strategy. 

In this guide, we’ll break down everything you need to know about E-A-T, what it means, and how you can improve it on your website. 

What is E-A-T?

Google’s E-A-T principle is an acronym that stands for:

  • Expertise
  • Authoritativeness
  • Trustworthiness

It’s a guideline that Google uses to help understand what content is valuable to users in order for it to rank well. 

The E-A-T principle arises from Google’s Search Quality Rater Guidelines  – a document that human quality raters use to evaluate the quality of Google’s search results. 

The aim of this document is to help webmasters understand what Google “looks for in a webpage”. In other words, the principles outlined in this document are important for establishing how your website performs on the search engine.

When Google search quality evaluators use the E-A-T principle, they’re instructed to consider the following:

  • How much expertise the creator of the content has in the subject they’re dealing with
  • How authoritative the content, the website, and the creator of the content are
  • How trustworthy the content, the website, and the creator of the content are

If a web page passes the E-A-T test, Google views it as being high-quality. If a page is considered high-quality, it will perform better in the SERPs. 

So, understanding E-A-T and ensuring your web pages meet these standards can make a big impact on your SEO strategy. 

How Important is E-A-T?

All content that you publish on your website should be of a high quality, which means the E-A-T principle is always important. 

Although, focusing on applying the elements of E-A-T depends on the type of content you’re publishing and what the user wants to see.

For example, if a user wants to discover some fun Christmas decor DIY ideas, then you don’t necessarily need to be a major authority on the subject. As long as you display good ideas, the user should be happy – they won’t worry about your credentials. 

On the other hand, if a user wants to learn about a medical condition or a complex technical subject, then they’ll want to know it’s written by someone who actually knows what they’re talking about. 

When it comes to “your money, your life” content, displaying E-A-T in your content is a must. This is the kind of content that requires expertise, so it’s important that you can show Google you’re a relevant expert on the subject. 

If you can’t show any kind of authority or expertise on the subject you’re covering, then why should a user be interested in your content? This is important for search engine ranking as well as the user experience. 

To expand on this idea further, here’s a snippet taken from Google’s Quality Rater Guidelines:

Snippet google quality rater guidelines

Image source:

So E-A-T is an important factor in how your content comes across and why users should trust what you say – as long as your content subject requires authority. Without this, you may struggle to get anyone to engage with your page. 

In case this explanation isn’t enough, just go by Google’s own words, where they say that E-A-T is “very important”.

expertise authoritativeness trustworthiness e-a-t

Image source:

Is E-A-T a Ranking Factor?

This is where a lot of people get confused. 

We know that having high-quality content that adds value to the user is fundamental for strong SEO performance. But does E-A-T directly affect the way your site ranks in the SERPs?

Kind of. 

This is what Google’s Public Liason of Search had to say about the topic:


This explanation basically points out that E-A-T is not a “tangible” ranking factor. It’s not a concept that computers and search engine crawlers can understand, and it’s certainly not a concept that’s easily measured. 

To compare this, let’s say you use backlinks as a ranking factor. It’s easy for crawlers to assess how many relevant backlinks a page has to help its search engine performance. This type of ranking factor is tangible. 

E-A-T however, is not so easy to measure. It’s a human concept, not a machine concept, so Google’s algorithm can’t directly assess E-A-T and use it as a ranking factor. 

At the same time, if your content doesn’t meet the right E-A-T principles, then it will certainly rank below content that does. 

So, E-A-T may not technically be a ranking factor in the sense that crawlers actively assess it, but it does certainly affect your rankings. 

Make sense? 

To understand this a bit better, it’s important to know exactly how E-A-T works. 

How is E-A-T Evaluated?

How exactly does Google apply the E-A-T principle to web pages?

Google’s algorithm is advanced, and it includes many factors that help search engines understand quality content. This algorithm is always changing to ensure the most relevant, valuable content is displayed in Google search results. 

The quality raters who work for Google assess these search results based on the algorithm and provide feedback to Google. 

Google then takes the feedback from these quality raters and uses this to understand what tangible signals match E-A-T. Then they make changes to the algorithms in response to this. 

If this sounds too complex, then check out this video where it’s broken down in more detail

So basically, E-A-T is measured by a combination of human testing as well as Google’s algorithm. 

Why is E-A-T Important for SEO?

In case you haven’t guessed already, you’re going to struggle to get decent SEO results from your content if it misses the mark on Google’s E-A-T principle. 

In the world of SEO, you’re always hearing about how you need to create “high-quality content”. This is often a pretty vague term, as we’re not always sure what makes content “high-quality”. 

Is it the content length? How many images are included in the content? How is the content formatted?

We aren’t always sure. But, Google offering E-A-T as a principle to assess quality gives us a clear insight into what the search engine does look for in “high-quality”. 

According to the guidelines that Google uses for this principle, high-quality content should:

  • Be created and published by an expert on the topic
  • Provide genuine help to individuals searching for an answer
  • Be trustworthy and factual
  • Be published on a site that holds authority
  • Be regularly updated so that the content remains relevant

Get these principles right, and you can be sure that your content will achieve a “high-quality” status. And when you do publish content like this, you can expect it to perform a lot better in the SERPs. 

On this topic, you might be worried about how you’re going to display enough authority on your site. 

Don’t worry, you don’t need to be an absolute expert on certain subject matter to perform well in Google. Everyday content doesn’t necessarily need a high level of expertise, it just needs to be written by someone who knows what they’re talking about. If you can illustrate this in the content, then you’re all set to achieve great search engine performance. 

How to Improve E-A-T on Your Website

Now that you know what E-A-T is, you’ll want to make sure you incorporate it into your SEO strategy. 

Here are some of the best ways that websites can utilise Google’s E-A-T principle to boost their rankings. 

1. Have a Detailed About Me or Author Page

All three of the E-A-T elements focus on whether the person and website publishing the content is a legitimate source of information. The more of an established, trusted expert you are in the niche you’re publishing about, the better it will be for your content. 

One of the best ways to do this is to create a detailed About Me or author page. 

The About Me/About Us page on a website helps to provide more background and information on what the site is about, why it exists, and who creates the content. Being transparent here is a great way to add more authority to the content you’re publishing.

Don’t worry, you don’t have to be a recognized expert here. You can simply use this page to explain why you are publishing this content and why readers should trust you. 

For example, if you publish blog content about outdoor sports, you could include in your About Me page that you’re an avid hiker who loves spending time outdoors. Add an image of yourself hiking, and you’ve already established some solid credibility for your audience. 

The other option is to focus the About page on the website, and then to have individual author bios, which are the short snippets of information seen on a blog post.

Use your author bio to quickly summarise who you are and why you publish the content you do. This helps visitors understand why the contest exists and it helps to establish trust in what you’re saying. 

2. Focus on Link Building

Google’s E-A-T guidelines might not mention links specifically, but backlinks remain the most important way to establish authority through search engines. By focusing on building a strong backlinks profile, Google’s algorithm will give your site more credibility. 

Link-building strategies can be tricky to get right, so it’s important that you approach them carefully.

Your goal should be to build high-quality links, and not just gain a lot of links. In fact, low-quality, spammy backlinks can damage your link profile and authority instead of building it.  

3. Have a Clear Purpose

Make sure that all of the content you publish has a clear purpose. 

This could be to educate, inspire, entertain, or inform. Whatever the case, make this purpose clear to your audience and keep your content to the point and in line with the purpose. 

Long, dull content that beats around the bush won’t help you to target specific topics and queries. This will prevent your content from coming across as a relevant, trusted source. 

Instead, dive straight into topics, answer questions and add relevant value wherever you can.

An important part here is to make your content actionable wherever possible. Instead of just explaining something, try to also explain how users can incorporate your advice into their life. This can make your content more useful, and provide more meaningful help and insights to your audience. 

4. Include Experts

It’s okay to admit that you may not be an absolute expert in the topic you’re covering. Your readers and Google can’t expect you to know everything. 

However, covering a wide range of topics within your niche and using recognized experts to help you create that content is important. The more experts you utilise, the more valuable and authoritative your content can become. 

There are two ways to do this. 

First, you can reach out to guest authors or other companies to partner with. Ask if they would be interested in publishing on your blog in exchange for something like a backlink or a mention. This can be a great way to diversify your authority and generate more authority. 

Second, you could simply focus on quoting plenty of relevant statistics, studies, and experts on the subject you’re covering. 

By adding more expert insights into your content, even if they’re from someone else, you’ll be able to establish more trust around your subject matter. 

Above: Example of how you can incorporate “expert” insights into your content.

5. Link to High-Authority Sources

This is very closely related to the point above. 

When you talk about a topic, especially if it’s a complex one, then it’s important that you link out to other high-quality sources on the subject. This could be because you’re referencing them, or simply because you’re giving your readers more information to explore on the subject. 

The great thing about this is that Google’s crawlers can understand when you link out to trusted sources. This helps to make your content more powerful, improving its chances of ranking. 

When you do this, try not to link to pages that are directly competing with yours. Also, ensure you link to recognized authoritative websites with a high DA. 

6. Keep Your Content Up to Date

If your content is going to be a recognized authority, then it needs to be current. 

Time moves fast and things change very quickly. This is especially true in the online world, where new content is being published all the time. 

In order for your content to match the E-A-T principles, you need to make sure that it’s always relevant, up-to-date, and offers meaningful, helpful advice. 

Let’s say I search Google for a Facebook marketing strategy, and the result I click on is dated from 2014 and includes screenshots and examples of Facebook from this year. This content would be so outdated now that I wouldn’t bother reading it. This means it would achieve the opposite effect of what E-A-T is trying to promote. 

So, if you have a lot of content on your site, make sure that you’re continually optimising and updating it to ensure you come across as a relevant source of information. As soon as your content becomes outdated, it loses authority. 

7. Take Different Angles

Having too hard of an opinion can make your content come across as less trustworthy. 

This is because there are many different sides to any story, and a true expert will always consider the different options available. 

So, to be trustworthy, make sure you cover different angles, opinions, and possibilities in your content. For example, if you’re writing a list of strategies that a user can take, try to make that list as extensive as possible – don’t just focus on one option. 

Showing the user that you’ve really explored the topic and have considered the different options is a great way to build trust. 

8. Develop a Strong Online Reputation

Your brand reputation plays a major role in the trustworthiness of your site. This is something you can manage directly on your website, but it’s also something you can help to grow off of your site. 

For example, you could start to develop a social media presence and build an audience on different platforms. Don’t just publish content on your website for SEO, but publish podcasts, and videos, and claim all your social profiles. If you’re a business, try to generate as many online reviews as you can. 

By developing a strong brand reputation online, any content you publish under that brand name becomes more trustworthy by association.

9. Publish on Other Sites

Just like you want to include other experts on your own site, it could also be beneficial to publish content on other sites under your name. 

You can do this by reaching out to their sites offering expert gusset post content. Make sure the site is within your niche and that they are reputable. 

If you can publish content on other trusted sites, this helps to position your name as a trusted expert in your field. This all adds to strengthening your reputation and helping you become a greater authority in the eyes of Google. 

10. Let People Get in Touch With You

It’s possible for your business to come across as untrustworthy if you don’t provide enough contact information or customer support. The more open and transparent you are, the easier it is for your audience to trust you.

If you’re a business, then it’s important to disclose things like your address and contact details. If you’re a solopreneur or a blogger, you don’t necessarily need to disclose this information. 

However, you should provide some options for getting in touch with you. Even though this is not directly on your website, responding to social media comments and engaging with your audience can help here. 

Don’t worry too much about this though, according to the QRGs, the level of expected transparency about a brand varies on the website. 

11. Get a Wikipedia Page

This might not be possible for everyone, but having a Wikipedia page can give your SEO efforts a major boost. This comes down to two main reasons:

  • Any backlinks from Wikipedia can be seriously valuable, as Wikipedia has a high-authority domain and is very carefully edited
  • Wikipedia is an excellent place to establish your brand as an authority. If you have your own Wikipedia page, people will instantly see your brand as being more legitimate and trustworthy. This adds a lot of value to your E-A-T standing

We understand that most small businesses, bloggers, or solopreneurs won’t have a Wikipedia page. Although, creating one is actually more accessible than you might think, and it could help give your SEO efforts a significant boost. 

How Do You Measure E-A-T?

This is a tricky question to answer because there’s no exact way. 

Unfortunately, Google does not provide an E-A-T score. There is no exact science to understanding how your E-A-T levels are performing and where you need to make optimizations. 

As we said before, E-A-T is not a tangible ranking factor. 

However, the great thing about E-A-T is that Google is very clear about what determines it and what you can do to improve your quality levels. By ensuring you cover the general guidelines and tactics we listed above, you can certainly improve your site’s E-A-T positioning – even if this is not reflected in a score. 


E-A-T can be a tricky thing to measure, but it’s an essential element to help you create high-quality content. To win the SERPs, you should try to publish as much credible, trustworthy, and authoritative content as you can. The better you can do this, the better results you should see in your SEO strategy. 

Follow the tactics above, and achieving a greater E-A-T presence on your website shouldn’t be too difficult.