Google E-E-A-T

What is Google E-E-A-T?

E-E-A-T is a set of principles that Google Quality Raters use to evaluate the quality of internet content. E-E-A-T stands for Expertise, Experience, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness.


Google Quality Raters are human evaluators who are hired by third-party consultants around the globe to help Google’s search engine learn how to return the most useful, relevant information for a given search query.

The rater’s assessments do not directly impact search engine results, but since Google has over 16,000 contractors using E-E-A-T to evaluate web page quality each day, the principles have become an important concept in search engine optimization (SEO).

Techopedia Explains

While it may seem like Google has multiple search engines because it offers specialized searches like Google Images, Google News, and Google Maps, these are actually different functions of the same underlying search engine.

Initially, Google’s search engine results were heavily reliant on a single algorithm called PageRank. Today, Google uses a complex system of artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms that work together to produce Google’s search engine results pages (SERPs).

The goal of using E-E-A-T feedback from human evaluators is for Google data scientists and AI engineers to understand how well their black box AI meets the informational, transactional, and navigational needs of users – and which search algorithms need to be adjusted.

In 2022, for example, Google shared that they made more than 4,725 changes to the search engine’s algorithms. Content that adhered to E-E-A-T principles was more likely to keep ranking highly, probably because experience, expertise, authority, and trust are aligned closely with Google’s overarching goal of providing users with useful search results.

What Are Google Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines (SQEG)?

E-E-A-T is a component of Google’s Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines (SQEG) for human evaluators. The guidelines are written instructions designed to help third-party evaluators in different parts of the world assess the quality of a given web page the same way.

Every evaluator uses the same criteria for determining if the web page should receive a high-quality rating, a medium-quality rating, or a low-quality rating.

Google is very clear that the feedback is not used to rank web pages. According to the guidelines, “ratings are used to measure how effectively search engines are working to deliver helpful content to people around the world. Ratings are also used to improve search engines by providing examples of helpful and unhelpful results for different searches.”

SQEG guidelines are updated periodically to reflect changes in:

  • Technology
  • Protocols
  • User behavior
  • Legal considerations
  • E-commerce trends

Originally, Quality Raters were tasked with assessing web page quality for expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness (E-A-T).

In December 2022, however, the guidelines were updated, and Quality Raters were also required to consider the extent to which a content creator has first-hand or life experience with their topic.

The guidelines explain it’s not important to clearly delineate the difference between experience, expertise, and authority because these three qualities can overlap. Instead, Google recommends using trust as the most important signal for high-quality web page content.

Google defines trust as being “the extent to which the page is accurate, honest, safe, and reliable.”

This requires evaluating the following:

  • What the website or content creators say about themselves.
  • What others say about the website or content creators.
  • The web page’s components, including the main content.

E-E-A-T and SEO

Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines can be a valuable resource for helping content creators and website publishers understand why some web pages rank higher than others.

In a crowded digital space, demonstrating higher levels of expertise, experience, authority, and trustworthiness can provide a competitive advantage.

It helps content stand out and increases the chances that the content creator will be recognized as a credible and authoritative source for information online.

According to Google, the principles of E-E-A-T can intersect in different ways depending on the nature of a web page and its subject matter.

SQEG guidelines recommend that to assess the reliability of a content creator, it’s important to think about the specific purpose, type, and topic of the page and determine what attributes would establish the creator as a credible and trustworthy source in a particular scenario.

This table provides details about how content creators can use Google’s E-E-A-T principles for SEO:

Principle Description Importance in SEO
Experience The practical knowledge or skill that a content creator brings to a topic based on their personal experience. Helps create relatable and authentic content. The content creator may:

  • Provide personal anecdotes or other evidence that supports the content creator’s firsthand perspective.
  • Use first-person voice when explaining best practices and challenges.
  • Explain how the content creator has gained life experience around a specific topic. Your Money or Your Life (YMYL) topics may be considered to have high E-E-A-T as long as the content is trustworthy, safe, and consistent with well-established expert consensus.
Expertise The level of knowledge and skill in a particular area, usually backed by qualifications or professional experience. Helps create high-quality, accurate, and helpful information, particularly for YMYL topics. The content creator or website:

  • Frequently publishes content about the topic.
  • Demonstrates a deep understanding of the topic.
  • Refers readers to reputable sources for more information.
  • Provides up-to-date information reflecting the latest developments and advancements in a particular industry or subject area.
  • Uses subject-oriented terminology appropriately.
  • Provides easy-to-locate information about who is responsible for the website and its content.
Authoritativeness The degree to which the content creator is recognized as a reliable source of information on the topic. Enhances the credibility of the content and influences how it’s valued by both users and search engines. The content creator or the website:

  • Has a strong reputation in a particular field.
  • Is known as a go-to source for trustworthy information.
  • Publishes in-depth content that is well-organized and does not have a lot of filler.
  • Has recognized experts create and/or review content.
  • Receives inbound links from authoritative sources.
  • Has received awards or accolades for content.
Trustworthiness The extent to which the content and its creator are considered dependable and honest. Emphasizes that the information on a web page is reliable and trustworthy. The content creator or the website:

  • Clearly identifies who is responsible for the website and its content.
  • Is transparent about affiliations.
  • Is transparent regarding personal opinions and biases.
  • Avoids including misleading and/or unsubstantiated information.
  • Publishes original content and does not plagiarize.
  • Provides easy ways for users to contact the website and website content creators.


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Margaret Rouse

Margaret Rouse is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical, business audience. Over the past twenty years her explanations have appeared on TechTarget websites and she's been cited as an authority in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine and Discovery Magazine.Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages. If you have a suggestion for a new definition or how to improve a technical explanation, please email Margaret or contact her…