In the world of SEO, it’s always important to keep on top of Google’s ranking algorithm. While nobody has the exact secret to the algorithm, we do have their Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines. We know that Google’s algorithm is always looking for high-quality, well informed websites to appear high up in their rankings. This is where two of Google’s measurements come in: E-A-T and YMYL.
E-A-T is the measurement that Google’s evaluators use to rank pages. If a page has a high level of EAT then this means it is high quality, while a low-quality page would have a low level of EAT.
How do you make sure your page has a high level of EAT? Based on Google’s Search Quality Guidelines, your website and web page must:
Have enough content.
Be expert, authoritative and trustworthy for the topic it discusses.
Have a positive reputation.
Feature enough auxiliary information, like an ‘About us’ and ‘Contact’ page.
Feature supplementary content that enhances the user’s enjoyment and experience.
Be designed in a functional fashion that allows users to easily locate the information they want.
Be maintained and edited regularly and frequently.
EAT is one of the most important aspects on this list. EAT has a direct effect on both a web page’s quality level, as well as its reputation on the web altogether. In order to be viewed as high-quality, Google states that “websites need enough expertise to be authoritative and trustworthy on their topic.”
What is considered ‘Expert’ content can vary based on a page’s type and purpose. For example, a page featuring medical advice of a high level must be written by an accredited doctor in order to be considered as ‘Expert’ content. On the other hand, general information being supplied on medical forums could be considered as ‘Expert’ even if it has been written by someone without medical knowledge. Therefore, you can see how some topics require less formal levels of expertise and for these pages, Google is looking to see how detailed, helpful and informative the provided information is.
As you can probably guess, this is the case for sites like restaurant reviews, and fashion and gossip sites. Google says that there are many different types of ‘Everyday Expertise’, and the evaluators do not penalise sites for a lack of ‘Formal training’ in areas that wouldn’t have any sort of formal training involved – like fashion or gossip sites.
So, does your website need formally trained professionals? Google has stated that the following sites must be written by accredited, qualified experts:
Advice or information pages on any topic that can have a negative impact on a person’s health, happiness or wealth
High-quality hobby pages.
The main thing to know about E-A-T is that some pages require high levels of professional expertise whereas other sites only require everyday knowledge. You have the specific sites that absolutely need formal expertise listed above, but otherwise you need to consider this – how much expertise is required for the page to achieve its purpose, as well as provide helpful, detailed, informative content?
2. Y-M-Y-L: Your Money or Your Life
Google classes YMYL pages as important enough that, if they were low-quality, it’s possible for said pages to have a potentially negative impact on someone’s life, income or happiness. On a broad level, the sites mentioned above that need to be written with formal expertise are also the pages known as YMYL pages. Here are Google’s examples of YMYL pages:
Shopping or financial transaction pages
Pages that offer financial information, for example, investment or tax information
Pages that offer medical information about specific diseases or conditions or mental health
Pages that offer legal information about topics like child support, divorce, creating a will, becoming a citizen, etc.
Any page that has the potential to be dangerous or detrimental if it possessed low levels of E-A-T (e.g. the repair and maintenance of cars)
Google regards this measurement very highly, with high page quality rating standards. This understandably is because Google wants to protect its users from low-quality content that does not have the acceptable levels of E-A-T.
At the heart of all of this, the key is to ensure your web pages are as well-informed as possible in order to reach Google’s high-ranking standards. And if necessary, have the content written by a qualified professional.