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2023 Quality Rater Guidelines Update! E-A-T is now E-E-A-T – The Digital Hype

Many SEO experts are familiar with the E-A-T concept, which is utilised by Google to determine whether or not their search ranking systems are delivering useful, pertinent information.

What are Quality rater guidelines?

Google's search quality raters follow the guiding principle of Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness, or E-A-T, to evaluate the effectiveness and calibre of search results.

Quality raters, who are actual people, evaluate how well Google's search results satisfy users using the Search Quality Rater Guidelines.

Quality rater guidelines

Google now has included another E: experience in order to improve the evaluation of the search results. The word “experience” has been included to emphasise that the level of the content creator’s first-hand knowledge of the subject can also be used to judge the quality of the information.

With this reinterpretation of E-E-A-T, Google also asserts that “trust” is the “most important member of the E-E-A-T family” and is at the core of this idea.

Google also offers a tonne more concise illustrations of key ideas, such as assessing:

  • the credibility of websites and content creators.
  • the significance of E-E-A-T and how it should be assessed.
  • what “harmful” content actually implies.

For instance, if you’re seeking guidance on how to accurately file your tax returns, you may want to view content created by a subject matter expert in accounting. However, if you’re seeking software reviews, you might be looking for different information. Perhaps you’re looking for forum discussions from users who have used various services.

According to Google, “Trust is the most crucial member of the E-E-A-T family since untrustworthy pages have low E-E-A-T no matter how Experienced, Expert, or Authoritative they may seem.” What distinguishes skill from experience? “Pages that provide first-hand life experience on obvious YMYL issues may be deemed to have high E-E-A-T as long as the information is trustworthy, safe, and consistent with well-established expert consensus,” Google stated. However, some YMYL information and guidance must come from professionals.

One more example of experience mentioned in the guidelines is when Google stated on page 51 that a page has low E-E-A-T when “the content creator lacks adequate experience, e.g. a restaurant review written by someone who has never eaten at the restaurant.” There are many more examples of experience mentioned in the guidelines.

What else was updated? On the final page of the updated PDF (which you may download here), Google noted the following changes:

  • Concepts and rating criteria in “Part 1: Page Quality Guideline” have been completely updated to be more explicitly relevant to all types of websites and content development models.
  • Detailed instructions on “Finding Who is Responsible for the Website and Who Created the Content on the Page” for various webpage types.
  • Additional summary table with the most important factors that affect page quality and are present in each component of the PQ rating (Lowest to Highest)
  • revised/expanded advice on the following Page Quality Rating pillars:
    • ‘Main Content Quality
    • ‘Reputation for Websites and Content Creators’
    • ‘Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trust (E-E-A-T)’
  • PQ rating sections have been rearranged from Lowest to Highest, with smoother transitions between them and, where necessary, deduplication of previous instructions and examples.
  • Additional directions and explanations have been added to the pages titled “Pages with Error Messages or No MC,” “Forums and Q&A Pages,” and “Page Quality Rating FAQs.”
  • Tables have been created by reformatting lists of ideas and examples as necessary.
  • Minor edits were made to ensure consistency throughout parts (updated language, examples, and explanations; old examples were removed; typos were rectified, etc.).

This is a partial list of the modifications; however, Lily Ray has posted a more thorough analysis of them.

Why it matters to us –  Rankings aren’t directly affected by search quality assessors’ evaluations, but they do offer feedback that helps Google develop its algorithms, as Google stated in the document. To find out more about Google’s intentions regarding which websites and web pages Google chooses to rank, it is crucial to take some time to examine what Google altered in this new edition of the document and compare that to the prior version of the document. Google added, edited, and removed certain items for a reason.


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