What is E-E-A-T? Everything you need to know

22 Jan 2023


Nick Boyle

Nick Boyle

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Google’s algorithm has long implemented a quality rater called E-A-T, which stands for Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trust. This is how Google determines the quality of a piece of content, which can affect its ranking. Google has recently changed these standards to include another factor – Experience. So, the quality rater is now named E-E-A-T. Let’s run through the new update and what this means for content marketing and SEO.

Google’s E-E-A-T update

Google’s new update has added an extra ‘E’ to their content quality standards. So now, the requirements that high quality content needs to meet are:

  • Experience
  • Expertise
  • Authoritativeness
  • Trust

This means that content authors need to show Google that they have first-hand experience on their subject matter. Before we explain how to meet Google’s newest criteria, we’ll run through the other three requirements. 


When judging the quality of content, Google pays attention to how much expertise the author has. Do they have the right skills or knowledge to reliably write about a topic? This can differ between topics, and is much more important for potentially unsafe advice. For example, guidance about treating a wound at home needs to come from a qualified health professional. You wouldn’t want to take medical advice from an unqualified person in real life, and this is reflected in Google’s quality raters.


Authoritativeness can change in different locations, depending on your niche. For example, if you are the only tailor in your area, your website may be the most authoritative for the search intent of finding nearby clothes repairs. But, someone searching on the other side of the country will have a different authoritative site come up for them. 

Authoritativeness can be improved by gaining more backlinks from other trustworthy, authoritative websites. This will make you seem like a reliable source, and improve your overall reputation in Google’s eyes. If you want to learn how to get more backlinks, our blog post is a helpful resource.


Google states that Trust is the most important factor of E-E-A-T. With a very low Trust score, your website will struggle to perform, no matter how authoritative or expert your content is. This is because Trust covers the “extent to which the page is accurate, honest, safe, and reliable.” So, an untrustworthy website may cause harm to a user, which is the last thing Google wants. For example, an online store needs to have secure online payment and customer service in order to be classed as trustworthy. Additionally, “informational pages on clear YMYL topics must be accurate to prevent harm to people and society.” YMYL refers to “Your Money or Your Life”, i.e. advice that could impact someone’s health or finances.

What is first hand experience?

Content creators need to consider the extent to which they have first hand or life experience of the topic they are writing about. For example, a travel blog about Tanzania would have a good Experience score if it’s written by someone who has travelled the country themselves. The same content would gain a low score if written by someone who has never left their hometown, as they don’t have first hand experience. It’s also a valuable attribute for reviews of products or services; a review from someone who hasn’t experienced the product/service first hand will not be accurate. Whereas, someone who has used a product or visited an attraction will be able to give a review based on actual experience.

Why is first hand experience important to Google?

So, why did Google make the decision to expand E-A-T to include Experience? The new factor adds an extra way for Google to determine the quality of a website, as experience was not massively considered before. That means that an author could have first hand experience about a topic, but suffer from a lower rating if they don’t show expertise. This does not mean that content about the symptoms of a medical condition needs to be written by someone who suffers from it themselves. In this case, the expertise and authoritativeness of the information would trump experience. However, in previous cases, content from someone with first hand experience of something may have a low quality score because it lacks expertise. For example, a discussion post for people who suffer from a form of cancer shows first hand experience without expertise, so would be considered differently now under E-E-A-T.

When it comes to informational pieces, for example, a blog post about reasons to work in digital marketing, this should be written by someone who has first hand experience working in digital marketing. This allows for reliable, legitimate advice to be given by a digital marketing professional, rather than someone who doesn’t actually know what the industry is like to work in. With Experience ticked off, this particular blog post shows: Expertise (written by a digital marketer); Authoritativeness (posted on the website of a digital marketing agency); and Trust (website with a secure connection, featuring information that is not unsafe or dishonest). This is what you should aim for with all online content, in order to gain a high quality rating and therefore rank higher on the SERPs.

Our Content Hub is regularly updated with relevant, expert guides and advice about the world of digital marketing. Take a look at some of our existing blog posts, or get in touch with a member of our team today.

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