By Kaitie Frank
08 Feb 2024

Google Aims to Clarify “E-E-A-T” and User Quality Guidelines


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Google Liason Danny Sullivan posted in an X thread that SEOs will soon see a change to the helpful content documentation

He says, 

“We thought "While E-E-A-T itself isn't a specific ranking factor" was clear enough for the people who somehow believe we have an E-E-A-T "score." But some still have this misconception despite that we don't have some E-E-A-T ranking score we use. Not a thing. Not a ranking factor.”

This is in response to the new SEO starter guide, which clarified that E-E-A-T is not a ranking factor. In the section “Things we believe you shouldn’t focus on,” the guide states:


The page below the header links to the “Get to know E-E-A-T and the quality rater guidelines,” which states that:

“While E-E-A-T itself isn't a specific ranking factor, using a mix of factors that can identify content with good E-E-A-T is useful. For example, our systems give even more weight to content that aligns with strong E-E-A-T for topics that could significantly impact the health, financial stability, or safety of people, or the welfare or well-being of society. We call these "Your Money or Your Life" topics, or YMYL for short.”

Many SEOs were confused by this language, as they previously thought E-E-A-T could be considered a ranking factor since it was used to rate content. 

Here are some screenshots of those posts:

However, Sullivan clarifies that E-E-A-T is a concept used by Quality Raters to evaluate how the search results perform. Instead of fixating on proving their pages have E-E-A-T, he says:

“I would sincerely urge them to just ask themselves "if someone comes to my page from search, are they satisfied with what they get, from the content to the experience?"

So, how should SEOs use E-E-A-T? 

The Creating Helpful Reliable, People-First Content page says,

“Reading the guidelines may help you self-assess how your content is doing from an E-E-A-T perspective, improvements to consider, and help align it conceptually with the different signals that our automated systems use to rank content.”

Additionally, the documentation clarifies,

“Search raters have no control over how pages rank. Rater data is not used directly in our ranking algorithms. Rather, we use them as a restaurant might get feedback cards from diners. The feedback helps us know if our systems seem to be working.”

For now, SEOs should continue to focus on creating people-first content, as Google has repeatedly emphasized that creating content for people is a priority. 

Kaitie Frank

Kaitie is a copywriter and content writer for Page One Power who specializes in SEO-optimized content. She has written for various niches and prides herself in knowing random tidbits of information. In addition to putting words to paper, she indulges in physical fitness and telling her cat why he is, in fact, a good boy.