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Is EAT a ranking factor in Google search?

Does Google use EAT: (expertise, authoritativeness, and trust) as part of its search ranking algorithm?

Expertise, authority, and trustworthiness (EAT) are important to Google.This is indisputable.

In fact, EAT is such an important element of how Google views content on the web that it's mentioned 167 times in Google's 135-page Search Quality Evaluator Guide.

But is it an algorithmic ranking factor?

Let's put this in.

Disclaimer: EAT as a ranking factor

I like to start every assessment with a Google search.If you're a Joe or Jane SEO looking for ammunition to back an idea you're about to pitch to your boss or explain something to a client, this is what you're going to do.

If you Google Evidence that EAT is a ranking factor today, you'll find plenty of convincing results that will prove it to your boss or client:

  • Google SEO EAT Guide: Top Ranking Factors for 2021
  • Google EAT: How to Improve Your EAT Ranking Score
  • Marie Haynes: EAT is proven by Google to be an important part of their algorithm

Evidence for EAT as a ranking factor

I just linked the last article above because the first article is a complete exaggeration and the second one implies that EAT is a single factor with a measurable score.

We know this isn't true.

Marie Haynes, on the other hand, is someone I have great respect for in this industry.

As she tends to do, Haynes did the work of dissecting and evaluating the information, being careful not to jump to conclusions.

Haynes explained:

"Google doesn't have a single EAT score assigned to a website.Instead, Google has the idea of ​​multiple algorithms using EAT.

Expertise, authority, and credibility are not factors of their own, but inform other ranking factors.

This makes them even more important for SEO professionals.

Haynes' conclusions are largely based on a 2019 white paper called "How Google Combats Disinformation," which stated:

"Our ranking system cannot identify the intent or factual accuracy of any given content.However, it is specifically designed to identify sites with high expertise, authority, and credibility.

Evidence for EAT as a ranking factor

I just linked the last article above because the first article is a complete exaggeration and the second one implies that EAT is a single factor with a measurable score.

We know this isn't true.

Marie Haynes, on the other hand, is someone I have great respect for in this industry.

As she tends to do, Haynes did the work of dissecting and evaluating the information, being careful not to jump to conclusions.

Haynes explained:

"Google doesn't have a single EAT score assigned to a website.Instead, Google has the idea of ​​multiple algorithms using EAT.

Expertise, authority, and credibility are not factors of their own, but inform other ranking factors.

This makes them even more important for SEO professionals.

Haynes' conclusions are largely based on a 2019 white paper called "How Google Combats Disinformation," which stated:

"Our ranking system cannot identify the intent or factual accuracy of any given content.However, it is specifically designed to identify sites with high expertise, authority, and credibility.

Furthermore, they explain:

"These systems (Google News and search algorithms) don't make subjective decisions about a page's authenticity, but focus on measurable signals that correlate with how users and other sites value a page's expertise, trustworthiness, or authority. Sexually related.

Google has made clear how to use the Search Quality Rater Guidelines, noting that in 2017 alone, it conducted more than 20 experiments with human raters.

These raters rate the usefulness and quality of each piece of content based on the expertise, authority and credibility on which it is based.

"The resulting ratings do not affect the ranking of any individual site, but they do help us benchmark the quality of our results, which in turn allows us to build algorithms that identify results that meet high-quality standards on a global scale ," Google said.

In short, the three characteristics of EAT are important signals for judging whether a piece of content is credible.

EAT as a ranking factor: our verdict

There is no "EAT ranking factor" because no measurable EAT scores or ratings exist that can drive your search rankings up or down.

Ultimately, EAT is a concept, not a ranking factor.

But the EAT framework represents a very real signal that Google evaluates for ranking purposes.

EAT is an integral part of the search experience, and Google is acutely aware of its importance in modern information retrieval and dissemination.

Google is committed to using expertise, authority and trust to inform PageRank and other ranking factors to improve the quality of search results.

This is especially true when false information can cause actual harm to searchers, such as politics and your money, your life (YMYL: Your Money, Your Life) content..

Google uses EAT to determine the authenticity of all content.

This means that EAT has to be incorporated into every piece of content you produce, and it's an ongoing process.

You can neither manipulate EAT (it won't last long anyway) nor ignore it.Google's commitment to eliminating its index of harmful misinformation means that the importance of EAT will only continue to grow.Ignoring it puts you in danger.

Extended reading:

Are Domain Names a Google Ranking Factor?

Content as a Google Ranking Factor: What You Need to Know

Is Domain History a Google Ranking Factor?

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