EAT stands for Expertise, Authority, and Trustworthiness, and it’s a central concept in SEO, particularly when discussing Google’s guidelines for assessing content quality. EAT is not a direct ranking factor, but it’s a helpful framework to understand how Google evaluates the quality of content on the web.
This pertains to the level of knowledge or skill related to a particular topic or field. To demonstrate expertise, a piece of content should provide accurate, detailed, and comprehensive information. This doesn’t always mean the author needs formal education or credentials, though it can help in many topics. In some niches, lived experience or hands-on knowledge might be deemed expert information.
Authority relates to the credibility and recognition of the content creator or the website in its respective field. An authoritative source is typically respected and recognized by peers, experts, and the general audience in its niche.
For instance, a renowned medical professional writing about a health topic would likely be considered an authority. Backlinks, brand mentions, or endorsements from other respected figures can signal authority.
This assesses the reliability and credibility of a website. Trustworthiness means the information presented is accurate, there’s transparency about who’s behind the site (and their intentions), and the website itself is secure (e.g., HTTPS). Clear contact information, proper citations, privacy policies, and the overall professionalism of a website can bolster trustworthiness.
Google’s Search Quality Rater Guidelines emphasize the importance of EAT, particularly for “Your Money or Your Life” (YMYL) pages. These are pages that, if presented with low-quality or misleading information, could directly impact a person’s health, safety, financial stability, or overall well-being. For YMYL topics, having a high EAT score becomes even more critical.
In summary, while EAT is not a metric that Google directly measures or a “score” one can increase, understanding and aligning content with these principles can significantly impact how well content performs in search results, especially in sensitive or critical niches. Improving the expertise, authority, and trustworthiness of both content and its creator benefits users and can result in better search engine performance.