What is E-E-A-T in SEO and Why Does It Matter?

By Justin Lester

8 minutes to read

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What is E-E-A-T in SEO and Why Does It Matter?

By Justin Lester

8 minutes to read

Join our smart marketers who get our best digital marketing insights,
strategies and tips deliverered straight to their inbox.


In today’s digital age, navigating the vast sea of online information can feel like a daunting task. With misinformation abounding, users rely heavily on search engines like Google to find credible and reliable sources of information. That’s where E-E-A-T comes into play – an acronym standing for Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness.

First introduced in Google’s Search Quality Rating Guidelines back in 2013, E-E-A-T has become a cornerstone concept in the world of SEO. Understanding and harnessing the power of E-E-A-T is essential for webmasters and digital marketers aiming to elevate their website’s visibility and credibility in search engine results.

But what exactly does E-E-A-T entail, and why does it matter? Join us as we delve into the significance of each component of E-E-A-T and explore how prioritizing these factors can transform your website’s performance and impact its online reputation.

Who Does E-E-A-T Affect?

The E-E-A-T framework is not a one-size-fits-all approach in the realm of webmasters. If your website revolves around comedic content, photography, art, or similar subjects, you might think E-E-A-T doesn’t concern you.

However, if your web pages have the potential to impact users’ future happiness, health, financial stability, or safety, then E-E-A-T becomes a critical consideration. These pages fall under what Google terms as YMYL (Your Money or Your Life) pages.

YMYL topics encompass a broad spectrum, including:

  • News and current events
  • Financial information and advice
  • Civics and law
  • Medical information and advice
  • Fitness and nutrition

In recent years, numerous websites experienced a significant decrease in traffic because they ranked for specific keywords and phrases without being reliable sources.

While it might seem daunting, the E-E-A-T framework is actually a boon. It ensures that only websites offering quality content rise to the top of search results for various queries.

Misinformation shouldn’t dominate search rankings simply because its creators implemented a solid search engine optimization strategy. To cultivate a loyal readership, consistently provide accurate and valuable information to your audience.

Experience is Everything

In the world of E-E-A-T (Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness), the first “E” stands for Experience. This component underscores the significance of real-world, hands-on experience that individuals or companies have in their respective fields. It’s not just about theoretical knowledge; it’s about practical wisdom gained through lived experiences and problem-solving.

Unlike expertise, which can be acquired through study, experience is earned over time through actual work and real-life challenges. In terms of SEO and content quality, showcasing this kind of experience can greatly enhance a website’s authority and trustworthiness.

Examples of Experience in E-E-A-T

Imagine a medical professional who not only has the qualifications but has also spent years treating patients. Their insights and advice will offer a depth of practical knowledge that can’t be replicated by someone who has merely researched the information online.

This depth is particularly valued in content, especially on YMYL (Your Money or Your Life) topics, where accuracy is crucial due to the significant impact on individuals’ health, finances, safety, or well-being.

Here are a few more examples:

  • A Gadget Review from a Tech Enthusiast: Offering personal observations, usage tips, and candid feedback based on extensive hands-on experience with a new gadget.
  • A Traveler’s City Guide: Sharing hidden gems and personal anecdotes from exploring a city, beyond the typical tourist spots.
  • A Chef’s Recipe Walkthrough: Providing insider knowledge on techniques and ingredient interactions, alongside personal trials and tweaks in the kitchen.
  • A Survivor’s Health Advice: Offering support and advice based on personal experiences of overcoming health challenges.

In each case, the content is enriched by the author’s real-life experiences, adding authenticity and value.

Experience in the Eyes of Google and Readers

Google Quality Raters assess whether the content reflects genuine, lived experience. For readers, encountering content grounded in real experience enhances trust and credibility, fostering return visits and recommendations.

While Experience isn’t a direct Google ranking factor, consistently demonstrating it in content can enhance website authority and user trust over time.

Improving E-E-A-T witha Focus on Experience

Share case studies, personal stories, or detailed accounts of hands-on work related to your field. Encourage user-generated content to incorporate diverse experiences. Transparency about your journey and lessons learned adds depth and authenticity.

Incorporating Experience into your E-E-A-T strategy isn’t just about SEO; it’s about establishing lasting trust and quality for your website. By emphasizing real-world experiences, you create a richer, more engaging user experience and position your site as a trusted resource in your field.

Expertise Leads to Excellence

Just as you wouldn’t seek medical advice from someone without a medical degree, you shouldn’t rely on content from individuals lacking in-depth knowledge about a particular subject. When it comes to publishing articles on your website, the aim should be to educate readers on topics where you possess expertise. This brings us to the second letter in the E-E-A-T framework – expertise.

Expertise refers to a high level of knowledge or skill in a specific field. Demonstrating your expertise is crucial, especially for content in highly specialized niches like finance, law, and medicine.

While Google values formal expertise, they also recognize the significance of what they term “everyday expertise.” This refers to individuals with practical life experience who can provide valuable insights, even without formal training in a specific field.

For instance, someone who thoroughly tests a blender and shares detailed reviews based on their experience contributes valuable content. Google rewards such content because it helps consumers make informed decisions about purchasing similar products in the future.

Similarly, sharing personal experiences in dealing with specific problems falls under everyday expertise. For example, cancer survivors sharing their struggles offer a unique perspective that even seasoned doctors may not fully capture.

While possessing expertise is essential for SEO, effectively communicating this knowledge is equally important. Tailoring content to resonate with your target audience requires thorough keyword research and an understanding of audience intent.

By addressing frequently asked questions and providing valuable insights, you can build credibility and trust with your audience. With consistent practice and a focus on expertise, your content will excel, leading to increased organic traffic on your site.


Why should readers trust the information in your articles? Do you have credible sources to support your claims? This is precisely why the ‘authoritativeness’ metric is a crucial component of the E-E-A-T framework.

Even if you possess expertise in a particular subject, providing readers with authoritative sources is essential. You cannot expect users to simply take your word for it.

For example, let’s say you’re writing an article about the positive effects of beta-carotene on cognitive health. Before penning a word, thorough research on the topic is imperative.

While your initial instinct might be to search a few queries on Google and review the top results, this approach is flawed. When dealing with specific topics, the first step should involve using Google Scholar to find published studies on beta-carotene’s effects on cognitive health.

It’s vital to source information directly from the original studies. Your article should refrain from drawing personal conclusions and instead present findings from reputable research.

When making a claim about beta-carotene’s functions, reference the specific study supporting that claim and provide a link. Since Google introduced PageRank to assess website authoritativeness, the importance of quality links remains paramount.

To achieve SEO success, linking to credible and authoritative sources is essential. Link building, where other sites link to yours, has long been a critical ranking factor. Even mentions of your website or company elsewhere online can boost your authoritativeness.

There are numerous ways to establish authority in your niche. Engaging content that garners widespread sharing on social media platforms can elevate your authoritativeness. Additionally, having a Wikipedia page can enhance your credibility, as Google views Wikipedia pages as signs of authority.

In essence, your website’s online reputation heavily influences its rankings. The quality of the content you publish plays a pivotal role in shaping this reputation.

Trustworthiness: Building Confidence in Your Brand

Earning the trust of online consumers is paramount for the growth of your website and brand. However, in today’s competitive digital landscape, gaining user trust is no simple feat.

Irrespective of your niche, you likely contend with numerous competitors online. So, why should users trust your brand among the multitude of options available to them?

The first step to enhancing trustworthiness is to showcase your credentials. If you boast positive customer testimonials, notable endorsements, awards, or any other trust indicators, ensure they are prominently displayed for visitors to see.

By highlighting your credentials, you provide readers with compelling reasons to explore your content. The next step involves fostering positive relationships with your audience.

Engage with visitors by responding to comments on your website and social media platforms, demonstrating accessibility for questions and advice. Addressing complaints and negative feedback promptly is equally crucial.

By handling negative comments graciously and resolving issues transparently, you can mitigate negativity associated with your brand. Conversely, accumulating negative feedback may lead to penalties from search engines like Google.

For those yet to establish their website, certain fundamental steps can enhance trustworthiness:

  • Create a comprehensive ‘About’ page.
  • Publish a privacy policy and terms and conditions page.
  • Provide visible contact information.
  • Associate your site with your company’s physical location.
  • Ensure your website migrates to HTTPS for all pages.

These measures are essential for Google to recognize your site as trustworthy. However, demonstrating trustworthiness to your audience is equally vital.

Web design influences how trustworthiness is communicated to visitors. Your site should be professionally designed, with a well-organized layout. Additionally, the color scheme you choose impacts brand perception, so opt for aesthetics that convey trustworthiness.

Making aesthetic enhancements to your website ensures a positive first impression. Once you’ve captured users’ interest, focus on building trust by presenting critical information prominently and accessible.

Transparency is key to fostering trust with potential customers. Introduce your team to visitors, showcasing the individuals behind your company. Humanizing your brand strengthens consumer relationships.

Moreover, infusing personality into your blog and social media posts is an effective strategy to connect with your audience and bolster trust in your brand.

Summary: How important is E-E-A-T in SEO?

In the realm of SEO, staying abreast of Google’s latest trends is crucial for webmasters, marketers, and writers alike. However, E-E-A-T transcends mere trend status; it serves as a foundational framework aimed at ensuring the highest quality of content on websites.

Producing top-tier content demands significant time and dedication. Similarly, establishing expertise in a particular field and cultivating authoritativeness for a website requires substantial investment. Yet, these endeavors are essential for sustained success in the digital landscape.

While some may still cling to outdated practices of gaming the system or seeking shortcuts to rapid Google rankings, the evolving internet landscape leaves no room for subpar content. Embracing the E-E-A-T framework is imperative for future-proofing your site.

By adhering to the guidelines outlined within the E-E-A-T framework and prioritizing engaging content, you position your brand for growth and long-term success. Now is the time to focus on E-E-A-T to ensure your site thrives in the ever-evolving digital ecosystem.

Written by Justin Lester

Justin is a successful entrepreneur who launched and exited two online startups by the age of 24.

He specialises in SEO and Paid Media services and played a critical role in developing cutting-edge marketing applications in the iGaming sector.

He founded Ruby Digital in 2011, which has won numerous awards and is recognised as having the 2nd highest culture score of any SME in South Africa.

Justin is committed to empowering communities with digital marketing skills and is an active member of the entrepreneurship community, sharing his knowledge and expertise as a guest lecturer at the University of Cape Town and serving on the board of the Entrepreneurs Organization Accelerator Program.