The internet has websites for all topics we can perceive. People search the internet to know something or research it in depth. The search can range from a home remedy to reduce hair loss, or information about NASA’s recent developments. Whatever the search intent, search engines must deliver the right information.
Search results must be helpful, high-quality, authoritative, trustworthy, and not misleading. Google ensures to return results based on the search query, so it created the Search Quality Raters Guidelines to display the relevant results.
The Search Quality Raters Guidelines go through notable changes to evaluate the quality of the search. The recent update released by Google had substantial changes to the E-A-T criteria. It has included an E to the prefix, making it E-E-A-T.
What Is Google EAT?
Google EAT stands for expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness. The other E stands for an experience, which is a new criterion to assess the quality of search results. Now, the search results will be evaluated based on E-E-A-T, which are
Google insists on the reliability of the information, especially on topics where information quality is critical. For example, any blog that covers topics related to medical advice and treatment must be written by medical practitioners with first-hand experience in practicing and treating.
The Quality Rater’s Guidelines (QRG) clearly state that the content can appear in various formats and from different sources, but it must be original, helpful to people, and relevant to the user’s search intent.
Of the four E-E-A-T criteria that Google considers for evaluating page quality (PQ), trust is the common overlapping member. Trust is how far you can rely on the information on the web page, whether it is accurate or safe. The type of Trust depends on the page and how critical the information presented there is, for example:
- Websites that have payments and connect with the customer’s bank account and their bank must be secure, and there must be no fraudulent transactions.
- Reviews, case studies, and testimonials about a product, service, or company must be honest, which would help others to make a decision.
- Websites on YMYL topics must be sensible and accurate so that it does not harm the users.
- Posts on social media websites may not require more level of trust as the purpose of the post is to entertain.
Updations in Search Quality Rater’s Guidelines
A good search engine has to return results that are helpful to people in their language and locale. Of the huge pile of information populating the web space, how will the search engine pull the right information for a user?
It has to rate the websites for the content it hosts, and no single rating can directly determine the search results as it is not possible to rate every single website on how it satisfies the Google E-E-A-T criteria.
Google uses these ratings to measure the effectiveness of search engines in delivering the right results.
Page Quality Rating
Page quality rating assesses the page on the purpose it was created and how it achieves it. It takes the website associated with the URL and the landing page to establish its purpose.
According to Search Quality Rater’s Guidelines, the webpage can be examined based on pages broadly classified as:
- The main or home page contains the content stating the purpose of the page.
- The supplementary page contains content that explains more about the services, products, or additional resources.
- The pages that contain the ads – some websites contain ads for monetary benefits. The presence or absence of ads must be a criterion for assessing the page quality rather than the effectiveness of the help it renders to the users.
Understanding Web Pages and Web Sites
The latest release, Google E-E-A-T, looks into the purpose of a page’s creation. Every page on the internet has a purpose that may differ from page to page. If you determine the purpose of the page, then you can determine whether it solves the purpose. Web pages may range from high quality to low quality based on the content.
Looking at the website’s About Us page and the FAQ section will convey information about the purpose of the website, even if it is just a website having humorous content or wallpapers for download.
Google E-E-A-T for YMYL Pages
YMYL (Your Money Your Life) pages have an impact on the user’s health, money, and happiness, and an expert in that field should create them. Now, Google has included another criterion in evaluating such pages: the experience of the content creator. YMYL pages must exhibit high E-E-A-T and must appear trustworthy, safe, and consistent.
Low-quality pages are untrustworthy, deceptive, harmful to people or society, or have other highly undesirable characteristics. The considerations for lowest quality include quality of the main content, reputation, E-E-A-T, etc., but there are special checks that you must complete first.
Examples of low-quality pages are:
- Product reviews from someone who has not used the product.
- An article about ‘Safety measures to undertake while scuba diving’ by a person without experience in scuba diving.
- A tax form downloaded from a baby care website.
A page is considered of low quality when it does not satisfy Google E-E-A-T; that is, it emphasizes that the content creator has adequate experience and the page satisfies the purpose of its creation.
A medium-quality page would not cause any harm and have a beneficial purpose, but certain considerations list a webpage as being of medium quality. Any webpage on the internet is qualified to be of medium quality when it does not contain any harmful content and satisfies the YMYL criteria.
Also, it conveys the following meaning:
- The page title justifies the content it contains.
- The supplementary content or the Ad page does not interfere with the main page content and aids in supporting the page and its purpose.
- It provides adequate information about the content creator.
A medium-quality page has nothing wrong but nothing special and is mediocre. The page cannot qualify to be of high quality as it has just a few of the traits mentioned as high quality and exhibits some low-quality traits too.
A high-quality page has content of the highest level of effort, originality, or skill/talent to achieve its purpose in its creation. It also exhibits a high level of E-E-A-T. The reputation of the website and the content creator is appealing and positive. For non-YMYL websites, popularity, user engagement, and user reviews is evidence of its reputation.
A website will have a positive reputation based on the type of content a website provides. They are popular and well-known for their topic or content type. A positive reputation of the website is the reason for the high rating. Many smaller websites and startups have little reputation, and pages can still receive a high rating without reputation information based on Google E-E-A-T.
1. How does Google determine the quality of the page?
Google hires real people to determine the overall quality of a web page. They are known as search quality raters, and they rate the quality of the page based on how well the page serves the purpose of its creation and existence. Some factors for consideration are author expertise, links, and brand citations.
2. How is a quality score calculated?
Quality score is calculated based on factors such as expected clickthrough rate, relevance, and user experience.
3. Why is YMYL important in your content?
YMYL stands of Your Money Your Life. This means that website that offers content that can cause either loss for your money or for your content is something that needs to be handled with care. People viewing the site would take decisions that would impact them financially or is concerned with their health. This is why “Experience” is added as a new factor for Google Ranking.
Google strives to provide the right information to the right user. To deliver the best possible results, it created the quality rater’s guidelines to examine the website’s content and rate it.
Google E-E-A-T includes experience as a factor to evaluate the content and qualify whether it would be of high, medium, or low quality. Web Pages that provide high-quality content and come from creators who have first-hand experience with the topic besides writing it with expertise, authority, and imparting trust.