Here comes E-E-A-T: Google adds Experience to its quality criteria

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Goodbye E-A-T, the acronym we have been accustomed to using for years now in reference to the way Google and its quality raters evaluate whether pages provide useful and relevant information: on December 15, Google in fact released a new update to the official guidelines for its quality raters with which it introduces another letter-or rather another criterion, the E for Experience. From now on, therefore, we must learn to think E-E-A-T, an acronym that encompasses experience, expertise, authoritativeness and trustworthyness of the site and content authors.

Google’s Quality Rater Guidelines, the December 15, 2022 update

Just four and a half months after July 2022, Google has thus updated its guidelines for search quality raters for the second time this year, making some substantial changes to EAT, as we shall see.

As an ever-useful premise, let’s remember (as, moreover, Big G’s announcements also do) that the guidelines are the handbook used by quality raters as a compass to evaluate the performance of Google’s various Search ranking systems and do not directly affect ranking, but they are also useful for those who curate/manage a site to understand how to self-assess their content for success in Google Search.

Overall, the revised document is now about nine pages longer, reaching 176 pages compared to 167 pages in the previous version. As the final changelog appendix summarizes, the December 2022 version specifically introduces the following changes:

  • Extensively updated concepts and classification criteria in “Part 1: Page Quality Guidelines” to make them more explicitly applicable to all types of Web sites and content creation models.
  • Clarified directions on “Finding out who is responsible for the website and who created the page content” for different types of web pages.
  • Added b with main “Page Quality Considerations” involved in PQ evaluation, leading to each PQ evaluation section (from lowest to highest).
  • Refined/enhanced guidelines on the following key pillars of page quality assessment:
    – “Quality of Main Content”
    – “Reputation for Web sites and content creators”
    – “Experience, expertise, authority and trust (EEAT)”
  • PQ assessment sections reordered from lowest to highest; simplified transitions
    between these sections; deduplication of existing guidelines and examples as appropriate.
  • Added additional guidance and clarifications to the sections, “Pages with error messages
    or without MCs,” “Forum and Q&A pages,” and “Frequently asked questions about page quality assessment.”
  • Reformatted lists of concepts and examples in tables (generally, where appropriate).
  • General minor revisions (updated language, examples and explanations for
    consistency between sections; obsolete examples removed; typos corrected; etc.).

The goal of this update is to make increasingly clear the importance of content, which, also following the path laid out with the Content Helpful System, should be c