Guide: EAT (EEAT) and YMYL (Google SEO)

Introduction

Website operators and content creators are faced with the challenge of not only making their content appealing and informative, but also meeting the constantly changing guidelines of search engines, especially Google.

A central element that has increasingly come into focus in recent years are these concepts:

  • EAT (Expertise, Authoritativeness, Trustworthiness)
  • YMYL (Your Money or Your Life).

These terms represent key indicators that Google uses to evaluate the quality, reliability and usefulness of website content. The introduction of “Experience” as another component of the EAT (now EEAT) further underlines the importance of personal experience and authenticity in content creation.

EAT and YMYL are particularly relevant for sites that deal with sensitive or vital topics such as:

  • health advice,
  • financial instructions,
  • Legal Information.

These websites must…

  • offer technically correct and comprehensively researched content,
  • exude a high level of trustworthiness and authority

to be well received by both Google and users.

What is EAT?

EAT stands for Expertise, Authoritativeness and Trustworthiness. These factors help Google determine which websites and content are considered reliable and authoritative sources in their respective fields.

  • Expertise refers to the knowledge and expertise of the author or website in their field. Google looks for content created by people with proven experience and knowledge.
  • Authoritativeness evaluates the authority of a website or author. Websites that are considered leaders in their field receive a higher rating in that field.
  • Trustworthiness measures the trust that users can place in the content of a website. Websites that provide transparent information and whose content is considered reliable score particularly highly here.

What is YMYL?

YMYL stands for “Your Money or Your Life” and describes sites that cover topics that can significantly affect people's health, financial well-being, security or happiness. Google applies stricter quality criteria to YMYL pages because inaccurate or misleading information can have serious consequences for users.

This guide will provide you with valuable insights and tips to help you improve your website visibility, gain the trust of your target audience and ultimately increase your website visibility.


The true meaning of EAT / YMYL

Google's search algorithm favors content that has high EAT scores, especially for YMYL topics. This means that website owners and content creators need to focus their efforts on: to make their expertise and authority clear while gaining and maintaining the trust of users.

To improve your website's EAT rating, you should ensure that your content is created or reviewed by professionals with relevant experience and qualifications. It's also important to reinforce your website's authority with positive reviews, citations, and links from other trusted websites.

Trustworthiness can be enhanced by providing transparent information about authors, publishing references, and providing secure, user-friendly websites. When it comes to YMYL topics, it is essential that the information provided is up-to-date, accurate, and comprehensive so as not to jeopardize the well-being of users.

How can EAT specifically help optimize your website?

1. Demonstration of expertise

The expertise of your authors and your website is a fundamental part of achieving high EAT values. Google attaches great importance to technical expertise, especially when it comes to YMYL topics. To demonstrate your expertise you should:

  • Publish content from recognized experts in your field.
  • Provide detailed author biographies that highlight their qualifications and experience.
  • Offer technically sound and well-researched content that demonstrates an in-depth understanding of the topic.

2. Building authority

A strong authority in your field signals to Google and users that your content is trustworthy and high quality. Authority can be built through:

  • Obtaining backlinks from other reputable websites in your field.
  • Regularly publish high-quality content that is valued by your target audience and peers.
  • Active presence and engagement in subject-specific forums, social networks and discussion groups.

3. Strengthen trustworthiness

Trust is the foundation of a successful relationship between your website and users. To increase trustworthiness, you should:

  • Ensure a secure website, including HTTPS encryption.
  • Provide transparent information about your company, your authors and the origin of your content.
  • Collect and make visible positive user reviews.
  • Deal openly with criticism and use constructive feedback to improve your content and services.

Influence of EAT on the ranking

Although Google doesn't directly state how much EAT influences a website's ranking, studies and observations show that websites with high EAT scores tend to rank better. This is because such websites are considered reliable and authoritative sources that provide valuable information to users.

Especially now, when the Internet is literally flooded with information, it is more important than ever to stand out through high-quality (i.e. well-researched) content that is based on real expertise.


Successful EAT strategies (+ case studies)

To illustrate the importance of EAT (Expertise, Authoritativeness, Trustworthiness) in practice, it is helpful to look at successful strategies and concrete case studies. These examples demonstrate how websites have been able to improve their visibility and rankings by focusing on strengthening their E-A-T factors.

Case study 1: Building expertise through specialist articles

A health-related website that specializes in natural healing methods has demonstrated its expertise by regularly publishing in-depth articles from recognized health professionals. Each article included a detailed author biography with information about qualifications and professional experience. This transparency and the high information content of the articles increased user trust, which had a positive effect on the Google ranking.

Case study 2: Increasing authority through guest posts

A financial advisory company significantly increased its authority by placing guest posts on renowned financial portals and blogs. The guest posts were linked to the company website and provided valuable insights into specific financial topics. This strategy not only resulted in high-quality backlinks from trusted sites, but also increased the company's perception of authority in its field.

Case study 3: Trustworthiness through user reviews

An online organic food store improved its trustworthiness by implementing a user rating and feedback system. The positive reviews and transparent presentation of customer opinions on the website made it easier for potential customers to gain trust in the quality of the store's products and service. This led to an improved conversion rate and better ranking in search results.

Strategies for implementing similar successes

  • Transparency and authenticity: Be transparent about content writers’ qualifications and expertise. Authentic, well-researched content that offers real value is the key to strengthening EAT.
  • Network structure: Collaborate with other authorities in your field to increase your visibility and credibility. Guest posts and partnerships can be particularly valuable here.
  • Active reputation management: Encourage positive reviews and be proactive with feedback. Good management of your online reputation strengthens trust in your brand and your website.

Other helpful tips

As we continue to move in a digitally connected world where information is shared and consumed at lightning speed, the role of EAT (Expertise, Authoritativeness, Trustworthiness) and YMYL (Your Money or Your Life) in search engine optimization (SEO) is becoming increasingly important.

These two factors are not only important for the current rankings, but will also play a central role in determining the visibility and credibility of websites in the future.

Adaptation to ongoing algorithm updates

Google continually improves its algorithms to provide users with the most relevant and trustworthy information. This means that the criteria for EAT and YMYL will continue to evolve. Websites must remain flexible and ready to adapt to new guidelines. This could include implementing new security measures, updating content, or deepening expertise in specific areas.

The growing importance of artificial intelligence (AI)

As artificial intelligence (AI) advances, Google will be even better able to assess the quality of content and credibility of websites. However, this could mean that aspects such as depth of analysis, originality of content and user interaction become increasingly important.

So websites should focus on creating unique and valuable content that reflects real human experiences and expertise. Google itself writes that “it may not be used to create content that is primarily intended to manipulate the ranking in search results. This would violate our spam guidelines.”. (Source: https://developers.google.com/search/blog/2023/02/google-search-and-ai-content?hl=de)

Increased focus on user experience

Google user experience updates

User experience (UX) played a big role in the past – and will continue to be a crucial factor for SEO. Websites that offer a positive user experience, including fast loading times, mobile optimization and intuitive navigation, are preferred by search engines. Additionally, a website's ability to provide clear answers to users' questions and provide an enjoyable reading experience will better influence its EAT rating.

Fostering an authentic relationship

Users are looking for authenticity and real connections. Websites that communicate transparently and build a real community around their brand are more likely to be successful than those that don't. This means encouraging interactions, sharing success stories and being active on social media will be more important than ever. Also in the future.


Conclusion

The concepts of EAT (Expertise, Authoritativeness, Trustworthiness) and YMYL (Your Money or Your Life) have become important cornerstones. Google highlights the importance of trustworthiness, authority and expertise.

Continuously adapting to Google's algorithm updates, integrating artificial intelligence into web content evaluation and emphasizing excellent user experience are future challenges that website operators need to keep in mind. At the same time, the increased focus on EAT and YMYL offers an opportunity to prove yourself as a trustworthy source in your field.

For website operators and content creators, the message is clear: Quality, transparency and user orientation are the keys to success.

By complying with Google's quality guidelines and providing authentic, valuable content, you can not only increase your website's SEO performance but also gain the trust and loyalty of your target audience.

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