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Google Keys: E-A-T and YMYL, Are You an Expert?

21 January 2016

From Indies Unlimited:

[A] couple of months ago, Google released a 160-page document that explains search quality evaluator guidelines. If you’re a glutton for punishment, you can read the whole thing right here.

. . . .

Here’s the basic concept. Google wants to make sure that people who are posting and writing about “Stuff” are experts regarding “Stuff.” In other words, it’s trying to find spammers and other unsavory types by examining their content to determine if it really is all that.

There are two new acronyms that are important in this process. You may have already run across them — EAT and YMYL.

EAT: Expertise, Authoritativeness, Trustworthiness. Google evaluators use this metric to rank pages. As its name implies, this metric determines if the author of the post is truly an expert on the subject matter. Here are some of the key components of an “Expert” article or post.

  1. The website has a positive reputation for its topic
  2. The page and its content is expert, authoritative, and trustworthy for what’s being discussed.
  3. The page contains enough main content relating to the subject discussed.
  4. The website contains the usual About Us, Contact, and other appropriate tabs.
  5. The website is maintained and edited regularly and frequently.

So, how does Google know if you are an expert? Google claims that you don’t have to be a doctor to discuss medical advice (although it helps you in the search ranks if you are) however, it claims that it is looking at how helpful, detailed, and useful the information provided is. The key is how detailed your content is. A cursory overview will not gain much traction in the EAT world.

YMYL: Your Money or Your Life. Yep, that’s what it really stands for. In Google’s effort to keep people safe, they examine any page that asks for money or dishes health advice. They want the “Experts” to write these types of pages. What falls under this category?

  1. Shopping or financial transaction pages
  2. Tax, investment, or other financial advice pages
  3. Medical advice pages
  4. Legal advice pages
  5. Any page that would be harmful if possessing less than expert advice

Link to the rest at Indies Unlimited and thanks to Deb for the tip.

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4 Comments to “Google Keys: E-A-T and YMYL, Are You an Expert?”

  1. A few months ago we had classes on this at the newspaper where I work. Google’s “authority” rules has changed how we write headlines.

    Previously, our headlines were “Metropolis Man Eaten by a Grue,” because the victim’s name was unknown to the readers at large. The idea was that the grue and the location of its killing ground would be more interesting / relevant to readers.

    But now we write, “Joe Schmoe Eaten by a Grue in Metropolis,” because Google judges that if you put the victim’s name in the headline your article will be more authoritative than one with “area man” or “man.”

    If you wonder why you no longer see headlines along the lines of “Headless Body Found In Topless Bar” this is why 🙂

  2. Welcome to the new world order, folks.

  3. Okay …

    “Trust that the EATs are really EATs? Who decides?

    And I’ll take YMMV over YMYL, thank you …


    The more you explain it, the more I don’t understand it. — Mark Twain

    Be careful of reading health books, you might die of a misprint. — Mark Twain

  4. This is why I say you shouldn’t trust Google — their colossal arrogance and hubris. The course they have charted is sure to end in tears.


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