EAT and YMYL: What are they and how important are they for SEO?
EAT and YMYL is two concepts that have radically changed the way we should think about SEO ✅ SEO optimization has long been associated mainly with technical elements, content issues being placed in the background.
With the advent of Google and the announcement that the two concepts will be integrated into search algorithms, SEO has begun to transform. An auspicious transformation, a transformation in the interest of all.
The “Google Medical” update, from August 2018, was the first action from Google to show us how important EAT and YMYL will become.
What does EAT mean?
First, Google EAT refers to:
This concept is discussed in detail in the Google Search Engine Quality Rater Guidelines. Imposing a good EAT both on and off your site can help improve your Google ranking.
EAT is also considered to be very important for most sites. However, not everyone at SEO agrees that EAT is really a ranking factor. The MHC team saw quite a few websites that were negatively affected by Google’s quality updates because they did not comply with the new EAT rules.
EAT is important for all types of searches, but for some more than for others. If you’re just looking for pictures of cute cats, then EAT probably doesn’t matter that much.
If, on the other hand, you are looking for the right dose of aspirin when you are pregnant, then EAT is undoubtedly very important. If Google had submitted content on this topic written by a person who does not appear to be trusted or who does not appear to have studied in the field, published on a trusted website that also has authority, then the likelihood that that content will be indexed or misleading is great. Thus, given the nature of this information, this is not only an inconvenience but can be life-threatening.
What is the difference between all these principles?
Expertise, authority, and trust are similar concepts, but not identical. So, each principle is evaluated independently by Google, using a different set of criteria.
E – from Expertise
Expertise means having a high level of knowledge or skills in a certain field. It is evaluated mainly at the content level, not at the site or organizational level. Google searches for content created by a subject matter expert.
The EAT is also important for questions such as “how to improve your credit score”. Here, the advice of unauthorized persons is unlikely to be legitimate and should not be trusted.
A – from the Authority
Authority is about reputation. Especially among other experts and influential people in the industry. Simply put, when others see a person or a website as an accessible source of information about a topic, this is what can represent authority.
It is important to remember that authority is a relative concept. While Elon Musk and Tesla are authoritative sources of information about electric vehicles, they have little authority over SEO optimization.
It is also the case that some people and websites are uniquely authorized when it comes to certain topics. For example, the most authoritative source of lyrics for Coldplay songs is their official website.
T – from Trust
Trust refers to the legitimacy, transparency, and accuracy of the site and its content. Rating people are looking for a number of things to assess trust, including whether the website states who is responsible for the published content. This is especially important for YMYL queries but also applies to non-YMYL queries.
What is YMYL?
Sites that sell products or provide services or information that may affect the happiness, health, financial stability, or safety of users are classified by Google as YMYL – the acronym for “Your Money Your Life”.
Google treats these types of sites to the highest standard because the stakes are incredibly high when it comes to this type of content. Industries that fall into YMYL include e-commerce, financial services, healthcare, and law.
How to implement YMYL in the created content?
Last but not least when it comes to YMYL- make sure that any content on the website/blog page:
- It will provide relevant information that will help the reader.
- It will not endanger the people who will read.
- It will not offend or instigate in any way the people who read the content.
You need to make users feel safe. If you take care of your users and Google they should take great care of you and your blog or website.
Since the beginning of the online environment, Google has advised any content creator, whether written or in the form of images or other types of content, to put quality and relevance first. So it is not surprising that today, Google greatly appreciates high-quality content.
There is a close relationship between what Google considers high-quality content and what appears in the first search results
It’s called correlation or causation – whatever it is, EAT plays an important role in Google’s organic search results. This means that EAT must be an essential principle when composing your SEO strategy for the posts you are going to publish.
What is high-quality content?
Any content you create must have a purpose. Content must benefit customers, users, or readers.
According to the Search Quality Assessment Guide, high-quality pages are those that have:
High level of expertise, authority and trust (EAT).
A satisfactory amount of high-quality content, including a descriptive and useful meta title.
The satisfaction of the site information and/or information about who is responsible for the website. If the page is primarily intended for shopping or includes financial transactions, then it should have satisfactory customer service information.
The signals that Google uses to determine the EAT can be applied to brands, websites, companies, and also authors. QRG (Quality Raters’ Guidelines) tells us that if the creator of the main content or in other words, the author, does not have the expertise for that subject, the page should be evaluated as of low quality.
This is extremely important! Think about how many YMYL sites have articles written by people who are journalists, but who do not have real experience (expertise) on the topic they write about. If you are looking for tax advice, would you rather read an article written by someone with a journalism degree or by someone who is a reputable financial consultant?
Obviously, you will want to read articles written by people with EAT. As such, Google wants to show Internet users articles written by people who are known to be the best in their field. If you are not currently recognized as an authority in your field, then gaining more brand recognition is essential if you want to rank well in Google searches.
The implementation of the author page has become an element of SEO on-page that should not be ignored. It is important to have at least three items on this page:
- Full name of the author.
- A picture of the author.
- A review of studies and field of expertise.
- Practical experience in the respective field of the author.
- Additional certifications, national and international recognitions in the field.
Quality Link Building
EAT has quickly become an extremely important SEO Off-Page ranking factor – especially in the health niche. This is because Google largely measures EAT based on the signals that appear about your site.
Gary Illyes of Google said that both backlinks and mentions can help determine a site’s EAT.
Basically, “A” comes from the Authority. And in order to have as much authority as possible, you need a strong and secure link-building strategy.
Reviews Matter for EAT
We have all heard of sites like tripadvisor.com. In everyday decisions, we all need both information and the opinions of other consumers.
It is normal if we think about the extremely large number of options we have, for almost anything. And if we add the time constraint, it is clear that reviews become the best friend of decisions.
In this context, Google understood that reviews are an important indicator to determine the trust it can give to a brand, site, etc. That is why, for SEO and for an EAT as good as possible, you must take care and manage the relationship with the clients correctly, so that you have many and positive reviews.
Expertise, Authority, and Trust soon became some of the most important words in SEO. In its efforts to bring only quality, relevant, and reliable results to the forefront, Google will do everything in its power to make this happen. And this aspect is as clear to us as possible.
For us, as SEO specialists, it is very important to act in the same direction and to try that everything we do is at the highest level of quality. Starting from the quality of the content we create, to the authority and the way we implement the link building strategy.
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