And finally, we have the most significant disclosure of the updated Quality Assessment Manual: E-E-A-T: Experience, Expertise, Credibility and Trust.
The quality of the main content – 3.2
Google has made some important changes to how the quality of the main content of the page should be evaluated.
In the previous version (p. 24), Google stated:
“For all types of web pages, creating high-quality main content (MC – Main Content) requires significant expenditure of at least one of the following factors: time, effort, experience and talent/skills.”
In the new version (p. 22), Google removed the word “time” and added the word “originality”.
“For most pages, the quality of the main content (MC – Main Content) can be determined by the amount of effort, originality, as well as talent or skill that was spent on creating content.”
Given that Google is paying special attention to original content this year, this addition is not surprising. Google has also added a new table to this section with a description of how to evaluate the quality of the page:
Source: Google Search Quality Raters Guidelines, page 21
Google’s increased focus on efforts with a clear explanation of what the efforts look like (and don’t look like) is a big update in this version of QRG. It seems that Google is asking the reviewers to focus on how much real work has been spent on creating content..
Google is also paying more and more attention to the originality of content and the presence of ideas in it that cannot be found in other sources. As in previous versions of QRG, Google also notes that accuracy and compliance with expert opinion are important for YMYL themes.
Reputation of the website and content creators – Section 3.3
Google has expanded its recommendations on understanding the reputation of both the site and the creators of its content. One of the important additions is that reputation research depends on the topic of the page content. Google asks experts to think about the reputation of content creators “in the context of what the page is about.”
The paragraph below is important for understanding this concept:
“Reputation research should be conducted in accordance with the topic of the page. For example, if a page contains medical information, examine the reputation of the site and the content creator for providing medical information. It is possible that a site may be a popular source for one type of content (for example, humorous videos), but an unreliable source for another (for example, financial information).”
Source: Google Search Quality Raters Guidelines, p. 22
Google has also added an important new detail about websites or content authors who publish content on many websites. In these cases, a quality evaluator should consider “the company behind the site or the creator of the content”, which means that he can browse various sites to obtain reputation information.
Reputation of content creators – 3.3.4
Google has expanded recommendations for determining the reputation of individual authors and content creators. This whole section is new and shows how much attention Google pays to the reputation of individual content authors (they even mention influencers!):
3.3.4 Reputation of content creators
For individual authors and content creators, articles with biographical information and discussions on the Internet can be a good source of reputation information. Expect to find more formal reputational information about people who create content in a journalistic, scientific, academic or other traditionally professional capacity, as they often need trust on the internet to achieve professional success.
The degree of education, the approval of colleagues, expert co-authors and citations can be evidence of positive reputational information for professionals who publish their work. Employment history can also serve as a confirmation of a positive reputation for topics where training, credentials or experience are important.
Influencers and other individual content authors who earn income on social media platforms often have reputation information ranging from biographical data or news articles to less formal sources of reputation, such as comments from other authorities in their field.
For non-professional content creators, including ordinary people posting on social networks or forums, you can find informal reputation information on the page itself, for example, comments from other people about the creators. For example, you can search for comments or posts from other users to find out what other people think about a particular content creator.
Source: Google Search Quality Raters Guidelines, p. 25
Experience, expertise, credibility and trust (E-E-A-T) – Section 3.4
Over the past few years, the topic of E-A-T from Google has been keenly discussed in the SEO community. This version of the Quality Assessment Manual presents a new, improved version of E-A-T:
Along with the introduction of an additional letter – E to denote experience – Google now places “trust” at the center of this “family” of important factors that determine the quality of the page.
“Trust is the most important member of the E-E-A-T family, because pages that are not trustworthy have a low E-E-A-T, no matter how experienced, expert or authoritative they may seem.”