Written by Aaron Rains August 5th 2020

Are you extremely confused on how to decipher Google’s ranking algorithm? Welcome to the club. You are definitely not alone, as Google is a mysterious force that is constantly updating. Many industries are constantly guessing how to make their website meet Google standards and keep their rankings from plummeting. However, a few years ago, Google released its Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines, which contain some keys to understanding how Google evaluates web pages. These EAT and YMYL SEO Guidelines are how Google decides if your content is high-quality or low-quality.

Though technically these guidelines serve as a reference for people who rate how well the Google algorithm is doing, and also as an essential tool for SEO experts as an insight into what search engines are looking for in terms of high-quality web pages.

Read on as we discuss what EAT and YMYL actually mean, and how you can apply them to your content.

Reasons Why You Really Need EAT and YMYL SEO Guidelines 

If Google says it’s important, then we should make sure we are implementing their guidelines into our marketing strategies. After all, our customers are finding your businesses, and your competitors, using search engines, so it’s in your best interest to do everything you can to increase your rankings.

What Is EAT? 

E-A-T stands for “Expertise, Authoritativeness, Trustworthiness.” Google has released that this is going to be a huge deal in the coming years. In fact, they stated that EAT is among the top 3 considerations for Page Quality. Basically, it determines a website’s value. Quality website evaluations use EAT to judge how well a site or web page provides what they are looking for. They will be checking to make sure their entire online experience is good, and that the content meets their ever-increasing standards. If the people evaluating your site feel comfortable reading, sharing, and even recommending your site, then your site will earn a high EAT score.

Basically, think of EAT as to why users will pick your site over your competition. Let’s break down the acronym.


If you want to rank higher on search engines, then you need to be an expert in your field. Expertise is showing knowledge and skill in your industry. Though it might not be as critical for gossip websites or humor based sites, industries like law firms, financial websites, and medical-based sites have to be accurate and useful.


Ranking well also means showing that you are an authority when it comes to information pertaining to your industry. This could come from the expertise of your writers and content, as well as personal reviews that back up what your website says. It helps to have proper credentials and other sources on your site.


Google and similar search engines will want you to show users that they can trust your website and your content. Especially if you have an eCommerce website, users won’t enter their credit card information if they feel your site is unsafe. Really, everything about your site should make users feel safe and comfortable. Start by implementing an SSL certificate on your site (it’s on Google’s list of scoring signals!).

What is YMYL?

Y-M-Y-L stands for Your Money or Your Life. It’s the content that includes the type of information that can directly impact the reader’s happiness, healthy, safety, or even financial stability. The stakes are really high for this type of content, and Google takes it very seriously. Make sure that this information is not presented inaccurately, deceptively, or untruthfully.

Typically, YMYL pages are those that have topics on medical advice, financial advice, and legal advice. A few examples might be an online store asking for credit card or bank information, a mom blog giving parenting advice, a bank or financial blog offering legal advice, a health website listing symptoms for rare diseases, news topics for business, science, politics, and technology and so many more. Though there are plenty of other YMYL topics, Google uses its own judgment to determine whether a page qualifies as YMYL content.

If you want a high-ranking YMYL page, then it will have a high level of EAT. The safer a user feels while looking at a site, and the more that the content matches what they searched for, then the better it meets the standards for high ranking EAT pages. If your site genuinely offers helpful advice or a solution to a problem then you are well on your way to meeting Google’s standards and ranking higher.

Key Takeaways When It Comes To EAT and YMYL SEO Guidelines

Let’s review some key takeaways when it comes to both EAT and YMYL SEO Guidelines. First, high-quality content shows a level of expertise and is user-focused. If you want to create the type of content that ranks well on Google, then you’ll need to address both EAT and YMYL.

Every page must have a purpose and must accomplish that purpose in a way that benefits the user. Like we mentioned above, every page should have accurate expertise behind it. Depending on the subject matter, some pages will require higher EAT scores. Often the evidence of expertise can be found in the content itself.

YMYL pages need the highest EAT possible as they can have a direct impact on a reader’s lives, livelihood, or happiness.

Lastly, at the end of the day, remember that Google’s standards are constantly changing. Because our expectations for search engines are constantly changing, Google works hard to keep up and stay relevant – and so should you!

Need Help? Get In Touch Today 

SEO can be daunting, but if it’s not included in your marketing strategy, then you’re not giving your business a fighting chance. If you have questions or are feeling overwhelmed, reach out to me today. I’d love to evaluate your website and digital marketing strategies and help clean up the areas that need work so that you put your best foot forward.

Especially when it comes to EAT and YMYL SEO Guidelines.

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