More threads by djbaxter


Jun 28, 2012
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Google Does Not Have An EAT Score
Search Engine Roundtable
October 11, 2019

Google's Gary Illyes cleared up one thing that SEOs have been possibly confused about for some time. There is no single score for EAT. There is no EAT score. EAT is not a real thing at Google. EAT is made up of many many algorithms, baby algorithms, in the Google core algorithm.

Google does not give you a score for your site on how well the site does EAT. In fact, there are probably multiple algorithms for each letter in EAT. Expertise, authoritativeness and trustworthiness. Each alone probably have numerous algorithms that determine various signals to measure how authoritative a site might be based on who knows, PageRank, citations, the content accuracy (see what I did there) and more.

This coincided nicely with Danny's tweet about folks who are trying to "rent" authoritative names to boost their EAT score lol.

Most people took what the rater guidelines said and ran with it as if it were direct algorithm gospel. In my opinion, look back to where PageRank is currently at to better understand what most people were thinking as EAT scores.

When parsing 'Googlespeak' is a distraction
by Barry Schwartz, Search Engine Land
October 11, 2019

Does it matter if something is or is not a ranking factor? It can be easy to get wrapped up in details that end up being distractions. Ultimately, SEOs, webmasters, site owners, publishers and those that produce web pages need to care more about providing the best possible web site and web page for the topic. You do not want to chase algorithms and racing after what is or is not a ranking factor. Google’s stated aim is to rank the most relevant results to keep users happy and coming back to the search engine. How Google does that changes over time. It releases core updates, smaller algorithm updates, index updates and more all the time.

For SEOs, the goal is to make sure your pages offer the most authoritative and relevant content for the given query and can be accessed by search crawlers.

When it is and is not a ranking factor. An example of Googlers seeming to contradict themselves popped this week.

Gary Illyes from Google said at Pubcon Thursday that content accuracy is a ranking factor. That raised eyebrows because in past Google has seemed to say content accuracy is not a ranking factor. Last month Google’s Danny Sullivan said, “Machines can’t tell the ‘accuracy’ of content. Our systems rely instead on signals we find align with relevancy of topic and authority.” One could interpret that to mean that if Google cannot tell the accuracy of content, that it would be unable to use accuracy as a ranking factor.

Upon closer look at the context of Illyes comments this week, it’s clear he’s getting at the second part of Sullivan’s comment about using signals to understand “relevancy of topic and authority.”

Illyes was talking about YMYL (your money, your life) content. He added that Google goes through “great lengths to surface reputable and trustworthy sources.”

He didn’t outright say Google’s systems are able to tell if a piece of content is factually accurate or not. He implied Google uses multiple signals, like signals that determine reputations and trustworthiness, as a way to infer accuracy.

So is content accuracy a ranking factor? Yes and no. It depends if you are being technical, literal, figurative or explanatory. When I covered the different messaging around content accuracy on my personal site, Sullivan pointed out the difference, he said on Twitter “We don’t know if content is accurate” but “we do look for signals we believe align with that.”

It’s the same with whether there is an E-A-T score. Illyes said there is no E-A-T score. That is correct, technically. But Google has numerous algorithms and ranking signals it uses to figure out E-A-T as an overall theme. Sullivan said on Twitter, “Is E-A-T a ranking factor? Not if you mean there’s some technical thing like with speed that we can measure directly. We do use a variety of signals as a proxy to tell if content seems to match E-A-T as humans would assess it. In that regard, yeah, it’s a ranking factor.”


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