The New “E” in Google’s E-E-A-T: Why Experience Matters for SEO Content


Google's focus on creating the best possible search experience for users has evolved over time. Most SEO professionals are familiar with the concept of E-A-T - Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness.This has long been a core part of Google's search quality raters' guidelines.

However, Google has been hinting at a new factor recently - the concept of Experience. In this article, we'll look at how experience fits into the search engine's evolving E-A-T guidelines and why it matters for creating effective SEO content.

The Evolution of E-A-T

Google introduced the idea of E-A-T back in 2015. It was designed to help search quality raters assess the expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness of pages. The goal was to surface the most useful, reliable pages for searchers in order to provide the best possible experience. Initially, E-A-T focused on evaluating things like:
  • The expertise of the creator of the content.
  • The authoritativeness of the site publishing the content.
  • The trustworthiness of the page, based on reputation and transparency.
These factors remain core elements of Google's search quality guidelines. However, Google has been exploring an expanded definition of E-A-T more recently.

The New E: Experience

In several talks over the past year, Google representatives have highlighted the importance of "experience" as an additional quality signal. At the Search On 2022 conference, Google's Danny Sullivan referred to E-A-T becoming E-E-A-T, incorporating user experience.

So what constitutes experience in Google's eyes? It relates to how engaging, satisfying, and valuable a page is for the user who clicked on it from search results. Considering experience helps quality raters identify pages that don't just provide authoritative information but also present it in an optimally helpful way.

Why Experience Matters

There are several reasons why optimizing for experience matters when creating SEO content:

  • Enhancing Expertise, Authoritativeness, Trust

While expertise and authority remain indispensable E-A-T factors, experience can act as an enhancement. Pages that expertly and authoritatively cover a topic in an extremely satisfying, accessible way can increase perceptions of expertise and authority. The end result is increased user trust.

  • Providing Value for Users

Focusing on experience forces content creators to think about how their pages provide genuine value for users. This includes attributes like depth of information, accuracy, engagement, and general satisfaction. Creating content that solves searchers' problems or answers their questions as helpful as possible improves experience.

  • Aligning with Google's Focus

Google's core mission is to provide the most useful results for searchers. So it makes sense that they are emphasizing experience as a factor. Optimizing content for real human experiences shows Google that a page will truly satisfy search intent.

How to Optimize for Experience

Here are some key ways you can shape your SEO content with a focus on providing the optimal user experience:

1. Write Engaging, Helpful Content

Go beyond SEO-focused content. Make information genuinely useful and compelling for readers. Use conversational language, examples, formatting, and compelling images. Strategic use of the paraphrasing tool improves engagement and helps users. Rephrasing keeps content fresh and simplifies complex topics.

2. Make Content Easy to Consume

Structure content in a scannable way with heading, lists, highlighted important text, etc. Break up long blocks of text and emphasize key points. Use visual aids like charts and graphics where appropriate. Write concisely and cut fluff or overly promotional language.

3. Utilize Images, Videos, Charts

Visual elements can enhance experience tremendously. They break up text, clarify explanations, engage users, and provide value. Select powerful, relevant images and videos. Infographics, comparison charts, and data visualizations can also meaningfully enrich pages.

Optimize for Experience

4. Ensure Site Provides Seamless Experience

Beyond the content itself, optimize pages for speed and mobile-friendliness. Check that site navigation flows well and allows visitors to easily find related content. Remove pop-ups and interstitials that obstruct experience. Fix broken links and errors.

5. Consider User Journey from Search to Site

Think holistically about the searcher's journey. How can you provide value from the initial query to click-through to site to time on page? Build relevance into SEO titles and meta descriptions. Handle broken links 404s thoughtfully. Shape content around searcher intent.


E-A-T remains the core of Google's quality guidelines, but experience is clearly critical as well. By crafting SEO content that goes beyond expertise and authority to provide real user satisfaction, publishers can align with Google's mission. Optimizing for experience can pay dividends in the form of improved engagement, trust signals, and search visibility. It is an investment in creating not just great content but great experiences for every searcher.

Post a Comment

Previous Post Next Post