How to Improve Expertise, Authoritativeness and Trustworthiness (E-A-T)
Highest quality pages are created to serve a beneficial purpose and achieve their purpose very well. The distinction between High and Highest is based on the quality and quantity of MC, as well as the level of reputation and E-A-T.
What makes a page Highest quality? In addition to the attributes of a High quality page, a Highest quality page must have at least one of the following characteristics:
- Very high level of Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness (E-A-T).
- A very satisfying amount of high or highest quality MC.
- Very positive website reputation for a website that is responsible for the MC on the page. Very positive reputation of the creator of the MC, if different from that of the website.
Very High Quality MC
We will consider the MC of the page to be very high or highest quality when it is created with a high degree of time and effort, and in particular, expertise, talent, and skill—this may provide evidence for the E-A-T of the page. Very high quality MC may be created by experts, hobbyists, or even people with everyday expertise. Our standards depend on the purpose of the page and the type of content. However, for news articles and information pages on YMYL topics, there is a high standard for accuracy and well-established medical/scientific/historical consensus where such consensus exists.
The Highest rating may be justified for pages with a satisfying or comprehensive amount of very high quality MC.
Very Positive Reputation
Extensive reputation research is important when giving Highest ratings, and is evidence of the E-A-T of the page. Very positive reputation is often based on prestigious awards or recommendations from known experts or professional societies on the topic of the page. Wikipedia and other informational sources can be a good starting point for reputation research.
For some topics, such as humor or recipes, less formal expertise is OK. For these topics, popularity, user engagement, and user reviews can be considered evidence of reputation. For topics that need less formal expertise, websites can be considered to have a positive reputation if they are highly popular and well-loved for their topic or content type, and are focused on helping users.
Very High Level of E-A-T
Highest quality pages and websites have a very high level of expertise or are highly authoritative or highly trustworthy. Formal expertise is important for topics such as medical, financial, or legal advice. Expertise may be less formal for topics such as recipes or humor. An expert page on cooking may be a page on a professional chef’s website, or it may be someone who posts popular cooking videos on YouTube. Please value life experience and “everyday expertise.” For some topics, the most expert sources of information are ordinary people sharing their life experiences on personal blogs, forums, reviews, discussions, etc.
Think about what expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness mean for the topic of the page. Who are the experts? What makes a source trustworthy for the topic? What makes a website highly authoritative for the topic?
Examples of Highest Quality Pages
|Webpage/Type of Content||Highest Quality Characteristics||PQ Rating and Explanation|
|Highest: NewsArticle on a newspaper website||This is a feature article from a newspaper that has won 40 Pulitzer Prize awards and is the largest newspaper in the U.S. by circulation at the time this example was written.The page has a comprehensive amount of very high-quality MC, including in-depth reporting by two authors with extensive knowledge and experience in investigative journalism.|
|Highest: Informational 1Fact-checking page on an Internet rumor debunking website||This page is on a well-known fact-checking and debunking website that covers urban legends, Internet rumors, and other stories of unknown or questionable origin.The page has a very satisfying amount of MC for users seeking to validate a claim about a documentary film about mermaids. Users can trust the information on this page due to the website’s positive reputation and high level of expertise in debunking non-YMYL stories of this type.|
|Highest: Informational 2Ball gown wedding dress page||This page has a very satisfying amount of MC for users interested in ball gown wedding dresses. An abundance of pictures, plus options to view by price range, style, etc., are part of what makes this page so satisfying. This page is on a popular wedding planning website.|
|Highest: Government agencyYosemite National Park information||This page has a highly satisfying amount of helpful information about Yosemite National Park, including traffic alerts and links to other parts of the website with additional information. Since the page is on the official national park website, it is uniquely authoritative.|
|Highest: Technical 1Software tips||This page offers a satisfying amount of helpful and very high quality MC for the purpose of the page. Because the page is on the official website of the company that produces the software, it is highly authoritative.|
|Highest: Technical 2Linux Kernel archives||From this Wikipedia article, we learn that “Kernel.org is a main repository of source code for the Linux kernel, the base of the popular Linux operating system. It makes all versions of the source code available to all users… The main purpose of the site is to host a repository for Linux kernel developers and maintainers of Linux distributions.”This website is the most authoritative source for information about Linux.|
|Highest: Financial 1Credit report information website (YMYL)||Users in the U.S. can obtain free credit reports on this website by providing their Social Security Number. This Wikipedia article tells us that this website is “the only federally mandated and authorized source for obtaining a free credit report.”|
|Highest: Financial 2Tax forms page (YMYL)||The purpose of the page is to provide income tax forms and publications. The website represents an agency of the U.S. federal government that handles taxes, so the page and forms are uniquely authoritative and trustworthy.|
|Highest: Magazine Article 1Article titled “Secret Fears of the Super-Rich”||This is a very high quality and in-depth article on an award winning magazine website.|
|Highest: Magazine Article 2Interview with musical artist||This magazine is very well-known and well regarded for content about artists and bands, and specifically has a positive reputation for interviews with musicians. There is a large quantity of high quality MC.|
|Highest: Medical 1BMI calculator (YMYL)||The purpose of this page is to provide an online BMI (Body Mass Index) calculator. The calculator is functional and easy to use.The website represents an institute that is part of the National Institutes of Health. It has an extremely good reputation and is an expert in medical topics.|
|Highest: Medical 2Page about meningitis (YMYL)||This is a meningitis reference page on a trustworthy and authoritative website for a nonprofit medical research group. This website has a reputation of being one of the best web resources for medical information.|
|Highest: Medical 3Page about seasonal flu (YMYL)||This is an influenza reference page on a trustworthy and authoritative medical website. This website has a reputation of being one of the best web resources for medical information of this type.|
|Highest: Medical 4Health information on a hospital page (YMYL)||According to this Wikipedia article, this hospital is “currently regarded as one of the top 4 hospitals in the United States as rated by U.S. News & World Report.” Users can trust medical information on this website.|
|Highest: EntertainmentHumor website||This comedian has won multiple prestigious awards for his TV show (on the air when the example was written), and this is the homepage of his official website.Keep in mind that for any type of page, including humor websites, there may be a range of highest quality to lowest quality pages. Therefore, it’s important to evaluate the page using the same criteria as all other pages, regardless of what type of page it is.|
|Highest: ShoppingBackpack shopping page (YMYL)||The purpose of this page is to provide information about, and allow users to buy, a specific type of school backpack. The page provides a lot of helpful product information, as well as 600 user reviews.Since the store produces this backpack, they are experts on the product, making the page on their own website authoritative. In addition, this store has a reputation for producing one of the highest quality and most popular school backpacks on the market.|
|Highest: LoginOnline banking login page (YMYL)||This page has login functionality, as well as clear information about what the user is logging into. This is a large, popular bank with a good reputation.|
|Highest: CharityHomepage of a charity (YMYL)||This is a highly reputable charity according to multiple charity rating organizations.|
|Highest: Page with Error Message“Custom 404” page||This is an example of a “custom 404” page. These pages are designed to alert users that the URL they are trying to visit no longer exists. The MC of this page is the cartoon, the caption, and the search functionality, which is specific to the content of the website. It is clear that time, effort, and talent were involved in its creation.This publication has a very positive reputation and is specifically known for its cartoons.Keep in mind that for any type of page, including pages with error messages, there may be a range of highest quality to lowest quality. Therefore, it’s important to evaluate the page using the same criteria as all other pages, regardless of what type of page it is.|
|Highest: PDF FileCampus map||This PDF file is a detailed campus map of a major university, which is hosted on the official university website. This is a highly authoritative source for this information. The map includes a listing of the all the buildings, parking structures, parking lots, construction areas, etc.|
|Highest: Recipes 1Pumpkin pie recipe||The website is one of the most popular recipe websites and the author of the recipe is a well-known celebrity chef who specializes in southern cooking.This page has a large number of user reviews of the recipe, detailed preparation time information, a “recipe box” feature, etc.|
|Highest: Recipes 2Chocolate chip cookie recipe on a recipe blog||Even though this user does not seem to be a well-known professional chef, recipes are an example of everyday expertise. The author of this blog has documented her extensive experimentation with a chocolate chip cookie recipe, and her expertise is demonstrated in the large quantity of high or highest quality MC.|
|Highest: Video 1The band OK Go’s music video for the song “This Too Shall Pass”||This is a high quality, professionally produced video on the band’s official channel.|
|Highest: Video 2“Henri 2, Paw de Deux” video||This is a high quality, popular video. It won the “Golden Kitty Award” for “Best Cat Video On The Internet” at the Walker Art Center’s Internet Cat Video Film Festival.|
|Highest: Video 3Saturday Night Live video on the TV network’s website||The MC of this video page is an episode of Saturday Night Live on the TV network’s official website, making it highly authoritative and trustworthy. Below the main video, there are many other videos that users may be interested in.|
|Highest: Q&AQ&A page on abbreviations||The purpose of the page is to answer questions about the usage of abbreviations. This website has a very good reputation as a reference for information on writing, publishing, etc. It is considered highly authoritative and trustworthy for the topic of the page.|
|Highest: Social Media ProfileThe official Twitter profile page of the Tennessee Republican Party (YMYL)||This is the official Twitter account for the Tennessee Republican Party (TNGOP). It is an expert and authoritative source of information about the Tennessee Republican Party.|