Is the author’s expertise important for the Google algorithm?


Google’s John Mueller answered whether a content writer’s expertise is important to Google’s algorithm because it plays such a large role in quality rater guidelines. John replied that he assumed there was indirect work done on the author’s expertise, but noted that this was a “grey area”.

EAT and the Google Algorithm

It’s already been established that Google’s Quality Rater Guidelines are guidelines to standardize how third-party raters rate search results that are tested by Google.

The purpose of quality reviewer guidelines is to bring some objectivity to the judgment of research results being evaluated for usefulness.

John Mueller discussing author expertise

So rather than letting reviewers use their own judgment, Google provides guidelines for reviewers to use in order to standardize their judgment.

Google recommended using the guidelines as a way for publishers and SEOs to objectively judge websites, which some have interpreted to mean that the factors described in the document lie within the algorithm.

Therefore, the question remains whether some of these factors that are highlighted as important in the Quality Rater Guidelines are also important in Google’s algorithm.

EAT, which stands for Expertise, Authority, and Trustworthiness, is one of the factors that the SEO community is concerned about.

Author’s Expertise and Google’s Algorithm

This specific question concerns the expertise of the author of the content.

The person asking the question asked:

“I have a few questions about EAT.

In quality rater guidelines, the expertise of the author is important.

Do you think this is important for the real algorithm? »

John Mueller asked for clarification on what he meant.

The person asking the question specifies:

“I mean, EAT is just mentioned in the quality rater guidelines.

But I want to know if real algorithms also care about EAT factors like author expertise.

Indirect approach to the author’s expertise

John Mueller has not confirmed that there is direct author expertise in the algorithm. He only said that he presumed there was indirect work to determine expertise.

Jean Mueller replied:

“I guess there’s indirect work being done to try to do similar things, yes.

I mean we put that in the guidelines so we can kind of guide the quality testers to check these things and if we think that’s something important I guess people on the quality side Research is also working to try to figure this out in a more algorithmic way.

EAT is not an algorithm score

John then cautioned against thinking of EAT as a ranking factor or metric.

Muller continued:

“But I wouldn’t see it as if there was an EAT score and you had to get ‘5’ or something on it.”

Content expertise

Mueller then returned to the topic of author expertise and said it was more about trying to understand how content fits into the rest of the web.

Understanding how something fits in the context of the rest of the web is something Mueller mentioned fairly recently.

Muller clarifies:

“It’s kind of like trying to understand the context of content on the web.

And that’s a very… fuzzy area.

Content expertise

It’s interesting how Mueller started his answer talking about indirectly determining the author’s expertise and then ended up talking about the idea of ​​expertise relating to the content itself by referring to understanding the context content on the web.

How important is an author’s expertise?

Perhaps we should ask ourselves what determines the author’s expertise, credentials or the content they publish?

For example, consider the hypothetical case of a website filled with erroneous medical information posted by a doctor.

How important is the expertise of the doctor compared to the expertise, authority and reliability of the content itself?

In theory, an expert writer should be able to write expert content.

But is the proof of expertise in the author’s references or is it a quality of the content itself?

As John Mueller said, it’s a very vague area.


Is the author’s expertise important for the Google algorithm?

Watch at 10:36 minutes:


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