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What you need to know about Beneficial Purpose, EAT, and YMYL for Google’s Quality Standards

Google released its Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines and gave three golden keys of insight into how Google looks at web pages and differentiates high-quality content from low-quality. Those keys are Beneficial Purpose, E-A-T, and YMYL.

What Does E-A-T Mean?

E-A-T stands for “Expertise, Authoritativeness, Trustworthiness.” It’s one of the most important factors for determining Page Quality.

  • Expertise: Is the creator of the main content (MC) on the page an expert on the topic or credible?
  • Authoritativeness: For the MC creator, the content, and the website to have authoritativeness, people must know you, know your background, and accept you as a good source.
  • Trustworthiness: Being a trustworthy source means people can trust you to provide honest, true information that is accurate.

What is Beneficial Purpose?

Beneficial Purpose is essentially answering “What is the purpose of this page, and how does it help users?”

The page should fulfill its intended purpose and that purpose should also be user-centered.

Some common helpful page purposes:

  • To share information about a topic
  • To share personal or social information
  • To entertain 🙂
  • To sell products or services
  • To allow users to share files

What is YMYL Content?

YMYL stands for “Your Money or Your Life.” YMYL content is the type of information that could directly impact the reader’s happiness, health, safety, or financial stability. YMYL content should be supported by experts with relevant expertise.

YMYL content topics:

  • News and current events
  • Government, law, and civics-related topics
  • Financial advice on taxes, retirement, investments, loans, etc.
  • Shopping information, such as researching purchases
  • Medical advice, drugs, hospitals, emergencies, health, safety
  • Information on groups of people
  • There is also an “other” category including advice on fitness, colleges, job searches, and housing.

High-Quality Content = Expert, User-Focused Content

To be clear, E-A-T, YMYL, and purpose are not necessarily direct ranking factors. Instead, these are concepts to strive for in the eyes of Google. As always, a good rule of thumb is to think about what your users want, not just algorithms.

Check out the full summary of these concepts and released information from Google from SEMRush’s blog.

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