EEAT. What does experience mean for healthcare content?

Google has added an extra “E” to the Search Quality Estimator Guide (SQEG), changing the popular acronym from EAT to EEAT.

The new E stands for “experience,” and here’s what that means for your business:

Experience, Expertise, Reputation and Trust (EEAT)

Google defines experience as “first-hand or life experience of a given topic.”

“Many types of pages are trustworthy and serve their purpose well when created by people with a wealth of personal experience. For example, which would you trust: a product review by someone who has personally used the product, or a ‘review’ by someone who hasn’t?’

For health content to display the highest EEAT, Google has the following:

“A very high EEAT is a differentiating factor for the highest quality pages. A website or content creator that is a unique authoritative source for a topic has a very high EEAT. A content creator with a lot of experience can be considered a very high EEAT for topics where experience is a primary factor in trust. A very high level of expertise may justify a very high EEAT rating. Very high EEAT sites and content creators are the most trusted sources on the web for a particular topic.”

The idea here is that if applicable and meaningful, “experience” can be a valid trust factor that helps a page rank highly for EEAT.

The experience factor now shines a light on content like testimonials and social media content. Google says that even these types of content must be credible and written by people with expertise in the subject.

The main point here, however, is trust.

Google's updated EEAT

Experience for YMYL themes

Web pages that share first hand life the experience YMYL topics can increase EEAT scores better than those that only display high-level expertise, provided the first-hand experience content is credible, safe, and consistent with other high-reputation sites.

Here are some health examples from Google’s Search Quality Evaluator Guide:

YMYL themes

The bottom line is that Google is constantly working to improve users’ search experience.

The EEAT principle was created to help people find useful and relevant information without wading through mountains of low-quality, irrelevant or useless content in the first place.

Healthcare consumers are more discerning than ever. They want to feel empowered when choosing a medical practice, doctor, treatment or service. You can help make their decision easier by sharing legitimate, first-hand experiences (such as patient stories, testimonials, and reviews) and high-quality content from skilled professionals.

Layering experience-based content on your website can mean the difference between a lead, conversion or sale and lost business.

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