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Is Author Expertise Important To Google’s Algorithm?

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Is Author Expertise Important To Google's Algorithm?


Google’s John Mueller answered whether a content author’s expertise was important to Google’s algorithm because this plays such an important role in the Quality Raters Guidelines. John answered that he assumed there was some indirect work done on author expertise but noted that it was a “fuzzy area.”

E-A-T and Google’s Algorithm

It’s established already that Google’s Quality Raters Guidelines are guidelines for standardizing how third party raters score search results that are tested by Google.

The purpose of the Quality Raters Guidelines is to bring a certain amount of objectivity to judging search results that are being evaluated for usefulness.

John Mueller Discussing Author Expertise

So, rather than have raters use their own judgment, Google provides guidelines for them to use in order to standardize their judgment.

Google has recommended the use of the guidelines as a way for publishers and SEOs to objectively judge websites, which some have taken to mean that factors described in the document are in the algorithm.

As a consequence, the question lingers if some of these factors that are emphasized as important in the quality raters guidelines are important in Google’s algorithm as well.

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E-A-T, meaning Expertise, Authoritativeness and Trustworthiness, is one of the factors the SEO community is concerned about.

Author Expertise and Google’s Algorithm

This specific question is concerned with the expertise of the content author.

The person asking the question asked:

“I have some questions about E-A-T.

In Quality Raters Guidelines, the author’s expertise is important.

So do you think it’s important for the real algorithm?”

John Mueller asked for clarification of what he meant.

The person asking the question clarified:

“I mean, E-A-T is just mentioned in the Quality Raters Guidelines.

But I want to know if real algorithms also care about E-A-T factors like author expertise.”

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Indirect Approach to Author Expertise

John Mueller did not confirm that there is a direct author expertise focus in the algorithm. He only said that he assumed there was indirect work for determining expertise.

John Mueller answered:

“I would assume that there is some indirect kind of work done to try to do similar things, yes.

I mean, we put this in the guidelines so that we can kind of guide the quality testers to double check these things and if we think that it’s something important then I would assume that folks on the …search quality side also work to try to understand that in a more algorithmic way.”

E-A-T is Not an Algorithm Score

John next cautioned against thinking about E-A-T as a ranking factor or a metric.

Mueller continued:

“But I wouldn’t see like there’s like an E-A-T score and you have to get “5” or something like that on it.”

Expertise of Content

Mueller next returned to the topic of author expertise and said it’s more like trying to understand how the content fits into the rest of the web.

Understanding how something fits into the context of the rest of the web is something Mueller has been mentioning quite a bit lately.

Mueller clarified:

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

And that’s a very… fuzzy area.”

Expertise of Content

It’s interesting how Mueller started his answer by talking about indirectly figuring out author expertise and then ending up talking about the idea of expertise relative to the content itself by in reference to understanding the context of the content on the web.

How important is the expertise of an author?

Maybe we should be asking, what determines expertise, the author’s credentials or what the content they publish?

For example, let’s consider a hypothetical case of a website filled with medical misinformation that is published by a doctor.

How important is the doctor’s expertise compared to the expertise, authoritativeness and trustworthiness of the content itself?

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

But is the proof of expertise in the credentials of the author or is it a quality of the content itself?

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

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SEO

Search Engine Journal Promotes Miranda Miller To Senior Managing Editor

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Search Engine Journal Promotes Miranda Miller To Senior Managing Editor

It is with tremendous pride and excitement that I announce the promotion of Miranda Miller, an editorial and content strategy champion, to Senior Managing Editor.

While this promotion actually happened in January, having recently joined SEJ myself, I wanted to celebrate Miranda’s growth and leadership within the organization.

In this role, her areas of ownership will include core elements of SEJ’s editorial operations in this advanced role, including its rich educational and evergreen content.

“The word that comes to mind is blossom,” said Jenise Uehara, CEO of SEJ’s parent company Alpha Brand Media.

”Miranda dove into organizational management, cross-department collaboration, and business process design, while also tackling inefficiencies and challenges.”

An exceptional writer and editor, Miranda also brings considerable experience and expertise in content strategy.

Over the past several months, Miranda has truly shone as an organizational leader, working to grow SEJ’s editorial blueprint, talent, and operations exponentially.

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“And all the while, Miranda somehow kept the publishing crank turning out exceptional content and breaking news,” Jenise added.

“I’ve been thrilled to watch Miranda so quickly engage and take on a meatier leadership role.”

Having followed her work since joining SEJ, I can personally speak to Miranda’s diversified wealth of knowledge to the editorial team – not to mention the publication at large.

“I joined SEJ early in 2021 to help lead the editorial team in a period of great growth and opportunity,” Miranda said.

“We’ve been able to increase expert and educational content production by over 60% even while introducing a data-driven approach to content strategy and optimization,” she added.

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This year, we’ll publish 50% more ebooks than in 2021, and our contributing author program has grown to over 130 digital marketing and SEO experts with her guidance.

Prior to coming in-house, Miranda spent over 15 years leading her own marketing agency which served clients as wide-ranging as the world’s leading polar expeditions company, fintech and app startups, Fortune 100 companies, and several government agencies.

She’s been a prolific ghostwriter for brands and executives in SEO, tech, and finance, and has authored thousands of articles for clients that have appeared in the best-known B2B publications, technical journals, and mainstream media.

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As Editor-in-Chief, I’m beyond excited to watch Miranda’s leadership undoubtedly contribute to SEJ’s ongoing substantial growth.

SEJ’s brand and content offerings continue to evolve, to serve an audience of marketers and business leaders – and there has never been a more inspiring or energizing time to cultivate, promote, and be part of this remarkably talented team.

“Content quality has always been my number one priority, and so it’s refreshing to see that this is a shared value across the SEJ team,” Miranda said.

“I love to see the new ebook formats and article types we’re creating now and am really looking forward to continuing to innovate and teach, to bring the most useful and helpful educational content possible to the SEJ audience.”

Miranda is a part-time digital nomad and runs a location-independent content studio for enterprise organizations.

Three to four months of the year, she works in coworking spaces and cafes around Europe, Latin America, and the Caribbean.

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“But not at the beach,” Miranda adds. “That’s a myth. Ever had sand in your laptop? No bueno.”

At her home base on Georgian Bay in Canada, she’s the wife of a talented chef; mother bear to two teens, two Shepherds, and three budgies; and a patron of the local live music and literary scenes.

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She’s also a huge fan of adrienne maree brown, Lizzo, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Margaret Atwood, AOC – and hockey.


Featured Image: Miranda Miller

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