What are Beneficial Purpose, YMYL & E-A-T?

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Posted on by Jason Cook
Categories: Just The Tip, SEO

In recent months, we’ve talked about Core Web Vitals and the various other metrics used by Google to determinate the quality of a site’s user experience. However, Google’s methods of assessment aren’t solely reliant upon technology and algorithms.

Google also employs “Human Search Evaluators”- individuals who review content to help inform Google’s standards for high-quality web pages. They also review Google’s own algorithms, ensuring their effectiveness at delivering the best user experience.

Back in 2015, Google first published their Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines – an expansive document which is continually updated to give us clues as to their evolving standards. This includes three “golden keys” that any digital marketer needs to be aware of (i) Beneficial Purpose (ii) YMYL, and (iii) E-A-T.

What is Beneficial Purpose?

Well…since 2018, it’s been a key component of Google’s answer to the question “What is the Purpose of a Web Page”? To quote the source, “Websites and pages should be created to help users. Websites and pages that are created with intent to harm users, deceive users, or make money with no attempt to help users, should receive the Lowest Page Quality (PQ) rating.”

In other words, it’s not about you. It’s about THEM. Every element on your site – every tool, every piece of content – should be designed to benefit prospective car buyers and service customers. Which leads us to…

What is YMYL?

“YMYL” stands for “Your Money or Your Life” and describes high-stakes content that, if deceptive, could impact a users happiness, health, safety, or financial stability. Included among these types of content are (i) News & Current Events (ii) Civics, Government & Law (iii) Finance (iv) Shopping (v) Health & Safety, and (vi) specific Groups of People. Not sure if this applies to you?

As dealerships, you’re already checking the boxes of Finance, Shopping, and Health & Safety. So, the burden is on your digital marketing team and/or service provider to strive for accuracy in these areas, and to avoid bias, ensuring that your content is seen as universally valuable. And finally…

What is E-A-T?

E-A-T stands for “Expertise, Authoritativeness & Trustworthiness” each of which is a cornerstone of Google’s gauge of Page Quality.

“Expertise” speaks to the content creator, and whether or not they’re considered to be an expert on the topic.

Ask yourself: Who’s writing your dealership’s content? Do have they professional credentials, everyday experience visible in their online presence, or a documented history of creating related content?

“Authoritativeness” is an extension of this, determining whether or not the wider audience considers the content creator to be a generally recognized authority.

Ask yourself: Are other resources linking to your content, endorsing you as an authoritative resource?

Furthermore, “Trustworthiness” speaks to the credibility of the resource.

Ask yourself: Do you have a reputation for creating content that is accurate, honest and unbiased? Not sure? Look to your library of content, the traffic that it generates, and the links that you’ve earned.

As we hinted at earlier, Google’s Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines are designed to evolve, pointing us in the right direction rather than give us definitive answers.

However, if you follow these in creation of your dealership’s content, that direction is more than enough to make sure that you tick all the right boxes to help you rank higher in local search.