EAT, YMYL, & Beneficial Purpose: What Do Google’s Quality Standards Mean for Search?


Search engines are invisible black boxes that we have grown to trust, rely on, and trust even more. That trust is well-founded: While we don’t know much about how search works, it has become a central, if not the major, way that most of us discover information online.

Peep, if you can, the black box in the corner of the room, so to speak. The black box is the search engine algorithm or S.E.A. For the uninitiated, the algorithm is the set of rules that determines how your query is answered. Think of it as the switchboard operator, the dispatcher, and the employees answering the telephones. The S.E.A. is the computer program that runs the search engine and determines how your query is answered.

When Google first launched in 1998, it was simple enough. The search engine was designed to help people find information in the digital world. Now, over two decades later, Google is a part of every facet of our lives. Whether it’s providing maps for navigating unfamiliar cities, helping us find new songs to add to our playlists, or giving us access to the world’s information in an instant. 

As the world’s most popular search engine, Google’s influence is widespread. From businesses to individuals, anyone who wants to find information needs to have a plan when working with Google. Whether you’re a new business looking to get your name out there, a brand looking to drive more leads, or a small family business looking to compete with big brands, you need to know the different Google quality standards.

What Are Google’s Quality Standards?

Google says that users expect the best search experience on every single website they visit. It’s a common misconception that Google’s quality standards aim to penalize websites that have poor quality content. 

In reality, Google’s quality standards aim to ensure that every website users see on its search results page provides a high-quality search experience. This article explains what Google’s quality standards mean for your website and how you can take advantage of them to improve user experience, drive trust, and increase conversions.

To rank well in search, you need to have high-quality content. Google’s quality standards are not set in stone but based on the content a page provides and its relevance to the topic. The page needs to be interesting and helpful and needs to answer the questions at hand.

Pages that are text-only with few pictures or videos will rank lower than pages with videos and pictures. Some of them that look like spam will also rank lower than pages that don’t fit this description. Also, pages that are designed for mobile users also rank higher on mobile searches.

You can always improve your ranking by optimizing your content for search engines. This includes making sure it is optimized for search engine spiders, that the coding is clean, and that there are no broken links on the page (which can result in a penalty). You can also add relevant keywords where they are most relevant or use other related methods of increasing your ranking.

How Google Determines Quality

Google’s Quality Standards are changing. As part of its new approach to search, Google is now applying new quality standards that impact how search results appear on your browsers.

These changes have a lot of people wondering: what are Google’s quality standards, why are they changing, and what does this mean for my website? The short answer is that Google’s quality standards are a set of guidelines that detail how websites should present content on mobile devices. Essentially, search engines like Google look for websites that follow these standards and remove those that don’t. This means that if your website doesn’t follow Google’s quality standards, it doesn’t have a chance of appearing in search results. This is called a penalty, and as a result, you are at risk of losing your organic search visibility.

There is a lot of debate about what constitutes high-quality content. Google has an impossibility goal: to determine which pages are the most useful and relevant for any given query.

The term “high quality” is subjective, but it has some objective features as well. One of the key features is that the content is published by a reputable, reliable organization or individual that provides accurate information. The content also needs to be unique so that it doesn’t duplicate other content on the web. Finally, the page needs to be up-to-date because it’s not just about delivering information today but also making sure it’s accurate tomorrow.

Google looks at various signals such as low bounce rates (the percentage of people who leave a website after viewing only one page) and high time on site (the number of time visitors spends on your site). It also considers how often people share your content online, how well you rank in search engines for specific keywords, and whether or not you have a link from a high-profile website like Wikipedia.

Beneficial Purpose, E-A-T, and YMYL: The Keys to Understanding Google’s Definition of Quality for Web Pages & Content

Google has many criteria for determining the quality of a web page or content, but they boil down to three core qualities Beneficial Purpose, E-A-T, and YMYL.

The definitions of these terms are essential to understanding what Google is looking for in terms of a quality web page or content.

From the initial update, one of the most notable modifications was the increasing focus on the notion of “useful purpose.”

Furthermore, the page must serve its stated goal while also keeping the user in mind (whether that is to make readers laugh, sell them something, inform them, teach them, etc.).

When a page is developed just for the purpose of generating revenue, it is deemed a low-quality page.

What is Beneficial Purpose?

Pages that are written to help users answer questions, solve problems, or achieve their goals, such as research, shopping, banking, or finding a job. Webpages with a beneficial purpose tend to rank higher in search results than non-beneficial pages.

What Does the Acronym EAT Stand For?

The acronym EAT stands for:




Those are the three qualities Google looks for when ranking search results.

Google bases two-thirds of its ranking on how authoritative a site is and one-third on how trustworthy it is. It uses several factors to determine both these qualities, including Authoritative backlinks, PageRank, and usage statistics.

Understanding what Google deems “expertise” can help layout your SEO strategy. If you are an expert in leather jacket care, you would likely have a page rank of 10 or higher if reputable sources linked to you. As such, your expertise would increase the chances of showing up in a Google search result for “leather jacket care.”

Google’s Quality Standards

What Is YMYL?

YMYL is an acronym for “Your Money or Your Life.” It refers to sites that directly impact your life, such as financial services, healthcare, and insurance.

These posts are typically thought of as high-trust sites because they have an impact on your life. As a result, there’s also more competition for these types of pages.

Here’s why you need to be careful about what goes into your content:

  • Content of this type affects a person’s life–and things like credit scores are often impacted by it.
  • SEOs and webmasters know that there is a greater incentive to rank well in YMYL search results–even if it means compromising the quality of their site content.
  • Your business and livelihood are at risk when you post low-quality, spammy information on YMYL.

Google’s Quality Standards


Google’s Quality Rater Guidelines are a set of rules that help Google determine what pages and content are of good quality. These guidelines are intended for Google’s quality raters, but they also provide guidance to webmasters and site owners.

The guidelines make it clear that Google strives to surface pages and content that are authoritative, helpful, easy to use, and that satisfy the user’s needs.

In order to meet these standards, webmasters and site owners need to ensure that their pages and content are written with a clear purpose, have the right amount of expertise and information, and are easy to use.

In addition, the guidelines state that Google will judge the quality of the page or content based on what it is trying to achieve. The level of expertise that is needed on the page or in the content depends on the purpose of the page or content in question.

If your content or page is intended to assist with a medical diagnosis or provide medical advice, then you need to be well versed in the subject matter. If your goal is simply to inform people about a condition or provide them with general health information, then you do not need extensive knowledge about the subject matter.