Content that is helpful, reliable, and people-centric
This page is designed to help creators determine whether their content is helpful, reliable, and primarily created for the benefit of people visiting their website.
Assess your content on a regular basis
In addition to asking yourself these questions, consider asking others you trust who are not affiliated with your site to assess the content.
Examine the pages and types of searches most affected by the drops. Look closely at these to understand how they are assessed against the questions outlined here.
- Questions about content and quality
- Provides original information, reporting, research, or analysis?
- Is the content substantial, complete, or comprehensive?
- Is the content insightful or provides interesting information beyond the obvious?
- Does the content draw on other sources without simply copying or rewriting them, and rather add substantial value and originality to them?
- Is the main heading or page title descriptive and helpful?
- The main heading or page title avoids exaggeration or shock?
- Would you bookmark, share, or recommend this page?
- Is this content likely to appear in printed magazines, encyclopedias, or books?
- When compared with other search results, does the content provide substantial value?
Questions relating to expertise
- How does the content present information that makes you want to trust it? Is it clear sourced, does it demonstrate expertise, does it provide background about the author or the site that published it, such as links to an author page?
- Is the site producing the content well-trusted or widely recognized as an authority on its topic if someone did a research on it?
- Who wrote this content? Is it an expert or enthusiast who knows the subject well?
- Are there any easily-verifiable factual errors in the content?
- Questions about presentations and productions
- Are there any spelling or stylistic errors in the content?
- Does the content appear sloppy or rushed?
- The content is produced by a large number of creators, or is it spread across a large network of sites, so that individual pages or sites don’t receive as much attention?
- What is the amount of advertising that distracts from or interferes with the main content of the site?
- When viewed on mobile devices, does content display well?
- Do you demonstrate first-hand expertise and a depth of knowledge in your content (for example, expertise that comes from actually using a product or service or visiting a location)?
- What is the primary purpose or focus of your site?
- How likely is it that someone will feel they’ve learned enough about a topic after reading your content?
- Is it likely that someone reading your content will leave feeling satisfied?
Content that is optimized for search engines should be avoided
Rather than creating search engine-first content primarily to improve search engine rankings, we recommend creating people-first content to be successful with Google Search. If you answered yes to any or all of the following questions, it’s time to reevaluate your content creation strategy:
- Does the content primarily aim to attract search engine visitors?
- Are you producing lots of content on many different topics with the hope that some of it might rank well in search engine results?
- Do you use extensive automation to produce content across a wide range of topics?
- Are you mainly summarizing what others have said without adding much value?
- What topics do you write about simply because they seem trending, rather than because you would write about them otherwise for your audience?
- Are readers left feeling like they need to search again for better information from other sources after reading your content?
- (No, we don’t have a preferred word count.) Are you writing to a particular word count because you’ve heard or read that Google has one?
- Why did you decide to enter a niche topic area without any real expertise, but instead mainly to get search traffic?
- Does your content promise an answer to a question that actually does not exist, such as suggesting a release date for a product, movie, or TV show?
- Isn’t SEO search engine-focused?
SEO, or search engine optimization, is a collective term used to describe a number of ways to make your content easier to discover and understand by search engines. When applied to content that puts people first rather than search engines first, SEO can be a beneficial activity. Google’s SEO guide covers some best practices to consider.
Learn about E-E-A-T and the quality rater guidelines
In order to rank great content, Google uses a number of different factors. Once relevant content is identified, our systems prioritize those that seem most helpful based on our algorithms. In order to do this, they identify a mix of factors that can help determine which content demonstrates expertise, authority, trustworthiness, or E-E-A-T.
There are several factors that contribute to trust, but content does not necessarily have to demonstrate all of them. For example, some content might be helpful based on its experience, while others might be useful because of their expertise.
As a way of confirming that our changes are working, search quality raters provide us with insights into whether our algorithms seem to be providing good results. As part of our search quality rater guidelines, raters are trained to identify content with strong E-E-A-T. They use the same criteria to do this.
As a restaurant might receive feedback cards from diners, we use rater data to help us know if our systems seem to work. Rater data is not directly used in our ranking algorithms.
As you read the guidelines, you can assess how your content is doing from an E-E-A-T perspective, make improvements, and align it conceptually with the different signals that our automated systems use to rank content.
Your content should answer the questions “Who, How, and Why”
To stay on course with what our systems seek to reward, evaluate your content based on “Who, How, and Why.”
The creator of the content (name)
The “Who” is something that helps people intuitively understand the E-E-A-T of content. Here are some “Who”-related questions to ask yourself when creating content:
- Do your visitors know who authored your content?
- Where a byline might be expected, does it appear on the page?
- Are there any bylines that lead to more information about the author or authors involved, giving background information about them and their areas of expertise?
We strongly encourage you to include accurate authorship information, such as bylines, to content where readers may expect it.
The process (by which the content was created)
The “How” of a piece of content is helpful to readers: this is the “How” to consider including.
With product reviews, it is possible to build trust with readers if they understand how many products were tested, what the results were, and how the tests were conducted, as well as evidence of the work involved, such as photographs. On our Write high quality product reviews help page, we discuss this advice in more detail.
Sharing details about the processes involved can help readers and visitors better understand the unique and useful roles automation may have played. This includes automated, AI-generated, and AI-assisted content.
Consider these questions if automation is used to substantially generate content:
- Do visitors understand the use of automation, including AI-generation, from disclosures or in other ways?
- How was content created using automation or AI-generation?
- Would you mind explaining why automation or artificial intelligence was seen as useful for producing content?
You can add AI or automation disclosures to your content when people may wonder “How was this created?”
The purpose (for which the content was created)
Perhaps the most important question to answer about your content is “why”? Why are you creating it?
In order to align with E-E-A-T generally and what our core ranking systems seek to reward, you should create content primarily to help people.
It’s not aligned with what our systems are looking to reward if you are primarily creating content to attract search engine visitors. It is a violation of our spam policies to produce content with automation, including artificial intelligence, for the sole purpose of manipulating search rankings.