True Search Engine Optimisation

How to rank on Google, there's no secrets here. They tell us. It's right there in the Quality rater guidelines. This is the short version. But I have links to Googles official documentation for reference.

Patrick Doran

12/7/20238 min read

The Big Picture

In the ever-evolving landscape of digital content, Google's EEAT model has emerged as a cornerstone for understanding how websites earn their place in search results. To those familiar with my work, you know that I don't beat around the bush. So let's dive straight in.

Google, the giant gatekeeper of online information, doesn't just look at code and keywords. It's scrutinizing something far more significant – the human element behind every website. It's about what's valuable, what resonates, and what's genuinely useful. This shift isn't just technical; it's fundamentally changing how we approach online content creation.

For those of us in the trenches of website development and content creation, understanding this model isn't just a recommendation; it's an imperative. Whether you're a blogger, a business owner, or an online strategist, Google's EEAT model – standing for Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness – dictates not just where you stand in search rankings, but how your audience perceives and interacts with your content.

In this discussion, we'll dissect each aspect of this model. Why? Because the time is ripe for us to look beyond mere metrics like click-through rates or keyword density. It's about aligning with Google's vision of valuing real, palpable human experience and expertise. It's about being more than just a website. It's about being a trusted, authoritative voice in a sea of digital noise.

So, let's get down to business. Let's unpack Google's EEAT model and understand how it's reshaping the digital world – and more importantly, how it impacts you and your online presence.

How Does Google Rank Websites?

In the realm of online visibility, the question that perpetually looms large is: How does Google decide which websites to favour? The answer lies in a complex interplay of metrics and human judgments, a blend of the algorithmic and the personal.

Firstly, let's talk about the core site metrics. Yes, they are crucial. Site visits, for instance, are a clear indicator of a website's popularity and relevance. The more visitors you attract, the more Google perceives your site as valuable. But it's not just about getting people through the door; it's about what they do once they're inside. Time spent on the site serves as a testament to the engagement and value your content offers. If visitors linger, absorbing your articles, engaging with your tools, or browsing your products, it signals to Google that your site is a worthy destination.

Then there are the technical aspects – site speed, mobile optimization, user interface, and the ever-important SEO. These are the nuts and bolts that ensure your website is not just found but also user-friendly. They're the foundation upon which a successful online presence is built.

Backlinks, the digital nods from other websites, also play a pivotal role. They are like votes of confidence, signifying that others find your content worthy of reference. A robust profile of quality backlinks is akin to a chorus of voices in the digital sphere, all pointing towards your site.

However, and this is where the game changes, these metrics are just the starting point. Google has evolved, and so must our approach. It's no longer enough to tick these boxes and hope for the best. The real crux of the matter is how well your website resonates on a human level. Are you just a collection of well-optimized pages, or does your site reflect a deeper understanding, a genuine connection to your audience's needs and experiences?

This leads us to the heart of Google's EEAT model. The search giant is increasingly emphasizing the human experience, the expertise, the authority of content creators, and the trustworthiness of websites. It's a call for a shift from purely technical SEO to a more holistic, human-centric approach.

As we delve deeper into the Quality Rater Guidelines in the next section, remember this: the digital landscape is not just about algorithms and metrics. It's about people. And in this realm, the human element of your online presence is becoming more vital than ever.

Quality Rater Guidelines

Moving beyond the realm of algorithms and metrics, we encounter a critical, yet often overlooked aspect of how Google assesses websites: the Quality Rater Guidelines. This is where the human touch comes into play, a facet that many tend to underestimate.

Picture this: real people, just like you and me, sitting behind screens, sifting through websites. These are Google's Quality Raters – a diverse group tasked with evaluating the sea of online content. They don't directly influence rankings in the traditional sense, but their assessments are pivotal. They provide feedback on the relevance and quality of websites, which in turn shapes Google's algorithms. It's a feedback loop where human judgment informs machine learning.

What exactly are these raters looking for? It's not just about slick design or clever SEO tricks. They delve deeper, assessing how well a website serves its purpose for its intended audience. For different industry verticals, this takes on various forms.

In e-commerce, for instance, raters might look at the user experience, the clarity of transaction processes, and the quality of product information. Is the site just trying to make a quick sale, or does it genuinely guide and inform the consumer?

For informational sites, the focus shifts to the accuracy and depth of content. Does the site provide thorough, well-researched information, or is it just skimming the surface? In the realm of news, credibility and timeliness are key. Are the articles well-sourced, providing a balanced perspective?

But it’s not just about what these sites offer; it's also about who is offering it. This is where we see a direct tie to the EEAT model – raters evaluate the expertise of authors, the authority of the website, and its overall trustworthiness.

As someone who navigates the digital landscape daily, I can't stress enough the importance of these guidelines. They are not just a checklist but a compass guiding us towards creating content that resonates on a human level. It's about understanding the intent and needs of your audience and meeting them with authenticity and expertise.

In the next section, we'll dive into the first E of the EEAT model – Experience. This is where the personal becomes paramount, and where your unique perspective can truly shine. Stay tuned.


When it comes to ranking content, Google places immense value on firsthand experiences. It's about bringing the human element to the forefront. Consider travel blogs, for instance. A blog post about Ireland written by someone who's actually wandered its green hills and quaint streets carries far more weight than a generic compilation of facts. This wasn't always the case, its only something they added in 2022.

I remember my own journey to the Amalfi Coast. The vivid details, the personal anecdotes – these are the elements that made my content resonate with readers. Google recognises and values this authenticity. It's about transporting your reader to the heart of the experience, something no amount of second-hand research can achieve.

For content creators, this underscores an urgent need: to weave genuine, personal experiences into your narrative. It’s not just about facts; it's about your unique perspective and journey. This personal touch is what sets your content apart in a crowded digital space.


In areas demanding specialized knowledge, like healthcare or legal advice, the importance of expert opinions cannot be overstated. Google gives precedence to content created by recognised authorities in their fields. This ensures that users receive reliable, accurate information.

Imagine seeking medical advice online. You'd want insights from a qualified doctor, not just anyone with an opinion on health. Google understands this. It assesses the credentials and expertise of content creators, prioritizing those with legitimate backgrounds.

The message here is clear: if your content falls within a specialised niche, the urgency to have experts at the helm is paramount. This isn’t just about enhancing your content's credibility; it's about ensuring the integrity and safety of the information you provide.


Being authoritative in the digital world means more than just having well-written content. It's about establishing your site as a go-to resource, and a significant part of this is link-building. When reputable sites link to yours, it's like a nod of approval in the eyes of Google, boosting your site's authority.

But it's not just about quantity; the quality of these backlinks matters immensely. A link from a well-regarded site in your industry is worth far more than dozens of links from irrelevant or low-quality sites.

From a personal standpoint, I've seen how impactful high-quality backlinks can be. They don’t just improve rankings; they drive meaningful traffic and establish your site as a leader in your field. The effort to build these connections is not just beneficial; it's essential in carving out your space in the digital landscape.


Trustworthiness in the online world hinges on several factors. A trustworthy site not only provides accurate and honest content but also presents itself in a way that instills confidence. This could mean having a professional design, easy navigation, clear contact information, and transparent business practices.

Consider an e-commerce site. Would you feel comfortable entering your credit card details on a site that looks outdated and provides no clear contact information? Likely not. A trustworthy site makes visitors feel secure, both in terms of the information provided and the overall user experience.

The urgency here is evident: every aspect of your site, from the content to the design, should build trust with your audience. It's not just about impressing Google; it's about creating an online space where visitors feel valued and secure.

The Summary (and Short Version)

As we wrap up our exploration of Google's EEAT model, let's take a moment to reflect on the key insights and the urgent call to action for anyone managing or creating content for the web.

Experience: Google values authentic, firsthand experiences in content creation. Whether it’s a travel blog or a personal review, the authenticity and personal touch in your content can significantly impact its perceived value and ranking. Remember my Amalfi Coast story? It's about making your content relatable and real, allowing your audience to experience your journey through your words.

Experts: In specialized fields like healthcare or finance, the expertise of the content creator is paramount. Google prioritizes content written by recognized authorities, underscoring the need for credible and reliable information in these sensitive areas. This isn’t just about SEO; it's about responsibility to your audience and the integrity of the information you provide.

Authoritative: Building a website's authority isn't just about creating great content; it's also about how your site is perceived and referenced in the wider web community. Quality backlinks from reputable sources are crucial. They are endorsements of your site’s credibility and relevance, and they play a significant role in how Google assesses your site’s authority.

Trustworthiness: Trust is the cornerstone of any successful online presence. A trustworthy site ensures accuracy, transparency, and a secure user experience. It's about making your audience feel safe and valued, from the quality of your content to the usability of your website.

In conclusion, Google’s EEAT model isn't just a set of guidelines; it's a paradigm shift in how we think about and create content for the web. It’s a move towards a more authentic, reliable, and user-centric internet. As content creators and webmasters, the responsibility lies with us to adapt and uphold these values. It’s not just about climbing the search rankings; it’s about building a web that's rich in quality, expertise, and trust. Let's rise to this challenge, creating content that doesn't just meet the mark but sets new standards in the digital era.

Table of Contents:

  1. The Big Picture

  2. How Does Google Rank Websites?

  3. Quality Rater Guidelines

  4. Experience

  5. Experts

  6. Authority

  7. Trustworthiness

  8. Summary