The Google white paper I just covered mentions explicitly that Google’s algorithms can detect if a query is related to YMYL, your money your life, related content and then adjust the weights of the ranking algorithm for those specific queries. There has been some debate in the SEO industry if Google is indeed doing this so now this should clear that up.
Google wrote in the white paper on page 13, “where our algorithms detect that a user’s query relates to a “YMYL” topic, we will give more weight in our ranking systems to factors like our understanding of the authoritativeness, expertise, or trustworthiness of the pages we present in response.”
This is saying that EAT, expertise, authoritativeness, or trustworthiness is something Google has weights for in their ranking system and if they determine a query is about YMYL then EAT becomes way more important. And on the previous page, Google said “Google’s algorithms identify signals about pages that correlate with trustworthiness and authoritativeness. The best known of these signals is PageRank, which uses links on the web to understand authoritativeness.” So the A and T of EAT is mostly based on PageRank and links.
Yes, this is primary mentioned in regards to the Search Quality Raters Guidelines but it is also baked into the algorithm for query interpretation (maybe RankBrain related) and for adjusting weights of the ranking system.
This is not unusual, Google does this for lots of sectors like adult, pharmaceuticals, health, finance and so on – so this should not be a surprise to anyone, but having Google spell it out in the YMYL sector and clarify they use EAT signals is very cool to have published in a Google white paper.
Just to be clear, they use ranking signals to try to determine EAT, but EAT itself isn’t a ranking signal by itself – I don’t think.
Forum discussion at Twitter.

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