Google Patent Reveals Insight Into E-A-T Update

author image Written by: Nicole McCormick           Categories - In The News

Patent Lifts the Curtain on Massive 2018 Core Algorithm Update

Could we finally know the secret behind one of Google’s biggest algorithm update in recent years? Potentially. A recent patent published by Google has given us a glimpse behind the curtain of the infamous E-A-T update. The patent, which was officially published on February 13, 2020, is titled Website Representation Vector to Generate Search Results and Classify Website – try saying that three times fast! Essentially, the patent describes how Google is able to classify websites depending on whether they meet thresholds based upon quality scores, and then use that classification to assign different weights to rankings. https://twitter.com/bill_slawski/status/1231410913560821760 The patent document goes on to say the quality scores may be specific for a particular knowledge domain, and lists the following as examples of knowledge domains:

  • Artificial intelligence
  • Education
  • Astronomy
  • Health
  • Medicine
  • Doctors

Here is a snippet of the patent: Chart from Google patent“Methods, systems, and apparatus, including computer programs encoded on computer storage media, for using website representations to generate, store, or both, search results. One of the methods includes receiving data representing each website in a first plurality of websites associated with a first knowledge domain of a plurality of knowledge domains and having a first classification; receiving data representing each website in a second plurality of websites associated with the first knowledge domain and having a second classification; generating a first composite-representation of the first plurality of websites; generating a second composite-representation of the second plurality of websites; receiving a representation of a third website; determining a first difference measure between the first composite-representation and the representation; determining a second difference measure between the second composite-representation and the representation; and based on the first difference measure and the second difference measure, classifying the third website.”

So, What Does This Have to Do With E-A-T?

Considering the range of industries covered under the patent – and the fact that it was filed the same week as the update – this could explain a lot about the August 2018 E-A-T update. To refresh your memory, E-A-T (which stands for expertise, authority, and trust) was a massive core algorithm update nicknamed the “medic” update due to its significant affect on medical websites. In fact, it’s estimated that over 41% of all websites affected by the update were related to the health/medical industry. The main focus of the update was to favour sites that are able to prove they have credibility, expertise, trust, and authority related to the topics they covered, particularly when it comes to health, finance, or e-commerce websites. Essentially, this patent gives us a look into how Google is able to determine the category of a particular website and therefore understand if the site should have a certain level of authority behind it. The patent reads:

“For instance, the website classifications may include a first category of websites authored by experts in the knowledge domain, e.g., doctors, a second category of websites authored by apprentices in the knowledge domain, e.g., medical students, and a third category of websites authored by laypersons in the knowledge domain.”

Between the contents of the patent and the fact that it was filed the same week that E-A-T rolled out, it’s fair to say that the two are most likely related. However, it should be noted just because Google has this patent, doesn’t necessarily mean it’s actually being put to use. But if it is being used, this definitely sheds a bit of light on the always so mysterious Google algorithm updates. Especially considering the fact that we’re usually left in the dark regarding these kinds of updates and aren’t aware that they’re happening until rankings start to fluctuate.


Read More: Google Search Quality Rater Guidelines Update

Nicole McCormick

Nicole is a wordsmith wizard, passionate about the written word and an avid storyteller who uses creatively crafted prose to help bring your brand’s story to the next level. A former journalist with writing credits in both local and national news publications and a few newspaper awards under her belt, Nicole now enjoys telling your stories and finding new and creative ways to create valuable content that resonates with audiences in the digital landscape.

New Tremors and Volatility On Google!


Seems like Google is planning on another Search ranking algorithm update, the Search Engine Roundtable reports. Or, as Barry Schwartz suggests – the tremors noticed this Saturday, August 6th, might even be tremors caused by the now finished Product Reviews update from July.

The chatter among the SEO community is pretty loud and the new volatility has been noticed. The drops in Search have been circling around 30% all over the world, and traffic is not much better, according to people on the WebmasterWorld forum.

Glenn Gabe, an SEO expert, shared some interesting graphs on Twitter:

Google Tracking Tools

The tools are always here to prove what’s going on. As you can see, there were quite a few spikes, especially during the weekend:

Photo Source: Semrush Screenshot
Photo Source: Rank Ranger Screenshot
Photo Source: Mozcast Screenshot

Check out what the SEO community has to say here.

Read More: Google Releases A New Product Reviews Update
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Another Search Ranking Update In The Making?


A new search ranking update might be in the making. Or maybe it’s the same one from a week ago, we seriously don’t know.

What we do know is that the weekend behind us was unstable and that the update might have caused damage to some websites. Still, Google hasn’t yet confirmed any of the search ranking updates, but the tools speak for themselves. According to them, Google Search results are again experiencing volatility and ranking instability.

The tools are showing spikes for the weekend period (July 9th and 10th), and more chatter can be heard across the SEO community.

It’s a bit calmer today.

Read More: The May 2022 Core Update Impact

There was one unconfirmed Google search ranking update on July 7th and 5th; and around two weeks ago. The Google May 2022 core update began rolling out on May 25, 2022, and was officially complete on June 9th, but we saw big tremors before and after the rollout.

We are seeing more and bigger spikes from some of the tools.

Read More: Unconfirmed Google Search Ranking Update Spikes on June 23rd

Google Tracking Tools

As we mentioned, the biggest spikes happened during the weekend. Today, everything seems calmer:

Photo source: Semrush
Photo Source: Rank Ranger
Photo Source: Mozcast
Read More: The Google Search Ranking Update Spikes Again

If you’re ever wondering if there was an update or not, Google now has a page devoted just to that:

Read More: Google Releases July 2022 Product Reviews Update


High volatility was noticed on August 6th, leading the SEO community to think about how the tremors have something to do with the July 2022 Product reviews update. Read more about it here

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