Highest quality pages are created to serve a beneficial purpose and achieve their purpose very well. The distinction between High and Highest is based on the quality and quantity of MC, as well as the level of reputation and E-A-T.
What makes a page Highest quality? In addition to the attributes of a High quality page, a Highest quality page must have at least one of the following characteristics:
● Very high level of Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness (E-A-T).
● A very satisfying amount of high or highest quality MC.
● Very positive website reputation for a website that is responsible for the MC on the page. Very positive reputation of the creator of the MC, if different from that of the website.
Very High Quality MC We will consider the MC of the page to be very high or highest quality when it is created with a high degree of time and effort, and in particular, expertise, talent, and skill—this may provide evidence for the E-A-T of the page. Very high quality MC may be created by experts, hobbyists, or even people with everyday expertise.
Our standards depend on the purpose of the page and the type of content. For YMYL topics, there is a high standard for accuracy and well-established medical/scientific/historical consensus where such consensus exists. A factor that often distinguishes very high quality MC is the creation of unique and original content for the specific website. While what constitutes original content may be very different depending on the type of website, here are some examples:
For news: very high quality MC is original reporting that provides information that would not otherwise have been known had the article not revealed it. Original, in-depth, and investigative reporting requires a high degree of skill, time, and effort. Often very high quality news content will include a description of primary sources and other original reporting referenced during the content creation process. Very high quality news content must be accurate and should meet professional journalistic standards.
● For artistic content (videos, images, photography, writing, etc.): very high quality MC is unique and original content created by highly skilled and talented artists or content creators. Such artistic content requires a high degree of skill/talent, time, and effort. If the artistic content is related to a YMYL topic (e.g., artistic content with the purpose of informing or swaying opinion about YMYL topics), YMYL standards should apply.
● For informational content: very high quality MC is original, accurate, comprehensive, clearly communicated, professionally presented, and should reflect expert consensus as appropriate. Expectations for different types of information may vary. For example, scientific papers have a different set of standards than information about a hobby such as stamp collecting. However, all types of very high quality informational content share common attributes of accuracy, comprehensiveness, and clear communication, in addition to meeting standards appropriate to the topic or field.
The Highest rating may be justified for pages with a satisfying or comprehensive amount of very high quality MC.
Very Positive Reputation
Extensive reputation research is important when giving Highest ratings. Very positive reputation is often based on prestigious awards or recommendations from known experts or professional societies on the topic of the page. Wikipedia and other informational sources can be a good starting point for reputation research. For YMYL topics especially, careful checks for reputation are required. YMYL reputation should be based on evidence from experts, professional societies, awards, etc. For shopping pages, experts could include people who have used the store’s website to make purchases; whereas for medical advice pages, experts should be people or organizations with appropriate medical expertise or accreditation. Please review section 2.3 for a summary of types of YMYL pages/topics. For some topics, such as humor or recipes, less formal expertise is OK. For these topics, popularity, user engagement, and user reviews can be considered evidence of reputation. For topics that need less formal expertise, websites can be considered to have a positive reputation if they are highly popular and well-loved for their topic or content type, and are focused on helping users.
Very High Level of E-A-T
Highest quality pages and websites have a very high level of expertise or are highly authoritative or highly trustworthy. Formal expertise is important for YMYL topics such as medical, financial, or legal advice. Expertise may be less formal for topics such as recipes or humor. An expert page on cooking may be a page on a professional chef’s website, or it may be a video from an expert content creator who uploads very high quality cooking videos on YouTube and is one of the most well-known and popular content creators for recipes in their area of expertise. Please value life experience and “everyday expertise” as appropriate. For some topics, the most expert sources of information are ordinary people sharing their life experiences on personal blogs, videos, forums, reviews, discussions, etc. Think about what expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness mean for the topic of the page. Who are the experts? What makes a source trustworthy for the topic? What makes a website highly authoritative for the topic? Standards for very high E-A-T will differ depending on the topic of the page. YMYL topics will require higher standards.
Examples of Highest Quality Pages