Your money your life (YMYL) pages contain information that can impact your current or future well-being physically or financially. Google insists on Page Quality (PQ) for such sites. YMYL pages must come from reputable websites and be created with high expertise and authority.
Google updates its algorithm frequently, which impacts your SEO strategies, and as a digital marketer, you must know the rules to rank on top of SERP results.
SEO experts notice that Google ranks YMYL pages more cautiously to decide how to rank them. Google looks at those web pages to differentiate high-quality content from low-quality content.
It uses E-A-T (expertise, authoritativeness, trustworthiness) to get insight into what Google looks for in a high-quality web page.
What are YMYL pages?
Your money your life pages (YMYL) pages, if it contains misleading or inaccurate information, could negatively impact the reader’s happiness, health, and money. Google is very prompt not to allow such misleading information to be passed on to users.
Google has search quality guidelines to improve the user’s search experience. It runs experiments with ideas to improve the results a user sees. It uses third-party search quality raters’ feedback to improvise and improve those ideas to get the best experience for users.
Quality raters are spread worldwide and help Google with their feedback to make search more useful.
According to Google’s Search Quality, your money your life pages include but are not limited to:
- Shopping or financial pages
- Insurance and investment pages
- Medical information pages
- Legal information pages
- News and official information pages
- Serious issues like divorce, adoption, and car safety
How Does Google Assess and Rank YMYL Pages?
Google prioritizes certain factors for ranking when dealing with your money your life (YMYL) pages to prevent misleading information. The factors that give more weight are expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness (E-A-T).
Google looks for the following features to rank high on SERP results. More informative and educational content reaches more people. When many people click on those pages, Google considers the page authenticated information and ranks it on top.
1. Beneficial Content
Google looks for the quality of content the page delivers to the users. The content must fulfill its purpose of teaching, selling, promoting, engaging, or even amusing. If the page’s content is only to make money with no effort to help the user, it will tend to be considered or rated as low-quality content.
Google scores your page quality with the user experience when the user visits your landing page after they type the search keyword. Beneficial pages are considered for Page Quality (PQ) score, with 1 being the lowest to 10 being the highest.
The algorithm works in such a way that puts the user in the front to provide the best user experience for your site to rank better. This feature encourages website owners and webpage content contributors to offer solutions that benefit the user in various ways.
2. Importance to E-A-T Criteria
Google published E-A-T criteria in Google’s Search Quality Rater Guidelines in 2013. It is a 168-page document used by quality raters to assess the quality of Google’s search results manually.
Expertise refers to the content writer of the webpage. Google measures the credibility of your money your life (YMYL) pages with the following question: Is this person a proven expert on this topic? Do they have the necessary educational background to back up their thoughts and opinions?
A person working in a niche industry for a few years becomes an expert in that field. The expert’s skill set develops after a few years of experience in that industry. An expert writes content that proves his/her expertise.
Google considers content writers with everyday expertise who gain knowledge from life experience to be valid contributors to a topic. This exception is allowed for non-YMYL content.
Google considers it important to be the authority of content. Authority relies on three factors:
- The writer
- The content
- The website it is published on
Renowned writers’ content naturally tends to gain the authority Google looks for. Also, the website’s domain rating (DR) has to be high. With rich content on a well-known website, your authority online increases, which is one way of ranking on top of SERP results.
Google looks for trustworthy content and trustworthy websites while indexing that content. It considers the information correctly if it is from a trustworthy source. The content must be legitimate, transparent, and accurate. Rater’s guide
Trust is about the legitimacy, transparency, and accuracy of the website and its content. Raters Guide looks for several things to evaluate trustworthiness, including whether the website states who is responsible for published content. This is particularly important for YMYL queries but applies to non-YMYL queries too.
Your Money Your Life content demands a higher degree of trust, so Google looks for who is responsible for the content published on the website.
Content is important. No wonder it is stated that content is king. Google looks for high-quality content on your money your life (YMYL) websites. Google’s evaluator guidelines also seek to determine what content is well-researched and of value to the reader.
The content on a YMYL website must be factually backed, authoritative and should demonstrate expertise on that topic. A good example of high-quality YMYL content is an article on how to fix an android black screen, which includes these steps:
It must demonstrate with video the steps to take to fix the problem. Such content adds value to the readers. It must be written by an expert explaining the process with necessary screenshots. A layman, following the steps and explanation, must understand it.
User interface and user experience. Not just YMYL webpages but even other pages must have a good UI/UX design. It plays a more critical role in the ranking factor. The better the user experience, the better the ranking will be, as the users find the journey on your website convenient.
A rich UI/UX gives visitors a satisfying browsing experience and encourages them to stay longer and engage more on your website. It signals to Google to pick your website and display it on the top position in the SERP.
Activate the SSL certificate on your site to boost ranking. Though it just gives a slight boost to your rankings, it shows your readers that they can trust you more than a site without SSL certification.
Another way to provide a safe surfing experience for your users is by amplifying your website security. Be sure to acquire HTTPS certification to protect your readers and your site. You receive Google’s reward of rankings and also gain trust with your users.
Your money your life (YMYL) Examples
In the Search Quality Raters Guide (SQRG), Google has specified certain guidelines for topics that require high E-A-T. The following your money your life (YMYL) pages need to have the expertise behind them.
- Medical advice
- News and current events
- Financial advice, legal advice, and tax advice
- Information pages on scientific topics
- Civics, government, and law
- Advice pages on high-stakes topics such as home remodeling, parenting, etc
- Pages on hobbies that require expertise, such as playing the guitar, woodworking, etc
- Weight loss, nutrition, and fitness
- Employment and education
Frequently Asked Questions
Google verifies content published on your website. The search engine gives importance to the information published as it is keen on giving valuable information and its impact on the user’s well-being if misleading information is published. YMYL sites need to meet high expectations to obtain a high ranking in search engine results pages (SERPs).
Though Google doesn’t specifically penalize YMYL sites because of the content they contain, they face a lag in rankings which will impact their website traffic and marketing efforts. The website owners must take efforts to improve the quality of the YMYL content that Google expects.