Today, most people go to Google to find the answers to their questions and look for the best answer by searching among different websites and trusting it.
Now, if Google only pays attention to normal things such as text, photos, etc. when indexing content and ranking websites, and does not consider things like website validation and content, and users trust websites such as finance and medicine based on Google’s PageRank, They are deceived by the fraud and lies of these websites and get hurt.
Google has stated in its algorithms that it adopts strict rules and treats websites as if it was commissioned by users to check them from different aspects, this helps users trust Google.
One of these special rules and measures of Google is the YMYL criterion, Google named this criterion in 2019. YMYL’s performance was such that many websites fluctuated that year and their traffic and rankings fluctuated wildly and dropped sharply.
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What is YMYL?
The YMYL algorithm stems from updates Google made to its search quality assessment guidelines a few years ago, and has been causing concern for marketers and SEOs ever since.
First of all, YMYL stands for “Your Money or Your Life”. As the name suggests, it refers to pages or sites where some kind of monetary transaction is expected to take place. It can also be for a wide variety of websites that sell products or provide services or information, which could affect the happiness, health, financial stability, or security of users if the content on these pages is presented incorrectly.
Why is YMYL important?
YMYL content must be at a high level of accuracy and accurate information that can help and not harm the reader of the content. Google believes that pages that may have a great impact on people’s minds and lives should be carefully examined to avoid possible problems. Perhaps this is one of the main reasons for the updates that are made in the Google algorithm; Google does not allow sites to be in the top ranks of search results that do not have correct goals behind them and harm the audience.
In September 2019, Google made an update to its algorithm, which resulted in ranking fluctuations for a large number of sites, especially those focused on health, medicine, and healthcare. This gave rise to the informal name “Medical Update” and caused many websites to think about the best YMYL practices for their websites’ SEO. It was also proven that providing quality and reliable content in search results is one of the main goals of Google. Google wants to make sure that searchers aren’t fooled by content that could negatively affect their health or give them bad advice. This means that website pages with YMYL content need to provide high-quality content that can give them better YMYL and SEO rankings.
What does Google look for in YMYL websites?
Currently, Google has more than 10,000 people around the world evaluating search results, the job of these content quality evaluators is to make sure Google users find what they are looking for and can trust what they find.
These people evaluate YMYL pages when they come across them. Although their ranking is not based on the criteria of other results; as we said, YMYL pages are held to a much higher standard.
Websites with YMYL content
Websites with medical information topics: Websites that provide advice or information about health, medications, specific diseases or conditions, mental health, nutrition, etc.
Websites with legal information topics: Websites that provide legal advice or information on topics such as divorce, child custody, making a will, citizenship, etc.
Financial Websites: Websites that provide financial advice or information about investments, taxes, financial planning, loans, banking, insurance, etc. This style of pages can be a part of life well-being offers. Shopping websites: Websites with information about shopping research, shopping services, e-commerce websites, etc.
News article websites or general information pages: Web pages containing information about local, state/national government trends, policies, people, and laws. Incident response services for government programs and social services; news on important topics such as international events, business, politics, science, and technology;
*Note that not all news articles are necessarily considered for the YMYL algorithm.
Websites on different groups of people: These can be websites with information about specific social groups such as religions, ethnic groups, disabilities, age, nationality, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, and more.
Websites about “big decisions or important aspects of people’s lives can be considered a part of the YMYL algorithm, such as fitness and nutrition, housing information, choosing a university, finding a job, etc.”
The YMYL criterion in website SEO protects the life and property of users against invalid content.
Correlation between YMYL measure and E-A-T
E-A-T: Expertise, Credibility, Reliability, or Page Quality (PQ)
YMYL: Your money or your life
E-A-T stands for three words: Expertise, Credibility, and Trustworthiness. These three phrases indicate the expertise of the person publishing the content and the credibility and trustworthiness of the websites. Google always emphasizes that you create great content, so it’s no surprise that Google values high-quality content.
There is a clear correlation between what Google considers quality content and what is shown in search results.
E-A-T plays a role in Google’s organic search results and therefore should be considered in the SEO strategy.
Google also noted that E-A-T applies to a variety of sites (eg: gossip websites, fashion websites, humor websites, and forums and Q&A).
Therefore, Google knows the security and credibility of websites to a great extent by using E-A-T. This system complements and helps a lot with YMYL, the two together are Google’s success tools for evaluating the quality and credibility of website content and pages.
Expertise in YMYL
When visiting a doctor, a patient wants to know if he is an expert in his field or not. The same issue exists for every Google user. When they are looking for a financial advisor, they want to find the best financial advisor that will save them money or cost them nothing.
There are many ways to showcase your author’s expertise in YMYL content, but it all starts with publishing content. A content writer should create high-quality content that demonstrates their expertise in the field. Content should be written that is rich in valuable information and readable.
The content author can show his expertise by publishing certifications and licenses and even the logo of his affiliated institutions.
Credit or authoritative in YMYL
It’s great to be an expert, but it’s only the beginning. When other experts or influencers in your field cite you as a source of information, or when your name (or your brand) becomes synonymous with related titles, you’re not just an expert, you’re an authority.
Some KPIs for judging website credibility
- Getting links from relevant and authoritative websites is a huge factor when it comes to website rankings, certainly, no framework for SEO success can be discussed without emphasizing this.
- When it comes to links, it’s all about building your website’s domain authority. This means we need highly reputable websites that are relevant to your industry and have linked to you, and there is no better confirmation than a website being able to link from a reputable website.
- Share your website content widely, authentically, and consistently on social networks
- Branding is a good idea for many reasons, most importantly for your website’s SEO credibility. Your brand’s search volume is a good measure of how it’s performing.
- If a lot of people are searching for your brand, that’s great news. If they’re searching for your brand with a related keyword, that’s even better.
- Having a Wikipedia page for your brand or someone in your company is a huge sign that you are an authority. Keep in mind that having a page on Wikipedia is not an easy task unless you are a well-known and reputable person or brand. This is within Google’s guidelines for evaluating content quality, so it’s something you should strive to achieve.
Important and influential points on YMYL criteria
Production of quality content: Google has always emphasized the importance of content. YMYL content must have a specific purpose, and reflect the individual expertise of the content author; it should be comprehensive and useful in a way that meets the needs of the audience so that they don’t go to another website.
Content focused on new topics: for example, if a blog post about the most important SEO tools was published 3 years ago, now this content should be updated due to the updating of these tools and the addition or removal of a number of them. If the content is updated every 6 months, it will most likely maintain a good ranking for that page.
Building a quality site: a site with a strong design, high security, the least errors, the least 404 pages, and the correct and basic structure in the mobile version. Optimizing YMYL with minimal content in sections: About Us, Site Guide, NAP pages, FAQs, etc.
Internal SEO: YMYL optimization using keywords, Meta data, heading tags, anchor texts, using bread crumb to help Google crawlers
Adding author information: At the end of each YMYL content, add the author’s information along with his image, this will increase Google’s trust in the content and website (increasing E-A-T).
Contact information: such as contact number and address should be available and visible so that readers of the content do not have to search for contact information.
Follow-up of the negative comments of the audience: contacts who have registered negative comments should be contacted and the reason should be investigated.
Include positive comments: Include positive comments from contacts and expert colleagues, this will increase the trust of the contacts and evaluators of the quality of YMYL content.
Citing the source of the content: even if the author of the content is an expert, linking to the sources of the content, and citing the source is one of the important elements of crediting the content to Google, it also makes the audience use the original content of the sources.
Use of titles related to the topic: If the titles are not consistent with their content, the quality evaluators will have a bad view of the content of the page and they will have little credibility with Google.
Not using frequent ads: Using multiple ads and pop-ups on all website pages annoys the audience and affects the audience’s retention on the website.