Your Money or Your Life (YMYL)
Glossary | 3 mins
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Your Money or Your Life (YMYL), as the name sounds, describes the most important and sensitive topics online. YMYL topics are broad, but generally involve information that could significantly influence consumer’s health, financial situation, safety or wellbeing. There are many such topics that could influence these areas, though are most commonly found on websites that provide advice on subjects such as medicine, finance and current events.
Google’s Search Quality Rater Guidelines include E-E-A-T, a method for evaluators to judge whether a page is providing reliable information that consumers can trust, which is never more important with YMYL topics. Google states that evaluators need to use judgement as to whether a page qualifies as YMYL, and if so, these pages need to be demonstrating the highest levels of E-E-A-T.
Both E-E-A-T and YMYL are not directly SEO ranking factors, however they do influence the factors that are considered. For instance good quality content will likely attract high quality backlinks, naturally reference many of the most important concepts and keywords in context – whilst hugely influencing time on page and click through rates.
E-E-A-T for YMYL SEO is important to stop the spread of misinformation to:
- The reader of the page
- Those affected by the reader of the page
- Exponential spread of those affected by those who were affected by the reader of the page
Example YMYL topics
- Side effects of certain prescription drugs
- Safety advice for natural disasters
- Self Assessment submission dates
Tips for creating YMYL content
- Create high quality, people first content that answers questions, provides advices and satisfies the reader’s queries.
- Provide author bio information, as well as complete transparency as to where any information for the content was sourced, with references. Ensure your website has a well populated About page, with all certifications and qualifications of authors clearly displayed.
- Link out to credible sources when citing statistics or relevant opinions within the content.
- Encourage similarly high quality publications within the industry or niche to cite your work as a source, via a backlink. This will help to build topical relevance for your page, as well as building the authority of the author to speak on the subject.
When was YMYL introduced?
YMYL was initially introduced to the Google Search Quality Rater Guidelines in 2014, along with E-A-T.
The biggest change that the guidelines have seen since then is to move away from particular topics that could be deemed ‘YMYL’, and focus more on ‘harm reduction’ as a broader target.
Is YMYL a ranking factor?
YMYL is not directly a ranking factor, but together with E-E-A-T creates a framework to influence the factors that are considered factors. Both also play a significant role in Google’s Search Quality Rater Guidelines, which have the potential to greatly influence rankings.
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