What is YMYL Content and what does it mean for SEO?
5 Min Read
What is YMYL Content and what does it mean for SEO?
The internet has every type and style of content you can imagine, and some you wish didn't exist. But some of that content is more important than others.As an extreme example, information on how to stop someone from choking is more important than an unboxing video on Youtube — there is no life-saving use for that… unfortunately.Google is always focused on giving people the best, most relevant results in the SERP and that is why it recognizes and understands this hierarchy.Google values some types of content more than others based on this principle of YMYL. But how exactly does this work? And how can you take advantage of it to improve your website?
What is YMYL?
YMYL (Your Money or Your Life) Content is used as a guide by Google to classify pages and content that impacts the user's health & safety, finances and/or happiness or content that has an impact on the everyday well-being of the user.YMYL sites are held to the highest possible E-A-T standards because of what it means for the user if that information is wrong or misleading and the effects it could cause.For more information on Google E-A-T and its importance read our latest blog; Google E-A-T: What is it and why is it important?Google has said:“We have very high Page Quality rating standards for YMYL pages because low-quality YMYL pages could negatively impact a person’s happiness, health, financial stability, or safety.”
But What Types of Websites and Pages are Considered YMYL?
When it comes to YMYL Content several types of pages can be considered, these are:
Topics that cover areas such as international events, business, politics, science, and technology. However, not all news pages fall under YMYL, for example, entertainment and sports news do not meet the user impact requirements to fall under YMYL.
Government & Legal Pages
Information that relates to voting, government agencies, public institutions, social services, or legal advice is considered YMYL content.
Finance & Money Pages
Any financial advice or information is considered YMYL.
eCommerce content that features product research that involves a purchase.
Health and Safety
Content that has information or advice on health and medical issues can have a direct impact on the user's health and wellbeing.
Content that features information or claims about people based on the groups they identify as, whether that is; Gender, Ethnicity, Nationality or Orientation.Other types of content may be considered as YMYL depending on the way they are presented these are; parenting information; information on housing, schools or finding employment.Now we know what Google considers to be YMYL content, how can we improve it for SEO consultancy purposes?
Why Does YMYL Matter?
As we now know content that has the power to influence users is treated as more important than other content and is therefore evaluated with more scrutiny than those that do not. If you want to rank highly with YMYL content, you’ll need to make it as high-quality as possible.What can you do to increase the quality of your written work? Optimise it with E-A-T!
Improving YMYL Content with E-A-T
EAT (Expertise, Authority & Trustworthiness) are the characteristics of what Google considers to be “quality” content. If you can make all your YMYL content meet these requirements, you’ll be flying!So, how can you do it?
Be an Expert on the Subject
Have the experts write your content to ensure expertise, this may sound obvious but you would be surprised how often this is ignored. If you have an expert within your business great! But if not reach out to them.
Check Your Sources
Check your information sources. When researching your page topic find the original sources, even when using a website always think “where are they getting it?”
Show Your Sources
Show your sources. Always make sure you review and link your sources where possible. This will add authority and will provide a way for your readers to fact-check you.
Avoid Any Misinformation
Do not provide misinformation. This should go without saying, but any evidence of misinformation or misleading your audience is treated harshly with YMYL content.
Be thorough. Be as thoroughly descriptive as possible in your content. Cite statistics, mention counterarguments, and try to clear up possible misconceptions proactively.
Write professionally. Again, this should be a given, but your work needs to be articulate and easy to read.
Update Your Content
Your content won’t remain perfectly accurate forever, with most content having a shelf life of around 2 years, and even less in some cases. As new information is produced, it’s important to go back and update your work.
Collect feedback and edit. Make sure you collect any feedback from other experts and peers and add this into the content to provide further, useful information to the user.More information on how to improve your content with E-A-T can be found here.
Conclusions on YMYL Content
Ideally, you should make an effort to improve the expertise, authoritativeness and trustworthiness of all the content you produce. But if you’re writing YMYL content, it’s not an option in Google’s eyes.