What is YMYL, and Why does it Matter?

The abbreviation “YMYL” (Your Money or Your Life) is frequently used in SEO. But what exactly does it mean? And why is it important?

YMYL content is aptly named because it pertains to information that can significantly impact a person’s financial or personal well-being, requiring careful consideration before making any decisions.

In this article, we’ll go over YMYL in depth, explain why it’s an important ranking component, and offer suggestions for increasing your website’s YMYL content.

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What is YMYL?

YMYL sites are web pages that have the potential to affect a user’s safety, health, future happiness, or financial stability. YMYL content encompasses various topics, including health and safety, finance, news and current events, law, civics, government, shopping, groups of people, and others (housing, fitness, nutrition).

The concept of YMYL is discussed in Google’s Quality Rater Guidelines (QRG). When quality evaluators use the QRG to evaluate the search result’s quality and effectiveness, they also look into the E-E-A-T elements on the pages displayed. As a result, search engines consider that pages with YMYL content should be held to a higher standard than others since they may negatively influence users’ lives if they include false or unreliable information. 

YMYL content has been crucial in content marketing and search engine optimisation efforts. Google has implemented various algorithm updates, such as the Medic update, to prioritise YMYL content and provide searchers with the most relevant results that meet the user intents. Consequently, YMYL has fundamentally transformed content creation, significantly impacting today’s digital search landscape.


What is E-E-A-T?

E-E-A-T stands for Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness. It’s a measure of your website’s quality that Google uses to determine how high your website will rank in search results. 

The original concept of E-A-T factors has been expanded to include “experience” in December 2022 to form E-E-A-T, which focuses on the importance of the content creator’s life or first-hand experience with the topic. 

Having personal experience or expertise on the topic they are writing about makes them more credible and trustworthy than someone with less experience on the same issue. This is particularly important for content related to finance, health, or other sensitive topics commonly referred to by YMYL sites. 

According to Google, “trust” is the core component of E-E-A-T since pages lacking trustworthiness will have low E-E-A-T scores regardless of their perceived expertise, authority or experience. So, even though E-A-T and YMYL are not direct SEO ranking factors, they are crucial considerations for producing high-quality content. Focusing on these elements can improve the credibility and trustworthiness of your content, which can indirectly impact its search engine rankings.

Check out our article ‘Can Google detect your AI-generated content?’ that may interest you and be relevant to this E-E-A-T topic.


Google’s Algorithm

Google’s algorithms can tell if the content is expert-written and factual. The idea is to have that content rather than trick Google into believing it is expert-level. You can take this further by looking at the E-E-A-T of rivals ranking for the keywords you want to rank for.

When reviewing material on YMYL sites, Google takes it carefully. If your site has a poor rating, it will most likely drop from the top of search engine results pages (SERPs). You will only lose rank after a period of time.

Google adjusts its search algorithm based on feedback from search quality raters. They do not have an immediate impact on the outcomes.

You should secure links to your content. Backlinks from other sites also pass link equity from that domain to your site. This boosts your site’s authority since other domains will cite you as a source and associate their brand with yours.

The biggest victims in recent core algorithm updates have been YMYL websites offering advice on health, finance, and other topics without verifying their expertise. Google needs to see this expertise in formats it can recognise (links, citations, etc.), so build your online profile around this and go back to your existing content to boost SEO.


Why are YMYL and E-E-A-T important for SEO?

SEO stands for search engine optimisation. It ensures that your website appears at the top of search engine results when someone searches for specific keywords related to your business or industry.

There are many reasons why YMYL and E-E-A-T are essential for SEO:

  • They help ensure your content is helpful, trustworthy, authoritative, and high-quality.
  • They encourage users to stay on your site longer (lower bounce rate) — the longer people stay, the more likely they will engage with your brand. This can lead to more conversions (e.g., sales).
  • They encourage Google to rank your site higher in search results than others that do not emphasise E-E-A-T and YMYL content.


Tips on improving your website’s YMYL content for SEO

It’s essential to prioritise improving the quality of your content to establish authority, reliability, and expertise. This is especially crucial if you aim to dominate SERPs for your industry-related terms. 

However, for YMYL content, ensuring high standards is even more vital and cannot be overlooked. Creating a YMYL page with bad advice or wrong information could affect people’s lives and livelihoods. Google takes this content seriously—experts with relevant expertise are needed to write YMYL content. 

Here are some tips to improve your content for SEO:

  • Enlist the services of subject matter experts to produce or review your content.
  • Make sure your content is up-to-date
  • Scrutinise the sources of your information to avoid misdirection or misinformation.
  • Give credit to the authors or creators of your sources through references.
  • Proofread the content for spelling and grammar errors.
  • Ensure the content is relevant and descriptive to avoid misconceptions.
  • Collect feedback from readers and peers and edit accordingly.
  • Acquire backlinks from other quality domains to establish your website as a reliable source.
  • Ensure your business information, contact details, and authors’ profiles are easily accessible.
  • Improve or update any pages that have low-quality content through a content gap and competitor analysis.


Our Final Thoughts

Understanding and implementing the best practices in YMYL for SEO can help you rank higher in search results and improve your site’s perceived quality. Make sure you know what types of pages are considered YMYL before starting any new projects so that they can be appropriately planned from the start.

Here at Primal Digital Agency, we believe that good content is not just something that looks good—it must also be helpful. Being helpful means that our content is original, written for people first and Google second, as well as contains updated information that follows the best practices in SEO. Our content strategy not only focuses on creating valuable information for our audience; we want people to return to our site and learn something new every time they visit. We want them to feel like they’re getting value from it so they continue returning for more.

Check out some of our articles that could be useful in devising SEO strategies to establish YMYL content for the financial service industry. Our article on whether Google can detect your AI-generated content may also be of interest and relevant to this E-E-A-T topic.