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What is a YMYL (Your Money Your Life) page? SEO impact?

Definition

A page is called ”  Your Money Your Life  ” (YMYL) if its main content concerns health, finance or security and can have a significant impact on the user who consults it. It means “your money, your life”.

In SEO, this term is used by Google in its guidelines to assess the quality of its results (Quality Raters). Here is the YMYL page definition:

These are pages that could influence happiness, health, financial stability or user safety.

We also talk about site “Your Money Your Life” if all of its pages can be cataloged YMYL.

Exemples of pages YMYL

Here are examples provided by Google:

  • commercial or financial transaction page : they allow users to make online purchases, transfer money, pay bills, etc. Examples: ecommerce sites or online banking pages.
  • financial information page : they provide advice or information on investments, taxes, retirement investments, a real estate purchase, the financing of studies, the purchase of insurance, etc.
  • medical information pages : they provide advice or information on health, medicines and certain diseases, mental health, nutrition, etc.
  • page of legal information : they provide legal advice or information on topics such as divorce, child custody, wills, how to become a citizen, etc.
  • news articles or public / official information pages for citizens : they describe the processes, policies, people and laws of local governments or national states; they inform in case of major disasters; government programs and social services; news on important topics such as international or economic news, politics, science and technology, etc. Not all news articles are necessarily considered YMYL.
  • many other YMYL topics : adoption of children, car safety, etc.

What impact for SEO sites YMYL?

SEO requirements for YMYL sites

Google has set some particularly demanding page quality standards for YMYL pages.

This means that if your page is of the YMYL type, you must provide an irreproachable quality .

In particular, but it is far from being exhaustive, your content must be up to date, complete, accurate, objectively, independently and impartially – unless the conditions are clearly specified if not, but for YMYL content it may be harmful to SEO.

You must also prove that your site is very serious about your subject (I detail it below). Your site must have a professional design and respect all the rules in force.

Link between instructions to “Quality Raters” and algo Google (SEO)

Google uses thousands of Search Quality Raters, people (often outsourcing) to evaluate the quality of Google’s search results.

Their work is painstakingly described in a PDF called QRG for “(search) Quality Raters Guidelines”. It is available for download here at Google .

For each request that the evaluator has to make (with a well-defined context), the pages of the sites that come out in the results are evaluated from two angles: the quality of the page and the satisfaction of the user’s needs.

Here are for example the possible notes for the evaluation of the quality of a page:

The scale of possible ratings of the quality of a page, according to the instructions given by Google to its Search Quality Raters

According to Google, the actions of Search Quality Raters have no impact on the sites evaluated, and therefore not on their SEO.

Google also claims that Search Quality Raters ratings are not used to feed their algorithms based on machine learning (machine learning).

Nevertheless, it is very clear to me that all of these instructions to evaluators provide clear guidance on Google’s algorithm . Clearly, these instructions are in tune with the heart of Google’s algo. Put another way: Failure to follow these guidelines will likely negate your chances of success in Google SEO.

For example, we saw a close link between the update of the instructions at the end of July 2018 and the update of August 1st, 2018 .

In fact, Ben Gomes, vice president of research, assistant and news at Google (September 2018, source) said:

You can see the guidelines for the evaluators as where we want the search algorithm to go. They do not tell you how the algorithm ranks the results, but they basically show what the algorithm needs to do.

Importance of EAT criteria for YMYL sites

EAT stands for  E xpertise +  A uthority +  T rust (expertise, authority and trust).

Remember this acronym because it sums up very well the requirements of Google for SEO. This is another way to see the SEO criteria as the traditional technical + content + links / notoriety.

To succeed in SEO, your site must publish expert content, it must be authoritative in its field and must enjoy an excellent reputation + inspire confidence.

🗣

Tweet this good summary!CLICK TO TWEETThis is an absolutely essential point for SEO YMYL sites: EAT is especially important for YMYL pages. It’s not me who says it, it’s written word for word in the Google guide for its Search Quality Evaluators.

According to the official Google document:

  • the expertise applies to the author of the main content of the page
  • what is authoritative is not only the author of the main content of the page, but also the content itself, as well as the site as a whole
  • same thing for the trust that applies to the author as well as the content of the page and the entire site

 

Before talking about the content author ‘s expertise , the author should be mentioned on the page!

Although this does not only concern the YMYL pages, the author of the main content must be clearly indicated , with a mini biography proving that he is an expert on the subject and particularly well-known. Here’s what Google says about this:

YMYL pages containing absolutely no information on the website or the creator of the main content must have the “Lowest” rating (the worst rating of the quality of the content).

The main content must be of very high quality , as specified by Google:

YMYL content requires a high level of accuracy and consensus (if any) for topics related to medicine, science or history.

This means for example that if a page contradicts a consensus yet clearly established, then the quality score of the content should be “Low”.

 

Regarding the trust that can be granted to the site, Google specifies:

YMYL sites require a high degree of trust, so it is generally necessary to provide satisfactory information about who is responsible for the content of the site.

An unsatisfactory amount of any of the following is a reason for giving a page a low Quality Score: Customer service information, contact information, who is responsible for the website, or information about who is responsible for the website. who created the content.

So be very thorough in the information you provide about the author of the content and the owner of the site. It must be easy to contact the site or customer support, the legal notice must be complete and up-to-date.

 

Regarding the reputation of the sites, Google asks its evaluators to inquire in depth about the reputation of the sites. In particular, they must read carefully the maximum of reviews and evaluations on the site. If overall the reviews are slightly negative then the rating by the Quality Rater will be “Low”. But in the case of YMYL sites, this “Low” rating will be applied even to sites whose opinions are shared (“mixed reputation”).

In the case of product sheets, Google recalls that the site must be authoritative and have a good reputation:

Users need high quality information from authoritative sources when searching for products, especially when products are expensive or a major investment / event (cars, washing machines, computers, wedding gifts, shutters wheelchairs, large fitness equipment). When purchasing products, users need reliable websites: good reputation, extended customer support, and more.

 

And you ?

I hope that this file will have brought you clear explanations and even ideas to improve the Google referencing of your YMYL site.

If you’ve ever been (negatively) impacted by a Google update, scrupulously apply all these tips (in addition to making sure the SEO fundamentals are met).

Comments are available for your questions, comments or feedback!

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