YMYL Pages

What are YMYL pages?

YMYL pages (your money your life) are those pages whose content Google considers has the potential to have a major impact on people’s health, emotional well-being, safety or finances.

It is for this reason that the search engine pays special attention to these types of pages. Raising the quality standards to position these websites in its results.

Why they are important

Google maintains very high quality standards for YMYL category pages as mentioned above.

For this reason, it is essential that businesses or sites that generate YMYL content take special care with the content by focusing on who writes it and how it is presented.

As these websites are considered to be sensitive and have a high impact on people’s lives, Google will evaluate these websites very carefully and thoroughly.

By fully employing the capabilities of their Quality Raters: manual reviewers who will analyze your website to validate that you are offering legitimate information in accordance with their quality guidelines.

In other words, you will no longer be evaluated solely by an algorithm, but your website will also be validated manually by a human being.

Common examples of Your Money Your life pages

Below, we illustrate some common examples of pages that Google defines as YMYL content and for which it requires higher standards.

These examples are taken from GooglesQuality raters manual:

  • News and media websites about International events, business, politics, science, technology etc… can fall under the category YMYL.
  • Sites about Gubernamental and legal information on voting, government, laws and education are considered within YMYL.
  • Finance: websites about financial advice or information involving investments, taxation, retirement planning, loans, banking or insurance etc…
  • Shopping: ecommerce, portals or online shops where products and services can be purchased can fall into Your Money Your Life category. Think for example of a pharmacist’s website or an online sports supplement shop.
  • Health and safety: any website that offers information related to physical health, mental health, medicines, or health-related issues such as nutrition or physical exercise.
  • Career guidance portals for training or job search.

As you can see, all these examples are not only sites focused on health, science, legal or financial topics, nor are they pages where a recommendation to buy or sell physical products is made, as in an ecommerce.

And the fact is that:

Google defines YMYL sites in its quality guidelines as any site with information that may impact the future well-being of its users.

This is a fairly broad definition where many types of content portals and websites can be included.

This means that, if your website has pages rated by Google with YMYL content, you will need to pay special attention to ensure that all the information you are offering is verified, verified, accurate and really useful for users.

Otherwise, it is likely that your website will not be able to pass the human filter of Google’s Quality Raters.

How to position a YMYL website: Best Practices

Undoubtedly, when we talk about good practices for positioning a YMYL web site we need to talk about what Google defines as high quality pages.

But… How can we know what Google considers to be a “high quality” website? 

Very simple:

Google has a list of requirements that it provides to its Quality Raters so that they know what characteristics a high quality page must meet.

These points can be summarised as follows:

  1.       Author(s) of the page content with a high E-A-T.
  2.       High quality main content of the page (MC).
  3.       Positive website reputation.
  4.       Useful complementary content, contrasted and from reliable sources of information.
  5.     Satisfactory information about the site and/or information about who is responsible for the site.
  6.       Functional design with good overall usability.
  7.       Up-to-date content

I am sure reading these points has left you more or less the same. 

So, let’s look at each one of these points in more detail:

1.   Author of the information with high E-A-T

Given the impact that YMYL content can have on user’s lives, Google expects these texts to be written by experts in the field.

Therefore:

When writing new content for your YMYL website it is essential that you have an expert with proven experience who can be easily validated by the evaluators.

If that is not possible, you will need to hire a subject matter expert to join your editorial team, or try to enlist the collaboration of experts willing to publish content on your website.

Another option is to work on the authority of key people in your team to give them a high E- A-T authority and involve them in your project.

At iSocialWeb, we have our own methodology to develop person and brand entities for all our clients.

This makes it easy for them to show validators and to Google itself that you have expertise in the subject matter.

In short: 

When planning new content for your YMYL site, it is essential to have the right person for the job or to make sure you have a person or brand entity to which you can endorse that content.

2.    High quality main content of the page (MC)

Google specifies in its quality guidelines that content is one of the three main considerations when evaluating a YMYL page.

The content, according to these guidelines, should help the user to satisfy his or her search intent.

Here Google will consider content to be of the highest quality when a high volume of time, effort, experience, talent and/or skill has gone into producing it.

Therefore, to demonstrate this, your content must: 

  • Be realistic, precise and clearly written.
  • Be comprehensive and detailed
  •  Clearly demonstrate that work, time and expertise have been invested in its creation.

As you can see, in a YMYL niche, you are obliged to pay a lot of attention and detail to content production.

3.    Positive website reputation

Google’s Quality Raters are instructed to look for signals to measure the reputation of a website.

By analyzing the opinions of third parties and looking at other external factors such as accreditations, associations, quality seals associated with the industry, they are able to assess whether the reputation of a website is good or bad.

In this section it is of particular interest to provide or obtain independent reviews, testimonials and positive news about the activity of our company and organization.

Anything that helps to establish that we are a reliable source of information is welcome. 

Therefore:

  • giving interviews,
  • get good customer feedback,
  • citations on other websites, forums, relevant directories,
  • or even awards at company level

All this, done well, will always work in our favor.

Ultimately, it will serve as an endorsement of a positive reputation in the eyes of reviewers and users.

4.    Useful complementary content, contrasted and from reliable sources of information.

Within the indications that Google gives in its manual to Quality Raters, it clearly insists that they pay attention to the additional content that acts as a reinforcement presented by the website’s editors.

Good practices in this respect are:

  • Link to related and relevant publications on the subject.
  • Insert explanatory videos or information that reinforces what is said in the content.
  •  Include links to the FAQ section on the page.
  • Highlight location details, addresses and location on the website.
  • Add specific functionalities such as search engines, calculators etc…

 

This must be taken care of, especially in the case of consolidated websites or those of large companies.

In that case, Google expects additional content to appear on such portals as reinforcement.

Whereas for smaller or less well-resourced organizations it is specified to lower the bar on this point.

In any case, this will be at the discretion of the individual evaluator.

For this reason, we recommend that even if your website is modest, you should take these points into account.

5.    Information about the site and/or information about who is responsible for the site.

Another important point to reinforce on YMYL pages is to provide information about the owner of the website in question.

It is good practice in this case to present sections or details on the website with:

  • Contact information or customer services
  • Information about the team or persons behind the project and the objective pursued.
  • Editorial criteria in case we are a newspaper
  • Legal information about the terms of use and conditions as well as the privacy policy etc…
  • Enable a bio or author box in the contents.

At this point, the type of information Google expects to find depends very much on the type of website we have and the industry we are located in.

For ecommerce sites, service sales etc… Google asks its testers to look especially at the information the website provides about its customer service, phone numbers, email contact as well as shipping and return policies.

On websites for medical services, financial or legal advice, it is especially important to pay attention to aspects such as the CV, the registration number, the publications of the owner or the team behind the website…

Whereas for websites about recipes, travel, hobbies, etc… What is required is that the author has demonstrable life experience on the subject he/she is talking about.

6.    Functional design with good overall usability

Although almost all of us know the importance that Google attaches to the usability of websites, WPO and even CWV, another aspect that Google asks its evaluators to review is the design part.

Google expects a high quality site to be concerned with functional design and a good user experience.

And therefore expects pages with YMYL content to offer the best possible user experience.

This means that you meet the following guidelines:

  • The main content (MC) should be highlighted and visible to the user as soon as he/she logs in.
  • It must be clear which part of the page is the main content.
  •  It should be obvious which parts of the page are advertisements.
  •  Usability should take precedence over design, although a beautiful website is never a bad thing.

In general, the design of your site should be such that users are not distracted by flashy ads or CTAs that make it difficult to find the information they are looking for.

Keep this in mind so as not to overload your site with distracting elements such as interstitials, flashy buttons or advertisements.

And make sure that your page always resolves the user’s search intent first. Everything else is secondary.

7.    Up-to-date content and always in line with current events

Google has made it clear that it assesses sites differently depending on the category or industry they belong to when it comes to updating content.

An online newspaper where daily updates are expected is not the same as an e- commerce of trainers, where it can take from four months to several years to inform customers of new products.

What Google is trying to do by emphasizing that evaluators check that the content is up to date is precisely to reward those websites that take the trouble to present the most reliable information and the latest data available to users.

Some tips that can help you in this task are to avoid:

  •           Broken links
  •           Loading errors
  •           Slow loading images

And of course the old and outdated content is not updated.

Therefore, keeping the content of your website up to date will always help you, even for evergreen themes.

The frequency of updates will depend on the pace of developments for each sector.

In conclusion:

In recent years, and especially in recent months, Google has become very strict in terms of the criteria for positioning pages in YMYL niches. Therefore, if your content falls into this category, it is essential to pay attention to each of the points explained in this article so that your pages rank well.

And if you can only pay attention to one of them, it should be the E-A-T of your page as it plays an essential role in YMYL pages.

Enlaces y lecturas recomendadas:

Frequently Asked Questions

The term “YMYL” comes from Google’s guidelines for quality raters. Literally, YMYL stands for “Your Money, Your Life” and encompasses websites that have sensitive content and provide information that may affect your health, money or lifestyle. Google pays particular attention to these sites as their content can directly affect its users.

Creating high quality content for YMYL niches is not enough. If you are looking to improve them, follow these steps: → Step 1: Create an author bio that shows credentials and experience → Step 2: Contribute unique, original content with a unique perspective → Step 3: Audit and update your content → Step 4: Be transparent by using clear titles and descriptions → Step 5 – Moderate user-generated content.