Search engine optimization acronyms can be tough to follow but all of them including YMYL require extensive research. YMYL stands for Your Money or Your Life. While the name implies some sort of financial transactions, according to Google, YMYL sites contain content, products, services, and practices that can have an impact on the well-being of the visitors.
If a website can affect the person’s financial stability, well-being, happiness, or health, it’s a YMYL website. The website shouldn’t necessarily give medical or financial advice. It doesn’t have to be an e-commerce page either. Blogs can easily be classified at YMYL sites if they share information about social groups like religions, nationalities, age, and the like.
Common Types of YMYL Websites
According to Google, YMYL websites can be as follows:
- E-commerce websites – or any website that allows visitors to make a purchase, transfer money to other parties, make payments, pay bills, and make any other financial transactions online.
- Financial information websites – these websites share financial information with the visitor. They can help a person choose a retirement plan, give investment advice, help with taxes, assist with shopping for insurance or home, and the like.
- Medical information websites – these websites, like WebMD or Healthline, share information about medications, diseases, treatment options, preventive measures, nutrition, and similar guidance, advice, or instructions.
- Legal information websites – these websites allow visitors to get legal advice, study laws related to drafting wills, getting child custody, divorcing, obtaining citizenship, and anything else related to laws.
- News websites – these websites can have information about government actions, social services, news about such important issues and business, health, politics,
Other topics can be considered YMYL but not fall into any of the above categories. They may help people make important decisions about their lives, financial state, or well-being.
Why Google Cares about YMYL Websites
The key to Google’s operation is quality and value. The search engine tries to make sure that visitors get access to high-quality authentic information.
When it comes to making serious decisions like choosing a retirement plan or buying a house, the searcher should get valid help. Fake news and low-quality advice can lead people to make bad decisions, thus affecting the quality of their lives.
Poor advice on the top pages of Google can be dangerous, especially when it’s related to medicine or law. Google doesn’t want to have anything to do with such occurrences, thus trying hard to filter out low-quality pages.
Bad quality of YMYL pages can have a negative impact on people’s well-being, health, and happiness. That’s why to get high rankings, marketers must convince Google that their YMYL websites provide EAT (here comes another acronym) – Expertise, Authority, and Trustworthiness.
Google Algorithm Updates
Google algorithms actively attack YMYL pages to ensure EAT and quality. In 2018, YMYL websites were affected by the Medic Update. In March 2019, they were hit with another update. The latest core update became available in December 2020, making it even tougher to maintain high rankings for YMYL websites.
Both marketers and website owners have to work hard to keep YMYL pages from falling low on SERPs.
Adjusting Your YMYL Page Content
The key to ranking high on Google is value. When it comes to YMYL pages, content is especially important. If you want to make sure these parts of your website don’t lose rankings with the upcoming Google updates, it’s imperative to follow the below tips and guidelines.
1. Show Purpose
Each page you add to your website must have a purpose. Otherwise, Google will consider it useless, or worse, rank it for having bad intent.
Even if you think that the page provides valuable content, look at it in terms of purpose. What purpose does it serve? Does it help a person choose the best course of treatment? Does it help the searcher make an important decision?
Instead of trying to create content that ranks high on search engines due to expert use of keywords and backlinks, look at it from a user’s perspective. When the person leaves the page, do they have sufficient information about the subject you are talking about it?
2. Communicate Expertise
If you are giving serious advice or sharing important guidance on your YMYL pages, you should be able to communicate expertise. If you have certifications, diplomas, and other ways to back your expertise in the subject, don’t hesitate to share it.
In fact, do it every chance you get. Such documents can show your right to give professional advice to the readers. Make sure to share relevant credentials on “About us” pages and under each blog post.
It’s ok to mention your credentials and expertise in the text as well. Don’t hesitate to use phrases like: “While getting a PhD..” or “In my 10 years as a chief marketing officer.”
Position yourself as an expert on the subject by communicating clearly and giving value to the reader without adding fluff or, worse, stuffing keywords.
3. Demonstrate Authority
When it comes to YMYL websites, authority is highly important to Google. Show your authority and leadership in the field. In Google’s opinion, an authority website is a site that manages to gain substantial credibility online.
The best way to demonstrate authority is with a big number of backlinks. If you can’t collect too many backlinks yet because your YMYL site is new, consider adding testimonials and reviews from visitors, customers, and clients. Unfortunately, the trust your visitors have in your website doesn’t always translate into Google’s approval.
Besides collecting as many high-quality backlinks as possible, you can gain authority by how established your website is. Usually, the longer your website exists, the higher authority it has. So if you have old websites you abandoned for any reason, consider rebuilding them instead of creating new ones.
4. Be Trustworthy
Trustworthiness is probably the hardest part of EAT to communicate on a page. Besides being genuine in your effort to share valuable information, you can do the following:
- Proofread your content carefully. Any typos or grammar mistakes hinder your trustworthiness as an industry leader.
- Check your facts. If you are sharing any facts, make sure they are 100% correct. If there is an error, which is easy to catch, it will reflect on your credibility.
The more you work on your content, the higher its quality will be. The webpage may not be classified as trustworthy immediately but can gain credibility with time.
5. Update Your Content
In the ever-changing world, content gets outdated very soon, especially if it has to do with medicine, finances, or legal issues. Regardless of the subject you write about, make sure you check it regularly.
Timely updates make your content appear trustworthy and credible. Regular maintenance helps keep you from giving outdated advice and misleading your readers. Google pays special attention to how often you add or update content on your webpages. Keeping content fresh helps you achieve higher rankings.
6. Use Topic Clusters
Topic clusters are an excellent way to rank higher on Google while giving plenty of value to your visitors. Creating a topic cluster involves designing a pillar page with a high-quality overview of a certain topic.
This pillar page should contain internal links to supporting pages that go deeper into each aspect of the topic you mentioned.
Well-designed topic clusters help search engine crawlers understand the contents and structure of your website. They allow you to build authority, use more keywords, and bring value to the reader.
For YMYL websites, topic clusters are an excellent way to gain authority, show expertise, and demonstrate trustworthiness.
Low-Quality Content on YMYL Pages
According to Google, websites or pages that don’t provide a beneficial purpose, including pages that are created without any effort to help visitors as well as pages that misinform them, should receive a low rating.
Even if you have good intent, it’s still possible to create low-quality content. It’s imperative to understand that to rank high on Google, you need to cater to its users. While technical SEO is highly important, the quality of content is the key to the success of your YMYL website.
Check each page of your website to make sure that it doesn’t have the following characteristics of low-quality content:
- The content is hard to read.
- There isn’t enough content to explore the topic.
- The title of the topic is exaggerating.
- Ads on your page distract the user from reading or viewing the content.
- There is[J1] insufficient or no information about the content creator.
- The content contains typos and grammatical errors.
- The content is outdated.
- The content is stuffed with keywords.
Any of the above issues could bring your rankings down significantly. It’s also important to remember that even if your website rankings are high, a poor-quality YMYL page can hinder its reputation substantially.
SEO Ranking Factors for YMYL Websites
Keep these SEO ranking factors in mind when creating content for your YMYL pages:
- You should link to high-quality pages in your content.
- The content must be about the subject mentioned in the title.
- The content should answer a question visitors may have.
- If you add affiliate links, make sure you are transparent about the relationship.
Overall, if you use the best SEO content practices, you should have an easy time ranking high with each YMYL page.
Google makes it hard for YMYL pages to rank high because it demands impeccable quality and value. If you want your YMYL website to stay competitive, it’s imperative to pay sufficient attention to the information you share. It must truly help website visitors solve their problems and make important decisions. Miromind can help you with making the right decisions while doing healthcare SEO for your website.
Each Google algorithm update tries to improve the user experience. In order not to be set back when a new one rolls out, strengthen the quality of your content today.