Are you familiar with the acronym YMYL?
Don’t worry if you aren’t because we’ll be explaining it in this blog post and why YMYL is important for SEO.
Back in the day, people would’ve had a chin wag with their neighbour or milkman if they needed help or advice on how to solve a problem.
Now we use Google and other search engines to find out the answers to these issues.
The problems we encounter can vary in severity, some even life-threatening.
YMYL content can play a pivotal role in the lives of others so it’s important that you know how it impacts your content marketing efforts.
Let’s get into it.
What Does the Acronym YMYL Stand For?
The acronym YMYL stands for “Your Money or Your Life.”
YMYL designates a specific category of web pages that are deemed to have a substantial impact on individuals’ well-being, financial stability, and overall life circumstances.
These pages cover topics such as:
- Legal matters.
- And other critical aspects of daily existence.
Google places a heightened emphasis on the quality, accuracy, and trustworthiness of content within the YMYL classification.
Websites offering YMYL content are expected to be authored by experts.
They should provide reliable information, and adhere to stringent standards to ensure users receive trustworthy guidance in areas crucial to their lives.
Why are YMYL Pages Important?
YMYL pages are important because they can have a significant impact on those who read them.
Think about it.
Imagine you woke up one morning and felt a pain in your stomach.
Then all of a sudden you had to run to the bathroom because you could feel last night’s pizza coming up from the pit of your stomach.
You could Google your symptoms and land on a page that is a poor source of information which might suggest you have food poisoning.
So you ring up the pizza place from last night and put a complaint in as well as leave a bad review on their site.
Then you find out your cousin, who was with you last night felt the same, but they did not eat any of the pizza.
Thanks to a bad source on Google you’ve left a bad review and made a complaint to an establishment that didn’t deserve it.
Plus, you probably got the poor pizza maker sacked.
Now you feel even worse as a result of a guilty conscience and a nasty bug that is ravaging your insides.
It’s for reasons such as these that Google needs to serve high-quality YMYL content to its users.
That is why if you want to rank for topics that fall under YMYL content it needs to be at the top of its game.
What is an Example of YMYL Content?
If the pizza example wasn’t enough then here is another example.
Imagine you land on a webpage offering detailed information on personal finance, specifically focusing on investment strategies and financial planning for retirement.
This would fall under the YMYL category due to its potential to impact your financial well-being.
Users seeking advice on investments, retirement planning, and financial management rely on these pages to make informed decisions that can significantly influence their long-term economic stability.
To meet the stringent standards set by search engines, a trustworthy and authoritative source would be expected to author the content.
This ensures accuracy, reliability, and transparency in the financial guidance provided.
While there is always a degree of risk with financial advice, the information provided still needs to be provided by some sort of expert.
Not Bob from down the street who invested £1 into Bitcoin and pocketed 20% on his initial investment.
Who is Affected by Google’s YMYL Update?
Following the YMYL update, there have been significant shifts in the visibility and rankings of YMYL websites on Google search results.
This update focused on the reputation of both the creator of the content and the website that hosts the content.
Content is still as important as ever as it is a key contributor to how Google evaluates your page. That’s why the main content on the page needs to be of excellent quality.
Content that falls into the YMYL category is still going to be held to a higher standard so it’s important to stick to E-E-A-T (more on this later).
With the YMYL update, Google aims to ensure that high-quality, authoritative, and trustworthy content ranks higher in search results for YMYL-related queries.
This update is designed to protect users by promoting reliable information and discouraging the spread of inaccurate or misleading content in areas that could have a significant impact on individuals’ lives.
It also highlights the importance of producing high-quality content that is relevant to your audience and niche. That is one of the main ways you can improve your perceived expertise online and improve YMYL rankings.
Best SEO Practices for YMYL Pages
When optimising YMYL pages for search engines, it’s crucial to adhere to the best SEO practices to ensure the content is trustworthy, authoritative and meets the highest standards.
Here are some key SEO practices for YMYL pages:
Expertise, Experience, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness (E-E-A-T)
E-E-A-T stands for Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness.
This acronym is a set of criteria that Google uses to assess the quality of a website’s content, especially for pages that fall under the YMYL category.
Understanding and meeting these criteria is crucial if you want to improve your search engine rankings.
- Expertise – This refers to the level of knowledge and skill demonstrated by you or your website. For YMYL pages, you must have expertise in the subject matter you’re discussing.
- Experience – Some people may be experts in a subject based on their experience. These authors can highlight what they have learned throughout their journey and offer reliable insight into the subject matter.
- Authoritativeness – Authoritativeness assesses the reputation of both you and your website. High-quality content often comes from sources that are recognised as authorities in their respective fields.
- Trustworthiness – Trustworthiness relates to the reliability and credibility of your content. Information on YMYL pages, such as health or financial advice, should be accurate and supported by trustworthy references.
Google’s algorithms consider E-E-A-T as part of their assessment of page quality.
Websites that demonstrate high levels of expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness are more likely to rank higher in search engine results.
Especially for queries related to important life decisions or sensitive topics.
As a result, adhering to E-E-A-T principles is a key aspect of an effective SEO strategy, especially for YMYL content.
Create comprehensive, high-quality content that addresses user needs and provides valuable insights to your audience.
Focus on answering user queries thoroughly, and consider including multimedia elements, such as images and videos, to enhance the user experience.
The more effort that you put into your content the higher chance it has of ranking.
Google’s algorithm is very good at spotting quality content….especially when it comes to YMYL content.
Quality over quantity in this case as the internet is not short on the quantity of content available out there.
That is why if you go that extra mile in your content you can stand out from 90% of what is already out there.
Most of your competitors will likely focus less on the quality of the content and more on quantity.
Now you know that shifting that focus to quality can make a difference.
Get Mentions on Reputable Sites
Content is important when it comes to an SEO strategy and trying to rank YMYL content. But it is not the only determining factor.
Getting backlinks and mentions from other reputable sites also plays a huge role.
If you publish a piece of content and other sites link you then that tells Google your content must be of a high quality and also trustworthy.
These links act like a review on a site or a testimonial.
The businesses or people that link to your content are saying that you’re worth listening to.
They wouldn’t link to it otherwise.
Reach out to experts in a related field and ask if they would be interested in linking some content you’ve got on their site.
You can do the same for them.
Some sites also allow this to happen if you pay them but not everyone can afford to do this as a sustainable backlink strategy.
Interview Real Experts
If you know experts in particular fields that can relate to your content then reach out to them and ask them for an interview.
You can record the interview, get it transcribed and post it on your site.
Or you can just post it as a written interview.
We would suggest the former if possible but either is good.
The main thing is to showcase that your content is sourced from an expert opinion.
You can also employ the services of a copywriter to enhance the quality of the written content so the interview comes across as professional and informative.
Expert opinions conveyed in a reader-friendly manner will be sure to do well when it comes to YMYL content.
Credible Citations and References
Support claims with credible citations and references from reputable sources.
This enhances the credibility of the content and signals to search engines that the information is well-researched and trustworthy.
Some content can be jam-packed with value but with nothing to back it up.
That is why you need to reference high-quality sources whenever possible.
And if you get an author to write content, ensure you mention them in the bio of the article also.
This further adds to the credibility of the content.
Helping Your YMYL Content Strategy Using SEO
YMYL content can play a key role in an SEO strategy.
As you can see, some factors can weigh heavily on how YMYL content can perform due to its very nature.
Google’s algorithm gets smarter and better as the years go on so when it comes to this type of content you want to cover all bases.
We’re a digital marketing agency that has helped develop and deliver successful SEO strategies that include YMYL content.
If you would like to learn more about how we can help your business thrive organically, get in touch with us today.
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