YMYL. It’s not the next YOLO, but something much more important and meaningful when it comes to your website content. Google loves preaching website quality but is often vague about what quality content is. Depending on your topic and field, the definition of a “quality” website can vary quite a bit. This is why it’s so surprising that Google has been so upfront about the quality of “Your Money Your Life Content” or YMYL. The name itself is confusing so this is what Google is referring to:
“There are some pages for which PQ (Page Quality) is particularly important. We call these pages ‘Your Money or Your Life’ (YMYL) pages. They are pages that can have an impact on your current or future well being (physical, financial, safety, etc.). YMYL pages should come from reputable websites and the content should be created with a high level of expertise and authority.”
YMYL content pertains to websites or pages that:
1) Ask for personal information – Like the DMV website
2) Are used for monetary transactions – Such as e-commerce sites
3) Offer medical or health information – Think WebMD
4) Offer advice on major life decisions – Like a teen advice website
5) Offer advice on major life issues – Like an attorney website
The serious nature of YMYL content means that they can greatly affect your money and your life. Because of that, Google holds a much higher standard of quality. This helps searchers find authoritative sites with correct, helpful information that help them in their life choices. And Google does have the right idea with these guidelines. If you run a celebrity gossip site versus a bankruptcy how-to site, there has got to be a distinguishing factor on importance and credibility.
As with all content (including that which does not qualify as YMYL), it’s important to always think about quality and whether you would want to read that content yourself. But Google has also been kind enough to provide a checklist of sorts. Make sure to include:
Clearly visible contact info: Contact information isn’t just helpful but it’s an important part of your local SEO efforts. There’s not a good reason to hide your contact info.
Good reputation: Sure, just about anyone can say that they are a reputable business. But what have you done to really earn that title? This is where you need to display professional affiliations, awards, endorsements or reviews.
High quality content, written by a credible author: If you run a health or medical website, where are you getting the information and when was it written? Think of it as a scholarly paper that needs reputable citations and proof. There’s a big difference between soliciting advice on a health forum and searching for advice on a reputable health website.
A professional looking, regularly maintained/updated web site: Nothing’s worse than going to a legal or financial website that is a decade old. Many professional industries require updated information as laws are always changing.
Like it or not, these guidelines are here to stay and could get even stricter for YMYL content. Luckily, these items are pretty much self-explanatory and appropriate for the type of content. If you look at it in the grand scheme of things, it probably couldn’t hurt to apply this to your site regardless of the YMYL category!