What is YMYL in SEO?
“YMYL” stands for ‘your money or your life.’ It is a term used by Google to describe websites that have the potential to impact the health, happiness, financial stability, or safety of users. Examples of YMYL websites include those that provide medical information, financial advice, or legal services. Because these types of websites have the potential to significantly impact users’ wellbeing, Google has guidelines in place for how they should be ranked in search results. This includes requirements for accuracy, credibility, and trustworthiness.
If you run a YMYL website, it is imperative to focus on providing high-quality, reliable content and following Google’s guidelines in order to rank well in search results and have optimal website SEO.
‘As Google has stated in the past, “We have very high Page Quality rating standards for YMYL pages because low-quality YMYL pages could potentially negatively impact a person’s happiness, health, financial stability, or safety,’ Forbes reports.
What are examples of YMYL websites?
Some examples of YMYL websites include:
- Websites that provide medical or health-related information.
- Websites that offer financial or legal advice or services.
- Websites that sell products or services that have a significant impact on users’ financial stability or safety.
- Websites that provide information about government policies or programs that could impact users’ wellbeing.
It is important to note that not all websites that fall into these categories will be considered YMYL websites by Google. Google uses a variety of factors to determine which websites qualify as YMYL, and the specific criteria may change over time. In general, however, websites that have the potential to sway users’ wellbeing are more likely to be considered YMYL.
How can you write better content for YMYL websites?
Much like my tips on SEO writing for EEAT, there are a few key strategies you can use to write better content for YMYL websites:
- Focus on accuracy and credibility: It is vital for YMYL websites to provide accurate and reliable information. Be sure to fact-check your content thoroughly, and consider including sources and citations to back up your claims.
- Use clear, concise language: Make sure your content is easy to understand, even for readers who may not be familiar with the topic. Use clear, concise language, and avoid using technical jargon or slang. I have an exceptional video on how to do this in my online writing course.
- Keep your audience in mind: Consider who your audience is and what they are looking for when writing content for a YMYL website. Tailor your content to meet their needs and address their concerns.
- Use multimedia: In addition to text, consider using multimedia such as videos, images, and infographics to help illustrate your points and make your content more engaging.
- Regularly update your content: It is important to keep your content updated, especially on YMYL websites, where information can quickly become outdated. Consider setting up a schedule to review and update your content regularly.
What factors does Google use to determine which websites qualify as YMYL?
Google uses a variety of factors to determine which websites qualify as YMYL. Some of these factors may include the following:
- The nature of the website’s content: Websites that provide medical, financial, or legal information or services are more likely to be considered YMYL.
- The potential impact of the website’s content on users: Websites that have the potential to significantly impact users’ wellbeing, financial stability, or safety are more likely to be considered YMYL.
- The credibility and trustworthiness of the website: Google may consider factors such as the website’s reputation, the credentials of the authors or experts featured on the website, and the presence of sources and citations to determine the credibility and trustworthiness of a website.
- The website’s user experience: Google may also consider factors such as the website’s design, navigation, and loading speed when determining whether a website is YMYL.
- It is important to note that these are just a few examples of the factors that Google may consider when determining which websites are YMYL. The specific criteria may change over time, and Google may use a variety of other factors to determine which websites qualify as YMYL.
How can you improve accuracy on a YMYL website?
There are a few key strategies you can use to improve accuracy on a YMYL website:
- Fact-check your content thoroughly: Be sure to verify the accuracy of any information you include on your website. Consider using multiple sources to confirm the accuracy of your information.
- Use credible sources: When including information from other sources on your website, be sure to use credible sources such as academic papers, government websites, and reputable news organisations. If you need help researching your article, I have a whole module on research in my online blogging course. It also includes a template of where to get credible sources from.
- Include sources and citations: Providing sources and citations for the information on your website can help to increase its credibility and demonstrate to readers that you have done your research.
- Regularly review and update your content: Over time, information can become outdated. It is important to regularly review and update your content to ensure that it is accurate and up to date.
- Consider hiring an editor or fact-checker: If you are concerned about the accuracy of your content, you may want to consider hiring an editor or fact-checker to review your work. This can help to catch any mistakes or inaccuracies before your content is published.
- Provide high-quality, reliable content: Google values websites that provide high-quality, reliable content. Focus on writing content that is accurate, well-written, and helpful to your audience.
- Use SEO keywords effectively: Keywords are terms that people use when searching for information online. Include relevant keywords in your website’s content, titles, and metadata to help Google understand what your website is about. Get the 14-day trial for SEO keyword software here.
- Use header tags and structured data: Header tags (such as H1, H2, etc.) and structured data can help Google understand the structure and content of your website. Use this basic website SEO formatting to help Google crawl and index your website more easily.
- Make your website mobile-friendly: With more and more people accessing the internet from their smartphones, it is important to ensure that your website is mobile-friendly. Google gives a higher ranking to websites that are mobile-friendly.
- Build high-quality backlinks: Backlinks are links from other websites to your website. Google sees backlinks as a sign of the quality and credibility of your website. Focus on building high-quality backlinks from reputable websites to improve your technical SEO.
It is important to note that these are just a few examples of the strategies you can use to improve your SEO for a YMYL website. SEO is a complex and constantly evolving field, so staying up-to-date with the latest best practices and guidelines is a good idea.