Have you ever wondered what kind of websites Google prefers to recommend to its users? Today, Google is increasingly prioritizing pages that fall under the umbrella of ‘YMYL.’
But what exactly does ‘YMYL’ mean, and how does it affect your website? Well, let’s just say it’s one of the many SEO basics that you must not miss.
In this blog, we’ll dive into the concept of ‘YMYL,’ explore why Google pays more attention to these types of sites, real-life examples of YMYL websites, and how YMYL and E-A-T go together.
Moreover, we’ll share valuable tips on creating high-quality content around YMYL topics to empower and guide you on your journey.
So, are you ready to learn more about ‘YMYL’ and unlock the potential for your website’s success? Let’s dive in!
What is YMYL?
‘YMYL’ is a term used in Google’s Search Quality Evaluation Guidelines that stands for ‘Your Money or Your Life.’ Google coined the term ‘YMYL’ to identify topics and websites that have the potential to significantly influence an individual’s money or life.
The search quality evaluator guidelines further explains YMYL topics or the YMYL category websites as those “that could have an impact on the user’s happiness, health, or finance.”
Recognizing the critical nature of such content, Google prioritizes these topics when determining a website’s ranking, ensuring users receive the most accurate and valuable information.
Typically, Your Money or Your Life (YMYL) topics can be found on websites that focus on news, legislation, health and well-being, finances, and investing.
Google emphasizes the importance of delivering high-quality, verified, and reliable content for YMYL pages.
To achieve this, they employ the E-A-T (Expertise, Authoritativeness, Trustworthiness) standard, which search quality evaluators use to assess content.
We will explore various examples of YMYL pages later in this article.
Deciding whether to concentrate on YMYL pages depends on your website’s purpose and target audience.
If your site offers information that could influence people’s happiness, health, or financial stability, it’s crucial to ensure your content adheres to Google’s guidelines and maintains a high-quality standard.
What is E-A-T?
There’s a crucial acronym that often accompanies YMYL in conversations: E-A-T.
According to Google’s search quality evaluator guidelines, E-A-T represents “Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness.” These three key factors are what Google considers when evaluating the quality of content.
For YMYL web pages, E-A-T is particularly essential to ensure they are trustworthy, authoritative sites created by experts to deliver the most accurate information to users.
To learn more about how Google’s search quality evaluators assess a content’s E-A-T, look at this insightful article on E-A-T and SEO.
YMYL is Important to Google
Google places significant importance on ‘Your Money or Your Life’ (YMYL) topics, pages, and websites, as they can profoundly impact people’s lives.
YMYL pages containing financial or health information, among other essential life topics, are held to a higher standard according to Google’s search and page quality evaluator guidelines – and rightfully so.
A YMYL page is not only crucial to its readers, but it can also drive considerable traffic to websites. Optimizing YMYL pages may boost your website’s ranking in search results and attract more visitors.
So, what does this imply?
If your website publishes inaccurate or low-quality YMYL content, it can lead to severe consequences for those who depend on your information and your Google ranking.
For instance, a website offering incorrect health advice may cause serious illness for someone who follows it. Similarly, inaccurate financial advice could result in substantial monetary losses.
Consequently, Google may flag your website for poor-quality YMYL content and lower its ranking in search results, reducing its visibility to potential visitors.
Hence, if you manage YMYL sites, it’s crucial to publish accurate and high-quality content. Doing so will benefit your audience and safeguard your Google ranking from penalties.
5 Examples of Websites That Focus on YMYL Topics
Healthline is a comprehensive website offering information on a wide array of health topics. The site features an extensive collection of content, including articles, videos, and infographics.
Additionally, Healthline has a dedicated section for expert responses to user inquiries.
As a YMYL website, Healthline’s content can directly influence people’s health and well-being. The website is also deemed a reliable source of information, adhering to Google’s guidelines for YMYL websites.
Healthline serves as an exemplary model of a website delivering accurate and top-quality information related to health and wellness. By complying with Google’s YMYL guidelines, the site establishes itself as a trustworthy information resource.
Healthline is a website that provides information on a variety of health topics. The website has extensive content, including articles, videos, and infographics. Healthline also has a section for expert answers to questions from users.
Healthline is considered a YMYL website because the content on the site can have a direct impact on people’s health and well-being.
Healthline is also considered a reputable source of information and complies with Google’s guidelines for YMYL websites.
Healthline is an excellent example of a website that provides accurate and high-quality information about health and wellness. The site also complies with Google’s guidelines for YMYL websites, making it a trusted source of information.
WKYT creates an extensive range of content encompassing news, weather, and sports. The station deploys reporters on-site to deliver live updates on breaking news stories while its weather team provides precise forecasts for the region.
Additionally, WKYT broadcasts local high school and college sports events.
As a YMYL content producer, WKYT-TV generates various news articles and other vital information for users.
Moreover, the site features a section dedicated to consumer news and advice, empowering people to make informed choices on various subjects.
This establishes the site as a valuable resource for users, and Google applies stricter standards when assessing its content, along with similar websites.
Investopedia is a comprehensive website offering information on numerous financial subjects, such as investing, retirement planning, and real estate. The site also features online courses and a forum for users to ask questions and exchange advice.
As a YMYL website, Investopedia delivers guidance on how readers can manage their investments.
This type of information is deemed high-risk, prompting Google to scrutinize these pages more closely in order to guarantee accuracy and trustworthiness.
WikiHow is a well-known website featuring how-to articles on an extensive range of topics, from daily tasks such as cooking and cleaning to more complex subjects like car maintenance and computer programming.
The website can be classified as a YMYL site since it offers guidance on diverse topics, teaching people how to perform various activities and processes.
The site encompasses articles on a wide array of subjects, from completing your taxes to surviving a natural disaster.
LAW.COM is a website offering legal information and resources to people across the globe. The site features articles, blog posts, and videos on a wide array of legal subjects, such as business law, family law, estate planning, and beyond.
As a YMYL website, LAW.COM delivers legal guidance to users, making it a crucial resource in assisting people in making informed decisions regarding legal matters, even just through its articles.
Given the potentially serious repercussions of legal issues, LAW.COM is classified as a YMYL site subject to stringent evaluation by Google’s Search Quality Evaluators (SQEs).
How ‘Your Money or Your Life’ Topics Benefit Your SEO
Google has consistently prioritized the quality of a website’s content, but in recent years, they have placed greater emphasis on YMYL topics due to their impact on people’s everyday lives.
YMYL pages address matters that could influence an individual’s happiness, health, financial stability, and general well-being. Google assigns more importance to these pages to guarantee users receive accurate information when making crucial decisions.
To achieve a high ranking on SERPs, it is essential to ensure your YMYL content meets the required standards. This involves adhering to Google’s E-A-T (Expertise, Authoritativeness, Trustworthiness) criteria.
Concentrating on these pages can enhance your SEO efforts and drive more traffic to your site. How?
The following are a few ways having a YMYL website can benefit your SEO:
1. Google Gives Extra Weight to YMYL Pages
As Google acknowledges the potential significance of YMYL pages, they generally assign greater importance to them compared to other page types.
Consequently, your YMYL pages are more likely to achieve higher rankings in search results, potentially resulting in increased traffic and conversions.
2. People Are More Likely to Share YMYL Pages
Given that YMYL pages address delicate subjects that resonate with people’s interests, they are more inclined to be shared across social media and various websites.
This can aid in expanding your reach and encouraging more people to engage with your website.
3. You Can Get Expert Reviews for Your YMYL Pages
For YMYL pages, you can seek a review from an expert in the relevant field. This can enhance trust and credibility among your audience while also improving your search engine rankings.
Certification for Your YMYL Pages is Possible
Google provides a certification program for websites adhering to their guidelines concerning trustworthiness and expertise. Obtaining this certification can boost your website’s visibility and foster trust with prospective customers.
4. You Can Use Google My Business for Your Local Business Listings
If you own a local business, you can register it on Google My Business (GMB). This complimentary listing service enables you to share details about your business, including operating hours, contact information, and location.
Furthermore, GMB listings are displayed in search results when users look for nearby businesses, potentially helping you garner new customers.
How to Create High-Quality Content for YMYL Topics (in Google’s Eyes)
Running high-quality content for Google is essential for any digital entity looking to provide the best possible experience for its viewers. But what exactly makes content high-quality?
In Google’s guidelines, it is whatever content that demonstrates an ideal model of E-A-T. So here are ways for you to apply E-A-T when creating a YMYL page.
1. Focus on what you know best
Content creators should concentrate on topics in which they possess subject matter expertise, as such content is more likely to be perceived as authoritative and trustworthy by both search engines and quality evaluators (SQEs).
Moreover, this type of content tends to rank higher on search engine results pages. If you lack subject matter expertise on a specific topic, Google will likely detect it.
For instance, when assessing articles about administering first aid to someone with a broken knee, SQEs will scrutinize which articles are authored by medical professionals and which are crafted by ordinary writers.
Articles created by medical professionals will receive higher evaluations, leading to improved rankings. Conversely, articles by regular writers will be seen as low quality ymyl pages.
2. Don’t forget about brand awareness
Brand awareness is crucial as it can increase the visibility of your content. This holds particular importance for Google when it comes to YMYL sites or websites that generate YMYL-related content.
When producing content on YMYL topics, Google will evaluate whether you are a reputable figure within your niche.
This helps determine if your content is well-received among those who also concentrate on the same YMYL area as your content.
Here are a few strategies to ensure you maintain strong brand awareness:
- Aim to be cited by others in your niche
- Work toward garnering positive reviews about your work
- Focus on obtaining backlinks
3. Be transparent everywhere
When crafting content for YMYL pages, it’s crucial to maintain the utmost transparency. This involves being forthcoming about your sources and distinguishing between your opinions and factual information.
Utilizing reputable sources is also imperative when researching and writing on YMYL subjects.
Google’s SQEs place importance on the origin of the content, which means it’s essential for you, as the content creator, to provide relevant information about your identity.
To foster trust, ensure people can easily contact you through social media, email, and phone.
Additionally, it’s important to use an author’s page or ‘about me’ section as well as customer service information to help page visitors—subscribers and SQEs—understand who is providing the information.
To achieve favorable rankings on SERPs, it’s vital to ensure your YMYL content meets Google’s E-A-T standards. Concentrating on these types of pages can enhance your SEO endeavors and drive more traffic to your site.
By adhering to the suggestions in this article, you can produce top-notch YMYL content that will boost your SEO and draw more visitors to your website.
Brian Shelton is an entrepreneur, marketer, and life-long learner committed to helping businesses achieve impactful results. He founded Grow Predictably to provide tailored marketing strategies to generate predictable, profitable growth. With over a decade of experience in the industry, Brian has helped businesses, large and small. reach their goals and drive positive change in the world.