What Are YMYL Pages?
In spite of the “M” in the acronym, YMYL pages are about more than just money.
According to Google, any page including content that can affect someone’s health, happiness, safety, or financial stability is a YMYL page.
If you’ve got a website that offers stock tips, the pages that include those tips are YMYL pages.
If you run a mommy blog that dispenses parenting advice, it’s filled with YMYL pages.
If you’ve got a website that diagnoses ailments based on symptoms, that’s a YMYL page.
Here’s information pulled directly from Google:
Shopping or financial transaction pages: webpages that allow users to make purchases, transfer money, pay bills, etc. online (such as online stores and online banking pages).
Financial information pages: webpages that provide advice or information about investments, taxes, retirement planning, home purchase, paying for college, buying insurance, etc.
Medical information pages: webpages that provide advice or information about health, drugs, specific diseases or conditions, mental health, nutrition, etc.
Legal information pages: webpages that provide legal advice or information on topics such as divorce, child custody, creating a will, becoming a citizen, etc.
News articles or public/official information pages important for having an informed citizenry: webpages that include information about local/state/national government processes, policies, people, and laws; disaster response services; government programs and social services; news about important topics such as international events, business, politics, science, and technology; etc. Please use your judgment and knowledge of your locale. Keep in mind that not all news articles are necessarily considered YMYL.
Other: there are many other topics that you may consider YMYL, such as child adoption, car safety information, etc. Please use your judgment.
YMYL and the Google Medic Update
Due to Google’s latest update – dubbed the “medic” update – YMYL pages have found themselves in the spotlight.
Though Google claims the update was “broad core,” a few industries took the brunt of the rankings fallout.
Health and wellness industries seemed to suffer the most, followed by – you guessed it – YMYL updates.
To be clear, there’s no confirmation from Google.
But when you break it down, it appears that most industries hit the hardest can be considered YMYL: health, e-commerce, finance, and business.
t’s left many marketers speculating that Google’s cracking down on site’s overall trustworthiness and authority.
So, how do you get a YMYL page up to speed?
Let’s take a look.
Quality Rater Guidelines and YMYL Pages
Google reserves very high quality rating standards for YMYL pages because bad info could hurt people financially, physically, or emotionally.
Remember, the Big G judges the quality of a web page with the assistance of human search quality raters.
Who are these search quality raters and what do they do?
Briefly, they’re more than 10,000 people around the globe who evaluate search results. The idea is to ensure that Google search engine users find the info they’re looking for online.
Those raters are given actual searches to perform. Then, they report back on the quality of the results they get.
Specifically, they rate the quality of the top pages in the result set. The higher the quality, the more likely it is that the Google search results returned the kinds of pages that people would expect to see.
When those quality raters stumble across a YMYL page, they’ll rate it. When they do so, they’ll evaluate it against a stricter set of standards than they’d use for other pages because of the potential impact.
So if you’ve got a YMYL page that you want to rank, you’ll need to do more than optimize it for the Google search algorithm. You’ll need to make sure that Google’s quality raters really like the content as well.
You also need to establish yourself and your website as a trustworthy source of information.
Start with the obvious: don’t put factual errors in your content!
When you put incorrect info in your articles, people will get turned off by your work immediately. Some of those people could be Google quality raters.
Next, allow people to review your work and your content. There’s nothing that says, “I know I’m right” more than someone who’s willing to allow others to judge the accuracy of his or her statements.
Finally, include case studies if they’re relevant. In those case studies, explain how the advice you gave to other people made their lives better.
Remember, though: you can’t use fake names in case studies. Use the real names of persons or businesses you’ve helped so people can check for themselves.