SEO Glossary: YMYL

 

In a nutshell: What is YMYL?

The acronym YMYL stands for "Your money your life". It is relevant for websites with YMYL content. This type of content includes, for example, health and financial security. For websites with YMYL topics, the content quality and SEO are subject to stricter regulations regarding the expertise and experience that the authors of the web texts must have.

 

 

What is YMYL (Your money your life)?

YMYL is a designation for individual pages or complete websites, whose content is

 

  1. are related to the finances ("money") or the life ("life") of the user, and
  2. are relevant to the financial stability or security as well as the health of the users.

 

A website offering investment tips and information on the financial market is a classic example of a YMYL website. Apart from complete websites, individual sub-pages of a website can also be classified as YMYL pages, provided that YMYL topics can be found on them. The following example explains this situation:

 

  • An advice magazine for women and/or men contains tips on several areas of life.
  • In one category, book and movie tips are given for entertainment purposes.
  • Another category contains advice on medical topics.
  • The pages in the medical category are typical YMYL pages, since they concern users' health. The pages with book and movie tips, on the other hand, do not contain YMYL content.

 

Operators of YMYL websites or individual YMYL pages have to be prepared for a particularly strict evaluation of their content. This makes the creation of SEO content more demanding. In the context of YMYL topics, the E-E-A-T model is of great importance in content creation, which is why we make a brief digression in this glossary.

 

Excursus: Requirements for E-E-A-T from the Quality Rater Guidelines

We go into detail about the E-E-A-T model in our glossary entry "Google SEO with E-A-T and E-E-A-T" (internal link to the new text). At this point, we offer only a brief summary in order to quickly return to the main topic of this glossary entry.

 

  • Experience: Optimally, a text should share experiences on the topic.
  • Expertise: The author of a page should have knowledge or skills in the subject area.
  • Authoritativeness: The website as a whole ideally has high authority and is known as a top source on the topic.
  • Trust: The website is trustworthy in that it fulfills the first three factors and, on top of that, is secure under technical criteria.

 

The requirements for the quality of website content according to the E-E-A-T model can be found in Google's Quality Rater Guidelines starting on page 26. The Quality Rater Guidelines are quality guidelines according to which special quality raters are to assess the quality of pages that are displayed in the search results on various topics. Google uses the feedback from the quality raters to optimize its algorithm.

 

Adherence to quality guidelines and the E-E-A-T model is very important when building a website and creating content. For YMYL topics, the E-E-A-T model has a particularly high importance. This is because content that affects the financial stability or safety, as well as the health of users, is very sensitive. Conveying false information could pose a high risk to users or even cause them direct harm.

 

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More stringent E-E-A-T requirements for YMYL issues.

If you want to do content marketing with a your-money-your-life website, you have to meet stricter content quality requirements, especially in the areas of expertise and experience. Here is a quote from Google's Quality Rater Guidelines:

 

"Pages with YMYL themes can be created for a variety of purposes. If the purpose of a page with a YMYL theme is to provide information or advice, a great deal of expertise might be required for the page to be found trustworthy.

 

Sometimes pages on YMYL topics can be created to share personal experiences related to difficult life challenges. [...] Fact-based information from experts and sources with authority may not satisfy users' needs [in these cases]."

 

In the latter case, the author of a site would not necessarily need expertise for his content to be classified as trustworthy. It would suffice that he shares his experience and maintains a trustworthy website under other criteria, whereby his content should at least match the assessments of experts.

 

Examples of requirements for YMYL pages

In order to specify the requirements for pages in the area of "Your money your life", the examples on page 28 of Google's Quality Rater Guidelines should be referred to. There Google lists which YMYL pages must be written by authors with expertise and in which cases it is sufficient if authors share their experience on YMYL topics.

 

YMYL topic: liver cancer treatment

 

  • Concerns the health and safety of users
  • When sharing experiences is enough for the quality of websites on this topic: in a respectful forum discussion where people describe how they deal with their liver cancer treatments
  • When the quality of web pages on this topic requires expertise to be demonstrated: in an article about different options for treating liver cancer and about the life expectancies associated with each treatment

 

YMYL topic: filling in tax returns

 

  • Concerns the financial security of users
  • When sharing experiences is enough for the quality of websites on this topic: in a humorous video by an author without expertise about the frustration of filling out tax returns
  • When it is necessary for the quality of websites on this subject to demonstrate expertise: in instructions on how to fill out tax returns correctly

 

 

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Tips for creating SEO content for YMYL themes

For content marketing, it can be deduced from the previous explanations that operators of websites with YMYL topics and likewise authors of individual web pages with YMYL content should pay more attention to the SEO aspects of the E-E-A-T model than for websites and web pages with other content. Summarized and translated into practical action advice, it all means:

 

  • Let experts or professional writers write for you. Ideally, create an author profile on your website and link to it or to an author profile outside your website to prove their expertise. Also feel free to link to articles written by your authors.
  • Alternatively or in addition to the author profiles, you are free to create an "About Us" page and introduce yourself, your authors and/or other people involved in the development of the website and creation of the content.
  • Always keep your page content up to date to ensure the correctness of the content. This is one of the central criteria in content marketing anyway.
  • To prove your experience with the topics, it's best to use videos or photos. An example are videos with a product that you have tested (reviews, tutorials, etc.).
  • From the field of On Page SEO, internal linking is recommended to refer to other content on the topic and show comprehensive expertise. Careful technical SEO (for example SSL certificate), which is also a part of OnPage SEO, lends itself to building trustworthiness. External links to third-party websites with professional contributions are also useful. The external links help you build authority and trustworthiness as trustlinks.
  • An important part of Off Page SEO is the building of backlinks. Besides the quality of the content, they are one of the most important ranking factors. Therefore, generate as many backlinks as possible via suitable strategies in order to gain authority and trustworthiness.

 

 

Conclusion on the subject of YMYL

YMYL (Your money your life) is a method for categorizing websites. Stricter content marketing requirements apply to websites and individual pages with topics related to users' finances and health. Therefore, as a website owner with YMYL content, get more involved with the E-E-A-T model. When creating content, make it a point to have content written by experts and to demonstrate experience with the topic through videos, photos, or other means. In addition, the same ranking factors and quality criteria that apply to general online marketing also apply to YMYL content production sites.

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