What is YMYL?
YMYL stands for Your Money, Your Life. In the world of SEO, we speak of YMYL pages. A page is considered YMYL when it offers content that has a direct impact on the user’s life. In Google’s own words, “Certain types of pages can potentially impact users’ happiness, health, financial stability or future security”.
What does a YMYL page offer?
Your Money, Your Life, that’s the meaning of Y.M.Y.L., an expression that Google popularized in August 2018 when it launched the so-called Medic major update to its algorithm. This expression was created to qualify the pages that accompany us on a daily basis by delivering useful information.
Google appreciates them and therefore rates them more generously. These include pages dealing with medical, financial, legal, security, economic, official, legal and insurance issues. Also included, and of particular note, are pages on e-commerce sites that include an online payment page. The American giant’s appreciation of this category of pages is intended to encourage people to create trustworthy sites delivering quality, controlled and reliable information.
When the conditions of quality and quantity are met, the search engine rewards them with a privileged and permanent position in the search results pages. Google’s Search Quality Raters are human beings who evaluate pages and rate them according to strict specifications. Pages wishing to claim YMYL status should therefore be beyond reproach.
A YMYL page is rewarded for helping visitors manage their personal lives.
What impact does YMYL have on SEO?
Search engines want to ensure that the data on YMYL pages is accurate and trustworthy, as it has a major impact on the lives of Internet users. As a result, these pages must meet higher standards of excellence than other websites.
This means that for the authors of YMYL pages to ensure their pages rank highly in search results, they must adhere to SEO best practices. This involves using relevant keywords, optimizing meta tags and developing strong links to the website.
YMYL page authors must also ensure that content is accurate, reliable and up-to-date. In addition, they must be honest about their level of knowledge of the subject and offer references and sources to back up their claims.
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The YMYL qualification of a page is based on Google’s EAT (Expertise, Authority and Trust).
The judgement of the American search engine is implacable. It is based on the following criteria: firstly, the expert nature of the page content; secondly, the authority of the content and its author(s); and thirdly, the trustworthiness of the site information shared by the page. What is meant by “expertise” is the level of knowledge considered high by the author of the content when that author has a certain reputation on the Web. What is meant by “authority” is the assurance of the content’s reliability imposed by the tone in which it is presented. What “trust” implies is the guarantee offered by the site with regard to its reliability, thanks to the information published about it.
In short, the YMYL page must demonstrate its merits. As soon as content considered sensitive by Google proves to be unfounded, biased or distorted on a page, the engine considers the latter to be fraudulent and implements the penalization procedure.
The best solution for a site that is not fraudulent but risks being misjudged by the EAT procedure is to provide verifiable information in an “About” page, to devote a page to revealing the authors involved in the content, to pay as much attention to spelling as to grammar, and to ensure consistency between the structure’s different web presences.