Content creators have known for a while that Google has adjusted its algorithms to better analyze quality for ranking purposes. The search giant has been working hard on measuring quality since their Panda update was first released in 2011.
Google has since added a very specific principle to the quality measurements of certain kinds of websites. The focus is YMYL – ‘your money, your life’. In a broad sense, YMYL refers to content that addresses finances and health.
If you publish YMYL content, you must be aware of its quality. YMYL is something that Google says it takes very seriously.
What Google Considers YMYL Content
The experts at Salt Lake City’s Webtek Digital Marketing say it is a mistake to oversimplify the YMYL principle or the types of content it applies to. YMYL’s scope and reach are probably greater than many SEO experts know. It applies to:
- Financial – Loans, credit, insurance, investing, taxes, retirement funds, mortgages, and even taxes.
- Health – Healthcare services and delivery, healthcare facilities, diseases, medical conditions, pharmaceutical topics, and more.
- Commerce – E-commerce, brick-and-mortar retail, fashion advice, lifestyle advice, and other topics relating to how people spend money.
- Life Decisions – Changing jobs, getting married, having kids, buying a house, etc. It is all-important to Google.
- Demographics – Content relating to age, ethnicity, nationality, gender, religion, etc., all fall under the broad YMYL umbrella.
- Civics – Content dealing with the nature of civics is covered under YMYL. This includes content relating to voting, law, politics, government, etc.
Looking over this list might give the impression that most online content is covered under the YMYL principle. That may be true because so much of what we find online is somehow related to how we spend our money.
You could make the case that certain types of websites are not directly impacted in terms of most of their content. Even so, there may be a few pieces here and there that still fall under the purview of YMYL.
Quality Requires an Investment
Knowing what we know about Google’s push for better YMYL content, we are faced with the decision in the SEO in the digital marketing industry: do we continue business as usual, or do we start making a real investment in improving content quality?
In the old days, creating content that satisfied SEO requirements were mostly about keyword research and using keywords a certain number of times in a given piece of content. Whether or not the content had any value was immaterial. It was all about the keywords.
That is no longer the case. Google has made it abundantly clear that, while keywords are still important to helping algorithms understand websites, they are more interested in the quality of the information. So much rumors suggest that Google employs 10,000 people to review content for quality.
You Get What You Pay For
Quality costs money. If content creators are expected to deliver feature-level quality on every piece, they deserve to be paid feature-level rates. Simple math and time constraints dictate that content creators cannot be paid pennies per word and still be expected to put in the time it takes to produce feature-level quality. You get what you pay for.
If you publish YMYL content, understand that Google takes quality seriously. Expect that it’s being reviewed by human beings rather than just algorithms. Make sure you are giving your visitors the quality they expect and deserve. Google is watching.