Guide to Google’s “Your Money or Your Life Pages” by Cory Bosket on 12/11/2015 IMPORTANT: This is a must read for businesses of these types; Law firms, eCommerce, Financial Institutions, Retirement Homes, Medical Organizations,Therapists, Insurance Companies, Nutritionists, Fitness Centers, Supplement Providers. There is a new category of webpages out there, and many marketers don’t even know it exists. Your Money or Your Life (YMYL) pages were first introduced to the public last year in a leaked copy of Google’s Quality Rating Guidelines, and experienced SEOs have been altering up their digital marketing strategy ever since. According to Google, YMYL webpages are “pages that could potentially impact the future happiness, health or wealth of users.” In other words, webpages that have a direct impact on a person’s well-being would fit into the category. As we continue to move toward a more user-friendly web, it’s no wonder that Google urges its raters to place YMYL pages under the highest degree of scrutiny. YMYL pages have high impact potential on the lives of a user, making the quality you put out of the absolute utmost importance if you want to rank well in search engine results pages. The 5 Areas of YMYL Webpages In the guidelines, Google introduces five market areas that fall into the YMYL classification. If you feel your website’s offerings or services can make a significant impact on a customer’s life, make sure your pages are as high-quality as possible. Shopping or Financial Transaction Pages Any webpage on your site that allows users to make a purchase, transfer money, pay bills or submit payment information falls under this category of YMYL. Financial Information or Advice Pages If a webpage offers advice or services that help a user navigate their finances, it will fall under this category of YMYL. Some examples of financial information pages include websites that help navigate taxes, investments, retirement planning, funding for college, or other major financial decisions. Medical Information or Advice Pages Webpages that go well beyond standard medical conditions and pharmaceuticals to offer advice or information about general health, drugs, specific diseases or conditions, mental health, nutrition and more. Legal Information Pages Any website offering legal information or advice falls under the YMYL category. This includes any information regarding divorce, child custody, personal injury, creating a will, etc. Other In the end, Google leaves judgment up to the rater with the inclusion of the ‘other’ category. Under the ‘other’ category, any information that, by judgment of the rater, could significantly influence a searcher’s happiness, health, or wealth should be classified as YMYL. 6 SEO Tips for YMYL Webpages Throughout Google’s guidelines, it’s stressed that the content on YMYL pages should be created with a high level of expertise, authority, and trustworthiness (E-A-T), and placed under highest level of scrutiny. Make no mistake, if you have YMYL pages on your website, you should expect to have your content dissected under a fine microscope. So how can you safeguard your website against low-quality ratings and poor search engine performance? Here are some tips that will help your YMYL webpages climb to the top of Google SERPs. 1. Show That You’re an Authority with In-Depth ‘About’ Pages While it may seem simple, there are still tons of websites that don’t provide users with basic information about the organization or business it represents. Information about your brand or organization is imperative if your webpages fall in the YMYL category. Google’s guidelines explicitly state that any information found on an YMYL site should come from an expert or authority on the topic at hand. Adding an ‘About’ page to your website is your chance to showcase any expertise and experience in your industry your team has. The more information you can provide about your brand and your content authors, the better. Having several pages of contact information, accessibility to customer service centers, complete author bios and in-depth ‘about’ pages will only help to demonstrate your authoritativeness and trustworthiness. 2. Main Content that Showcases Your Expertise Useless content is useless to users, plain and simple. Give readers little room to doubt your expertise and authority by delivering the highest-quality content from highly reputable sources. According to the Rating Guidelines, high quality main content is one of the most important considerations in Page Quality rating. Creating these pages should demonstrate a significant amount of expertise, talent and skill. Ordinarily, very high quality content can be created by anyone from experts and hobbyists to people with everyday expertise. However, YMYL pages require that the content is created by a person with formal expertise in their field. 3. Carefully Manage Your Reputation It’s easy to tell users how great you are on your own site, but when it comes to your Page Quality rating, screeners will look for outside, independent reputation information for scoring your brand. Very positive reputation ratings are often based on prestigious awards, industry expert recommendations or affiliations with professional societies. The Guide goes on to direct raters to look at Wikipedia and other informational sources as places to start reputation research. Take control of your reputation by making any professional affiliations, awards or expert testimonials readily available to users of your site. Better yet, showcase your value through positive customer reviews, increased user engagement and create a community of brand followers that promote your goods and services. 4. Keep Your Site Well Maintained and Regularly Refreshed According to Google’s newest guidelines, “High quality large news websites are frequently updated, often adding news articles many times a day. High quality medical advice websites keep all of their informational pages current. Other websites, such as websites for small businesses, may be updated less frequently since addresses and store hours rarely change. How frequently a website should be updated depends on its purpose.” If you want to give your users the highest quality content you can, keeping your site up-to-date is a must. Staying on top of your site’s content is a big part of highlighting your expertise and trustworthiness in your industry, especially when it comes to topics that have a direct impact on the well-being of your users. If you’re putting out content with a timestamp attached, make sure to provide users with regular updates and ensure that all the information is up to the latest industry standards. Content is not the only thing you should keep fresh. Make sure to routinely check your website’s links, photos, page speed and browser compatibility to keep your webpages on top. 5. Balance Monetization with Usability If you want your webpages to reach the highest page quality rating possible, it needs to be designed to achieve its purpose. While functional page design tends to vary based on the page’s purpose, the primary objective remains the same – functional websites should satisfy purpose without distraction. One area that many YMYL webpages struggle with is finding the right balance between monetization and usability. Page Quality Raters are specifically instructed to make sure that ads and supplementary content don’t distract readers from the main content. Webmasters should use this as an opportunity to test out what really works and take a closer look at how they monetize their site. While you may have some ads performing well, others are likely holding your site’s page quality back while only generating pennies and cents each month. Take this as an opportunity to declutter your site and improve reader usability. 6. You Must Go Mobile Google’s push for mobile-friendliness is no secret. If you still haven’t taken the hint, do so. Now. In the latest version of quality guidelines, mobile-friendliness is a must if you want your page to perform. How serious is Google getting about mobile-friendliness? According to the Guidelines, any page that fails to perform on a mobile device will be scored at the lowest rating. As mobile continues its push to overtake desktop web usage, you need to make mobile-friendliness a priority. Start testing your site for Mobile Compatibility by using Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test Tool. The tool will give you a behind the scenes look into how your website performs in mobile search, while offering suggestions on what steps to take in order to start fixing your site. If you want your site on top, presenting the highest-quality content from the most respected sources is the way to get there. Remove any roadblocks along the way and start beefing up your site’s E-A-T from the ground up with help from Eyeflow Internet Marketing. Our digital marketing services focus on proving your expertise, authoritativeness and trustworthiness to your customers, all while creating conversations around your brand and industry. If you want your site to perform, you need an expert on your side. Start taking your site to the top of search engine results pages and contact Eyeflow Internet Marketing today. Share the Love Related posts: 6 Steps to Writing Quality Content for SEO Google’s Quality Rating Guide: How Much Content is Enough? A Guide to Google’s Panda 4.1 Update Marketer’s Guide to Better Blog Titles Cory BosketCory is the Director of Content Development at Eyeflow. He graduated with a degree in Multimedia from Point Park University, where he held focus in print writing and online content. When not at work, Cory spends his time conquering Pittsburgh's hills on his bike, tackling DIY projects and crafting creative recipes. 2016 Digital Marketing Essentials Learn how to improve your search engine performance dramatically and do more business online! Check it out!