“Your Money Or Your Life” – What YMYL means for dental SEO
Google is constantly changing and evolving, using new methods and technologies to evaluate and rank website pages. There is now more reliance on AI – artificial intelligence, than ever before and as SEO specialists, we need to try to interpret what is going on so we can exploit it to best effect for the benefit of our clients.
A couple of key features Google introduced over the last few years are “EAT” and “YMYL”. We’ve looked at EAT (expertise, authority, trust) and how it relates to a website elsewhere in our blog, so today we’ll take a closer look at “YMYL” and how any web publisher needs to be aware of it when optimising website pages for best effect in Google’s search results.
What is YMYL?
YMYL is short for “Your Money Or Your Life” and it’s a set of conditions laid down by Google as part of how it evaluates the quality of a website page. More specifically if a web page is trustworthy and hence warrants a good ranking position. Google uses its artificial intelligence to check a web page to see whether the content is likely to impinge in a good, or bad way on the user in terms of their health, happiness, safety and financial well-being.
Of course we don’t know how Google determines this as all elements of their search algorithms are kept very secret, but we do know that they are making such evaluations increasingly important as their technology becomes more adept at interpreting website pages. As we’ve said before, optimising for Google is now far more sophisticated than the days of simple keyword addition and tweaking a few meta tags.
Quality Rating Guidelines
Google uses a “quality raters” team which carries out comprehensive manual checks on websites. This process then feeds back into the search algorithms to validate and refine them. Effectively, Google’s system is learning and becoming increasingly more accurate, checked all the time by this quality rating process. As you might expect, there is a comprehensive set of guidelines Google provides to the manual checking team to help keep everything aligned. This document is in the public domain and allows us to see exactly what Google is aiming for when it’s algorithms evaluate dental website content.
For YMYL pages, here is what the rating guidelines actually say:
“For these “YMYL” pages, we assume that users expect us to operate with our strictest standards of trustworthiness and safety. As such, where our algorithms detect that a user’s query relates to a “YMYL” topic, we will give more weight in our ranking systems to factors like our understanding of the authoritativeness, expertise, or trustworthiness of the pages we present in response“.
Here we can see that any web content or blog post which could be considered to have YMYL content, will be considered very closely by Google and then further evaluated in terms of its expertise, authority and trustworthiness – those “EAT” parameters we mentioned earlier and which are covered elsewhere in our blog.