Back in 2015, Google’s Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines gave us a rare glimpse into what makes the search engine’s algorithms tick. They also introduced us to Your Money or Your Life, or YMYL, as well as two other critical insights that factor into how Google defines page quality:
- Beneficial Purpose – The value the page represents to the user. For example, an instruction manual for a new piece of tech is going to score more highly in terms of beneficial purpose than a few flowery paragraphs telling everyone how great the tech is.
- EAT – Expertise, authoritativeness, trustworthiness. Quite simply, what are the credentials of the author, and what qualifies them to offer advice on this topic?
- YMYL – Your Money or Your Life. This is the real high stakes content. This is content that could seriously impact the future of the reader or viewer in terms of their happiness, health, safety, or financial security.
All of the above are important considerations, but it is the third and final element – YMYL – that we’re going to be discussing first.