What is ‘Your Money or Your Life’ and why does it matter to small businesses?

When it comes to Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), Google has many factors it looks at to determine how web pages should rank in search engine results.

For web pages to rank well, they should present information that’s accurate and truthful. This is especially true for websites that Google deems to have a direct impact on people’s lives and wallets. Web pages that fall into that category are what’s known as Your Money or Your Life (YMYL).

Here’s a closer look at Your Money or Your Life: what it is, who it applies to and how it can impact your business.

What is Your Money or Your Life (YMYL)?

Before we cover Your Money or Your Life (YMYL) in detail, it’s best to first get a bit of background on Google’s algorithm and how it evaluates the quality of a web page:

Expertise, Authoritativeness and Trustworthiness (E-A-T) is the part of Google’s algorithm that determines whether the content of a web page is informative and valuable to the reader. While the exact formula Google uses to figure this out hasn’t been shared, some of the potential factors include:

  • The number of backlinks linking back to the page
  • How long the website has been publishing content in the topic area
  • Whether the web page’s content is relevant to the website/business
  • Whether or not the content satisfies user intent (e.g. to find out more information or get an answer to a question)
  • How much time users spend on the page

Now back to YMYL.

In the eyes of Google, YMYL includes websites and businesses that can influence people’s happiness, health, safety or financial stability.

Google pays extra attention to the E-A-T score of YMYL websites, so it’s important to be aware of the expertise, authoritativeness and trustworthiness of your content if your business falls into this category.

RELATED: The fundamentals of content: 3 things to get right.

What types of businesses does YMYL apply to?

YMYL applies to web pages that, if inaccurate, untruthful or deceptive, could negatively impact a reader’s life or finances. This includes content categories such as:

  • News and current events
  • Government and legal information
  • Finance
  • Shopping
  • Health and safety
  • Content related to big life decisions, such as buying a house or choosing a university

Businesses that could be considered YMYL include:

  • Doctors, dentists and other medical practitioners
  • Accountants and financial advisers
  • Lawyers
  • Real estate agents
  • Beauty salons

Essentially, if your business deals with anything that could significantly impact someone’s life or wallet, it’s probably a YMYL business.

How do I create YMYL-friendly content?

The short answer is be as accurate, informative and transparent as possible. Stick to topics that you consider yourself to be an expert in, and back up claims with relevant sources.

As a general rule of thumb, Google ranks content that is:

  • Relevant and helpful to the audience
  • Truthful
  • Published by an expert
  • Recently posted or updated

Curious to learn more? Download our free eBook: How to build an authoritative and trustworthy online presence.

Need help with content and SEO? Get in touch with the experts at Yellow Pages.

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