Your Money or Your Life – Pt. 1 of Google SEO Quality

Your Money or Your Life – Pt. 1 of Google SEO Quality

When Google is building its search index, it is much more complex than just keywords on pages. There are many other factors that are considered. One factor is a classification of the website. This classification impacts the quality level that is expected. We’ll take a look at one of the classifications, “Your Money Or Your Life” (YMYL), to see what I mean.

Your Money or Your Life

Each website is created with a purpose. Some are meant to give information about a product or offering. Others are meant to share information about a topic of interest to the author. A YMYL page is one that has a message that could have a direct effect on your current or future money, happiness or health.

Section 2.3 of Google’s Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines search quality evaluator guidelines lists some examples.

  • Shopping or financial transaction pages: webpages which allow users to make purchases, transfer money, pay bills, etc. online (such as online stores and online banking pages).
  • Financial information pages: webpages which provide advice or information about investments, taxes, retirement planning, home purchase, paying for college, buying insurance, etc.
  • Medical information pages: webpages which provide advice or information about health, drugs, specific diseases or conditions, mental health, nutrition, etc.
  • Legal information pages: webpages which provide legal advice or information on topics such as divorce, child custody, creating a will, becoming a citizen, etc.
  • Other: there are many other topics which you may consider YMYL, such as child adoption, car safety information, etc. Please use your judgment. We have very high Page Quality rating standards for YMYL pages because low quality YMYL pages could potentially negatively impact users’ happiness, health, or wealth.

If your website is considered a YMYL page, your site is now held to a higher standard. The level of design, regular content maintenance and update, availability of contact information and even external endorsements will affect you page quality. So what can you do? How do you keep a YMYL site in good shape?

The Remedy

Your website is living a breathing. It’s kind of like a pet you own. It requires care and attention so it is happy and healthy. Here are some key areas to watch:

Regular content maintenance is key

Be sure to check your site for any dated facts or figures. If you are reporting any information, keep it up to date and accurate. This means do not use a script to change out dates. Instead, have someone on your staff, or outsourced, that is tasked with keeping your information accurate.

Your design and layout matter

You may have the most up-to-date and accurate information on your site, but the presentation is equally important. Make sure your site design is usable and the imagery supports your topic. The images should be nice, clean and clearly licensed for use. The mechanics of the site (i.e. padding, mobile responsiveness, navigation, colors) should follow up-to-date web standards and usability guidelines. This may be an issue if your site is older, created with a do-it-yourself platform, or built using a commercial theme. Please take note, this is more than just the visual aspect of the site. The layout of HTML elements and page arrangement play an important role in design as it relates to the search engine.

Get endorsed

Backlinks and testimonials are key to establishing your reputation as an authority in your field of expertise. Be sure to collect testimonials of both customers and experts in your field. Also, list your accreditations, awards and recognitions. If possible, link back to the issuing authority to further help in proving that you are a valid voice in the field.

As the web continues to evolve, so will the method that we search and find relevant content. In response, Google’s search algorithm changes to allow us to find the best results. When these changes occur, don’t be caught off guard. You may find your site ranking begin to fall and be unaware as to what is happening.

Come back next week for Part 2 when we will share about the next classification from Google SEO Quality Guidelines — E.A.T.


I have been in marketing and technology for more than 20 years and have worked in many industries and worn many hats. From independent consultant, to cooking school, to establishing technology centers, it was a Spirit led adventure that landed me in the president & owner’s seat at Element 502.

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