In late 2015, Google announced “medic” update to its search engine’s algorithm. With the update, Google released a complete version of new Search Engine Evaluator Guidelines. These guidelines offer essential information about what Google is looking for in high-quality pages and how it can perform better in its algorithm.
Google specifically mentioned two measurements, E-A-T and YMYL. These two factors are important for Digital Marketers to effectively ranking their pages higher. Both the factors are interlinked as YMYL pages with E-A-T rank better.
What are YMYL Pages?
YMYL is the acronym of “Your Money or Your Life.” According to Google, any page that includes quality content about future happiness, health, safety, investment or financial stability is a YMYL page.
That means if you have a blog that gives health advice, it is a YMYL page. A website that provides stock tips, it is a YMYL page. If the website diagnosis ailments based upon symptoms, it is called a YMYL page.
When elaborated further, Google indicates the following pages in YMYL categories:
- Financial transaction websites: The websites of eCommerce and banking portals that consist of financial transactions. Paying bills, Money transfer, etc. are such transactions.
- Financial information websites: The web pages that provide information about an investment, stocks, health insurance, mutual funds, etc.
- Medical information websites: Web pages that provide information about health, ailments, symptoms, specific diseases, nutrition, etc.
- Legal information: Topics such as notary, divorce, creating a will, child adoption rules, etc. fall under this category.
- News/Press Articles or Public information: Websites that contain information about government services/policies, laws, disaster response, social services, technology, politics, international events, and much more. Not all news articles are considered YMYL pages.
- Other pages: Other pages include location-based information, car safety information and much more.
What is E-A-T?
E-A-T stands for “Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness.” It is a metric through which Google’s evaluators rank pages. High-quality and content-rich websites possess a high level of E-A-T.
According to Google’s guidelines, the following are the traits that are possessed by high-quality pages.
- Rich main content: The main content should be enough to satisfy the user’s need to search for a particular topic or purpose.
- The website must have a positive reputation for its page topics.
- Information about the site owner such as “About us,” “Contact” or “Customer Service” information.
- The site must be functional. A user should be able to locate the required information quickly.
- The website should be maintained and updated regularly.
E-A-T directly affects the page quality as well as reputation on the web at large. If you’re trying to optimize authority site and don’t pay attention to other two principles, Google will give you “low quality” rating. Due to this, it is likely that your page will disappear from the SERPs with time. Google uses feedback of quality raters to adjust the SERPs. Google doesn’t immediately influence the results.
This is the first and foremost step in needed in following E-A-T is establishing yourself as an expert in the field. Positioning the writer as a subject matter expert on the blog is the initial step. This shows that you’re knowledgeable in your area.
People who browse through your site must feel that you’re an expert and have quality content for various topics on your site. Show the expertise on the first page. Have certifications? Advanced degrees? Show them. Use the institution logos if possible. The Google quality raters would rate your site positively thereby increasing your rankings.
It is possible that a person can be an expert but not an authority. A person may be knowledgeable and expert on a topic but never had a seminar, gave a lecture or spoke at a workshop. Having authority is all about developing an influence.
Developing an authority has an influence on your website viewers as it keeps your name as a brand image. Start by putting social proof on your homepage. Include testimonials and success stories of people you’ve helped. Next, display gigs that you’ve done at industry-relevant conferences.
Try to gain the endorsement of key influencers. When other key authority figures recommend your work, they help you develop your authoritative figure.
Establishing yourself and your site as a trustworthy source of information is essential for websites that gives knowledge about health, wellness, social awareness, and much more.
Never put errors of factual data in your content. Incorrect information turns off the visitors and ultimately rate you lower on the Google feedback. Allowing people to review your work and content is the right way of establishing the trustworthiness.
The reason for Google start prioritizing YMYL pages is that it wants a user to get the right content when asked. Especially the websites that affect the human life and financial targets for a long time. E-A-T improves the trustworthiness and Google’s overall belief factor by its users. It is an excellent opportunity for new webmasters to follow the instructions of this article and improve Google’s ranking by providing accurate and expert search-driven information.