Google has come up with a broad core update recently, the mid of August and it is considered as one of the biggest updates. This new update has affected organic search results as well as local SEO like the map listings. Some experts believe that the update not only affected YMYL sites and local SEO but also those outside the scope of YMYL.
Google now and then brings in many changes to its search algorithms. Majority of the algorithm updates have a much lower impact. The major updates of 2018 so far include the Mobile First Index update, Mobile Speed update, Chrome security warning update and the recent Broad core update. The Broad core update impacted the most with affecting sites in the Health and Wellness industry. That’s why, many experts call this Google update, “Medic broad core update“!
The Curious Case of YMYL Sites
We were talking about the broad core update and its impact on YMYL sites. You might be wondering what exactly is these YMYL sites. Well. YMYL stands for “Your Money or Your Life”.
According to Google, “Web pages that could potentially impact the future happiness, health, financial stability, or safety of users are Your Money or Your Life or YMYL pages.”
Google’s first priority is to provide its users with correct and factual information. However, when the search is of serious intent like medical or health search, it wants the user to have only correct information. This is because any misinformation can put the user in danger.
The following are some examples of YMYL pages:
● Shopping pages
Websites or pages that allow users to make purchases, financial transactions, pay bills and dues online. E-commerce sites, banking sites, and online stores come into this category.
● Financial information pages
Sites or pages that provide information or advice about investments, loans, taxes, retirement planning, home purchase, etc comes in this category.
● Medical information pages
Websites that provide updates and information about health, wellness, drugs & medicine, diet & nutrition, fitness etc comes into this category.
● Legal information pages
Web pages that provide legal information or legal advice come into this category. This includes topics like divorce, property disputes, child custody, etc.
● Public information pages
Web pages that include information about government processes, policies, and laws; disaster response services; government programs and social services; news about important topics such as international politics & events, business, science, and technology; etc come in this category.
Not all news articles are necessarily considered YMYL. You may need to use your judgments whether a site or pages or news article are essentially YMYL pages.
Google has very high Page Quality rating standards for YMYL sites because low-quality YMYL sites could potentially negatively impact users’ happiness, health, financial stability, or safety. That’s why the recent broad core update is very important.
YMYL and Google Medic Update
The Google Medic update has impacted the YMYL pages significantly. Although the huge hit was taken by health sites, other YMYL pages were also affected. When you break it down, its evident that most industries hit the hardest are YMYL: health, e-commerce, finance, and business.
What really caused the YMYL pages to be affected by the new update? The answer is simple. Google reserves very high standard for YMYL pages. This is because misinformation can affect users financially, physically or emotionally. Therefore, the update targeted particularly those YMYL pages that have low-quality content and misinformation.
But how Google judges the quality of a web page?
Expertise – An expert author who is qualified to write on the niche
Authority – Author with a well-recognized authority on the subject and authority of the website.
Trustworthiness – Accurate and factual content and trustworthiness of the website.
Expertise. Authority. Trust.
Essentially, E-A-T determines the value of a website. Quality raters keep E-A-T in mind when judging how relevant and useful a site is in the SERP. This includes the overall user experience and whether the content meets their standards.
E-A-T is what makes a site rank over the others because it has all the users wants. Google loves user experience and rewards those sites with a high ranking which complies with the standards.
High-ranking YMYL pages will show a high level of E-A-T. That’s because of the user experience – the quality of the content that meets s the search query and the trust given by the user. Sites that genuinely offers helpful and relevant content, a solution to a problem, helpful advice will meet these needs rather those sites that use contents for search engines.
Rank high on SERP, then establish yourself as an expert in your field. Fortunately, one of the best ways to do that is by publishing content. Users who go through your blog should say, “Wow! This is an expert author!”.
The best thing to position yourself as an expert is to brag a little about yourself on the website. It can be on the homepage, or in the bio section. If you have certifications or membership in authoritative organizations, why not tell your users about it? You can even mention your advanced degrees, maybe your Ph.D. This will position you as an expert in your field.
The idea is that people should consider you as an expert on the subject. This increases the credibility of your blog or website.
You can be an expert but not an authority! Can’t believe?
For example, someone might know everything about blogging. But maybe that person has no blog, has never spoken at a conference, and is never hired for his expertise. That’s somebody who’s an expert but not an authority.
In simple words, experts have the brains and authorities have the influence.
So, once you position yourself as an expert, you need to work to position yourself as an authority. Adding your social profiles, client testimonials, links to contents published in high ranking websites like the Forbes, for an example, can help in the start.
At an advanced level go for public speaking at industry-relevant conferences and gain endorsements from other influencers in your field. Also, don’t forget to mention these accomplishments in your website or social profiles.
Being an expert or authority in your field may not count if you put factual errors in your content. Factual errors, grammatical mistakes, and even spelling mistakes can turn off your readers. Therefore, make sure that your content is readable and doesn’t contain any errors.
Next, allow people to review your content. Let people judge you. No one is perfect. Admitting your mistakes and learning from them can actually increase your trustworthiness.
Finally, include case studies if possible. With these case studies, explain how you made other peoples lives better or grew a business 2X fold. Use real names of people or business, so that people can trust what they are reading.
Other Points to Consider
- Keep blogs updated: Keep your blog posts updated. Chances are some of your posts may be too old to be true for the present times. Updating posts also help your SEO. It keeps the post fresh even after publishing years ago.
- Detailed contents: Detailed contents gives an impression that it is from an expert. Google too loves long contents. Research about what your subject is and provide an end to end solution. This is how you position yourself as an expert.
- Link to other expert pages: Link to other credible pages. This shows your effort and tells the users that you have done the research. Linking contents also help the users to understand the subject well. At the end of the day, all it matters is the user experience.
- Provide actionable advice: Don’t just talk about the information or knowledge you possess. Show users how to apply that knowledge. This helps users to understand the subject and its practical application.
- Include an author bio: It is always recommended to give a short author bio. This increases the credibility of the content and allows the users to connect with the content.
- Give contact details: Give your contact details on the site. Make sure that it is visible or easy to find.
- Mobile optimized: Optimize your site for mobile devices. Make sure your site looks beautiful on mobile devices.