• Hailee Harris

Your Money, Your Life (YMYL): What Is It, and Should You Avoid It?

Your Money, Your Life (YMYL) seems like it could be an inspirational mantra you repeat to yourself as you spend all your money, but it actually has to do with Google analytics and Search Engine Optimization (SEO). SEO works with keywords and phrases to get web pages generated higher on the Google search results page. Many companies use this marketing tactic to increase traffic on their company websites. For example, an SEO keyword for this blog is, “Your Money, Your Life.” If you Google that phrase, Google is going through its collected data and presents you with answers that relate to the provided query. Google ranks the results based on relevance.

What Is YMYL?

YMYL is a term Google uses to describe and categorize web pages that may have a negative impact on someone's quality of life or finances. Google uses guidelines to determine the credibility and the impact of web pages, and then decide whether they are YMYL pages. Google does this by having actual people rate these sites with an acronym called E-A-T. The acronym stands for Expertise, Authority and Trustworthiness. Sites that are not deemed E-A-T will likely show up further down on the search results page.

Example of YMYL

YMYL pages are deemed to negatively impact someone's quality of life or finance. Some examples of webpage that may do this are: news and current events, pages that offer financial advice, health and medical advice pages, job finding pages, nutrition pages, and even a page about choosing a college. These pages are considered YMYL because they can offer false information or information that is not backed 100% by facts. Because of this, the webpages can potentially have a negative effect on someone. For example, if you read an article about how to manage your finances and it is not advice from an actual fiduciary, it can create a negative effect on your own life.

Should You Avoid Them?

The short answer is, yes. You should avoid these types of webpages if you can, or just don't take the information on the pages to heart. If you are seeking important advice, such as money management or health tips, you should take all the information you find lightly. It is crucial to determine the credibility of the site.

What Can You Do For Your Site?

If you have a website or blog of your own, there are a few steps you can take to establish E-A-T on your site and avoid being labeled as a YMYL page. Make sure your content is accurate and supplied by genuine people. Also, don't offer advice if you are not qualified to speak on the topic. You can also network with other trustworthy sites to build your E-A-T along with your SEO and get higher up on the results page.

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