E.A.T. YMYL and Google Search

How to rank your brand / website high on Google search? How to save page rankings from going down? How to rank high on Google without paying for it? How to rank high on Google search results? How does Google algorithm work? What is that elusive recipe for (PQ) page quality rating? How Google differentiates between content that is high‑quality and low‑quality?

These are some of the questions that we haven’t found answers for the longest time.

Google is ultra-secretive about how it’s algorithm works, but sometimes we get lucky and Google releases the Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines and spills the beans. It turns out that the key to understanding Google’s Definition of Quality for Web Pages & Content are essentially just 3 golden keys.

The 3 Golden Keys are:

  1. Beneficial Purpose.
  2. YMYL (Your Money or Your Life)
  3. E-A-T (Expertise, Authoritativeness, Trustworthiness)

Beneficial Purpose: All Websites Must Have It.   

What is the Purpose of a Web Page?  Is it beneficial?  Websites and pages should be created to help users.  It should be user-centric.  The page should fulfil its intended purpose. Webpages or pages deemed to be beneficial purpose pages are pages that share information about a topic, share personal or social information, share pictures, videos, or other forms of media, entertain, sell products or services, or websites that allow users to post questions and get answers, etc.

It simply means, to be ranked as a “highest quality page or highest PQ rating” by Google, your site and content should have a user‑focused purpose and should benefit them in some way.  On the other hand, website and pages that are created with intent to harm users, deceive users, or make money “with no attempt to help users” is considered the ”lowest quality page or lowest PQ rating”.

Your Money or Your Life Content (YMYL)

Your Money or Your Life (YMYL) content is the type of information that, if presented inaccurately, untruthfully, or deceptively, could directly impact the reader’s happiness, health, safety, or financial stability.  Google has very high Page Quality rating standards for YMYL pages because low quality YMYL pages could negatively impact a person’s happiness, health, financial stability or safety.  Webpages or pages deemed to be YMYL content are topics such as news and current events, business, science, politics, technology, government, law, and civics-related topics, financial advice on taxes, retirement, investments, loans, shopping information such as researching purchases, medical advice, information on drugs, hospitals, emergencies, etc.  To be ranked high, these pages need to contain the highest levels of expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness.

E-A-T: Expertise, Authoritativeness, Trustworthiness

Expertise: Is the creator of the main content (MC) on the page an expert on the topic? Does he/she have the credentials, if necessary, to back that up, and is this information available on the website?  For non-YMYL content, however, Google makes an exception for “everyday expertise.” People with relevant life experience in specific topics can be considered experts – no formal training or education is required.

Authoritativeness: This refers to the MC creator, the content itself, and the website on which it appears. “Authoritativeness” means having generally recognized authority. People know you, know your background, and look to you as an authority in your industry. They accept you as a reliable source of information.

Trustworthiness: The “Trustworthiness” part of E-A-T also refers to the MC creator, the content, and the website. Being trustworthy means people can trust you to provide accurate and genuine information.  To be ranked high, all the elements of E-A-T have to meet standards.

Conclusively, to rank high on Google for free, i.e., to create high-quality content that Google will rank (and rank well), you need to focus on the three keys:  Beneficial purpose, E-A-T, and YMYL.

  • Every page must have a purpose and benefit the user.
  • Every page needs the right expertise behind it
  • YMYL pages need the highest E-A-T possible.