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Your Money or Your Life

The term “Your Money or Your Life” (YMYL) refers to a category of websites that Google holds to higher quality standards because they can potentially impact a person’s future happiness, health, financial stability, or safety. This concept is central to Google’s Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines, which help human raters assess the quality of search results.

Here are the key attributes and types of content considered under YMYL:

  • Financial information: Websites that offer advice or services related to investments, taxes, retirement planning, loans, banking, or insurance. The accuracy and trustworthiness of this information could significantly affect a person’s financial health and decisions.
  • Medical information: Sites providing advice or information on health, drugs, specific diseases or conditions, mental health, nutrition, and more. Given the potential impact on a person’s health and well-being, Google expects these sites to uphold high standards of accuracy and reliability.
  • Legal information: Content that offers legal advice or information on topics like divorce, child custody, wills and estates, immigration, and criminal law. The integrity of this information is crucial as it could directly influence legal decisions and outcomes.
  • Safety information: Instructions or guidance that could affect users’ safety, including topics like home construction, car maintenance, or emergency preparedness. Inaccurate information in these areas could pose direct risks to individuals’ safety.
  • Other important life decisions: This can include information related to major life events, such as parenting, home purchasing, job search, or higher education. These websites influence critical life decisions, and inaccuracies could have significant, long-lasting consequences.

Google’s emphasis on YMYL content underscores its commitment to ensuring that users receive accurate, reliable, and helpful information for important decisions. Websites that fall into the YMYL category are subjected to stricter scrutiny regarding their content’s quality, expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness (E-A-T), significantly affecting their search rankings. This approach aims to reduce the spread of misinformation and protect users from potential harm.

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