Google Search Quality Rater Guidelines Update New Definition of YMYL and Low-Quality Pages

author image Written by: Rabije Gashi Corluka           Categories - In The News, SEO

Google’s search quality raters guidelines are freshly updated. The search engine refined its YMYL content and added extra clarifications on low-quality pages, among other things, Search Engine Land reports.

Here’s what’s new:

  • Updated language to align with the newly published Search Quality Rater Guidelines: An Overview
  • A refined YMYL that focuses on topics requiring extra accuracy to prevent harm
  • Low and Lowest Page Quality sections are more clear now and emphasize that E-A-T types and levels depend on the page’s purpose
  • The language used in the document is more applicable for all device types (new screenshots, updated examples, etc.)
Read More: Google Updates Its Rich Results Content Guidelines

YMYL Topics

What is YMYL short for? The acronym stands for ‘Your Money, Your Life’ and is a description of a specific kind of content. This refers to content that can persuade a reader to decide something related to their money – or their life. It means that that particular content can harm someone. For example, content about what to do during an earthquake, vaccines, etc.

In the previous document, Google had these topics broken down into seven categories. Now – there are no such categories. Instead, the Quality Rater Guidelines now define YMYL by what harm can it cause to the reader and others around him.

These topics can impact health, financial stability, the safety of people or the well-being of society. As Google states, that can happen because:

The topic is harmful or dangerous (criminal acts, violent extremism, etc)
The topic can cause harm because it’s not trustworthy and accurate (health, investing money, voting rights, etc.)

Also,  Google added a new table of fresh examples that clarify this more:

Photo Source: Screenshot of Google’s Guidelines linked in the text

Low-Quality Pages,  E-A-T & YMYL

How do you know if your page is labelled as ‘low quality? According to the new document, you get a low rating if a page has one or more of these:

  • An inadequate level of E-A-T (expertise, authoritativeness, trustworthiness) for the purpose of the page
  • The quality of the main content is low for the purpose of the page.
  • There is an unsatisfying amount of helpful MC (main content) for the purpose of the page.
  • The title of the MC is exaggerated or shocking – so no clickbait!
  • The Ads distract from the MC  or interferes with it
  • Not enough information about the creator of the main content for the purpose of the page – no good reason for anonymity
  • Negative reputation of the website or MC creators
AI-Generated Content Against Google’s Guidelines

A lack of E-A-T could potentially mean a low-quality rating, and that low-quality and harmful pages can happen on any type of website. That’s why more information about the creator is a good thing, especially for YMYL content where E-A-T  is critical.

Google Updates FAQ Rich Result Guidelines

Rabije Gashi Corluka

Rabije always enjoyed finding different angles to a story, so it’s not surprising her curiosity influenced a move to a new continent, widening her perspective. She enjoys hearing people's stories and learning about different cultures and places - but most of all, she loves putting her thoughts on a piece of paper. Her love for writing led to her studying Journalism and PR, but she actually became a storyteller during her radio-hosting era. Now, she uses her skills, experience, and love for writing to help your brand stand out.

Google Updates FAQ Rich Result Guidelines


No More FAQ markups For Repeated FAQs Says Google

Repeating certain frequently asked questions and answers in various FAQ pages on one site is a pretty common practice. After all, sometimes, a question is relevant to more than one topic, and you want to make sure that it’s included across all your FAQ pages. But now, according to Google, while this is still fine and dandy to do, you can forget about adding FAQ markups to all pages that have this question. Google made the announcement, or lack thereof, by simply adding a new line to its content guidelines for FAQ data types on February 27. https://twitter.com/suzukik/status/1233494248567250945?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fd-11466888541740872713.ampproject.net%2F2002251816300%2Fframe.html The page now states:

“If you have FAQ content that is repetitive on your site (meaning, the same question and answer appear on multiple pages on your site), mark up only one instance of that FAQ for your entire site.”

Source: Google Basically, what this means is that going forward, if you want your FAQ page to be eligible for FAQ rich results, you’ll have to  pick just of the pages that has the question and answer to add the markup rather than every page that has this question and answer. It’s safe to assume that the reason behind the updated guidelines is to prevent certain sites from taking up too many coveted featured snippet spots. How it works is, an FAQ rich snippet occupies an extra listing on SERPs, which means it could increase the search visibility of certain pages. So, it’s not surprising that site owners would want to markup as many of their FAQ pages as possible, but alas, Google, AKA the eternal buzzkill, is now disallowing this. To avoid finding yourself being penalized, your safest bet is to just listen to Google and avoid testing your luck.

Read More: Google Search Quality Rater Guidelines Update
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