Studies show that when people search, they rarely move beyond the first page of search results. Have you ever stopped to think why that is?
Contrary to what you may think, it’s not because people are stupid and lazy. Instead it’s because users trust the search engines. They trust the search engines to deliver the information they’re seeking. People trust that the search engine will provide the answers they need.
This level of trust takes time to build.
Think of trust as a virtual bank account. Day after day, month after month, the search engines have made regular deposits into this account. Each time you find the information you were seeking, another deposit is made into that account. It has taken YEARS for the public to trust the results delivered by the search engines.
The search engines are businesses. Their product is their search results. They have competitors. Google may be the leader today, but they know how fickle their users can be. They know you can easily try one of their competitors if you can’t quickly and easily find the information you’re seeking.
[dropcap style=”font-size: 50px; color: #9b9b9b;”]YMYL[/dropcap]
YMYL stands for Your Money or Your Life. Matt McGee writes in the article Google Adds Higher Standards For “Your Money Or Your Life” Websites about the shift that Google has taken with regards to a new classification of website.
In a leaked document, Google has created a class of web pages that provide information which can have a significant impact on your life. These pages, referred to as YMYL (Your Money or Your Life) deal with a health, wellness, finances and safety.
According to a leaked document from Google,
“YMYL pages should come from reputable websites and the content should be created with a high level of expertise and authority.”
The document goes on to share examples of YMYL pages. They include
- Pages that collect personal information.
If you have a page on your website that asks for information like personal identification numbers, bank account numbers, drivers license numbers, etc., then it’s classified as a YMYL page.
- Pages used for monetary transactions.
If you sell online, those pages are classified as YMYL pages.
- Pages offering medical advice or health information
- Pages offering advice on major life decisions
- Pages offering legal or financial advice.
These standards reflect the work done in the 1980’s by Neil Rackham. In the book, Spin Selling, Rackham breaks business transactions into two distinct categories: Minor Sales and Major Sales.
Minor sales have little impact on your life. You won’t suffer an emotionally or financially crippling loss if you buy the wrong type of paper for your copy machine. As a result, minor sales require little trust to complete.
On the other hand, major sales have the potential to have a significant impact on your life. Choose the wrong attorney to handle your divorce and you’re almost assured to suffer financially. Chose the wrong doctor and you may literally pay for that decision with your life.
Rackham asserts – and Google agrees – that these kinds of decisions require a lot more trust.
When people see your website listed on the first page of a search result, they’re trusting Google that you deserve to be there. It’s why Google applies a [tooltip text=”Quality Score is used to determine your cost per click (CPC). Your Quality Score is multiplied by your maximum bid to determine your ad rank in the ad auction process. SEO can improve your website’s quality score – and therefore lower your CPC.”] Quality Score [/tooltip] to PPC advertisements. It’s to reward high quality content with lower CPC rates.