How Google’s E-A-T Rating Impacts YMYL Websites

On August 1, 2018, Google rolled out what is now known as the “Medic Update.” This large, global update further tweaked Google’s algorithms in its constant endeavor to meet user needs within the first SERP. Despite its size, however, this update only had far-reaching impacts on sites within a certain category known as a YMYL website. With the most recent roll-out of Google’s EAT algorithm, however, businesses in these industries must tweak their content to ensure they are getting the most out of their search engine optimization tactics.

What Is a YMYL Website?

According to Google, a YMYL website is a website that has the potential to impact Your Money or Your Life. A YMYL website deals with a number of areas of focus that could have an effect on your health or financial well-being. Currently, Google lists the following key YMYL website types:

  • Medical information pages – Pages that provide research information or advice about healthcare, general health, nutrition, drugs, diseases, or similar.
  • Financial information pages – Pages that provide information or advice about insurance, investments, mortgages, finances, taxes, etc.
  • Shopping or financial transaction pages – Any page that requires the user to input billing, credit card, or banking information, including web stores and banking websites.
  • Legal information pages – Pages that provide legal advice or information on topics like divorce, child support, lawsuits, and more.
  • News and information pages – Any page that provides local, regional, state, national, or global news about crucial topics like government, human rights, weather events, business, technology, government, and similar.

Who Was Affected by the Medic Update?

By now, you’ve likely guessed that the website SERP rankings most affected by the Medic Update were health, wellness, nutrition, and other medical information sites. Generally speaking, many of these health and medicine niche sites experienced negative SERP rankings shifts. In addition, larger or national brands saw rankings drop in favor of sites nearer the user’s location.

RELATED ARTICLE: 3 Tips to Improve Your Google E-A-T Rating

Why? The reason can be defined by yet another Google acronym – EAT. Otherwise known as expertise, authority, and trust, EAT is the set of standards by which Google’s human rating program – which employs over 10,000 people around the globe – ranks your website. With the Medic Update, Google raters began paying close attention to pages that should display particularly high EAT over their information and services because they have the potential to impact finances, health, and human life.

What Can You Do?

If you have a YMYL or niche page still experiencing long-term effects of the Medic Update, there are a few actionable steps you can take to address your rankings losses:


To establish expertise in your niche, you’ll need to ensure users can instantly deduce who you are, what your purpose is, and your subject matter knowledge. Make sure you:

  • Instantly establish the purpose of your page
  • Frequently publish quality content via your blog or site news sections
  • List any accomplishments or awards on your homepage
  • Include any titles you hold, such as MD, JD, MBA, and so on
  • Showcase your experience in your niche
  • Update your “about” and “contact” sections to reflect accurate information


Once you’re established as an expert, you’ll need to show you also have authoritative influence on the content, products, or services you provide. To do this, you should:

  • Include author bylines and biographies
  • Glean endorsements from other industry experts or influencers and post them on your page
  • Publish reviews from satisfied clients
  • List any speaking engagements or published works


Even if you’re an expert and an authority, you still need to inspire trust from Google raters as well as your users. To reflect your trustworthiness, endeavor to:

  • Source and fact-check all content
  • Ensure your website – particularly any shopping cart or financial sections – is secure; start by using the HTTPS protocol instead of HTTP
  • Include a privacy policy

Ready to Get Started?

Need more insight on how your YMYL or medical website  can survive the Medic Update? Or, are you ready to put your E-A-T to the test?

Get Started Today

Let’s get to work. Call (419) 540.4437 or email to get started today.

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