Why are law firms treated specially in search results and what do you need to do?
As a law firm, you may not have heard of Google's Your Money or Your Life (YMYL) algorithm but we hope to highlight why you need to.
Google's Your Money or Your Life (YMYL) algorithm was introduced in 2018 to ensure that search results for websites related to finance, health, and other high-stakes topics are held to a higher quality standard. The algorithm was designed to protect consumers from inaccurate or harmful information and to ensure that websites that provide information on these critical topics are trustworthy and reliable.
The YMYL algorithm is a set of rules and calculations determining how professional websites are ranked in search engine results pages (SERPs).
For law firms, the YMYL means that law firms must focus on creating high-quality content that is accurate, informative, and up-to-date. That is evidence with an author/ page that demonstrates experience, expertise, authority and trust (more commonly known as E.E.A.T).
We have listed easy ways to define if a page has the experience, expertise, authority and trust below:
- Experience: Google now identifies if the content creator has first-hand experience in the topic they are writing about.
- Expertise: Is the main content created by an author who has evidenced a higher level of expertise, online, on the topic?
- Authoritativeness: Does the content come from an author, brand, or website recognized by others as an authority or leader in that field?
- Trustworthiness: Do users trust the author, brand, or website to share accurate, factual, correct information? Does this information come from a reputable and reliable source?
The above is very subjective, and what Google is trying to get across is pages of high-quality content. But how a website be defined as having high-quality content?
- Enough main content to satisfy readers, including a descriptive title or title tag;
- Enough information about the website or the person responsible for the website to satisfy readers, including an author bio about their experience and qualification;
- And a positive reputation for the website, the person responsible for the website, or the author of the main content
Similarly, Google’s search guidelines have listed the characteristics of a low-quality page:
- Fails to serve its intended purpose (or lacks one altogether) or provide value to readers;
- Attempts to harm users, including pages that attempt to scam, deceive, or misinform users;
- Promotes hate or violence;
- Has little, low-quality, or duplicated main content;
- Or was written by an author or hosted on a website with a poor reputation?
One way that law firms can ensure that their websites meet the standards set by the YMYL algorithm is to use key fee earners and use the support of professional writers or editors who have experience in writing about legal topics. These writers can help create engaging, informative content while also being accurate and reliable.
Another critical aspect of meeting the YMYL standards is ensuring that the law firm's website is secure and that any personal or financial information collected is protected. This means using HTTPS encryption to protect user data and comply with relevant data privacy regulations.
Finally, you use structured data. If you’re unsure of what this is, ask your digital marketing or content us, to give search engines information about your site entities and the relationships between them in a clear, compelling way.
The YMYL algorithm has significantly impacted law firms and their SEO strategies. To meet the standards set by the algorithm, law firms must focus on creating high-quality content that is accurate, informative, and up-to-date. By doing so, law firms can improve their website's ranking in search engine results pages, attract more visitors, and establish themselves as trustworthy and reliable sources of legal information. Whilst building a brand and driving new prospects.