In September 2019, Google changed its Search Quality Rater Guidelines once again in an attempt to help marketers, bloggers, and any company with an online presence obtain the very best possible ranking. Google does this very seldom (around once or twice a year), but when it does, SEO marketers must take note. Content is more important than ever; costing less than traditional marketing, it typically generates three times as many leads. To ensure that Google sees your clients’ content as optimally as you do, however, it is important to understand the most important SEO changes that are now in effect.

The Newsier, the Better

Google has changed the ordering of examples in its YMYL (Your Money Your Life) category. This category includes “pages that could potentially impact the future happiness, health, financial stability, or safety of users.” Google has indicated that any page with YMYL content can potentially be deemed a YMYL page, even if this is not its main purpose.

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Google And SEO by Berin Catic

Google has also changed the ordering of its YMYL examples. In May 2019, the examples were listed in this order: 1. Shopping or financial transaction 2. Financial information 3. Legal information 4. News articles 5. Other. Now, news has been given greater importance followed by 2. Civics, government, and law 3. Finance 4. Shopping 5. Health and safety 6. Groups of people 7. Other. The ordering shows that Google is keen on establishing news as a vital component of YMYL pages, which makes sense considering the impact that breaking information can have on everything from health and wellness to finance.

A New Definition for Very High Quality Main Content

In order for Google to consider your content as worthy of top positioning, it must be deemed ‘very high quality’. Google defines this as a page that “is created with a high degree of time and effort and, in particular, talent and skill.” As stated by Avidon Marketing Group, great content does not necessarily have to be created by experts; it can be created by hobbyists or people with everyday knowledge. For news and information pages in YMYL pages, however, Google says that it does pay to have well-established medical, scientific, or historic consensus if the latter exists.

Examples of Very High Quality Main Content

The new report by Google offers specific examples that can aid marketers and other content creators to get a little closer to their search engine crawlers' ideal SEO values. For instance, for news to be considered top grade, it must provide information that is authentically new. If many sources are reporting the same thing, then it isn’t authentically groundbreaking. Artistic content (which includes all imagery, writing, and videos), should ideally be unique and original.

Finally, informational content should be “original, accurate, comprehensive,” but also well-presented and well-expressed. Google stresses that style can vary significantly across pages, since technical journals will not have the same language as an opinion piece. However, issues like thoroughness, simple language, and accuracy are qualities that should run through all content if it is to have high value in Google’s eyes.

Google has implemented many new changes that highlight originality, thorough research, and clear communication. However, the new guidelines also insist on the value of reputation. Pages should aim to receive rewards or recognition from experts specializing in the field covered by their page. Google also recommends that pages selling products have user recommendations, while medical pages should ideally contain content by persons with due accreditation. All these changes are part of Google’s attempt to provide users with a more valuable, entertaining, reliable experience - one in which quality overrides almost all other considerations.


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