Sounds like a line from an old western doesn’t it? But it’s really (almost) a term Google uses in determining search rankings.
Google has hundreds and hundreds of real people it contracts with to provide human rankings for websites. The idea is to check/validate machine based ranking to make sure the machine rankings are meeting user needs. The ‘rankers’ are given a 164 page document to use for guidelines for their work. One of the highest, perhaps THE highest criteria for human based ranking is called YMYL (Your Money Your Life).
YMYL is content that has to do with shopping, financial, legal, medical – anything that is part of our everyday lives. The assumption seems to be that, whenever a query touches one of those topics, searchers are looking for real, authoritative information to help them make decisions that affect their lives. So if you do a search for, let’s say, “vertigo treatments,” Google will show results that it considers the best and most authoritative information on the subject.
Of course, it is not just the human rankers that make that determination. Google knows what content receives the most serious looks from users like us. It also knows what content is the most linked from reputable sources around the web. So information gained from users’ actions and verified by humans help Google present its users with what Google believes to be the best answers to their queries.
Why write about this? Because authority seems to be the highest concern for Google. Therefore, web content developers should be focused on creating content that is authoritative. The hope is that others will recognize that content and review it highly or link to it.
Every business is an authority in its field. If not they won’t be in business very long. So use what you know and write authoritative content that will help propel your website higher in search results.