Unraveling Google’s YMYL Enigma: Balancing Information Safety and Freedom of Speech

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First of all, this is not an article criticizing Google. I also watch YouTube, and the draft of this article is also done in the document. What I want to address today is a question about the Google search system and the YMYL guidelines.

Also, I’m Japanese and can only read and write English a little. This article is written using Google Translate. Please forgive me if there are any mistakes or typos that I don’t understand.

Some of my blog posts violate YMYL and won’t appear on Google’s search engine.
I think that YMYL is necessary because of the incident.

By the way, in my case, I am writing a memoir of my struggle with illness.
I think it’s only natural to have a subjective view of illness.

I feel that it is control of speech that it is not published as it may cause confusion because it is an opinion that does not have the authority of a doctor and does not have evidence.

Treatment also varies from patient to patient.

Side effects of medications vary from person to person, and it’s not all about what your doctor tells you.

Do you mean to ignore it too?

Google does not clarify that the decision is also a black box.

I’m only listing conflicting items, and some of the people I talked to have Adsense (I’ll explain about Adsense on another occasion, but in a nutshell, it’s a permission for advertising revenue recognized by Google. ), so there were people who really wanted to write but didn’t write, and some people deleted their articles.

Google may argue that deletion does not mean that the article itself will be deleted, but I think that banning it from the search engine that boasts over 90% of the world’s usage is the deletion of the article itself.

Is there really no problem with YMYL regulations in the current black box?

What is YMYL? I haven’t heard much about it. Is that important?

What is YMYL and why is it important to Google?

YMYL (Your Money or Your Life) refers to some of the content that Google attaches particular importance to in its listing criteria. YMYL contains important information directly related to personal property and life.

For example, fields such as medicine/health, finance/investment, law, and education fall under this category.

The reason Google takes YMYL so seriously is to ensure user safety and reliability.

False or misleading information can have a significant impact, especially in areas such as health and finance. For example, the negative impact that false medical advice or fraudulent financial information can have on users is terrible.

Posting standards for YMYL content are becoming stricter, and high reliability and expertise are required.

Google aims to prioritize reliable sources and expert opinions in order to provide users with valuable information.

By doing so, we aim to provide users with access to accurate information and a trusted source for making important health and safety decisions.

Therefore, Google takes YMYL especially seriously because it protects the safety and trust of its users, and because it requires high standards in critical information areas such as health and finance.

List the fields and themes that fall under YMYL and what kind of content they relate to.

  1. Medical Information: Information related to diseases, symptoms, treatments, medications, health management, etc.
  2. Financial Information: Information about banking, investments, insurance, taxes, retirement plans, etc.
  3. Legal Information: Information about legal issues, legal procedures, legal advice, etc.
  4. Technical Information: Information related to internet security, computer setup and repairs, programming, etc.
  5. Educational Information: Information about universities, vocational schools, qualification exams, learning methods, etc.
  6. Employment Information: Job listings, career advice, workplace laws and regulations, etc.
  7. Housing Information: Real estate, rental properties, home loans, home interior, etc.
  8. Shopping Information: Product reviews, price comparisons, online shopping safety, etc.
  9. Travel Information: Information about travel destinations, hotel reservations, transportation, tourist attractions, etc.
  10. Food and Nutrition Information: Food safety, nutritional content, information about specific dietary restrictions, etc.

These areas require users to access accurate information and make safe and reliable decisions.
By setting high standards for posting YMYL content and prioritizing reliable sources, Google seeks to ensure the safety and reliability of its users.

Protects life-related matters such as money and health from dangerous information. YMYL is an important rule that we need.

that’s right. It’s what you need But Mr.poyo-papa thinks that the rules are very strict.

What do you mean?

Let’s take Mr. poyo-papa’s story of his illness as an example.

Includes medical information, health advice, disease diary, etc.

Accurate and reliable information is necessary because medical and health information has a great impact on an individual’s life and health.

For YMYL content, emphasis is placed on information obtained from experts with specialized knowledge and experience and from reliable information sources.

Google sets high standards for posting YMYL content to protect the safety and reliability of our users. This enables users to access relevant medical information and health advice and make informed decisions.

On the other hand, if personal subjective experiences such as medical information or memoirs of illness are included, the exclusion of such information will limit freedom of speech and diversity of information.

It is true that the YMYL regulation may eliminate subjective experiences of individuals, such as medical information and memoirs of illness, and it has been pointed out that freedom of speech and diversity of information are restricted. I’m here. I will explain it below.

Restrictions on Freedom of Speech: YMYL regulations tighten the quality of medical and health information, potentially excluding subjective opinions and experiences of individuals.

It has been pointed out that this limits freedom of speech by restricting information through personal opinions and experiences.

Limited Diversity of Information: The YMYL regulation emphasizes reliable information, which tends to favor the display of certain sources and expert views.

This can limit the diversity of information by excluding diverse opinions and information.

In particular, this limitation can be conspicuous in medical information and disease reports, in which subjective experiences and opinions of individuals play an important role.

Despite the above challenges, the YMYL regulation plays an important role in ensuring the reliability and safety of users.

When it comes to medical and health information, accuracy and reliability are important and users should not be misled by false or fraudulent information.

In order to solve these problems, it is necessary to present information, including individual subjective experiences and opinions, in an appropriate manner.

For example, it is necessary to have a system that allows information providers to clearly state their own standpoints and experiences, and allows readers to judge the reliability and objectivity of information.

It is also important for users themselves to have critical thinking in their selection and judgment of information and to refer to multiple sources of information.

Medical information can be said to be highly reliable if it has information from both the medical institution and the patient who examined it, and just because there is an epidence does not mean that it applies to all patients.

No matter how few opinions there are, it is the original form to carefully examine the importance and create the net, and the current ambiguity and the word “black box” control freedom of speech as if it were a matter of course. I doubt that.

It is true that each person feels differently when receiving treatment at a hospital, and the type of treatment they receive is also different.

Even if you say you made money, the value differs from person to person.

Yes, YMYL also runs the risk of erasing individual opinions. It’s a double-edged sword that manipulates everyone’s information while protecting everyone.

Then what should I do?

Regarding the YMYL regulation being opaque. about the reason

Lack of clarity in evaluation criteria: The YMYL regulation is part of the search ranking criteria set by Google, but the specific evaluation criteria and algorithms are not published.

This makes it difficult for website and content owners to know exactly if their site is YMYL.

Black-boxing of judgment criteria: Google lists some areas that fall under YMYL, but does not specify specific judgment criteria or evaluation methods.

This can create uncertainty for website owners when determining whether their content violates regulations.

Inconsistent results:
YMYL regulation has been cited as an inconsistent change in search results.

Some content on the same subject may fall under YMYL and be excluded, while other similar content may be posted.

This lack of consistency in results suggests a lack of transparency in regulatory standards and algorithms.

Uncertainty about impact on search results: When YMYL regulations exclude certain content from search results, it has important implications for website owners and content creators.
However, it is not clear what content will be excluded or the extent of its impact.

This forces owners and producers to operate with uncertainty.

The lack of transparency in YMYL regulations can be disadvantageous and confusing for owners and producers.

There will be a need to provide more transparent and clear criteria and evaluation methods, to ensure consistency of judgments, and to provide clear guidelines on the consequences and impacts of regulation.

This will create an environment in which website and content owners can provide better content and provide users with more reliable information.

Problems arising from Google’s black box judgment criteria and suggestions for increasing transparency

Unpredictable results: Google’s black box criteria make it difficult for website and content owners to predict how their content will affect search results. This makes it difficult to develop appropriate strategies and assess risks.

Some suggestions for greater transparency include:
Publishing guidelines: Google publishes specific guidelines for areas and content that fall under YMYL to help owners and creators understand the standards. These guidelines should include quality standards, evaluation criteria, and specific examples of violations.

Provide Feedback: Google should welcome feedback from owners and authors to help improve its decision-making criteria. Owners and creators are motivated to improve the quality of their content and to run it well, so accepting feedback and collaborating is important to improve transparency.

Providing information about transparency: Google should actively provide information about its criteria and algorithms to help owners and creators more predictable results. It would be useful to include specific metrics and a description of the factors that influence rankings.

Enhanced communication: Google should enhance communication with owners and creators and engage in dialogue to resolve questions and concerns. Through open dialogue, we can increase transparency and understanding.

These proposals will solve the problem of black boxing Google’s judgment criteria and increase transparency. This will allow owners and creators to take appropriate measures and create an environment where more reliable information can be provided to users.

Why are there so many black boxes in Google’s rules?

That’s because the mechanism is not exposed and abused. But at the same time, no one can see what’s inside.

This can also be said to be detrimental.

What Mr.poyo-papa wants from Google in the future is that Google will clarify the guidelines and disclose more detailed regulations than now.

Give feedback and interview people who violated YMYL, use it for algorithms or ask experts for judgment.
Make support and inquiries easier to understand, deepen communication with users, and reflect user voices more than now.

Certainly, it may be possible to make the black box a little more transparent.

About the problems caused by restricted access by YMYL regulations.

Information Restrictions: YMYL regulations may prevent you from accessing important information such as medical information and health advice.

Individuals’ subjective experiences and opinions can also be important sources of information, but the exclusion of this information can deprive users of access to diverse information and perspectives.

Limited self-development: Information about health and disease is an important factor in facilitating individual self-development and active participation.

Restrictions by YMYL regulations may reduce opportunities for individuals to actively seek information about their condition and health and exercise self-management.

Reduced diversity of information: YMYL regulation’s exclusion of certain information can reduce the diversity of search results and online sources.

Diversity of information is important for users to find information that meets their needs. On the other hand, when the diversity of information is limited, users rely on more limited information.

Information Reliability Issues: Although the purpose of the YMYL regulation is to ensure the reliability of information, some information that is not actually excluded may be of questionable reliability.

On the other hand, excluding the subjective experiences and opinions of individuals may result in the lack of diverse perspectives and evaluations of the reliability of information.
These issues can arise from restricted access due to YMYL regulations.

While emphasizing the reliability of information and protecting the safety of users, which are the objectives of YMYL regulations, it is necessary to balance the importance of information diversity and individual subjective experiences and opinions.

How to use other platforms and means as a YMYL countermeasure, and strengthen communication with readers

Leveraging Alternative Platforms/Methods: If monetization is constrained by YMYL regulations, you may consider leveraging other monetization methods/platforms.

For example, you can look for monetization methods other than advertising platforms and consider models such as sponsorships and paid memberships.

You may also consider leveraging other platforms that provide information in tandem with your blog or website, such as social media or email newsletters.

Enhanced communication with readers: Where YMYL regulations constrain information provision, enhanced communication with readers is critical.

Encourage direct interaction with your readers’ questions and comments through social media, comment sections, emails, and more.

By incorporating reader feedback, you can expand the range of information you provide and gain the trust of your readers.

Leverage Diverse Sources of Information:
Where certain information is restricted by YMYL regulations, it is important to utilize diverse sources of information. You can expand your knowledge by citing information from other medical professionals, institutions and organizations, and by referencing other reputable websites and journals.

Also, when presenting subjective experiences and opinions of individuals, it is important to clearly indicate their subjectivity and limitations.

Offline Activities and Community Participation: Where YMYL regulations restrict the provision of information online, direct information and support may be provided through offline activities and community participation.

Constraints can be complemented by promoting information sharing and mutual support in real settings, such as holding seminars and workshops and participating in local support groups.

By utilizing these measures, it is possible to respond flexibly to the restrictions imposed by YMYL regulations, provide information and strengthen relationships with readers.

People who violate YMYL are now using different platforms. Then wouldn’t viewing YMYL information be relatively easy to access?

That’s right, even if Google cracks down, you can still see articles about YMYL. It’s just a rule made by a big company called Google.


YMYL is a necessary convention, but it can compromise an individual’s freedom of speech.
Also, YMYL information can be easily viewed using other platforms, so this rule is not fully functional.

The challenge is to prepare a system that incorporates more individual opinions into feedback and make the information more credible.
I thought that it might not be posted because it was not because it conflicted with YMYL, but because it was a low level.

Also, in Google Search Console, there are many articles that have been crawled but not indexed for months.

Regarding the search console, I hope that you will create an item called Adsense violation instead of just displaying crawled index not registered.

Otherwise, I don’t know if it won’t be published due to low quality or it won’t be listed in YMYL forever.

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