Testing 50 YMYL Queries on Google SGE

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Testing 50 YMYL Queries on Google SGE

by: Aleksandra Stefanovic

In the field of Search Engine Optimization, there’s been much discussion about Google’s Search Generative Experience (SGE) and how it handles YMYL (Your Money or Your Life) queries. For those who might be unaware, SGE is Google’s latest incorporation of generative AI into its search experience. It’s designed to provide more intuitive, in-depth responses to queries.

YMYL stands for “Your Money or Your Life”

YMYL stands for “Your Money or Your Life.” This term, utilized by Google, refers to web page topics that could potentially impact a person’s health, financial stability, safety, or societal welfare and well-being. In other words, these are topics that bear a high level of responsibility due to the potential harm that could be caused if the information presented is inaccurate or misleading.

YMYL topics can be broadly classified into four categories:

YMYL Health or Safety: These topics can negatively impact mental, physical, or emotional health or compromise any form of safety such as physical safety or online safety.

YMYL Financial Security: Topics falling under this category can damage a person’s ability to support themselves or their families financially.

YMYL Society: Topics here could have a negative societal impact, affecting groups of people, public interest, trust in public institutions, etc.

YMYL Other: Any other topics that could potentially harm people or negatively affect the welfare or well-being of society.

To discern whether a topic is YMYL, one might ask: Would a careful person seek out experts or highly trusted sources to prevent harm? If the answer is yes, then the topic is likely YMYL.

In this blog post, I’ll share insights from testing 50 YMYL queries on Google SGE, along with AI-generated responses.

“What are the symptoms of a heart attack?”: Google SGE provided an answer but emphasized that any person experiencing such symptoms should immediately call 9-1-1. A clear indication of the AI’s limitations in providing medical advice.

What are the symptoms of a heart attack

“How to invest in stocks for the first time?”: No AI response was generated for this query.

How to invest in stocks for the first time

“What to do during an earthquake?”: Google SGE responded with a detailed guide on what actions to take during an earthquake, making sure to cover both indoor and outdoor scenarios.

What to do during an earthquake

“How to vote in the upcoming elections?”: There was no AI-generated response to this query.

“What are the requirements to obtain a driver’s license?”: SGE generated an extensive list of steps and requirements, providing a comprehensive answer to this query. All from .gov websites.

“What are the symptoms of diabetes?”: SGE returned a response, but emphasized that a medical expert should be consulted for accurate diagnosis and treatment.

What are the symptoms of diabetes google SGE search result

“How to prepare for retirement financially?”: There was no AI-generated answer for this query.

How to prepare for retirement financially

“What are the safety measures during a hurricane?”: SGE delivered a detailed list of safety measures, underscoring the importance of adequate preparation during natural disasters. Second blog is cdc.gov 

What are the safety measures during a hurricane SGE search result

“How to apply for a passport?”: Google SGE provided a comprehensive guide outlining all the necessary steps to apply for a passport.

How to apply for a passport

“What are the qualifications for unemployment benefits?”: No AI response was provided.

What are the qualifications for unemployment benefits

“What are the signs of a stroke?”: Google’s SGE does generate an AI answer for this query. However, the answer begins with a disclaimer stating that a medical expert is the best source for such information, emphasizing that the generated information does not constitute medical advice or diagnosis. It also ends with an urgent call to action, suggesting to call 911 immediately if someone experiences any of the symptoms mentioned.

What are the signs of a stroke search result

“What is the process of buying a house?”: For this query, the SGE generated an AI answer providing the steps to buying a house. The answer didn’t carry any disclaimer or warning.

What is the process of buying a house querie on Google SGE

“How to act during a fire emergency?”: An AI answer was generated, detailing immediate actions to be taken during a fire emergency. Interestingly, the answer came from a .gov website, which usually signifies trustworthiness and authority.

How to act during a fire emergency SGE google search result

“What are the laws on child custody?”: An AI answer was provided, but it started with a disclaimer that the information is not professional legal advice, and it’s best to consult a lawyer for specific circumstances.

What are the laws on child custody google search query

“How to apply for a student loan?”: The SGE generated an AI response but emphasized that the information provided is not professional financial advice and that one should consult a financial advisor for specific circumstances.

How to apply for a student loan SGE search result

“What is the treatment for high blood pressure?”: The SGE provided an AI answer that began with a medical disclaimer, stating that a doctor is best equipped to provide the information and care needed. It also stressed that the information does not constitute medical advice or diagnosis. We also have .gov website

What is the treatment for high blood pressure querie on Google SGE

“What are the steps to start a small business?”: A full AI answer was generated for this query, indicating that SGE seems confident in providing information in this area.

“How to protect yourself from identity theft?”: A full AI answer was generated. No disclaimer or warnings were attached, implying that Google SGE is confident about the reliability and accuracy of this information.

How to protect yourself from identity theft

“What is the process of divorce?”: An AI answer was generated.

“What are the requirements for a personal loan?”: An AI answer was provided, but it began with a disclaimer recommending the consultation of a financial expert for best advice.

“What are the signs of depression?”: For this query, no AI answer was generated, signifying Google SGE’s caution about presenting potentially sensitive or harmful information without professional guidance.

What are the signs of depression search query

“How to prepare a will?”: No AI answer was provided for this query, suggesting the complex and potentially sensitive nature of the topic.

“What to do if there’s a gas leak?”: Google SGE generated a full AI answer for this query without any disclaimers or warnings.

What to do if there's a gas leak

“What are the rights of a tenant?”: A full AI answer was generated, providing information on tenant rights.

What are the rights of a tenants

“How does bankruptcy work?”: A full AI answer was generated for this query without any disclaimers or warnings.

How does bankruptcy work in Queries on Google SGE

“What are the symptoms of COVID-19?”: No AI answer was generated for this query, possibly due to the medical nature of the question and the ever-evolving information about the disease.

What are the symptoms of COVID-19 Queries on Google SGE

“How does health insurance work?”: Google SGE generated an AI answer but with a disclaimer stating that the information provided isn’t professional financial advice and recommending consultation with a financial advisor.

How does health insurance work

“How to protect personal information online?”: A full AI answer was generated for this query, which Google SGE seemed quite confident in presenting, likely due to its expertise in digital security.

“What is the process of immigration?”: Google SGE provides a full AI answer, with information drawn from a .gov website, which indicates that the information is sourced from an official U.S. government organization.

“How to calculate taxes?”: No AI answer was generated for this query, possibly due to the complexity and personal nature of tax calculations.

How to calculate taxes SGE search result

“What is the treatment for cancer?”: An AI answer was provided, but it begins with a disclaimer emphasizing the importance of professional medical advice and that the generated information does not constitute medical advice or diagnosis. It also includes information from a medical.gov website.

What is the treatment for cancer

“How to save for a child’s education?”: No AI answer was provided for this query. This could be due to the variability in personal finance situations.

“What to do during a flood?”: Google SGE provides a full AI answer, sourced from a mass.gov website.

What to do during a flood

“What are the laws on discrimination at the workplace?”: A full AI answer was provided, sourced from .gov websites, which indicates a high level of trust and reliability in the information.

What are the laws on discrimination at workplace SGE search result

“How to apply for social security benefits?”: No AI answer was provided for this query, potentially due to the complexity and individualized nature of the process.

How to apply for social security benefits SGE google search result

“What are the signs of Alzheimer’s disease?”: An AI answer was generated, but it begins with a disclaimer emphasizing the importance of professional medical advice. Part of the answer was also sourced from a .gov website, indicating a reliable source of information.

What are the signs of Alzheimers disease

“What are the best investment strategies?”: No AI answer was provided for this query, which is likely due to the complexity and individualized nature of investment strategies.

“How to secure your home from burglars?”: Google SGE provides a full AI answer for this query without any disclaimers or warnings.

How to secure your home from burglars

“How does the adoption process work?”: Google SGE provides a full AI answer for this query without any disclaimers or warnings.

How does adoption process work search query

“How to manage credit card debt?”: No AI answer was provided for this query, potentially due to the complexity and individual nature of credit card debt management.

“What are the symptoms of Lyme disease?”: Google SGE generated an AI answer but emphasized that professional medical advice is essential. Part of the answer was sourced from a .gov website.

Lyme disease search query

“How does car insurance work?”: Google SGE provided an AI answer but stated that the information isn’t professional financial advice and recommended consulting with a financial advisor.

How does car insurance work search

“What to do in case of a car accident?”: Google SGE provides a full AI answer for this query without any disclaimers or warnings.

What to do in case of a car accident google SGE query

“What are the laws on sexual harassment?”: An AI answer was provided, partially sourced from a .gov website, signaling a reliable source of information.

What are the laws on sexual harassment google search query

“How to apply for Medicare?”: No AI answer was provided for this query, possibly due to the complexity of the application process.

“What is the treatment for asthma?”: An AI answer was generated but emphasized the importance of professional medical advice. Part of the answer was sourced from the National Institutes of Health (.gov) website.

“How to plan for a secure financial future?”: No AI answer was provided for this query, likely due to the complexity and personalized nature of financial planning.

“What to do in case of a cyber attack?”: No AI answer was provided for this query, potentially due to the complex and evolving nature of cybersecurity threats.

What to do in case of a cyber attack google SGE result

“What is the process of naturalization?”: A full AI answer was provided, with one of the sources being a .gov website, indicating a high level of trust and reliability in the information.

What is the process of naturalization google SGE search result

“How to refinance a mortgage?”: Google SGE generated an AI answer but stated that the information isn’t professional financial advice and recommended consultation with a financial advisor.

How to refinance a mortgage Google SGE search result

Analyzing the results of the queries, there are some key patterns and conclusions to draw:

Reliance on Trusted Sources

Google’s SGE AI extensively uses .gov websites as sources for YMYL queries. As these are official government sites, the information they provide is deemed accurate and reliable.

Disclaimers for Medical and Financial Topics

AI answers to medical, legal, and financial queries often begin with a disclaimer. These disclaimers underline the importance of seeking professional advice for such matters, ensuring users understand that AI responses are not substitutes for professional expertise.

 

Absence of AI Answers for Complex or Personal Topics

Some queries, particularly those involving complex processes or personal circumstances (such as “How to calculate taxes?”, “How to save for a child’s education?”, or “How to plan for a secure financial future?”) do not have AI answers. This suggests Google’s SGE is programmed to avoid providing oversimplified answers to complex topics that involve personal circumstances.

Information Availability for Common Situations

For queries about common situations or general knowledge (e.g., “How to secure your home from burglars?”, “What to do in case of a car accident?”, “How does the adoption process work?”), full AI answers are provided without disclaimers. This shows Google’s SGE’s capacity to provide helpful information on non-specialized topics.

Mental Health Topics

For mental health-related queries like “What are the signs of depression?”, the AI does not provide an answer. This suggests that Google’s SGE is cautious about giving information on sensitive topics that require professional expertise.

Balancing Act

Google’s SGE strives to balance between providing useful, reliable information and ensuring users understand the necessity of professional advice for YMYL topics. It demonstrates a strong commitment to ethical AI practices.

The responses to these YMYL queries show that Google’s SGE is designed to handle such topics with care, acknowledging the importance of professional advice, and refraining from oversimplifying complex, personal matters. The AI’s extensive use of information from trusted sources (.gov websites) underlines a commitment to reliable and accurate information.

Leveraging Google SGE Insights for Marketing Strategy

Understanding the intricacies of Google’s handling of YMYL queries can offer valuable insights into shaping your digital marketing and content marketing strategies. Here are some ways this testing can be applied:

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Content Trustworthiness

Since Google tends to lean towards .gov and other highly authoritative sources to answer YMYL queries, it’s clear that the search engine values trustworthiness in content. As such, ensure that your content, especially those on YMYL topics, are well-researched, accurate, and reliable. Cite trustworthy sources and present the information in a clear and concise manner.

Content Expertise

As the AI places disclaimers before YMYL topics stressing the importance of professional advice, content creators should aim to demonstrate their expertise in their field. If possible, involve experts in the creation of your content or get them to review your content.

Content Responsiveness

Google’s AI refrains from answering complex, highly personal topics. This underscores the importance of making your content responsive to the needs and circumstances of individual users. Understand your audience’s unique needs and tailor your content to meet those needs.

Legal and Medical Content

If your business involves providing content around legal, medical, or financial advice, be aware of Google’s cautious approach to these topics. Just like Google, your content should always stress that users should consult with a professional and that your content is meant to be general advice and not a substitute for professional guidance.

Quality over Quantity

Google’s approach to YMYL queries suggests that quality content is valued over quantity. Prioritize creating high-quality content that provides real value to your audience over producing a high volume of lesser-quality content.

Ethical SEO Practices

It’s evident from the AI’s approach that manipulative SEO practices won’t work on YMYL queries. Stick to ethical SEO practices, focusing on improving user experience, using relevant keywords appropriately, and creating valuable content.

By keeping these factors in mind and incorporating them into your digital and content marketing strategies, you can improve your site’s ranking potential, gain trust from your audience, and ultimately drive more organic traffic to your site.

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