Everything about the YouTube YMYL & EAT algorithm update

Everything about the YouTube YMYL & EAT algorithm update
Written by: Dexxter Clark, 30-09-2021
YMYL and EAT have blown over from Google to YouTube and will change how you will do YouTube SEO in the future.
YouTube casually mentioned it in their blog post about recommending videos … “oh yeah, this is a thing now”… and didn’t care explaining it in much detail.

What is EAT & YMYL?

EAT stands for: Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness.
In other words: does the content creator enjoys the recognition to talk about what he talks about?

YMYL stands for Your Money Your Life
Your Money is: stock trading, financing, making money online, debt, gambling, etc.
Your Life can be: news, politics, law or your health.

EAT and YMYL In short:
YouTube looks if the creator is an authoritative source in order to be recommended on YouTube.
It affects your YouTube rankings.

Google is very vague about what they exactly look at.
In the blogpost Google links to a 175 page document with rating guidelines that Quality Raters look at to look at for websites, instead of videos.
These human raters help to measure the quality of content with the results of Google.
The reason they linked this, is because probably the same applies to YouTube.

What is the goal of YMYL & EAT?

The general gist is, that they want viewers to have a beneficial purpose instead of a harmful purpose.

YouTube wants to surface the most truthful, if possible scientifically supported information to viewers.
This is one of YouTube’s efforts to combat fake news and conspiracy theories.

The YouTube algorithm is designed in a way that it serves videos that people are interested in by looking at previously watched videos.
People can be pigeonholed into a way of thinking, because it keeps serving the same kind of videos without fact checking.
For example: flat earth videos, COVID conspiracy videos and presidential election videos.

In the linked document Googles talks about what makes people trust a source.
When I extend this to YouTube:
  • I would trust NASA over an amateur astronomer.
  • I trust Derek from Veritasium because he is a physicist.
  • You can trust me to talk about YouTube algorithms, because I have a degree in software engineering.

What does YMYL & EAT mean for YouTube creators?

What can you do as creator to establish EAT?

It should be clear who the author of the content is.
That can be an individual, company or foundation.

YouTube is very vague about what they exactly look at to establish EAT for a YouTube channel.
But if I interpret the website Rating Guidelines to a YouTube channel, I have to say:
  • Add your experiences to your about page of your YouTube channel
    (Google talks specifically about website about pages).
  • Add an email address to your YouTube channel
    (Google talks specifically about contact forms).
  • Having online mentions of you as an author or company outside your channel.
    This means: experts talking about your channel, prestigious awards won, reviews, forum posts, social media mentions, social media accounts
    (Google talks specifically about reputation outside of the website).
    It is really hard to trust someone when there is no digital trace of someone being online when you Google them.
  • Does the content show that you invested significant amount of time, effort,
    expertise, and talent/skill?
Some other ideas I have:
  • Add a link to your website or social media in your channel header
  • Adding (at least) your name in video descriptions and preferably some experiences.
  • Using lower third titles, with your name and experience.
    For example: Dexxter Clark – on YouTube since 2010.
  • It might be handy to start a blog, not only for EAT, but also to have a bigger net to catch fish for your YouTube channel.
Remarkable things I saw about what is seen as Low quality content:
  • Exaggerated or shocking titles [paragraph 6.0 page 33].
    I’m not sure what to make of that because click-bait titles are already punished by lack of watch time.
  • Distracting ads or supplementary content. [paragraph 6.0 page 33]
  • Reused content from another source. [paragraph 7.2.4 page 40].
    They don’t mean short quotes, but reusing entire pieces of content, even if it is slightly changed.
    Which was already not allowed via the Community Guidelines.
  • Auto generated content [paragraph 7.2.6 page 42].
    This probably includes computer generated videos.
  • Already covered by YouTube’s TOS and community guidelines: deceptive content, scam spam, malware, impersonation, offensive content, conspiracy, discrimination etc.

Real name or pseudonym?

You don’t have to be authoritative with your real name, it can be a pseudonym.
Dexxter Clark isn’t my real name, it is actually my DJ name which I used for my DJ channel.
I didn’t changed it when I started my Social Video Plaza channel in 2020, because I saw EAT coming.

I have credibility to talk about YouTube, because I started my DJ channel in 2017 under this pseudonym.
When you Google for Dexxter Clark, the first thing that pops up is my YouTube channel about DJing.

Experience versus expertise

There are experts of all types.
Expertise doesn’t always mean that you have to have a diploma, experience can be seen as authoritative too.
A mother is an expert on raising children.
The same way a gossip or humor channel can have expertise.

A topic like health is super YMYL.
When you are a cancer patient, it is fine to share experiences of a specific cancer treatment and how you cope with that.
It would a problem if you would start to advice people what treatments and medicines to take.
You have to be a licensed doctor to do that.


Want free YouTube tips and tricks?
Check out the YouTube channel for this website. (opens YouTube in new tab)

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photo author dexxter clark
Dexxter Clark
Content creator / YouTuber
Social Video Plaza on YouTube Dexxter Clark on Instagram Dexxter Clark on Facebook Dexxter Clark on Linked In
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