Sep 03 2018

Algorithm Review – Google Medic

Posted by Aj Aviado

Another delightful update happened just this August. And while a lot of websites including us, check it out, have reported it when it was about to happen, while it was happening and after it was confirmed that it actually happened, we will now dive into it and explore every bit of this uncharted ocean of mystery, the Google Medic Update.

In the beginning, nobody really thought that it was targeting anything, much like all of the algorithm updates that came out through the years. But early on, it really looked like it was affecting the “YMYL” types of websites. Also known as “Your Money Your Life”. These websites are mostly the kinds that revolve around lifestyle and finance. So all of the sites out there that deal with these things, sites that ask for personal information when making deals with buyers online, these are most of the sites that get affected. So Ecommerce sites are in.

Later on however, it turned out that there’s a larger niche of industry out there on the web that’s being affected by this mysterious August 1 algorithm update.

Health and Medicine sites.

Further details surrounding the changes included, changes in location listings of big sites and/or companies dropping and Google displaying the location listings of smaller and local businesses.

In an article by Marie Haynes, she checked out the performance of various sites that were within this umbrella of the health and medicine niche. In this article, she saw sites that dropped drastically while others climbed slowly or spiked immediately. This then led her to believe, that this new update is a way for Google to reevaluate YMYL sites when it comes to their trust worthiness and safety.

 

 

Marie Haynes Blog - Google Medic

Credits to: https://www.mariehaynes.com/the-august-1-2018-google-update-strongly-affected-ymyl-sites/

She also had an example there of a page that used to be ranking really high. But when you look at the page itself, it really has nothing else to offer other than the content on that page itself.

When it was fully rolled out a week later, everyone found out (once people that actually have time to check on things put out studies and when Search Engine Land released their article) that this update is a version of a Broad Core Algorithm update.

Quick review, a “broad core algorithm update” is the kind of update that no one can ever fix. Technically, there’s nothing that much wrong with your site if it drops suddenly because of a core update. All you can do is continue to offer valuable, genuine content and information to the public. Broad Core Algorithm updates gives spotlight to smaller sites. Meaning if you’re a newbie business and you’ve been releasing quality content out there for years and just can’t get past your bigger and older competitors, this may be your time to shine.

If this type of update is then configured to target something more specific like this recent one, the outcomes can be very interesting.

On some countries, the results can be very devastating. On others it’s just very minor. It all depends on that specific country’s trends in medicine, business and ecommerce.

Quick trivia, every algorithm per country is the same. It just acts differently according to the current trends and behavior of that country. But like the graph provided by Search Engine land we’ve provided on our previous post about this update, majority of the affected sites are still those in the health section, finance and business. For cool visual treats, we’ll post it here again:

Google Medic Update Graph from Search Engine Land

So now that the biggies of health and YLYM sites have fallen to give way to the small and new businesses and their sites, what can you do to try and get back up the ranks?

Since it’s a type of core algorithm update, again, there is technically nothing you can do. But, the loop hole there is that there are clues and cues from before this was fully rolled out.

The affected sites are mostly those that have a lot of traffic in them that collects data and has money running all throughout them all the time, right? Make sure that there are systems in place that keeps the security in check. This is one of the examples of the Maria Haynes article. It’s not really that much of a stretch too. Making sure that your site is secure, and the information of all your client are all secure, won’t hurt plus it’s actually beneficial too. In short, be more trustworthy. All that shady cheap tricks should have been extinct years ago.

Review your website’s performance. Every single small thing that can and may hinder your website’s performance can add up to your faults and may keep you from recovering faster. Ask yourself, is your website mobile friendly? Is it loading quick on both platforms, desktop and mobile? It should be.

Lastly, content. Yes, review your content once again. Do you have enough and are you able to regularly share it. You may have all the keywords on your About us or Services page. But you cannot depend solely on those pages. The advantage of websites that have blog sections is that they can produce and release related content regularly. Unlike websites that just have their main pages as a source of content, websites that have a place where they can create and release content is a very heavy plus. It’s not that there’s no strategy for websites that don’t have a blog section, but it should be a no brainer that the more you can offer the world, the more you’ll get the attention of Google.

There’s no cheap way up to success.


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