Back in early August, Google released a new core algorithm update that is already impacting sites accessing the preeminent search engine. This is the company’s third update in 2018. The update, known as the “Google Medic Update,” is Google’s latest broad, global update. As alluded by the update’s nickname, the update mostly is impacting healthcare and medical websites, but other sites are also feeling the effects.
Essentially, the update will not fix or impact sites that do not perform well in search engine rankings. The update’s main goal is to continue to build content, and over time, the update could impact sites with strong content. Website operators should monitor your site’s viewership numbers over the course of this update’s initial existence. It is important to know how to react as a website owner when a powerhouse search engine company such as Google releases new updates.
According to Google’s Search Liaison Twitter account, these type of updates occur several times per year. Google has reportedly suggested that this new update will not fix your websites SEO struggles. Instead, website owners should continue to seek quality content and active websites with modern, sleek designs.
The update is also impacting a wide variety of other industries beyond the medical field. According to a study compiled by the Search Engine Roundtable, about 16% of impacted websites were e-commerce sites, compared to heath related sites at 41.5%. Beyond e-commerce, other impacted sites from Google’s update include those in finance, insurance, deal sites, entertainment, business to business, and more according to the Search Engine Roundtable’s survey.
According to an early study released by Sistrix, many websites beyond the health field are atop the charts in ranking gains following the new update. The study shows that Carfax.com saw the largest initial increase in rankings at 68% from August 1 to August 9. Trailing in second at 42% was rent.com, followed sciencedaily.com in third (36%), xkcd.com (36%), glassdoor.com (25%), and businessinsider.com (24%). Also trending well after the update is webmd.com and youtube.com.
If you feel your website is being impacted negatively from Google’s Medic Update, here are some key insights that could potential help your site adjust to the update:
Improve your Expertise- Authoritativeness-Trustworthiness
Google has its own metrics that determine a site’s E-A-T, which also impacts how those sites rank. E-A-T deals with high quality pages, which can be read more in Google’s user content handbook (Section 4.1). This benchmark used by Google essentially determines if your site is being attended too often, has fresh content, and is an active website.
Update Consumer Pages
These are pages of your site that could actually impact the lives of your users or clients. Think of these pages as those that relate to customer happiness, health tips, retirement information, financial information and stability, etc. Google stresses these pages because they genuinely impact consumers on personal levels and calls these types of pages “Your Money or Your Life” pages. Hire experts to check out these pages and make sure they are sufficient. Follow Google standards for these pages to make sure you are up-to-date.
Keep SEO in Mind
Sites with stronger on-page and off-page SEO will continue to gain from this latest Google update, compared to sites without these SEO strategies. Make sure you are spreading out your keywords across all of your websites content. You may actually harm your rankings if you decided to cram dense amounts of keywords into limited areas of content. Keep an eye on keyword research to ensure your site is using the latest keywords.