What is the Google Medic update?
In August this year, Google released a broad core algorithm update that’s been nicknamed the “Medic” update. That’s because Medical and health sites have been heavily impacted, as well as any sites that belong to the category of sites known as YMYL (Your Money Or Your Life) which include parenting, legal or financial advice sites.
Why did Google release this update?
It appears that Google wants to clamp down on fake news, inaccurate and unqualified content. This is especially true for sites that have a significant impact on your wellbeing.
What has been the impact?
I’ve seen several medical sites that have lost between 30% and 50% of their traffic after the update. The image below is from a Parenting site that lost over 1 million visitors a month!
Why did certain sites get impacted so heavily?
The majority of sites that bore the brunt of the impact were those that didn’t have sufficient E.A.T (Expertise, Authoritativeness and Trust) demonstrated throughout their website. There are many examples of sites on the Internet that lost millions of visitors almost instantly as a result of them tumbling in the search engine results pages.
What should you do?
Study the “Quality Raters Handbook” from Google and be familiar with what E.A.T Google is expecting to be displayed on your website.
Display all of your E.A.T. Your About page should demonstrate why you are an authority in this industry. How many years of experience you have, what recognition/awards have been bestowed on yourself or your business, what credentials make you qualified to be an authority on the subject etc. Every piece of writing should have the author listed with an author bio (where possible).
Improve the overall reputation of your business. As we know, SEO is really about brand building, rather than just being about optimising your site for search engines. You can build your personal/website’s brand by getting favorable press coverage, reviews, links from various credible sources, social media traffic etc. This will become key to improve your rankings in 2019 and beyond.
What’s the future?
It would be naive to think Google will stop at ensuring expertise, authority and trust for just YMYL sites. I believe this is just the tip of the iceberg and we can anticipate that Google will roll out a similar algorithm change for other niches/sites, such as animal health/care, building/construction, travel, food, sports etc
Have a different opinion? comment below!