Algorithm Rolled Out: August 1, 2018

Many businesses have noticed significant changes in their website’s search engine rankings. It is after the upgrade launched – and not all for the better. Read on to find out more about Google’s Medic Update. How it works, who has affected, and how you can enhance it. Also to defend your B2B website in the face of it.

Algorithm Overview: Overall Gist

Google handed out one of the most significant search engine algorithm adjustments it’s ever done the week of August 1, 2018, leaving a trail of chaotic website rankings in its wake. Organic ranks for health, fitness, and medical websites were particularly affected by the upgrade. In summary, Google is calling this a sweeping, global, fundamental change, but much of the data thus far indicates that there is a concentration on health and medical sites, as well as YMYL sites. 

But many websites besides those impacted by the update. Google tells us that there is nothing you can do to fix your site, so you should focus on making a great experience, offering better content and a more helpful website. This update has taken on the Medic Update because of its focus on the medical and health space. This specific focus is something Google will not confirm.

More Upgrade

However, the upgrade influenced a lot of other sites as well. Google tells us that there is nothing you can do to improve your site, so focus on providing a fantastic experience, better content, and a more useful website. Because it concentrated on the medical and health fields, it has dubbed the Medic Update. Google will not confirm this particular focus.

“There is no ‘cure’ for pages that may perform less well, other than to remain focused on developing outstanding content,” Google says, referring to past core upgrades’ guidance. “As with any update, some sites may see reductions or gains.” Google said, “As with any update, some sites may notice drops or gains.” There’s nothing wrong with pages that aren’t doing as well as they formerly did. Changes to our processes, on the other hand, are helping pages that previously under-rewarded.”

The ‘Medic’ algorithm update is a comprehensive core upgrade that can affect the search visibility of a huge number of websites. After each update, Google reconsiders the SERP Ranking of websites based on knowledge, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness (E-A-T).

  • Unlike the daily algorithm changes, the wide core upgrade has a far-reaching influence.
  • For search queries worldwide, fluctuations in ranking places can identified.
  • The update enhances search query contextual results.
  • Websites that previously harmed by the Google upgrade will not recover.
  • The only solution is to improve the quality of the content.
  • More emphasis should placed on expertise, authority, and trustworthiness (E.A.T)

Following is a list of notable themes that have emerged as a result of this medical update:

Brand Searches Have Changed

Google’s results for huge brand queries – think KLM, IBM, McDonald’s, and so on — appear to have shifted slightly. This now nearly always contains a “jobs at” type result, which has resulted in a significant increase in ranks for certain major job boards.

Commercial Sites Are Performing Somewhat Better

Commercial sites, on the whole, appear to be performing better. We see eBay in the United States and Germany, as well as Marktplaats (which is owned by eBay) in the Netherlands and non-eBay commercial sites. Content sites in those results have suffered a hit when they do better, and some price comparison sites appear to have taken a minor knock as well.

Google’s vague response left SEOs dissatisfied and disappointed. This is especially true given how this ‘regular’ upgrade significantly impacted high-quality and reputable websites. Many websites claimed a 70% rise or dropped in page one visibility in just seven days across top US websites, supporting this theory.

Algorithm Winners & Losers 

However, since its original release, we can see that the upgrade has impacted sites well beyond the medical specialty, including payday lending. The fact that few websites have able to recover is why this upgrade is still discussed today.

While Google claimed that the algorithm change was broad and global, it appeared to have a significant impact on health and medical, financial, legal, and “Your Money Your Life” (sites that can affect someone’s current or future well-being, such as safety, finances, physical health, and so on) sites. Due to a large number of websites in that area reporting a significant shift in their ranks, the upgrade was dubbed the “Medic” update.

Loser

MyLVAD:

According to SEMRush, MyLVAD is one of the top losers in the Health category. In August 2018, the Medic Update wreaked havoc on this site, and it appears that the March 2019 Core Update has done the same. According to SEMRush statistics, MyLVAD’s keyword position declined 11 spots on March 13th. MyLVAD is a support group and resource for persons with advanced congestive heart failure who have an LVAD implant.

An in-depth examination of the site revealed that it does not meet Google’s E A T quality standards. The site’s materials aren’t attributed to any specialists. Importantly, the site’s contact information is absent. The website contains more user-generated material since it functions more like a forum. Because this website comes under the YMYL category, it’s critical to include the author bio (in this example, the doctor’s designation) to boost the E A T rating.

Winner

Painscale:

The PainScale is a website and software that aids in managing pain and chronic disease. After the September 2018 upgrade, the site received a ranking bump, and everything was working properly until December of that year. After January, traffic and rankings began to decline, and now the Florida 2 Update has further lowered them. The website offers visitors information regarding pain management, according to an analysis. The authority of the material presented on this website is once again questioned.

Although the site has reprinted some information from Mayo Clinic and other authoritative sites, Google does not appreciate aggregation. The website also offers a quiz part with pain management techniques. On the other hand, the website aims to acquire visitors’ health information before asking them to join up for PainScale for free. Google is opposed to this strategy because it is concerned about the privacy of its customers. This might be one of the explanations for PainScale’s dip in traffic and rankings following the Core Update in March 2019.

Medbroadcast

This is yet another classic example of a YMYL website that Google scrutinizes closely. Medbroadcast provides a wealth of information on medical disorders and treatment alternatives for users. There is no information on the author here, as there is on the other websites on this list. Furthermore, the site has an odd structure, with a few URLs redirecting to subdomains. The website also includes around 50 URLs at the bottom of the homepage and various internal pages, giving it a spammy appearance.

The Google Medic Update in August 2018 also resulted in an overabundance of traffic to this site. According to the statistics, traffic climbed following the Medic Update and then fell in January. The emphasis is once again on E A T signal quality. The three instances above demonstrate how the Florida 2 Update impacted healthcare sites that did not respect the Google Quality Rater Guidelines.

Algorithm Solution: Ways to implement or take to cope with Google algorithm guidelines

Several SEOs have tweeted at Google, requesting advice on how to improve their site’s compliance with best practices. “There’s nothing wrong with pages that may suddenly function less well,” Google said. Changes to our processes, on the other hand, are helping pages that previously under-rewarded”… “As a result, stay focused on creating amazing content.”

To be sure, this is excellent overall counsel. However, it does nothing to assist those who have suffered the most due to the upgrade. As a result, SEOs have proposed two ideas for regaining the favor of the search engine algorithm, both of which show positive, if minor, connections.

Here are the best practices to follow:

E.A.T. Theory

The original post-update recovery notion was to exercise your website’s E.A.T.—expertise, authority, and trust. This is most likely due to a tweet from Google’s Danny Sullivan (on the day-of roll out) advising SEOs to check their 200-page Quality Rater Guidelines. These recommendations modified exactly one week before the algorithm upgrade. Which is more significant that the algorithm modification is linked to E.A.T.

Query Intent Theory

The Query Purpose Theory is the younger of the two recovery theories, and it proposes that it all boils down to matching your website’s content to searchers’ intent. This argument better explains how certain websites with fantastic, very authoritative content (and good E.A.T!) had such significant reductions and vice versa. Furthermore, SEOs have discovered a link between the broad core upgrade rollout and an increase in the “People Also Ask” boxes in search results.

Content Theory

“Content Theory” is more of a component of a wider study effort undertaken by Canirank.com than a stand-alone theory. After the algorithm modification, they discovered a modest relationship between the length of a web page’s content and its SERP rank. In other words, the longer the page’s content was (in comparison to its competitors’ similar pages), the better the update’s outcomes were.

Those who were negatively impacted might have been due to a lack of “trust.” Here are a few ideas on how you could deal with these problems:

  • If a site was offering a product that might endanger safety – Review and verify there isn’t any question as to their safety
  • Negative reputation – Increase the trustworthiness of your page by offering clear and useful contact information as well as readily navigable customer service pages.
  • A poor reputation compared to competitors and a large number of unfavorable reviews – Work on improving this by obtaining more positive customer comments and reviews.
  • Lack of industry authority – Obtain backlinks from other high-quality, authoritative websites in your niche to boost your authority.

Other things you can do to improve the E-A-T of your website is to ensure a high standard through:

  • Maintaining the quality of your material and ensuring that the person creating it has the necessary experience. Your material should be evaluated and updated frequently as well.
  • Maintaining and upgrading your website shows Google that you provide up-to-date information to your visitors.
  • Creating an author profile or biography for the people who compose your material. With links to any key URLs that might assist Google to comprehend their expertise. For example, whitepapers, published journals, their LinkedIn profile, and so on.

When you include all of the above principles into your content and website. You’ll be giving yourself the best chance to improve. And sustain your search engine ranks in the wake of Google’s Medic Update. As well as ensuring that the appropriate people find your material at the right time. At the very least, you can be confident that the content you’re presenting to prospects is of high quality. And contains good and authoritative information that will assist them in resolving their problems and issues.

Real-Time Implementation Example:

When Google releases a new update, the first thing you should do is see if your website has affected.

These two reports can be used:

  • Organic search traffic report from Google Analytics
  • The Panguin SEO tool from Barracuda

If you check at the last 30 days of traffic, the organic search traffic report in Google Analytics will clearly show you if there has been a traffic reduction.

Organic search traffic report

Barracuda’s SEO tool overlays the newest Google updates on top of your organic search report, so you can quickly assess whether an update has had an impact on your search traffic if it’s unclear or you want to be extra watchful (like me).

Yes, we harmed in the case of the Medic upgrade!

Following the upgrade, organic search traffic plummeted.

Peachy actually lost 18 per cent of organic search traffic in a single day.

We could lose up to 100,000 visitors each year due to a decline in traffic and rankings, which we cannot afford to lose!

We’ll do the following as part of the healing process:

I examined the webpage.
We identified a few critical pages that needed to improved.
Then I devised a strategy.
I’m going to show you how we recovered from the Google Medic Update right now.

“Short term loans at Peachy (trusted by 2 million clients)” is our current title tag.

Since then, our home page’s click-through rate has improved from 7.3 percent to 10%, resulting in over 4,500 additional visits.

Title tag rewrite performance report

We repeated the process on several of our most popular landing pages, removing terms like “right now,” “immediately,” and “today.”

Instead, we use star ratings and verified reviews in our title tags to highlight trust.

Increase the amount of high-quality content you produce.

The history of the Peachy blog is fascinating.

It used to be a location where we would share financial tips.

However, with time, it lost its way and began to create content solely for the purpose of publishing fresh stuff.

The first two years looked good:

Blog traffic growth

Then, rather than focusing on quality, we began to publish content based on frequency:

Blog traffic decline

By August 2017, blog traffic has nearly vanished.

Because becoming an expert takes time, we’ve increased our blog material production to two entries each month since September.

Again, the emphasis is on sound counsel, and we strive to incorporate as much of our own personal experience as possible.

We:

  • More research should be cited.
  • We’ll share what we’ve learned thus far.
  • Make sure we’re not recycling stuff that’s already been published on every other personal finance website.

While it’s still early, we’re already seeing some promising signs:

Blog traffic positive growth

Final End Result

Sure, there are a lot of best practices that repeat the same old SEO approaches – but there aren’t many practical ways for recovering from this particular upgrade.

We:

  • Identified and improved pages that needed to highlight trust.
  • More authoritative sites linked in terms of SEO.
  • We’ve increased our focus on creating high-quality content to demonstrate our expertise.
  • This isn’t the first time we’ve been penalised by a Google upgrade; we’ve had penalties before.

We’re doing everything properly, just like last time, and Google is noticing, which is why we’re able to recover.

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