Major Google Algorithm Update - Ignore at Your Own Risk!

Nov 14, 2018 | Search Engine Optimization

The "Medic Update" from Google Might Affect Your Site

Google Algorithm

On August 1st Google released an update to their core algorithm. Google is constantly updating the secret formula they use to determine the ranking of results from their search platform, with an estimated 500-600 tweaks made every year. But a core algorithm update only happens a few times each year.

The August 1st update has been nicknamed by those in the Search Engine Optimization (SEO) community as the “Medic Update,” since the largest impacts have been observed in healthcare sites, followed by financial websites, and Your Money and Your Life (YMYL) sites. The algorithm was the subject of a global rollout, meaning that it impacts all sites, regardless of the primary language or the country of origin.

While the powerful internet tastemakers at Google are happy to confirm the presence of this wide-sweeping update, they are extremely secretive when it comes to detailing the changes or how you can offset a drop in ranking.

According to Google, “Some sites may note drops or gains. There’s nothing wrong with pages that may now perform less well. Instead, it’s that changes to our systems are benefiting pages that were previously under-rewarded. There’s no 'fix' for pages that may perform less well other than to remain focused on building great content. Over time, it may be that your content may rise relative to other pages.”

Google may not be sharing specifics, but SEO researchers believe the key to maximizing your search results within this new update can be achieved by improving your E-A-T score.

Hungry for Quality

E-A-T stands for:

  • Expertise
  • Authority
  • Trustworthiness

The Google algorithm does all the heavy lifting when it comes to delivering the speedy search engine results users demand, but the company’s human raters and engineers are instrumental in fine-tuning that algorithm. 

Google’s Quality Rater Guidelines direct those human researchers to assign value scores to websites. These rating guidelines, and the algorithm, show an interest in stemming the worldwide tide of misinformation. This makes sense, because Google prides itself on delivering relevant and meaningful content to its users. This is where E-A-T comes in.

In order to increase E-A-T and have success within the updated algorithm, it needs to be clear who the author of your site content is. Again, this is particularly relevant in the areas of health, finance, and YMYL. It’s fine if your Aunt Ida wants to tell the world her five-step cure for the flu. But unless Aunt Ida is a licensed doctor who can prove her expertise and authority in the domain of healthcare, Google will deem this information untrustworthy and lower her search engine results.

In order to combat a lowered ranking, not only do you have to provide valuable, consistent, relevant content, we now suggest that you attribute posts. For landing pages and other areas where an attribution would be out of place, it should be very easy to find the contact information for the business on the page. This is an acceptable substitute for personal attribution.

In order to grow your expertise and authority, you should be engaging with other thought leaders in your field and acquiring mentions and links on reputable sites within your area.

And remember, trustworthiness relates to more than the content on a page. We have said it before, and it merits repeating: your site needs a secure certificate. If your website URL doesn’t read HTTPS, then you are losing major points when it comes to page rank, and putting your vital business resource in harm’s way.

SEO is a marathon that never ends, which is why utilizing a team of expert marketers and researchers can yield powerful business results. If you are ready to elevate your SEO campaigns with the help of a team that has proven results, contact Informatics today.