It is a known fact that google releases new algorithms every single year. Each of these algorithms helps make the search engine more efficient and user-friendly. There are instances where algorithms sometimes affect a few sites and sometimes massive effects can be seen.
Google released one of its most significant algorithm updates in August 2018. The formal name of this update was the E – A – T update. Now you might be wondering what this algorithm does. This algorithm was created to improve the search engine’s performance. It is a broad core algorithm update. This means that it was created by tweaking and making changes to the main algorithm. The core update of this algorithm doesn’t target any specific niche, industry or issue. Its main focus is tweaking the importance, weight, order and value of the 200 ranking factors, signs and signals that determine the rankings of a page.
What is the E – A -T update?
This update was created in order to enhance the quality and relevance of the search engine. Google wanted all content on the web to adhere to their E – A -T model. Each of these alphabets defines specific criteria that google wanted all websites to adhere to:-
1. Expertise- It wanted all content producers to create accurate content, It should have well-researched and professionally created content material.
2. Authoritativeness- It wanted all articles to be recognised or approved by a source of authority. The core source should have credibility within their niche or their industry.
3. Trustworthiness- It wanted the source to be a reputed trustworthy and honest source, The core source should be a trusted source.
Therefore it can be understood why google created this algorithm. They wanted to improve the reputation of online sources by identifying the source of authority and expertise online, websites that can be trusted by the users. Google also had another motive and that is to not allow SEO experts any shortcuts. This was the main of google when they were preparing the algorithm.
Why is the E- A -T Update called the Google Medic Algorithm Update?
The E – A -T update was one of the most misunderstood algorithms and here’s why. When Google first released this update they stated that the update was a global update. That meant all niches and industries would be affected by it. However it seemed like this update affected health, lifestyle, and fitness and in the general medical industry was the only industry to be affected by it.
Therefore this update was dubbed the google medic algorithm update. However a lot of other industries like technology, business and legal had also faced the after-effects of the medic update. Google also denied the fact that they were explicitly targeting these niches or industries. So what exactly happened? It was seen that web ages that have suffered greatly from these updates belonged to niches that were sensitive in nature. The content from these industries can have massive repercussions on the user’s lifestyle be it business, money, health, or relationship-wise. Therefore the main aim of the medic update was to recognise the authority, and experience of the site. These niches are sensitive in nature and therefore required to build up trust and authority to do well in the SERPs.
What Does the Medic Update Affect?
As mentioned above the medic update is a very misunderstood algorithm. When it was first launched its after-effects could be seen in a lot of health, lifestyle and medical-based sites. Apart from that technology, business, legal, education and finance niches also reported significant losses. Reports have revealed that about 56% of all websites lost about 5% of their visibility. Therefore, many websites that were on the front page before the launch of the algorithm were now placed on the bottom. So what is it that the algorithm was affecting?
1. The algorithm hit about roughly 50% of all sites. These were usually pages that ranked first in the SERPs.
2. A lot of sites had lost their visibility for the first 100 search results. It was estimated that all websites had lost about 5% of their visibility.
3. Generally small and medium businesses were very badly affected and some were even forced to close off due to significant losses.
4. The update focused on content, design and user experience to determine the ranking factor. Therefore any website with poor content, poor design and bad user experience suffered a lot of problems.
5. The update invalidated websites that used duplicacy, scraped continent, irrelevant content and black hat SEO tactics.
Can my Medical Practice Recover from the Google Medic Algorithm Update?
Most medical, lifestyle and health sites witnessed a massive fall in their organic traffic after the release of the Medic algorithm update. A lot of sites saw their ranking drop down rapidly. Even though most google users rely on the internet for information and advice about their health this update showed the opposite effect. If your site also experienced any of the above there are a few things that you can do.
1. Update your content:- Add relevant and important content. Try to add statistical data like graphs and charts. Numbers and pictures are also helpful. To put it simply add in data that enrich or bring value to your content. Make sure that it follows the above-mentioned E – A -T format.
2. Use Authoritative Links:- Make sure to incorporate links from a lot of authoritative sites. Your aim should be in increasing the credibility of your site. Increasing the credibility of your site will drive in more organic traffic and in turn help you do better in the SERPs.
3. Use simple language:- It is a known fact that medical literature is most often written in a complex language format. However, using short sentences, smaller paragraphs and in general, simplifying the material will go a long way.
4. Reviews:- Positive reviews can do wonders and this will help you out a lot in this case. It will be extremely effective if the content from other sites is linked back to your website. Google considers this as a sign of authority and it will rank your site higher.
5. Appropriate Keywords:- Try to incorporate commonly searched keywords including long-tailed as well as medium-tailed keywords. Users find it convenient to search for queries that are answered this way. By doing so your website will appear relevant and appropriate. It will also be ranked higher in the SERPS.
The diagnosis may take some time but it will pick up the pace later and your site will be doing well in no time.
How to Rank Higher Under the Google Medic Algorithm Update?
While there aren’t any clear-cut ways or methods to fix this problem. There might be a few things that can help you. It is recommended to not chase the algorithm whilst maximising SEO endeavours. Moreover, black hat SEO tactics should be avoided at all costs. So what can you do at this point? Given below are a few methods that may be of use to you:-
1. E – A – T content
E -A -T is the most important factor to consider. You will have to make sure that your content abides by the E – A – T criteria. The easiest way to do that is to assert your expertise, authority and trustworthiness. There are several ways to accomplish that. You can use links from another authoritative site, and use your good reviews to assert your presence as a reliable website. You can create an about page where you can start building your personal brand. Moreover, there are several other ways like using citations and backlinks that can help you.
2. Content Size
There is a lot of misconception about this factor. While a lot of people think that content size matters that is not entirely correct. This is how it works. The content size matters on the query asked. If the size of the content explains to the user the concept appropriately it will be considered relevant content. To put it in simple words your content should have the potential to convince the user. Make sure to produce well-researched content that provides value and information to the user.
3. Search Intent
It is important for you to figure out the search intent of your readers. Search intent is the process through which a user figures out what they aim to get from searching a certain keyword. There are mainly four kinds of search intents namely Transactional (users aim to make specific purchases), Navigational (User aim to find a specific website), Commerical Research (Users aim to acquire more knowledge about a certain product but are having second thoughts about buying it) and Informational (Users aim to look for solutions to a problem ). By determining what your readers are looking for you can create a specific type of content that your readers are specifically looking for.
There are several other ways to rank higher however these are a few tried and tested methods. However, results may vary due to additional factors.
How To Fix Your Website If You Were Hit by the Medic Algorithm Update
If you are suspecting that your website may have been hit by the medic algorithm there are a few things that can be done. Truth be told there are about 200 factors that determine your page ranking. Given below are a few ways that can help you get past this problem.
1. Improve site for E-A-T
There are several ways to do this. Firstly if your website is a business website it would be wise to make sure that the products are safe to use and that there are no concerns about their safety. Work on the reviews of your business. In case your website lacks authority try to build links from authoritative sites. Make sure to put fresh content and make sure to update old content. Build an about me page where you talk about your experience. The aim should be in following the E-A-T format.
2. Improve and Update Content
This section is specifically for pages that come under the YMYL category (your money your life). It should be of paramount importance that business sites are secure. Make sure to prepare well-researched content written by experts in case of highly technical niches. It is recommended for medical, health and lifestyle pages to put data that is backed up with research and authority. The main aim should be to not be a careless website. Your website should be reliable, authoritative and useful to the users.
If your website hosts ads make sure to establish that it isn’t a part of your regular content. Make sure to limit the number of ads. Display advertisements from reliable sites.
4. Content-Length and Quality
The content length should be large enough to answer the queries of the user. It should be to the point and should convince the user. The quality of the content matters significantly. It should have plenty of visual aids. It should be well researched. The content should be expertly written. the content should be written in a well-structured manner and should consist of statistical data, quotes and other useful information.
5. Incorporation of Keywords
The best way to do this is to research well-searched keywords. Then these keywords should be naturally incorporated into the content. Make sure to add plenty of long Tailed as well as medium-tailed keywords.
The Google Medic Algorithm Update may have been problematic for some industries but it was created to make things better for the user. In the past couple of years, Google has been going hard on black hat SEO practitioners. This update was one such attempt. Even though there is no clear-cut way to know when google might release their update next. Following the standard set by this update may be of significant help. The update aims to reward hard-working and trustworthy sites and crack down on sites that use shady tactics. With the information given above, you can stay away from such tactics and use the algorithm for your own good.