Yet another update to the Google algorithm. This once has been rolling out since August 1st 2018 and results were noticed immediately on some sites.
This update has become know as the Google Medic Update because it has hit “Quack” health sites big time. The basis for the hit has been these sites have been breaching Google’s Quality Ranking guidelines.
Here is a summary of the update from well regarded Google algorithm spotters. As with all major algoithm updates it takes some time for the industry to figure out what has happened. This happens when SEO experts swap observations they are making from looking at their clients sites.
Marie Haynes in her blog post on this algorithm update has spotted a few of the patterns.
Sites that are trading in diet and or quack type health products that have no authority have suffered badly. It looks like authority is a target of this latest update. These are typically sites that google refers to as “your money or your life”. Google is in a constant battle with these types of sites. As an industry ( Your Money or Your Life ) they invest massive energy in organic ranking because Google rejects their advertising spend.
Local ranking is looking like it is being promoted more. We know Google Business listings are getting more prominence in local search. Now we are seeing local search in the middle of organic listings. ( source https://www.sterlingsky.ca/blog/ )
How do I know if I have been hit ?
Login into your google analytics and you will see an immediate drop in traffic after August 1st.
What can you do if you ranking has dropped in this latest update ?
- Gather Trust from links from other sites to your site, a few well written and researched blogs linking to respected content on your site
- On your pages display a link to the author, create and modified date of the article
- On the about us page write a detailed biography of the author of the pages. The author needs to be qualified and linked to from external links to verify their authority
- Do a trawl of all links into your site and get rid of spammy links using the Google Disavow tool in Google Webmaster tools
If you are an ecommerce site make sure your reviews are legitimate for your products. Google can see trends. Google may also have received complaints from a competitor who has manually spotted some fraud or fake reviews and content on your site. We would advise that these are cleaned up. Links to your site from bloggers with no authority will also hurt your site.
In summary :
The August 2018 Google update appears to be focused on content quality and integrity. This is what Google call “Trust Rating”. Again Google is aiming to reward those who play fair and spend the time creating well curated and unique content. The quality guidelines that Google provides its human reviewers and enforcing in all updates are here. This document is updated after all major algorithm updates.
To find your trust and authority rating there is a handy chrome plugin from from Moz called Mozbar. The bar will slow down the browser so you may want to remove it once you have found your sites rating and ranking. Do not forgoet to look at your competitors rating and ranking too.
Any site owner who derives much of their new and existing revenue from their site visitors should have SEO at the centre of their website development.