I started a project HealthUnroll.com a few months ago which basically focusses on Indian Recipes. When I started it, I got some articles written based on the health benefits of various types of food items and fruits. But apart from all these, there was one post which focused basically on Diabetes. It had all the ‘desi’ remedies for diabetes. I never intended to write more articles based on diseases but was particularly focused on Recipes. And then Google’s Medic Update rolled out on August 1, 2018, and my website was badly hit due to the fact that almost all the pages had a link to that ‘Diabetes’ post through popular posts on the sidebar.
What is Google Medic Update?
This week we released a broad core algorithm update, as we do several times per year. Our guidance about such updates remains the same as in March, as we covered here: https://t.co/uPlEdSLHoX
— Google SearchLiaison (@searchliaison) August 1, 2018
According to Google, Google Medic Update is just another brick in the wall. Another update just like the ones that they do several times every year. But the main focus seems to be on Health & Medical related websites and YMYL (Your Money or Your Life) sites, thus the name, Google Medic Update.
The Health niche is the most hit niche in this Google Algorithm Update. Even Moz reported that the Health niche was the most hit niche.
Travel & Tourism is the niche that was least affected by Google Medic Update according to Moz.
My Case – HealthUnroll
HealthUnroll is a new project and the traffic was increasing at a very good rate. I successfully reduced the bounce rate to below 5% in a matter of a few months. Almost 80% traffic was organic and was mainly from Search Engines. But the consequence of Google Medic Update hit it so badly just because of one post that it led me to delete the Diabetes post and optimize the website once again.
nikant25 via Webmaster Central Help Forum said: “Your website presents culinary recipes that can influence the health and lives of people. In addition, your website has medical articles, so it falls into the category Your Money Or Your Life: YMYL and must meet the requirements Expertise, Authoritativeness, Trustworthiness: EAT.”
Further, he asked me to check how your website meets these requirements:
- The website does not have legal information about your business. (I fixed that! :D)
- The website does not have information about the person responsible for the content of the website with the possibility of its identification. (It had, but in detail, I fixed this too)
- The website has articles with medical content (the Diabetes post) that do not have information about authors, their credibility and qualifications, and the possibility of identifying them as medical experts.
- The same applies to articles with recipes. There is no detailed information about authors as culinary experts, but only information about the same author with the same link to the home page. ( I fixed this too.
Factors that contradicts the Search Quality Raters Guideline of Google:
- Page Quality Rating: Most Important Factors
- Expertise, Authoritativeness, Trustworthiness: This is an important quality characteristic.
- Satisfying website information and/or information about who is responsible for the website.
What SEOs has to say around the globe.
Glenn Gabe wrote a very large post after analyzing over 200 sites, summarizing:
The core algorithm update that rolled out on August 1, 2018 was massive and many sites across the web were impacted. Although there were a lot of health sites impacted, many others in non-YMYL categories were affected as well. If you have been negatively impacted by the 8/1 update, then it’s important to objectively analyze your site to find ways to improve. And remember, there’s never one smoking gun. There’s usually a battery of them. So go find them now.
Marie Haynes also wrote her thoughts saying:
The August 1, 2018 Google update was a massive one. I believe that it was primarily about Google’s ability to determine E-A-T for a website. I also think that the T in E-A-T became even more important as Google is working harder to determine which websites are the most trustworthy to show searchers.
BrightLocal shared a similar message:
This latest algorithm update, if what we’re seeing from the community is to be believed, may well have been focused on demoting YMYL pages with low E-A-T.
Whilst this will definitely impact websites like forums with low-quality advice, it should be noted that local businesses are just as at risk (as shown by Joy and Marie above) from providing advice that doesn’t come from a place of expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness.
Solution to Google Medic Update? What can one do?
Nothing. That’s what Google says. Yes. Nothing. There is no fix.
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 SearchLiaison (@searchliaison) March 12, 2018
But if your website is affected like mine just because of a few posts, you must delete them right away and try to avoid the topics covered in YMYL if you don’t have the required authority as required by Google.