The core algorithm update that rolled out on August 1, 2018 was massive and many sites across the web were impacted. Google is calling this a broad, global, core update. Though there seems to be a focus on health and medical sites, YMYL (Your Money Your Life) sites as per the analysis. Due to which it has been named as Medic Update.
What is YMYL? The Google raters’ guideline defined them as:-
- Pages that ask personal information, such as personal identification numbers etc. which could be used for identity theft.
- Pages used for financial transactions, on which users might give their credit account or bank account information.
- Pages that offer medical or health information. The ones that could impact your physical well-being.
- Pages offering advice on major life. This includes the pages that impact your future happiness and finances, such as pages giving legal or financial advice.
Few observations that have been reported about this update:-
- There isn’t currently a strong consensus about which rankings were affected. Some SEO’s reported local rankings going up and organic rankings going down, while other SEO’s reported the opposite.
- It does indeed seem to be a big update, not impacting all sites. It might have a large effect on the sites that were impacted.
- Since both organic results and local results (map listings) seem to have been affected. This would possibly reflect changes to both the organic and local ranking algorithms.
What should you do to make sure the impacts are reduced as much as possible?
- You should continue following SEO best practices as much as you can. This includes:-
- Updating or removing low-quality content on your website
- Checking the Google Search Console for reported errors to fix
- Fixing SEO-killing broken links, images, and media files
- Focussing on building your site’s authority as a brand
- Carrying out a thorough crawl analysis and audit of your site.
- Surfacing all potential quality problems and forming a plan of attack for fixing them (and improving the site overall).
- It is important to read the Quality Rater Guidelines (QRG) and have everyone on your team read them too. Then, review your site and identify all potential problems and fix them.
- Conducting user studies to understand how real people view your site.
- Examining your Google Search Console (GSC) reporting, including the new index coverage reporting.
You must continue to publish quality content. The more high-quality content you can produce, the more you will exceed user expectations. This will often yield more sharing resulting in more branded searches for your site and content. Thus, enabling you to build more (natural) links.