Google Medical Health Algorithm – 1 Aug 2018
1 to 6 August Google ran a huge broad core algorithm update, which is said to be the largest algorithm update this year, which mostly targeted YMYL websites (“Your Money or Your Life” websites)
At first, I only noticed a bounce around in traffic, which is normal for a big update. But for the last few days, I noticed a significant drop in traffic for only a few websites.
The Algorithm Update Targeted Medical and Health WebsitesOn further investigation, I noticed the algorithm targeted medical and health blogs, doctor practices, e-commerce websites that sell medical/health products as well as websites that give medical and health advice and lifestyle tips.
Health, wellness, and medical websites stood out like a sore thumb (over 50% of websites affected were medical and health-related)
According to Google, any page including content that can affect someone’s health, happiness, safety, or financial stability is a YMYL page, such as web-pages that provide advice or information about health, drugs, specific diseases or conditions, mental health, nutrition, etc.
YMYL is basically based on E-A-T
Expertise – is the author of the piece an expert on the subject?
Authority – is the author a well-recognized authority on the subject?
Trustworthiness – is the content accurate and up to date?
Google Mostly Targeted Doctors and Rehab CentersGoogle has now changed the rules, and are now targeting and clamping down on Doctors, Referral Agents, and Addiction Treatment Centers.
They have now imposed very high Page Quality rating standards for Referral Agents and Addiction Treatment Centers and are even taking manual spam action against health and medical websites for unnatural link building.
Below is a snapshot from a Doctors franchise that was hit by the algorithm
Below is a snapshot of one of South Africa largest referral agents that was also hit by the 1 Aug Broad Core Algorithm Update.
Below is a snapshot of one of the most well know Addiction Treatment Centers in South Africa that was also hit by the 1 Aug Broad Core Algo.
Google’s Blunt StatementIts no wonder Google has earned the name “The Google gods”!! Their advice is extremely shallow and vague, and is definitely not very helpful!
Below I have attach 2 snapshots from Google themselves, thereafter I explain what they mean and how their algorithms work.
At first, their advice sounds ‘dumbstruck’ when they say there is NO FIX.
Moral of the story is; there is no quick fix! (I added the word ‘quick’)
Google’s broad core algorithms only run a few times a year (the one prior to this was in March)
So changes we now make will only be picked up by the daily core algorithm. which will show a slight overall page and site improvement once you have implemented changes.
Only once they re-run the next broad core algorithm will they re-adjust the pages/websites rankings based on the changes you have made and based on new metrics/signals they have since added to the new broad core algorithm.
So based on there findings and signals will determine whether or not your site climbs or drops in organic search.
So, for now, do as Google says and continue working the website in accordance with the new medical health ‘rules’.
And do yourself a favour and read the Search Quality Guidelines
The above link is the General Search Quality Guidelines set down by Google for 10,000 human quality raters that surf the internet on a daily basis evaluating websites.
Those human quality raters then send feedback to Google, which Google ‘might’ use/add to there algorithms to try to improve search quality.
So basically speaking; your website gets viewed by both humans and search engine algorithms alike!
The Medical Broad Core Algorithm Update was bound to happen, due to fraud from USA addiction treatment centres, Google Ads fraud and the latest slap in the face that Daniel Gerrard gave Google. It seems there are quite a few addiction treatment centers that are based solely on money, and not the patient’s needs.