Google Medical Health Algorithm – 1 Aug 2018
1st to 6th 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!
Broad Core Algorithm Update Targets Medical and Health Websites
On further investigation, I noticed the algorithm targeted medical and health blogs, doctor practices, e-commerce websites that sell medical/health 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 Addiction Treatment Centers
Google is now changing the rules, and are now targeting and clamping down heavily 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 1-8-Algo.
Google’s Blunt Statement
Its 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 attach snapshots from Google themselves, thereafter I explain in detail what they mean and how their algorithms work.
At first, their advice sounds ‘dumbstruck’ when they say there is NO FIX!! but once I have explained you will understand.
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, which is the one they referred too)
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 run the next ‘broad core algorithm’ will they drastically re-adjust the pages/websites rankings based on the content they find and based on new metrics/signals they have 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 ranked 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, Adwords fraud and the latest slap in the face that Daniel Gerrard gave Google. It seems addiction treatment niches are based solely on money, and not the patient’s needs!