How to Cope with Google's New "Medic" Algorithm Update

and what you can do to help yourself recover

Google has updated its core algorithm again, and one of the verticals most affected seems to be the medical field. If you’ve been impacted by this so-called “Medic” update, you’re probably wondering what happened and how you can recover.

coping with google's medic update

If you’re an SEO, you keep a close eye on all of Google’s algorithm updates. But if you work in the medical, health, or beauty industry, this latest algorithm update was a doozy. According to the data that we and many other search engine experts and observers have collected, Google’s latest algorithm, nicknamed the “Medic” update, has had an outsized impact on these particular industries.

So while it might be a bit of a stretch to say that the medical field was “targeted,” we can safely say that the medical and beauty industries were dramatically affected by this particular Google update. So can you cope with Google’s “Medical” update if you happen to be heavily invested in this field?

We’ve been looking through the available data, and we do have a few tips on how you might be able to turn things around if they’ve gone south on you. And we might be able go glean a little about what Google was trying to do–why you might be having some success or some trouble depending on how your web marketing and SEO infrastructure is set up.

What Did Google’s Medic Update Do?

Google is not particularly transparent when it comes to articulating precisely what their algorithm does or how it has changed. That’s understandable. There are plenty of trade secrets in that algorithm, not to mention plenty of parties interested in gaming the system for higher rankings and more traffic.

So it’s difficult to tell precisely what Google’s Medic update did. However, search engine marketers have already begun to cobble together some research in order to divine the algorithm update’s purpose and tactics. The short of it is this:

  • Google’s Medic update seemed to most directly impact YMYL (Your Money or Your Life) websites–those websites which might have a profound impact on your life or ask for a significant amount of money.
  • This update seemed to drastically reorganize rankings associated with health, medical, and wellness (among other YMYL topics and verticals). Some websites went way down, others went way up, and some stayed right in the middle. But there was definitely a significant amount of flux.
  • This update was rolled out in the beginning of August, but the impacts have been rippling out throughout the next several weeks.

Undoubtedly, more details will become known as the update solidifies and the experts (including us!) take a look at all of the data.

What Do You Do If You Were Penalized?

If you have clients in the medical industry, you shouldn’t be shocked to see wild changes in traffic coming in through Google organic sources. In many cases, your traffic will likely go down and you’ll want to know how to fix that. In some cases, your traffic may have gone up–but you’ll want to know what you’re doing right and how you’ll be able to maintain that! Some of the most recent data has to do what’s called E-A-T.

How Does Your Website’s Authority Stack Up?

We can’t say for sure, but early indications are that the Medic update has much to do website authority, or E-A-T. That stands for:

  • Expertise: Essentially, are you an expert in your field? In medical fields, this could include (but isn’t necessarily limited to) doctors. That’s just the easy example, but it gives you an idea.
  • Authoritativeness: What sort of credentials do you have that might prove you know what you’re talking about? What achievements can you point to that lend you authority?
  • Trust: Trust is proven on the web in one major way: links. The more links (from other trusted sources) you might have, the more trust your website shows. If you’re an SEO, this is old hat, but good to underscore–especially because just any old link isn’t going to improve your authority very much.

E-A-T falls under the umbrella of overall site authority. Medical websites with higher authority seemed to weather the Medic update better than sites with less authority. Google seems to be heavily implying that they want YMYL information to come from websites with high authority. Which, in the end, makes sense, even if it does provide for some in-the-moment inconvenience for some websites.

Steps to Take to Recover

There are certainly steps you can take to recover from Google’s Medic update if you happened to be hit pretty hard by it. None of these steps in and of themselves will boost your rankings if you aren’t doing everything else right, too. But they can get you on the road to recovery, as it were:

  • Try to build your website’s outside authority. Find ways to build authoritative links from experts to your website.
  • Find subject matter experts to contribute content to your website, especially if those subject matter experts have an accepted level of authority in the eyes of Google.
  • Ensure your own credentials are incredibly clear. This could mean having an “About the Author” section on all of your posts, and should definitely mean having an “About Us” section on your website. Google wants it to be clear to any user who is creating your content.

These quick steps are by no means comprehensive. But if you’re struggling thanks to the Google Medic update and you’re looking for some way to start the process of getting back to good, they might give you a place to start.

Every business and every website is going to be unique, however. The search engine optimization experts at NSE Media might be able to help you recover from Google’s Medic update. If you want to know more about how your business might have been affected and how we can help, contact us today to start the process!

It’s likely that Google’s Medic update isn’t quite finished yet, and we wouldn’t be shocked if there were some more tweaks in store for the near future. We’ll be keeping our eyes peeled, either way!

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