Did you know that Google makes updates to their search engine ranking algorithm more than you realize? In some cases, updates are released a few times per week. One of the most popular SEO related searches over the last few weeks and months is “How to recovery from Google Medic update?”.
As with most of us, we have a tendency to only notice the big updates that affect our website traffic in really noticeable ways.
In fact, some algorithm updates are so infamous that their names stick in our heads for the rest of our lives.
Think Caffeine. Penguin. Panda.
And now, thanks to a Google algorithm update from a few months back, Medic. This update happened in August, 2018.
This recent infamous update was dubbed the Medic update because it appeared to affect medical related websites most dramatically.
However, this update affected other niches too:
Affiliate marketing websites
While Google does not hide their Search Quality Rating Guidelines, and they’re open to the public for your reading pleasure, who has time to read through a 160-page document when their website and business is likely losing business by the day?
Below is some actionable advice on how to recover from the Medic algorithm update.
1. Is your content aligned with user intent?
When a user searches for a product, they’re not always in ‘buying mode’. It’s quite possible that they’re still researching which product best meets their needs and budget. Think of this as the user’s education process.
When I search for a specific product, I don’t always want to be directed to the main ecommerce sales page for quick checkout. In fact, 70% of the user’s decision is often made BEFORE they reach that sales page according to Forbes.com
As you’re creating or revising your pages, think about the user’s intent. Are they looking for information? If so, what information can you provide that will best educate them on the product or service. Do they have a problem? Can you offer a solution?
If your website functions in the medical space, it’s extremely important that you educate the user as best possible.
How can you educate your users?
Provide well-researched information that’s cited by authority sources. If you’re providing facts, maybe there’s a an association or oversight system that can help back up your claims. Why not link to these sources? When you do, you’re not only showing the user that this information is verifiable, but you’re showing Google that you have your user’s interest in mind.
2. Create or Improve Your Content
One of the most popular questions we’re asked is what type of content Google prefers. If we were to check with Google on this, they’d say they’re looking for comprehensive, complete content. But what does that mean exactly?
As mentioned above, it’s important we always take into consideration user intent. So that takes care a big portion of creating comprehensive, complete content.
Next, you should think about the implications of your content or blog post. If we’re writing an article on “Oral Care While Pregnant” , we want to think about the implications of this content before we write it. While all content won’t have a physical effect on their readers, this specific medical topic might. If we write about information that isn’t exactly factual, it can have an impact on a mother and their child. Think about that for a second.
So we shouldn’t really rush through this content just for the sake of getting it published. We need to understand the implications of someone taking the information can putting it into action.
So, with this examples, it would be a good idea to have medical backed data, maybe a review from a physician or dentist, or another authority on the topic.
3. Create or Improve on Thorough Content
While this topic might fall under #2 above, it’s so important that it deserves its own mention.
In the old days (like last year?) many marketers, SEOs, and webmaster were strictly focused on pumping out as much content as possible without focusing on the quality.
Recent data suggests that longer-form content where the word count is over 1500 words outranks less lengthy blog post that hover around the 400-600 word mark. Of course, producing content that exceeds 1000, 2000, even 5000 words takes time, but you will likely be rewarded.
Why do longer-form post rank higher than post with less words? See quote below from Backlinko.com
There are a few reasons:
Longer content helps give Google more information about the topic of that page (spider food). This makes them more confident that your page is a relevant result for that keyword.
A piece of long content is usually more in-depth than a 300-word blog post on the same topic. That means long articles are going to answer the searcher’s query better than short pieces of content.
Long content tends to attract more links and social shares than shallow content.
4. Improve Website Speed
As always, Google want’s to provide their users with the best possible experience. In today’s fast paced internet world, everyone wants everything as soon as possible. Whether it’s their food delivery, or answers to their questions on Google, they want it now!
So, be sure to give them what they want in as little time as possible. By optimizing your website for the fastest speed possible, you may give yourself and your website an advantage over your slower competition.
Here are a few things you can keep in mind when optimizing your website for speed:
Ensure your website loads in less than 3 seconds
Provide the best possible mobile-first experience
Keep your metadata in mind to attract better CTRs
Find and fix any broken links, 404s, and use proper 301s
Create or improve your internal linking strategy
A more thorough list of speed improvements can be found here.
5. Improve User Experience
Now that we’ve written all of that amazing content as mentioned above, it’s important that we provide the user with some visual stimulation.
Pages and posts have a better interaction rate when accompanied by images, charts, graphs, videos, and more. Not only will this increase Dwell Time on your page (which is a signal to Google), but it will provide the user with greater detail and information on the specific topic.
Need help recovering from Google’s latest “Medic” update? We can help. Contact our SEO team today and start the recovery process today!