Google’s Aug. 1 Medic Core Algorithm Update: What We Learned

The interwebs are buzzing about Google’s latest algorithm update, dubbed the Medic Update.

After the update, many sites reported rankings boosts while other sites fell like a rock.

How did your site fare?

And who else was impacted by the Google algorithm Medic Update?

Read on as we examine key findings from the Medic Update. We’ll also discuss who is affected and what you can do to improve your website’s rankings.

What Is the Google Algorithm Medic Update?

Google issued a tweet earlier in the year stating they update their algorithm every day. And several times a year they roll out broad updates. The latter are large-scale updates that have wide-reaching effects for millions of sites.

On August 1, 2018, Google implemented a broad scale algorithm update. A week later, they announced the update had been completed.

This was a massive update, and search engine optimization (SEO) experts have been busy analyzing the search engine results (SERP) pages all month to figure out what happened.

And that is the biggest question: What caused all those sites to fall in the SERPs while other sites surged?

“There’s never one smoking gun,” according to Glenn Gabe about this update. “Instead, there’s typically a battery of smoking guns.”

In other words, all the observations from SEO professionals and from Google themselves point to a number of key changes.

What We Know

Information is still being reported and analyzed and there doesn’t seem to be a strong consensus. Many sites are reporting huge boosts in the SERPs while others are showing the opposite.

Nevertheless, SEO analysts seem to agree on a few major points, such as the following:

1. Many people with health and medical sites have reported drops in their rankings, leading SEO expert Barry Schwartz to coin the changes as the Medic Update.

2. The changes reported in the health niches are part of a larger trend affecting all YMYL (your money or your life) sites. Sites dispersing financial advice were affected too.

Simply put, Google wants to ensure only authorities and experts are giving advice in areas which directly impact your well-being, financially or otherwise.

3. Many local businesses appear to be ranking higher while major chains are falling. If that is indeed part of the Google August 1 update, that is great news for local mom-and-pop businesses trying to compete against larger national brands.

What Can You Do?

Where should you focus your efforts following the Google Medic Update?

Google’s Danny Sullivan answered this question directly the day the update rolled out.

He advises webmasters to refer to Google’s Quality Raters Guidelines. It’s not the answer many want to hear but it is solid advice. The guidelines are over 200 pages of actionable advice to rank higher in Google, straight from the horse’s mouth.

Adhering to these guidelines will improve your search marketing efforts and help you avoid getting hit by any dreaded Google penalties.

It’s always a good idea to follow core SEO practices such as:

  • Create only high-quality content from your site.
  • Remove or improve low-quality content.
  • Fix errors reported on Google Search Console.
  • Fix any broken links on your site.
  • Improve your site’s user experience.

It’s also a good idea to avoid making any major changes to your website right after a major update.

Information is still being gathered so it’s best not to do anything rash until a more complete picture is formed.

The Bottom Line

If your site was hit, don’t be discouraged.

Go through the Quality Raters Guidelines and look for areas you can improve.

Continue creating high-quality content and making sure your site’s user experience is exceptional.

If you enjoyed this article, check out how our performance marketing technology can elevate your business.