The entire digital world is usually on a blitzkrieg to promote various websites on the internet. However, from time to time, Google, being the leader amongst search engines, springs up updates that tend to nullify the efforts made by several SEO experts. One such update is the new Google Medic, which is the latest big core Google algorithm update.
Many sites are said to have been affected by this update. Upon deeper investigation, it has been revealed that a massive percentage of the impacted sites belong to the healthy lifestyle, medical, fitness and health space. More than 42% of the sites were observed to be in this space.
Well, it is not like other types of websites have not been impacted by this update. Portals in other niches such as e-commerce, finance, business to business, finance, entertainment, deal sites and more have seen a dip in rankings. What it effectively means is that the 42% number quoted above may actually be near 50%.
Google Never Ceases To Surprise
Google is not new to springing up surprises on the SEO update front. Like for example, earlier in 2018 it was known that ranks of websites that loaded slowly on the Internet would go down. However, for the first time, there has been the deep concentration in a specific niche such as health. Google had mentioned before this new algorithm that it would be a global and core update, which meant that it was supposed to act upon sites of all flavors, just about everywhere.
The above pie-chart ranges across all countries, sites that include doctor practices, advice, e-commerce, lifestyle tips and others. It stands out like a sore thumb because even though it impacts almost 50% of medical and health sites, impacted sectors have not been restricted to just the above.
As a large group, sites that come under the category of YMYL, or “Your Money or Your Life”, have also been impacted. These type of websites include the following:
More About Google Algorithm Updates
You would be surprised to know that on an average, all major Google algorithm updates result in 9 extra hours of work for a professional SEO Company. In fact, amongst these professionals, 51% of them feel the extra stress of not being sure about how to deal with the new development. On the positive side, Google does present new opportunities, as 26% are able to gather new clients after an update, and 23% manage to grow their current accounts.
On the whole, discussions about major Google algorithms at various organizations are few and far in between. Though the discussions on the updates are many in number, not much thought is given to the SEO professional sitting behind the keyboard. However, small updates are coming up almost every day, not giving SEO professionals a chance to get bored.
In the above figure, you can see how updates shape reactions across the SEO world. The worrying part is the 25%, who tend to get stressed upon updates. Such culture and uncertainty are generally worrisome for the industry as a whole. In other words, a major change is likely to have a negative impact on the well-being of digital marketers everywhere.
Another update in 2018 displayed that Google gives attention to the user experience and overall trust provided to visitors through websites. This was similar to a page speed update released earlier, and Google announced that from July 2018, websites need to have an SSL addition to their site in order to create an HTTS-based experience for its users, or else they are likely to be punished. If this is not done, Google will directly notify your site visitors about the lack of data safety on your website, which in turn would have led to a high bounce rate.
Indirectly, this would mean a heavy toll on affiliate links, e-commerce and general advertising impressions. The following table shows how not having an HTTPS website will cause problems due to the above update:
Coming back to the Google Medic update, in case your company has a big website, it takes a long while for the algorithms to adjust with major changes on the site. In other words, such websites are not expected to show swift changes. Google bots would take a long time to reindex, recrawl and reprocess various site changes.
Content Will Remain King
Google gives references for its advice with the help of previous core updates, mentioning that there is no way to fix websites which do not perform well, other than focusing on great content. The focus of these websites remains the quality of content, which is still the single most important deciding factor in determining search engine rankings. Google also mentioned that a few gains or losses may be experienced due to updates, but it said that this was simply because pages that were previously unrewarded were now getting their due.
Moral Of The Story
In case you have made changes to the manner in which the URLs on your website work, following which Google would need to pick up those 301s, this process will take some time to display an effect, and yes, your rankings will not go down overnight. You will see several fluctuations and a long-term impact is expected over a large period of time. However, in case the new Google algorithm update find out that your site today is not as good as what it used to be earlier, then the impact is likely to be visible fairly quickly- within a day or thereabouts. So be careful- Google is watching you.
Also Read: 11 Web Design Trends For 2018
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