Google Medic Algorithm Update

Google Medic Algorithm Update Definition:

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The Google Medic Update, rolled out in August 2018, was a significant broad core algorithm update. It was named "Medic" by the SEO community because it seemed to have a substantial impact on health and medical sites. However, Google later clarified that the update was broader and affected various industries.

Google Medic Algorithm Update – A Comprehensive Guide

The Google Medic update, which rolled out in August 2018, was a broad core algorithm update that seemed to disproportionately affect health, wellness, and YMYL (Your Money Your Life) sites. While not officially named “Medic” by Google, the name stuck due to the significant impact on medical and health-related websites. This Core Update was aimed at enhancing the user experience by prioritizing Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness (E-A-T). Here’s what you might need to consider or do to adapt to the Medic update:

Effects on Various Industries

Health and Medical Sites: Many websites in these sectors reported changes in their search rankings.
YMYL (Your Money or Your Life) Pages: Pages that could potentially impact a person’s health, happiness, or financial stability were also notably affected.

Impact on SEO

Emphasis on E-A-T: Sites with strong expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness fared better.
Content Quality: High-quality, well-researched content became even more critical. Focus on providing in-depth, well-researched, and valuable content.

How to Adapt to Medic

  1. Enhance Content Quality:
    • Provide accurate, well-researched information.
    • Cite reputable sources and include references.
  2. Showcase Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness (E-A-T):
    • Ensure that content is created by knowledgeable professionals in the field.
    • Include clear information about the author, references, and credentials where applicable.
    • Provide clear information about your organization, mission, and values.
  3. Avoid Misleading or Sensationalized Information:
    • Stick to proven, accepted medical guidelines and practices.
    •  Avoid making exaggerated claims or promises.
  4. Create Comprehensive, In-Depth Content:
    • Avoid shallow or superficial content.
    • Cover topics thoroughly, addressing all relevant aspects.
  5. Improve User Experience:
    • Ensure easy navigation and readability.
    • Provide clear calls to action, particularly for YMYL pages.
  6. Build a Strong Backlink Profile:
    • Seek links from reputable, authoritative sites in your field.
    • Avoid link schemes or unnatural linking practices.
  7. Implement Clear and Ethical Monetization Practices:
    • If selling products or services, provide clear pricing and terms.
    • Avoid aggressive or deceptive advertising.
  8. Focus on Mobile Optimization:
    • Ensure your site performs well on mobile devices.
    • Follow best practices for mobile design and usability.
  9. Use Structured Data:
    • Implement schema markup to help Google understand your content better.
    • Ensure that the structured data is accurate and reflects your content.
  10. Monitor and Respond to User Feedback:
    • Encourage and respond to user reviews.
    • Make improvements based on user feedback and comments.
  11. Regularly Update Content:
    • Keep medical and health-related content up to date with the latest research and guidelines.
    • Periodically review and refresh older content.
  12. Conduct a Technical SEO Audit:
    • Ensure there are no underlying technical issues affecting your site’s performance.
    • Fix broken links, optimize site speed, and ensure proper indexing.
  13. Engage with the Community:
    • Build relationships with other experts and authorities in your field.
    • Participate in relevant forums, blogs, and social media.
  14. Stay Informed about Industry Changes and Google Updates:
    • Regularly read and engage with industry publications and forums.
    • Adapt to new guidelines, best practices, and algorithm changes as needed.

Adapting to the Medic update requires a strong focus on quality, credibility, and user experience, particularly for sites dealing with health, wellness, and financial matters. By demonstrating expertise and building trust with your audience, you can align your site with the principles underlying this update and continue to perform well in search results.

Google Medic Algorithm Update VIDEO:

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Criticisms and Challenges

  1. Lack of Clarity: Google’s guidance on the Medic update was largely vague. Many website owners struggled to identify specific issues to address due to the lack of detailed information about the exact ranking factors affected by the update. The lack of clear guidance made it difficult for many sites to recover for those who were negatively affected.
  2. Disproportionate Impact on Health Sites: The Medic update disproportionately affected health and wellness websites, leading to drastic traffic drops for many reputable and well-established sites. Some found the update to be too harsh on certain industries, particularly alternative health sites.
  3. Difficulty Proving E-A-T: Demonstrating expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness can be challenging, particularly for new or small sites without recognized awards or a well-known reputation.
  4. Limited Control Over Reputation: Website owners have limited control over external factors influencing their online reputation, such as reviews, which are considered part of E-A-T.
  5. Decreased Traffic and Revenue: Many sites reported a significant decrease in traffic and revenue after the Medic update, with some unable to recover despite efforts to improve E-A-T.
  6. Unpredictable Recovery Time: For sites that were negatively impacted, recovery time was unpredictable and sometimes extensive, even after implementing recommended changes.
  7. Difficulty Adjusting to User Intent: Google’s increasing emphasis on understanding and responding to user intent presents a challenge for sites to adjust their Content and SEO strategies accordingly.
  8. Challenges for Affiliate Marketers: Affiliate marketing websites, which often review and promote products, faced difficulties in establishing E-A-T and saw significant drops in rankings.
  9. Subjective Evaluation of E-A-T: As Google uses Quality Raters to manually review sites based on E-A-T, there’s a degree of subjectivity involved, making it challenging for website owners to know how to improve.
  10. Shift Away from Traditional SEO Factors: With a stronger emphasis on E-A-T over traditional SEO factors, some website owners felt their prior SEO efforts were devalued.
  11. High Standard for Medical Information: Websites providing medical information faced higher scrutiny and a higher standard of accuracy and authority, which can be challenging to meet.
  12. Impact on Alternative Health Sites: Sites promoting alternative health and wellness approaches were reportedly hit hard by the update, leading to criticisms about the algorithm’s potential biases.
  13. Lack of Transparency in Algorithmic Changes: As with most algorithm updates, Google was not completely transparent about all aspects of the Medic update, which can lead to confusion and frustration for webmasters.

Google Medic Algorithm Update QUOTE:

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"The Medic Update was a reminder that trust and authority are central to Google's algorithm." - Lily Ray, SEO Director at Path Interactive
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Article By: Nathan Ergang


Nathan Ergang, the web developer behind, he has over a decade of WordPress and online marketing expertise. His venture into the expansive universe of web development started in 2012, though his passion for personal projects took root much earlier. A practitioner of multiple web languages such as PHP, JavaScript, jQuery, CSS, and Python, Nathan has also deep-dived into SEO and possesses a keen eye for graphic design. Green Marketing, a venture close to Nathan's heart, stands testament to his entrepreneurial drive and commitment. Outside the digital domain, Nathan savors life's simpler pleasures. He cherishes traveling, often venturing off the beaten path, and has a knack for capturing the essence of a moment through photography and videography.

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