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Google Algorithm Changes – Medic Update August 2018

Updated August 14, 2018
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Medic Algorithm Update

Google Algorithm Changes – Medic Update August 2018

Tim Brown

Tim Brown is the owner of Hook Agency, and strategic marketer focused primarily on driving traffic and leads for small businesses and construction companies.

Google changes the way it ranks sites from time to time – and it shakes up search results and website rankings. Rather than get mad about it if you were negatively effected, I find it important to dig into what changed, try to figure out why, and in that way predict what’s coming next – and how you can stay ahead of the curve (usually by increasing the user experience, quality of content and authority of links to your site over time.)

Late July – Early August 2018

Medic Update

Experts I’ve consulted with are calling this late July – early August 2018 Google Algorithm update a win for sites that have been “doing SEO right.”

Medic Algorithm Update

  • Sites with long-term style SEO with in-depth content and high-quality links, have had measurable increases in traffic.
  • Health sites took a big hit (like Prevention and LiveStrong)
  • Moz is suggesting that Google might be changing it’s quality rater guidelines, to more deeply favor E-A-TExpertise, Authoritativeness and Trust’ – meaning if manual reviewers can find evidence of these things that Google would favor the site, and perhaps the algorithm shift is in this direction as well. 
  • The Medic Google Algorithm Update is potentially still rolling out, and we will continue to report on it’s effect across industries.

Growth for our site:

I haven’t seen this much Google traffic growth for our site in a long time, as it has generally plateaued. That being said – we’ve diligently been doing P.R. focused SEO, and publishing quality content regularly – so going from a weekly average high in the 500’s to now over 800 clicks from Google on a good day, was a welcome surprise and was the first big thing that tipped me off that this algorithm change was big.

Google Algorithm Update

Light uptick in our small business client sites:

Much less dramatic – but still a testament to our diligence, we found a lighter uptick in less content heavy client sites that have built quality resources and built authoritative, and solid backlink profiles.

Small business - Google algorithm update volatility

Other awesome articles on the ‘Medic’ Late-July 2018, Early August Google Algorithm Update:

  • Moz talks Medic Algorithm Update and impact on certain verticals
  • Search Engine Land talks about the impact to YMYL – Your Money, Your Life verticals (As we said above, Google said there is nothing you can do. There is no fix. That is not so helpful, is it? But Google has been suggesting that you can continue to work on improving your website, make better content, make a better overall user experience and ultimately, the next update may lead to your site ranking better.)
  • Glenn Gabe talks about how to fix your site if it was negatively effected – The core algorithm update that rolled out on August 1, 2018 was massive and many sites across the web were impacted. Although there were a lot of health sites impacted, many others in non-YMYL categories were affected as well. If you have been negatively impacted by the 8/1 update, then it’s important to objectively analyze your site to find ways to improve. And remember, there’s never one smoking gun. There’s usually a battery of them. So go find them now.
  • Bright Local says YMYL niches, and FORUMS got hit with E-A-T related updates –  This latest algorithm update, if what we’re seeing from the community is to be believed, may well have been focused on demoting YMYL pages with low E-A-T. Whilst this will definitely impact websites like forums with low-quality advice, it should be noted that local businesses are just as at risk (as shown by Joy and Marie above) from providing advice that doesn’t come from a place of expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness.

Some thoughts on the August 1 Algorithm Update Straight from Google:




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Tim Brown

Tim Brown is the owner of Hook Agency, and strategic marketer focused primarily on driving traffic and leads for small businesses and construction companies.

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