Last updated on
As every SEO professional knows, Google will always find ways to optimize their services on a daily basis, and this means adding occasional minor updates and launching major updates that shake things up every now and then.
2018 was no stranger to a host of updates from Google, as we have seen algorithm updates during March, July, August, and October. All of these algorithm updates have bought significant changes to various websites, with some changes not really visible until you look further. The most recent update in August introduced the world to Google Medic, which affected numerous websites related to business.
This update surely caused a good amount of issues for a lot of websites, and this means that you would have to optimize to ensure that you would still be able to retain your search rankings and keep your traffic steady. Before we look into how do we recover from the Google Medic Update, let’s take a look at how the previous updates impacted SEO this 2018.
March: A focus on quality content
The March algorithm update is the first major update released by Google during 2018. The March update is a series of updates that focus on content quality, as evidenced by the rise and drop of rich snippets in SERPs. Content quality affects the overall user experience, which means that this update ensures that elements like ads and evergreen content would be able to drive more traffic into your website.
July: Google Speed Update
The July update is known most for the Google Speed Update, which put focus into mobile page loading speed. Mobile SEO has grown immensely over the year, and with Responsive Design and AMP becoming an integral part of website development, this makes mobile optimization a very crucial process.
We have written guides about mobile SEO and AMP that have surely helped websites in gaining more mobile traffic. Along with the Speed Update, websites have also experienced ranking fluctuations over the course of a few weeks. These series of ranking fluctuations were both temporary and permanent, which led to numerous websites making sure that the user experience on both desktop and mobile are well-optimized and perform great.
August and October: Google Medic and YMYL Websites
After launching the Google Speed update, the month after saw Google launch another major algorithm update and another update by October. This update is similar to the March updates, as it contains a series of broad and minor updates that affect a good number of websites. While the update did not state what kind of websites would be affected by the update, SEO professionals noticed that YMYL websites have been affected the most.
A good chunk of these websites is related to health and e-commerce, which contain a large amount of content that is regularly searched by users. This meant that good E.A.T. content is the top priority, ensuring that people would be getting content that is reliable, accurate, and evergreen. With health and e-commerce websites having a huge impact on lifestyle choices, this means content must be accurate and reliable in order to gain more search traffic and authority.
How to Recover from Google Medic
The Google Medic is one of the most impactful updates in the past few months, and if your website has been affected, it is best to follow a few necessary steps to ensure that you would be able to keep your search rankings and traffic well-paced and steady. Here are some important steps that would help you recover from the update.
Focus on quality content
Quality and evergreen content is what leads to high traffic on almost any kind of website. In fact, our articles have helped us create more connections with various websites and businesses, forming partnerships that have helped us grow. Having quality content opens more doors for you and your audience, as you are able to drive more traffic to your website.
This means doing more research, citing sources from other quality websites to make your content more trustworthy and authoritative. Just like a quality research paper, choosing the best sources is a good indicator of successful content. Adding images and video also helps, as you are able to provide more details that support your content. Content such as infographics and statistics provide an in-depth analysis of whatever data you want to present.
Quality content means being elaborate and detailed, which means that longer content usually gets more traffic than usual. Articles that have 1000-2000 words will be able to perform much better, as Google would be able to have a better understanding of what your content contains.
Update old content
Along with providing more detailed content, it is also worth looking into past content and giving them a much-needed update. We have been updating some of our older content in the past few months, and this has helped us gain even more traffic to existing content. Updating can be as simple as adding another entry, updating statistics and data, or even changing paragraphs to accommodate current facts. It is important to note that updating content is best limited to the likes of how-to articles and informative articles, as news articles are best left unchanged to ensure journalistic professionalism.
Recently, we have updated our Black Hat and YouTube SEO articles to add new information from 2018. With the latter article being one of our most visited, it is important that we add new information that coincides with YouTube’s latest updates, such as adding hashtags. Sometimes it is surely worth looking back to older articles, as they can have the potential to attract more readers, and even expand its traffic to help you rank higher in SERPs.
Landing pages are another set of important content that could use optimization. It is best to add authoritative links, and even add or update existing information, as landing pages are the first step in the buyer’s journey. Landing pages are meant to provide comprehensive information that helps a potential buyer make a decision that will lead to conversions and polishing them up will only provide better results.
Check Google Analytics to see drastic traffic drops
The impact of the Google Medic Update can be tracked using Google Analytics, as it monitors your traffic in real-time. If you see any drastic traffic drops that happen seemingly overnight, it is best to keep track of this and optimize your content accordingly. To make this process more efficient, it is best to come up with a plan that enables you to create the best steps to solve each issue step by step.
If you follow the processes that we have mentioned above, you would be able to see the positive effects of having optimized content. You can view the data in Analytics and repeat the same process to each of your web pages. The process might not happen as quickly as you would expect, which is why it is best to monitor your traffic daily until you see your traffic on the way to recovery. Content optimization goes a long way in making your traffic grow and seeing it grow day by day makes it something worth doing.
The Google Medic Update is one of the most important updates of 2018, as it impacted numerous websites, and placed even more emphasis on creating quality content that is trustworthy and authoritative. With the steps mentioned above, you would be able to regain your traffic, and even have the opportunity to grow your traffic even further.
If you have questions and inquiries about Google algorithm updates or SEO in general, leave a comment below and let’s talk.
Jessica spends 12 hours a day on the internet managing security for web assets and loves her macha tea