Experience, Authority and Trust in the Aftermath of the Google ‘Medic’ Update

Matt Adams SEO

Since Aug 1, 2018, Google has released a ton of upgrades which have in turn made search results less than predictable.  It is widely known as the”Medic Update” since it largely affected the health/medical industry. However, the upgrades have impacted a wide variety of markets including e-commerce, clothing trends websites, local, affiliate, and much more. Google claims the original update was not targeted specifically at Medical websites, but rather was a widespread core update.

The experts have concluded that the Medic Update targeted what Google refers to as “Experience, Authority, & Trust” (or E-A-T) within their Google Rater Guidelines, which can be dependent on a number of things.

If your website was a victim of the Medic Update, the bad news is that most the information to fix this up until this point has been somewhat vague and without any proof that it will work.

So in this blog article, we are going to take a look at the most recent data and break down everything you will need to do based on what is out there.

Timeline Details

8/1/18 – Medic Core Update

8/18 – Additional fixes to Medic Update (source – https://courses.mariehaynes.com/search-news-you-can-use/episode-46-light-version/?wlfrom=%2Fsearch-news-you-can-use%2Fepisode-46%2F)

9/11 – Local Update (source – https://www.localsearchforum.com/threads/algorithm-update-sept-8-to-11.53158/#post-147643

9/19 – More Medic Updates (source – https://courses.mariehaynes.com/search-news-you-can-use/episode-51-light-version/?wlfrom=%2Fsearch-news-you-can-use%2Fepisode-51%2F

9/24 – Broad Core Updates (source – https://twitter.com/searchliaison/status/1050447186440347648

9/27 – Update (source – https://www.seroundtable.com/google-birthday-algorithm-update-26453.html>

October – updates (source – https://www.sistrix.com/blog/links-and-the-medic-update/

10/15 – Update (source – https://courses.mariehaynes.com/search-news-you-can-use/episode-54-light-version/?wlfrom=%2Fsearch-news-you-can-use%2Fepisode-54%2F

10/16 – Update (source – https://www.webpronews.com/google-search-algorithm-update-on-october-16th-looks-like-a-big-one/

10/31 – Update – (source – https://www.seroundtable.com/google-halloween-search-algorithm-update-continues-26642.html

We have seen ongoing adjustments and fixes to these updates.

Things You Can Do If You Were Impacted

Although it can be hard to find the cause of an issue, we are starting to see websites recovering.  Over the past 5 years since Google has come out with updates, the market gets worried about performance after each one.

But once everyone understands the new rules, the industry comes back. Let’s take a look at some ways to combat the effects of this update.

Develop New Content

First, Google has changed the”search intent” for many searches.  Google is attempting to provide information about search questions, rather than just opportunities to purchase products right away.  If you searched for a supplement earlier, Google might have shown product pages to purchase the supplement. After the upgrade, Google is beginning to display information sites prior to showing a product purchase site.

Of course if you want to appear at the top of a Google Search, you can always pay for it, using Pay Per Click.  But if you want to get there organically, you need to create quality, relevant content.

This is why it is so important to spend time working on your content, writing blog posts and articles that describe what your business provides or sells.  If you’re short on time, DTi can help, with our Blogging Service.

Disavow Unnatural Links

Some experts have found a connection between links and the medic updates.  They indicate that disavowing low quality links can improve performance.

Increase Page Speed

Google’s priority has been user experience, and therefore, they have been migrating sites to mobile-first indexing. Check your page speed here.  (make link to Google’s tool: https://developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/insights/

This information is straight out of Google’s Quality Rater Guidelines. https://static.googleusercontent.com/media/www.google.com/en//insidesearch/howsearchworks/assets/searchqualityevaluatorguidelines.pdf

Ensure your About page is properly linked

Make sure you have an About page and that it is easy to find.  Google wants users to know who owns the website and who is accountable for the content on the site.  Ideally, the About page should be linked from every page. Learn more about Dot The i Creative on our About Page.

Post an Author Bio

After each blog post or article post the Author’s bio.  This is important so that reader’s can see who wrote the content and their credentials.  Google wants users to be informed about the content they are consuming.

Some apps, like WordPress have a plugin like Simple Author Box  https://wordpress.org/plugins/simple-author-box/]\

Include a Careers Page

A Careers page is an indicator towards the legitimacy of the business.  All good businesses have a Careers page on their site, we have one, check out our Careers Page.

Contact Us is a Must

Along with a Careers page, all businesses must have a Contact Us page.  The Rater Guidelines mention it several times.

Collect Reviews from Your Site

Google places a lot of emphasis on reputation.  One way to increases your business’ reputation is to have it set up to capture customer reviews.  Are we going to have a product for this?

Awards for Credibility are a Plus

In addition to customer reviews, Google looks for other indicators of a legitimate business.  Awards for credibility are another great sign that you are a reputable business.

The Better Business Bureau (BBB) is important as well. Make sure you don’t have too much negative feedback.

Ensure Quality Content

  • Add links to Other Good Content

Adding links to references within your content, should help with recovery.

  • Refresh Old Posts

Keep your content current.

  • Make Sure Content Isn’t Vague
  • E-Commerce – Customer Service Information Should be Included
  • E-Commerce – Quality Product Pages

Ensure you are providing plenty of detail about your products.  Avoid using the stock manufacturer descriptions.

  • Stay Away From Click-Bait Headers
  • Be Careful About Ads

Yes, even though Google has expanded the use of ads on its own platform, they are discouraging businesses from doing that.  They do not want consumers to be confused and mistake an ad for content or navigation links.

  • Proper Grammar is Foundational
  • Develop Original Content, Especially for E-Commerce

The best way to approach a site that has been impacted is to dig in and fix as many things all at once.  We hope you found this post valuable and look forward to answering any questions you have.