In what Google has billed as a “regular update,” a new change to its search ranking algorithm was rolled out in full on August 1, 2018. The update took roughly one week to reach full impact across the web and it seems as though this latest change has had little impact on a broad basis. Taking a more focused look at its impact though, analysts have found that certain industries or niches have seen more side effects from the new Google algorithm roll out. Here is every important detail that companies should know about the latest version of the web giant’s search algorithm.
What’s it Called?
Life at Google wouldn’t be fun without a pet name for every project. This time though, Google lacks a name for it, but that doesn’t mean others haven’t given the new Google algorithm update a pet name for the sake of clarity when discussing the topic. Yoast.com refers to it as the Medic Update, without citing any real reason. However, SearchEngineLand refers to it as the Medic Update because sites in the health and medical fields have seen the most significant impact so far.
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What’s the Point?
This is where things get a little murkier. In truth, the new Google algorithm update is about as clear as mud. Google has stated on countless occasions following the August 1st release that it routinely puts out updates to its core algorithms to ensure that the web remains a fair and balanced place. Some analysts and users have found that this particular update, beyond seemingly targeting a handful of particular niches, is also impacting organic search results over other types of search results.
Google has emphasized time and again that the new algorithm update requires no fix by webmasters. The purpose, again according to Google, is not to punish any type of site design or industry, but rather to enhance those sites which have been previously undervalued.
Focused or Not, Medic Update has had an Impact
As alluded to above, Google has consistently pointed out that there was no targeted niche or website type with this latest algorithm change. However, it has so far proven to require adjustments for those companies and brands in the medical field, health field, and so-called “Your Money, Your Life” niches.
Your Money, Your Life, or “YMYL,” sites contain content focused on money and life events. Other niches that have felt the pinch so far as a result of the new Google algorithm update include gaming, business-to-business, and e-commerce sites. With that said, many of the e-commerce sites are tied to the medical and health fields in one way or another.
What can Brands do About it?
While Google is sticking to its usual talking points, insisting that there is no “fix” for the update, there is always something that brands can do react and adjust following a change in the Google algorithm. In this case, the best bet is to focus on creating stronger content that is more relevant to users. Moreover, Google seems to be focusing on the intent of website content. If brands want to avoid suffering a drop in visibility as a result of the new algorithm, it would be wise to ensure that existing content and newly developed content going forward matches the intent of searches within a given niche. Again, relevance to the viewer is important.