Google is constantly updating and evolving their algorithms to provide more refined, high-quality search results for users looking to solve a pain or challenge. In August this year, Google rolled out a “broad core algorithm update" which has been dubbed the "Medic update" online.
Since the update was released, many businesses have reported a significant change in their website’s search engine rankings - and not all for the better. Read the rest of the blog to learn more about what Google’s Medic Update is and how it works, who’s been affected and how you can improve and protect your B2B website in the face of it.
What is the Google Medic Update?
Google’s Medic Update was a push for the search engine giant to help improve the identification of authority and expertise online. This is done through the algorithm’s core ranking factors to ensure that quality, authoritative and expert content is getting ranked in the search results.
Who’s been affected?
While Google claimed that the algorithm update was a broad, global one, it seemed to have a huge effect on health and medical, financial, legal and “Your Money Your Life” (sites that can impact someone’s current or future well-being such as their safety, finances, physical health etc.) sites. This is why the the updated was penned as the “Medic” update due to the number of websites in that niche that reported a massive change in their rankings.
If you think you may have been affected by this update, we recommend that you review your rankings and compare them to their positions from before 1st August and note down the changes.
If you have noticed a significant drop, don’t panic. There are some things you can do that will help you hold onto your ranking positions better.
How to fix it:
Google has provided a user guideline for their search quality evaluation. There is a lot to take in but we’d recommend focusing on section 4.0 which discusses ‘High Quality Pages’. Google’s measure of these pages is known as ‘Expertise-Authoritativeness-Trustworthiness’ - or ‘ E-A-T’ for short.
Those who were negatively affected could have been down to reasons where “trust” was an issue. Here are a few examples of how you could address these issues:
- If a site was selling a product that could compromise safety - Review and ensure there isn’t any question as to their safety
- Negative reputation - Improve the trust of your page by including clear and helpful contact information and customer service pages which can be easily navigated to
- Lack of positive reputation compared to competitors and/or a great number of negative reviews - Work on improving this through gaining more positive feedback and reviews from customers (reviews don’t have to just be on Google, as it will also look at third-party sites such as TrustPilot and Feefo, to name a few)
- Lack of authority in the industry - Increase authority by gaining backlinks from other high-quality, authoritative websites in your niche
Other things you can do to improve the E-A-T of your website is to ensure a high standard through:
- Maintaining the quality of your content and making certain the expertise of the author writing the content. Your content should also be reviewed and updated regularly, too
- Maintaining and updating the website means demonstrating to Google that you have up-to-date information for your visitors
- Creating an author profile or biography of the people who write your content and link to any important URLs that can help Google understand their expertise - i.e. linking to any whitepapers, published journals, their LinkedIn profile etc.
When you include all the above points into your content and your website, you can ensure you’re giving yourself the best possible way to enhance and maintain your search engine rankings in the face of Google’s Medic Update and ensure your content is being found by the right people, at the right time. At most, you can at least be sure that the content you’re providing to prospects is high-quality and provides excellent and authoritative information that will help them to solve their pains and challenges.
Building trust is just one of the ways you can help improve website conversions. Another thing to keep in mind is the quality of your website design which could come under scrutiny against such algorithm updates now and in the future. As people tend to be visual, an amateur looking site can put people off, especially if it doesn’t reflect your brand very well - for instance, if you’re a professional services firm, you content may be written by experts and backed up by research - but it only takes a few seconds for a visitor to land on your website and make up their mind about your brand.
For more ways to ensure your B2B website is working it’s hardest to convert visitors into leads, download our free eBook and learn the essential design elements your website needs to have for effective lead generation.