Google updated its search engine algorithm on 1st of August 2018 and this update was nicknamed Medic Update. The search engine giant calls it a broad, global, core update. Like other past updates, this also impacted the websites. We have tried to know who are most impacted and if there is any fix for it.
As Google calls this a broad, global, core update, more and more websites are likely to be impacted. But according to studies by several leading research firms like Sistrix, RankRanger, this update has more impact on health and medical sites and YMYL Your Money Your Life sites. There is no fix for a website impacted, says Google. However, improving user experience, content quality and usability of the site can bring in great results.
Danny Sullivan, a leading technologist and co-founder of Search Engine Land also confirmed this is a “global” rollout, impacting all Google search results, regardless of language or region. But Google has not revealed like it did with previous updates, how much damage this has done with the search results. But some firms like RankRanger, SEMrush, have tried to figure out the degree of impacts and who are how much impacted this Google announcement.
A Look at the Types of Sites Impacted
As this is a global update, it will be applied to every website in any vertical. What type of a website is does not matter. The update is applicable to all. But some niches have been more severely affected. Based on data from surveys, consultants, and many data companies, medical, health and life, and money related websites are more affected. So pages of a website, focusing on life, money and entertainment events are more prone. Google raters’ guideline defines YMYL pages as the ones:
- That contains information, such as personal identification numbers, bank account numbers, drivers license numbers, etc., which could be used for identity theft.
- That involves money transactions, where users have to provide their credit account or bank account details. So the payment section of an e-commerce site is termed as YMYL page.
- That provides medical or health information that could impact your physical well-being.
- Pages on parenting, purchasing a home, a vehicle and so on
- Pages that provide advice on life related issues
There have been significant changes to the search results for YMYL-sites, and that can be either loss or uplift of a few percentage points, show a study by Sistrix a premier data research firm that also provides solutions for SEO professionals. According to the study, mostly health and finance pages have been affected by this update.
“But e-commerce, educational as well as some dubious automotive websites have also impacted by this update,” says Juan González.
There are many websites that saw some gain from the update. Sistrix shared the list of those who gained. See the list below.
The firmed has also come out with a list of top gainers that we share below.
As we look at the data from the RankRanger, we find that the sites that are most affected belong to the areas such as health, entertainment, life, money and the likes. However, there are some websites in those areas that also gained in Google Traffic. Look at the same graph below.
RankRanger also provides significant information about the changes to search results after the august 2018 update. Look at the graph from RankRanger that will a significant insight of the search result changes.
SEMRush in its SEMrush Sensor also throws light on the impact of the update. According to the company, the websites that are affected most are from entertainment, finance, education, auto and vehicle, law, online communities, gaming, food and drink and the likes.
Moz, leading software as a service company that also provides crucial data on inbound marketing and marketing analytics, also joined the league with its own study of the impact to search results as the Google rolled out Search Result Algorithm update on the 1st of August 2018. To see what the Moz come out with, look at the graph below.
According to Dr. Pete Meyers of Moz, “At first glance, the “Health” category does appear to be the most impacted. Keywords in that category had a daily average temperature of 124°F. Note, though, that all categories showed temperatures over 100°F on August 1st – this isn’t a situation where one category was blasted and the rest were left untouched. It’s also important to note that this pattern shifted during the other three days of heavy flux, with other categories showing higher average temperatures. The multi-day update impacted a wide range of verticals.”
What is the solution?
As we told above that: Google believes that there is nothing you can do if your site is impacted. We have also seen what the data show us. So considering both what Google says and what the data above show, we conclude that: There is no fix, and this is obvious. But Google suggests that continually improving your website, quality of content and overall user experience can result in your site ranking getting better.
According to Glenn Gabe who also wrote a long post on the Google update,” 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.” BrightLocal, powerful tools for Digital Marketing Specialists also has the similar view.
To sum up, as it is a global update and you can do nothing, the only way you have is just keep improving the quality of your content, user experience and other aspects related to your website. Google also believes the same.
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