Can Your Health Information Website Survive the Google Medic Update?

Last year, Google surprised many digital marketers with the Medic update. Google algorithm updates are nothing new, of course. However, most updates are barely felt to everyone except the most keen Google code followers. The Medic update, on the other hand, overhauled page ranking results for a vast number of health and financial information websites.

Businesses with health websites that offer consumers information would certainly have been affected. This article would explain how your health site can survive the Medic update and get rankings back up again.

Understanding Google Medic

While Google rolls out updates to affect just about every website, the Medic update specifically targeted sites in the financial and health sector. These sites are businesses that mainly offer consumers advice on nutrition or medical devices. Any related site would have been affected by the update. The marketing industry calls these websites “Your Money Your Life”, or YMYL, sites.

The Medic update took aim at the credibility, authority, and relevance of information posted on these websites. Google made a point in wanting to get rid of spurious health advice websites. The ultimate aim here is to ensure accuracy of information presented on these websites, mainly because it pertains to life and death situations.

If your health website got downranked after the Medic update, it’s because the information presented wasn’t credible or authoritative. To get the ranking back up again, you need to perform what’s called authority optimisation.

Authority Optimisation Explained

Authority  in a website refers to how credible and legitimate the content is. Mainly, the content must be accurate for it to be credible. Google doesn’t trust just any website to deliver trustworthy medical information, which is essentially the reason for the Medic update. Google prioritises .gov or .org websites for searches related to topics like medical devices. However, that doesn’t mean your health website has to be relegated to the bottom of search rankings.

Improving the authority of a health website isn’t an easy task. You can start by improving the accuracy of all information presented on the site. Then, get rid of all bad links. All links on the website should only redirect to other authoritative and legitimate websites. Links from government or academic websites are the best to increase authority.

There are some off-page optimisation techniques to try as well. Mainly, try to get your site linked by other authoritative websites. Mentions from popular and highly ranked websites would help as well. If possible, add a customer review feature. Get endorsements from medical professionals or regulatory authorities if possible as this would remarkably improve your page ranking following Medic.

To do authority optimisation right, hire a professional agency that specialises in the topic. A good SEO services company would be able to deliver the results you want.

How to Improve Your Health Website to Meet Google Medic Requirements

Other than authority optimisation mentioned above, here are several other ways to improve your website to get a better page ranking:

Create Only High-Quality Content

In addition to accuracy, maintain the quality of content overall. This includes the quality of content featured in the snippets section. Soon after Medic, Google rolled out the Brackets update that checks how well-written content in short snippets are.

Marketers would need to invest heavily to create high-quality content. That means creating content for relevant topics. Definitely avoid issues like plagiarism and keep everything free of spelling and grammar errors. Regular quality check-ups would ensure that your site’s content meets Google requirements.

Keep Keywords in Context

Optimising with keywords is just as important as ever. However, with recent updates, just using the right keyword isn’t enough to get better search rankings. Websites need to have keywords in the right context as well.

It all boils down to user intent. Google is dead-set on delivering search results that matches a user’s intent as precisely as possible. Thanks to AI tech, algorithms can now consider contextual relevance for certain keywords. In simple terms, the content of your website should match the content of other websites that use the same keyword.

To ensure contextual keyword relevance, perform a Google search before using nay keyword. Do other websites that show up on the search have similar subject matter as yours? If it’s a yes, then you can go with that keyword.

Speed It Up

The Medic update was released alongside another major mobile speed update. This essentially separated mobile search rankings from regular search. So, your website must be highly responsive on mobile platforms to get better rankings.

Brands are free to use a different set of optimisation procedures to get higher mobile rankings. However, as with desktops, sites would have to be as speedy as possible.

The above tweaks should help your health website maintain a high ranking even after the Google Medic update.

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