If you’ve seen a recent spike or drop in your organic rankings, you’re not alone. Google has been busy cooking up new adjustments to their core algorithm.
How are your marketing and SEO teams working to manage the effects brought upon by the most recent Google algorithm update?
By now, you’ve probably heard of Google’s recent broad core algorithm update. If you haven’t heard, you may already be experiencing its effects, for better or worse.
The most recent update has been coined “Medic” by some for its profound impact on organic performance rankings in the health space.
Healthcare, however, hasn’t been the only business sector to see losses in rankings to previously high-performing web pages. Your Money or Your Life, aka YMYL in SEO parlance, refers to websites that relate to monetary transactions, health and medical information, site that solicit personal info like bank account information or other identifying data. Also included in the YMYL group are websites that offer life advice on major life events, personal finances and legal advice.
So while the August 1, 2018 update to the algorithm had a significant impact on health and medical sites, its effects have had a cascading effect across multiple business sectors with a significant impact on the YMYL sector.
If your company collects user data, focuses on health or medical and or serves content that provides guidance on some of life’s big themes — money, parenting, real estate, legal — now is the time to take a look at whether you’ve been affected by Google’s update.
If you’ve experienced less site traffic or a loss of ranking position, this is a key indicator that your site has been directly impacted. And since August 1, Google has continued to tweak its adjustments to the algorithm:
How Should I Adjust My Optimization & SEO Strategy Now?
Google has reiterated that quality content and an excellent user experience are the keystones of better SERP rankings.
Google’s recent update to its Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines includes a note on expertise authoritativeness and trustworthiness (E-A-T) aimed directly at low quality medical content:
“High E-A-T medical advice should be written or produced by people or organizations with appropriate medical expertise or accreditation. High E-A-T medical advice or information should be written or produced in a professional style and should be edited, reviewed, and updated on a regular basis (Google July 2018).
This means that if you’re working with an advertising agency or content vendor to produce medical content, your agency should both have:
- Medical writing expertise
- Strong editorial focus
- Strong SEO experience and relevant medical SEO POV.
Additionally, on your side, you should have a subject matter expert willing to review the content produced, verify its correctness and professional POV and publish that content under their byline.
Does This Mean Traditional and Technical SEO Concerns Don’t Matter?
No, they still matter!
This algorithm update doesn’t throw the baby out with the bath water. Important considerations such as link acquisition, site optimization, skillful site architecture, page structure, metadata, structured data and canonical tagging are still relevant and important. The key thing about this update is that you need to widen your focus when it comes to SEO — preserve and continue the proven tactics that have helped gain visibility and add in more focus on quality content and UX.
How Does Google Evaluate UX for SEO?
One of the easiest ways to improve the UX of your current website is through on-page optimizations — a well-written title tag and meta description that include relevant keywords, descriptive H1 and H2 tags that signal the logical hierarchy of the content and subheading tags that preserve the logical structure of your content.
The navigation of your website, good or bad, has an effect on how well Google indexes and displays your site, including its internal sitelinks. Sites with a logical architecture have a better chance of being displayed with internal site links as part of the SERP:
Other SEO/UX concerns include whether there are on-site nuisances like pop-ups are present. One of the best ways to improve your site UX is through usability testing and QA to make sure that both your mobile and desktop experiences are easy for users, make sense, navigate well and offer a clear path to accessing the content or information on the site. Being spammy, too similar to existing content across the web, or too insistent on prioritizing conversion over adding value to the user are ways that many sites are losing today.
If you’re ready to take your website SEO & UX to the next level, our expert SEO & optimization team is ready to go to bat for you! Learn more by contacting us today.