Studying Google's Latest Algorithm Google Medic Update - OOKINFO
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6/03/2019

Studying Google's Latest Algorithm Google Medic Update


A week ago today, we were the first to report on the big core Google algorithm update - in fact, we covered it several hours before Google confirmed the update. Since then, I posted the day after reaction to the update and covered that the update was winding down. I have also been collecting a lot of survey data around sites that were impacted by this update and I have some news to share.

I reviewed over 300 sites, sites that said they were impacted by this update. The first bit of data that sorely stood out around this was that a huge percentage of the sites impacted were specifically in the medical, health, fitness, healthy lifestyle space. In fact, over 42% of the sites submitted were. Here is a pie chart showing how I personally categorized all of these sites:

 (note: I updated the chart at 4pm EDT August 8th with more survey data and merged the financial and finance category together)

I've done surveys like this before and I have never seen such a deep concentration in a specific niche before like this. It is actually shocking to me since Google said this was a global and core update - which normally means it impacts all flavors of sites, in all areas, everywhere.

Yes, many sites in other niches were impacted, such as e-commerce, insurance, finance, business to business, entertainment, deal sites, etc. The interesting thing, many of those "e-commerce" sites sell health/medical related product, so the 42% number might be closer to 50%.

This data stood out like a sore thumb. I am not sure we can just be lax about it and say this update was targeting the medical and health space. It clearly was not just health and medical but the data 100% skewed specifically to health and medical related web sites.

This ranged across all countries, languages, types of sites including blogs, doctor practices, e-commerce, advice, life style tips, and more. The one common thread was that close to 50% of these sites all were medical and health related.

The data set was over 300 sites of people who were good enough to fill out the survey. So about half of these sites were in the health and medical space, while the other half was not.
I will have more data to share from this survey, I hope. But right now, the biggest thing that stood out was this health/medical eye sore.

I am super curious to hear everyone's feedback on this. I know Marie Haynes wrote she thinks this is targeted on YMYL sites but I think we can even more narrowly say it was zoned in on health. Again, we all think it was broader but the most impacted, in my opinion, is focused on health.
Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld and Black Hat World.


Some websites that diligently discuss search engine optimization conduct research, then find a number of interesting findings . This algorithm will have a major impact on organic visits on all websites in the world. It is noted that this algorithm has a different impact for each website per 1 August 2018.

The website that is specifically most influenced by this algorithm is the web that is engaged in health and fitness. Some webs have a significant reduction in keyword volume. While on other similar webs it shows an increase in the volume of keywords that are quite good. This condition resulted in some websites experiencing a decline in website ranking globally.

Although it is called Medic Update , it does not mean that the algorithm only affects the web in the health sector. In general, these updates also affect the web that falls into the category of YMYL (Your Money or Your Life) .

The YMYL term is used to describe content that contains topics around health, happiness, security, finance / economics, education, and e-commerce. Easily, YMYL content is content that is not just how to spend money, but also provides inner peace to its readers.

Marie Haynes , an SEO expert, in her blog took three things for the impact of this algorithm, as follows:

  • The biggest impact of this algorithm is the website included in YMYL
  • Many food, nutrition, and medical equipment websites have increasingly influence the presence of this algorithm
  • This update also affects a number of small and local businesses in many countries, their website ranking is decreasing
Initially the algorithm update was confirmed by the @searchliaison Twitter account managed by Danny Sullivan, a technology expert and founder of the Search Engine Land web. Through his tweet , he said that the update of this algorithm was developed to improve the quality of searches that were better and had a more personal impact on visitors.

It is said that Google began to use the concept of " beneficial purposes" to assess a page on a website that has content that is weighty or not. The concept works by considering whether the page has goals or benefits that affect the reader, including what the visitor then does after reading the information.

For example,
 if I want to get information through the keyword "pramoedya ananta toer book", maybe I just want to read a review of the book or get information on where I can get the book. The search results page that appears will display several links that refer to both of these goals. However, if I change the keyword to "buy a book pramoedya ananta toer", Google can directly ignore the search results related to the review of the book.

Some content themes try to be sorted through the diagram below, from the themes most affected by this algorithm to the ones that are least affected:

How to anticipate this algorithm update so that our website is not affected by the decline in organic visits?

The @searchliaison account also provides suggestions that the web that we now manage must maintain the quality of the content. The quality of content must be in line with the main goals of each web, whether it is providing useful information, selling products, or other things.

For information, Google updates its algorithm every year to 500-600 times, which changes can be classified as minor and major updates. However, most of these updates are usually minor. If you've heard of Google Panda and Google Penguin algorithms, the two algorithm names are included in the major update type.

So, have you evaluated the content of the website that you are managing? Have you met the standard 'great content' that can win the fierce battle of the latest Google algorithm?

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