Every now and then, Google likes to throw a spanner in the works by updating its core algorithm. This usually results in a big shift in results delivered in Google searches. Some organisations win and move up the rankings but other organisations lose and move down the rankings considerably. Why does this matter? Well, if you are enjoying a lovely cosy position on page one of the Google results you can expect to gain a healthy amount of traffic. Research shows that up to 95% of users don’t go past the first page of Google results. Typical search behaviour now from your average user would be to change the search, maybe add in more terms , rather than click through to page two or three of results.
So an algorithm change is a big deal. Potentially , Google could be wiping out a large majority of your audience by updating their core algorithm. Not fair eh?
Like most digital marketing agencies, we see the impact first hand when an algorithm change hits, with multiple client accounts affected due to circumstances beyond our control. Its not all doom and gloom though as we find out fairly quickly what the broad changes “could” be. We are never 100% sure as Google likes to play its update tweaks close to its chest (does Google HAVE a chest? Maybe it does, with a big “G” in the middle of it.) If you want to have a look at all the previous Google algorithm updates Moz.com have an excellent page where you can review the changes, great bedtime reading whilst your wondering why your super duper eCommerce site is not selling any products.
August Algorithm Update – Your Money or Your Life.
So what we can gleam so far is that the latest update really affected “health and wellness” websites. This type of website has lots of scope for content to be created and published that may well be, well, non factual. Think of all the hokey medical websites full of advice and remedies that may not be strictly “authentic”. Google has clearly made a stance on trying to organise and index good quality health and wellness content. The graph we are using in this blog post is from an oral health website and it clearly shows a dip in Google rankings in August.
Google categorises queries that involve your finances and your life , health and wellbeing as YMYL queries and the August algorithm update has certainly targeted content that features YMYL topics and advice.
Expertise , Authority and Authenticity.
Part of the August “medic” algorithm update (as some people are calling it) is focused on punishing websites that are not authentic or do not come from a point of authority and expertise. Google is attempting to stop bad advice circulating in its search results and although this might be a pretty broad brush approach with sweeping changes, you do have to admire their attempts. If your website is authoritative , you speak from an expert point of view and have generally good solid content that adds value , you should be ok.
If you are concerned by or have been affected by the latest Google Algorithm update, take a look at our SEO services or feel free to contact us for advice on getting your site indexed and performing well in Google.