Google has a long history of famous algorithm updates, search index changes and refreshes. Each year, Google changes its search algorithm around 500–600 times. While most of these changes are minor, Google occasionally rolls out a “major” algorithmic update that affects search results in significant ways.
Below are some of the most important resources for search marketers:
- Google Hummingbird
- Google Mobile-Friendly Update
- Google Panda Update
- Google Penguin Update
- Google Pigeon Update
- Google Payday Update
- Google Pirate Update
- Google EMD (Exact Match Domain) Update
- Google Top Heavy Update
Google Medic Update
Google releases several algorithm updates per year that it may confirm, while many others are not confirmed or recognized by Google.
Google confirmed on Twitter that it released a “broad core algorithm update” on 01-Aug-2018. This was after the search community noticed shifts in rankings and traffic.
This algorithm update if found to be a more significant update, based on many of the metrics we are tracked. Google’s aim with these updates is to improve the overall quality of the search results provided to searchers.
During the first week of August, Google’s advice on this update was that webmasters do not need to make any technical changes to their websites. In fact, the company said, “no fix” is required and that it is aimed at promoting sites that were once undervalued. Google even said that you should continue to look ways at making your overall website better and provide even better-quality content and experiences to your website visitors.
What Industry Observed
Google is calling this a global and core update, but based on the analysis done by industry experts thus far, there seems to be a focus on health and medical sites (YMYLsites). But many sites besides those were also impacted by the update. This update has taken on the name the Medic Update because of its focus on the medical and health space. This specific focus is something Google has not confirmed yet.
What is YMYL?“Your Money or Your Life” pages are those focused on money and life events. The Google raters’ guideline defined them as:
- Pages that solicit personal information, such as personal identification numbers, bank account numbers, drivers license numbers, etc., which could be used for identity theft.
- Pages used for monetary transactions, on which users might give their credit account or bank account information; for example, any page that allows you to buy something.
- Pages that offer medical or health information that could impact your physical well-being.
- Pages offering advice on major life decisions, such as pages on parenting, purchasing a home, a vehicle and so on.
- Pages offering advice on major life issues that could impact your future happiness and finances, such as pages giving legal or financial advice.
Google E-A-T Algorithm
Post Google’s major algorithm update, industry experts across the globe are theorizing the YMYL connection raises the idea that Google may be looking more closely at E-A-T signals.
There’s been some speculation that this update is connected to Google’s recent changes to their Quality Rater Guidelines. While it’s very unlikely that manual ratings based on the new guidelines would drive major ranking shifts (especially so quickly), it’s entirely plausible that the guideline updates and this algorithm update share a common philosophical view of quality and Google’s latest thinking on the subject.
What Does “E-A-T” Stand For?
E-A-T stands for “Expertise, Authoritativeness, Trustworthiness.”
You should always keep E-A-T in mind when building content on a webpage or website.
“Expert” – You need to be an expert in your field. This means you need to show you have the appropriate credentials (college degree, job experience, etc.) and mention it in your content. Expertise is less important for general websites, but it’s vital for medical, financial, or legal websites.
“Authority” – You need to show that you are an authority. Credentials are important, but so are personal experiences like reviews.
“Trust” – You need to show users they can trust the page they are on. Everything about your site should make users feel safe while they’re visiting. This is especially important for eCommerce websites that ask users for their credit card information.
E-A-T determines a website’s value. Quality raters consider E-A-T when evaluating how good a site or page provides what they need. They look to see if they’re getting a good online experience and if the content meets their standards. If the raters feel like a user would feel comfortable reading, sharing, and recommending the content, that earns the site a high level of E-A-T. We have to consider E-A-T as the reason why users would choose your site over your competition’s. Because it could have a direct impact on how Google sees your content and ultimately ranks your website.
What Can You Do
Apart from the traditional optimisation of Title Tags, Description Tags, Headings, Audits, etc, you need to focus on elements that will enhance E-A-T of your website. Listed below are some activities to help:
E – Expertise
Your About Us page is the second most searched page after Home page in a website, hence it very important that you include all possible details of the company along with core team members. The details are even more important when it comes to Doctors, Lawyers, Financial Consultants, etc.
Including details related to their professional persona, like Degrees, Qualifications, Credentials, etc will help in showing a strong technical background.
Also, it is very important to highlight such details in your social profiles, especially social site that gives you the opportunity to connect with like-minded professionals, like LinkedIn.
A – Authority
Building authority for you & your brand needs some special attention. The first step will involve creating a dedicated section of the website to highlight all the achievements & awards you, & your company has bagged.
Apart from this, we need to create external properties to showcase your achievements, like a Wikipedia Page. Also, developing a lot of technical content around your industry, with the only intention to help users, in the form of Blogs, Articles, NewsLetters, Videos, Infographics, etc is the need of the hour
T – Trust
Customer reviews & detailed testimonials can be considered an important signal when it comes to gaining trust. Displaying same in the website, & also asking clients to put reviews in external platforms like Google, Yelp, FourSquare, etc, will definitely help.