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The Google Medic Update impact on brands and the content checklist they should be following

Back in 2018, Google rolled out a significant broad core algorithm update, dubbed the ‘Google Medic Update’. Intended to improve the quality of results, this update had a huge impact on many sites and users. However, it was medical, health and fitness sites that primarily saw their organic rankings take a hit, making up around 40-50% of all affected sites.

Google medic update

As one of the most impactful updates in recent times, the Google Medic Update is still affecting the search rankings and traffic of sites within this industry. In a climate where it is more important than ever to provide access to reliable and up-to-date health-related content, sites need to ensure they are adhering to recommended guidelines. One of the primary steps to generate traffic and visibility is producing high quality and evergreen content.

All Response Media viewpoint
Many of the recommendations in light of the Google Medic Update fall under general good practice.

In addition to a focus on high-quality content, companies should also provide a logical site structure that includes ‘About’, ‘Privacy Policy’, ‘Cookie Policy/GDPR’ and ‘Returns/Complaints’ pages. Company details should be readily available to all users and client testimonials can serve as effective trust signals, as can the display of awards, official accreditations and links from suitable authorities.

Content checklist
Content should be well-written, technically correct and structured in a user-friendly way, with different segments being broken up by clear headers. No set word count applies, with content length varying depending on the topic, audience and intent.

Regardless of how long or short, your content is though, it’s vital that editors review for grammatical errors. Consumers of health and medical content expect the source to be knowledge, authoritative and trustworthy, and a small spelling mistake can cast doubt over your site’s credentials.

Multimedia content helps to engage and visually demonstrate information, while access via mobile devices is crucial, especially during a time where mobile phone usage is on the up. According to data from the Deloitte Global Mobile Consumer Survey, 31% of people in the UK access their mobile network at home. This trend is one we expect to see grow with people continuing to work and socialise from home as lockdown measures are extended.

How do you access the internet at home?

Alongside ticking off the above boxes though, content by health, fitness and medical sites should be produced, reviewed and approved by an expert wherever possible.

Author checklist
Arguably one of the most important areas of focus from Google’s Medic Update is authorship. Readers need to know that they can trust in the source of information, and there are several ways sites can showcase their authority and reliability.

Having authors with expertise in one primary subject area are key. A link to a dedicated author biography page can further explain and expand on this, with mention of relevant qualifications and experiences. Where it is not possible to include a profile page, a short bio summary at the bottom of the content is sufficient.

Links to related websites or social media channels, in addition to links to published content on other authority websites, are also beneficial to signal your author’s credentials and stay on the right side of the update.

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