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…Oh those stinkers at Google. They did it again!

At least they’re laying off cute animal names (Panda, Penguin, Hummingbird) this time.

So what ace did they pull out of their sleeves now?

Learn more about the “Medic” update:

Health, Medical, and YMYL Sites Pay Attention

Google doesn’t target niches too often. Especially with core algorithm updates. So it’s noteworthy when they do.

Because something must really be bothering them if they decided to take action.

First, what is a YMYL site? Well, it does one or more of the following:

  1. Asks for personal identification numbers like your banking info
  2. Allows you to perform a monetary transaction with a credit card number or any other payment mechanism
  3. Offers medical or health information that could affect your mental or physical well-being
  4. Gives advice on a major life decision like buying a home or car, or parenting
  5. Offers advice on a major financial issue

The core result of Google’s actions has been to reward the top-quality content in this niche with the highest rankings. Apparently, they felt some sites in this niche were under-rewarded. 

And for those sites who fell, it’s not that their content was “bad.” It’s been “less good” than top-performing content in those niches.

These sites saw around a 33-50% drop in their overall rankings:

…While these sites saw a 33-50% gain in their search rankings:

So, it’s a matter of studying what their content does well. And what it stinks at.

Then, you simply imitate the winners.

Surprise, Surprise! Quality Content Wins the Day!

If you’ve paid any attention to SEO for the last 5 years, you shouldn’t be the slightest bit shocked.

Now, you certainly had no way to know Google would target health, medical, and financial websites.

But, you’ve certainly hear Google (and us) talk endlessly about driving your content quality through the roof.

Remember, “quality content” refers to what your market finds the most valuable. And they tell you that through these metrics:

  1. Bounce rate (the number of people who visit a certain page on your website once, and then leave permanently)
  2. Time spent on-page
  3. Social shares
  4. Page visits
  5. Email unsubscribe rate
  6. Email click rate
  7. Email list size

These metrics tell you other things too. They don’t necessarily only reflect content quality. But, they do offer some indication of the quality of your content.

That’s the great thing about the web. You can learn exactly what your audience wants over time – without them ever speaking a word to you.

So anyway, there’s your lesson for the day. Google’s cleaning up the web. And it’s becoming a more useful place every day.

Now it’s up to you to do the best job you can of serving your audience.



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