It seems like every few weeks, Google is tweaking their search engine just a little bit. And ever since Matt Cutts cut himself out of the Google-sphere, Moz and other companies must stab in the dark and hope they get their guesses right.
In essence, it’s been quite rare that Google actually announces a major algorithm update since the Matt Cutts departure. When they do announce something, it’s after the fact and after much deliberation on our part.
Recently, Google released a major update. They’re calling it the “Medic” Core Update. So, without much further ado, here’s a bit of info on this recent update.
1. A Very Short Google Update History
The Moz outlines all the updates, both major and minor since 2012. They’ve done an incredible job alerting SEOs and webmasters of impending changes and current debacles. And for a time, Google was at least partially communicative with SEOs.
The Moz goes all the way back to the year 2000. But the first real SEO impacting update happened in 2011. Panda affected 12% of all search results. It cracked down on thin content and other quality issues.
From there, Google updated their search engine about every few months. A year later, another major update came waddling in. This was Penguin and it targeted webspam like a spider to a fly.
These updates showed that Google was deadly serious about increasing the quality of their results. And who would blame them? Search results are, after all, their main product.
2. What’s So Special About the Broad Core Algorithm Update?
Google recently began to move away from updating their search engine to find quality content. They’ve pretty much perfected this aspect of Google. And posting quality content will always be something you should do.
What’s different now? Google is now looking for relevancy.
If your site took a hit with this new update despite usually being a top-ranked site, you probably didn’t do anything wrong. You just need to do more. (Yes, you are allowed to groan when hearing that.)
Figure Out User Intent
This is what Google is trying to teach its search engine to do. And you can do it too. Ask yourself, what is your audience trying to achieve by typing in a search engine term.
What are the questions they’re asking? If you can figure this out, then you can tailor your content to answer those questions.
Who Might Have Taken a Hit?
Moz is calling this the “Medic” update. The sites it seemed to affect were primarily healthcare websites. Anything to do with health and wellness took a hit.
It’s understandable that Google would “target” these sites. I’ve heard medical professionals complain about “Dr. Google” misleading patients. And perhaps Google is trying to teach its search engine to give better medical advice.
Really, if you are in the percentage of sites that took a hit, then my advice would be to double down on your research and give better information. But that should be something you’re doing anyway.