Last week, we introduced you to Google’s Medic update. We explained the who, what, where, and why. Now it’s time to learn what this means for your site!
No site is immune from core updates - however, some will be hit harder than others.
The secret to stopping your rank from tanking is to ensure that your site and SEO strategy fits with what Google’s algorithm wants.
While Google has been tight-lipped about what this particular change brings to the table, we do have a general idea of what it might have changed.
In particular, Google’s Quality Rater Guidelines offer us some insight into what to look out for.
What the Rater Guidelines tell us about Medic
These guidelines are Google’s way of testing its algorithm changes.
Every time it rolls out a new update, its army of human checkers give feedback, rating the change on its effectiveness.
These guidelines were updated shortly before this update dropped.
Needless to say, it’s pretty likely this is a precursor to the anticipated changes that come with Medic.
Using this, a couple of noteworthy points have come to light.
1) Focus on EAT
One phrase that popped up an awful lot in the rater guidelines was EAT It stands for Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trust).
When you think about it, Google is all about returning the best, most relevant results for users. That’s their goal, and a proper SEO strategy turns your
site into that result.
Simply put, these three factors are all about measuring that relevance and quality.
Like we always say, content is king - quality content is a huge part of building EAT for yourself. You want your page content to be well-written, informative and unique.
There are several other ways you can build expertise, authority and trust for your site, however.
For starters, you can think about implementing:
- Better product pages with high quality images
- A hearty About us page filled with information about founders and the team
- Positive reviews and feedback, and testimonials
Each of these boosts your EAT in Google’s eyes.
In addition to your overall site EAT, it’s also a good idea to think about the reputation of individual pages.
Google doesn’t rank sites, it ranks pages - to maximise potential traffic, you’ll want to fix any weak links on your site.
Bringing the discussion back to Medic: how different sites have different standards for EAT
Like we mentioned in our previous article about Medic, certain sites were hit harder than most.
In particular, YMYL (Your Money, Your Life) sites were hit especially hard. This includes:
- Healthcare and medical sites
- Legal advice
- Financial sites
These types of sites are subject to especially high standards for expertise, authority and trust. After all, people’s wellbeing (physical, financial or otherwise) is on the line!
This cuts both ways. While certain pages will require high EAT to rank well, others won’t.
What this means for you
If you want to increase your EAT, you’ll want to tailor your content to establish expertise, authority and trust in your anticipated audience or visitors.
That requires an in-depth understanding of:
- The purpose your site serves
- What your specific visitors lend credibility to
- The level of EAT visitors expect
- Credibility indicators unique to your line of work
2) Make sure your content matches user intent
Like we mentioned before, Google’s job is to connect searchers with results that match exactly what they’re looking for.
Google calls this “user intent”.
And really, whether your pages turn up on search results all comes down to how well it matches user intent.
Sure, there’s always going to be some ambiguity - search for “apple” by itself, and it can be hard for Google to figure out whether you’re referring to a smartphone or a fruit.
Thankfully, an effective keyword strategy can help you avoid this outcome. Target keywords that are more relevant to your business and what makes you unique.
Beyond that however, it’s just as important to tailor your content to match user intent as well.
For example, let’s say you operate in a highly technical field - say, computer parts.
Your visitors are going to want to hear hard numbers: specs, power, price… as such, you’ll want to make sure your site features plenty of those.
“An SEO used clickbait to boost sessions… what happened next will blow your mind!”
Does that heading sound familiar?
Is your mind, in fact, still in tact?
Google looks like it’s cracking down harder on clickbait, with raters being specifically instructed to flag any instances of clickbait they find.
Needless to say, you’ll want to minimise the amount of clickbait on your site.
In many cases, the title is the best thing a clickbait article has going for it, with the rest of the content being either extremely sparse or animated GIFs.
This doesn’t align very well with user intent.
By all means, make your titles engaging and attractive - however, you’ll also need to make sure the content is just as engaging and powerful!
The reason for this goes beyond SEO.
This is good advice for any content strategy - while clickbait may bring in traffic, what it can’t do is make conversions. Only quality content can do that for you.
iformat’s SEO strategies keep you competitive
Google updates are a bit of a running theme, not just here but at any SEO agency.
Google’s constant updates and changes make maintaining your rankings an ongoing process that is never complete.
Getting your site and pages to rank isn’t a once-and-done thing.
It requires constant content additions and modifications to your pages. It requires a cohesive strategy that accounts for user-intent and establishes your experience, authority and trustworthiness.
Only then will your site consistently bring in visitors and generate leads, even with frequent Google updates.
Have you been hit hard by Medic? Looking for professional help from a Melbourne SEO agency?