Google Core Update – Medic!

by Jim August 14, 2018

This week sees the effects of Google’s new algorithm core update. It has been nicknamed ‘Medic’ in some quarters and has taken a week since release for us to see movement on any of our client’s sites and they appear to be in the medical and construction industries.

What I learned

  • Medic appears to be having an effect on mainly two industries
  • How to check the winners and losers
  • Why you may have fallen out of favour with Google
  • Medic results that will need a little triage
  • Why Medic is rewarding authority


Hey, welcome back, Rankers. Medic! Medic! ‘Medic’ is the name of the latest Google algorithm core update, well that’s the nickname some people have given to it. There’s a lot of answers about this latest update out there on the web that you can read, and they’re all a bit different.

Last week I said we hadn’t seen anything, and we hadn’t. This week we have, we’ve seen quite a bit. Now usually when a Google update comes along, we don’t see anything in our own client sites. We’ve got two sites where we actually have seen movement, and one of these is in the medical industry, and the other one is in the building construction industry.

Financial Building
There is a saying in the Google rater’s guidelines, which is, “Your money or your life sites.” So financial sites and also medical sites, being your life. And many people are saying that these are the sorts of sites that have been affected, others are also reporting sites that don’t fall into those categories that have been affected. We haven’t seen any of those.

So the ones, or the experience, that I’m looking at is really around medical and construction. And what I tend to do in this situation, is go and have a look at the winners and losers. Go and have a look at say a keyword that you know that has dropped, and go and have a look at who are the new entries, or who’s replaced you now in that top ten. And what you’re trying to do here, is trying to work out well, why has Google all of a sudden favoured this site over mine? And certainly in the medical side of things, we’re seeing a lot more informational sites come to the for, so things like Wikipedia, more authority university type stuff, well known clinics, like in the one particular search I was looking at the Mayo Clinic now turns up in Australia for this particular medical search, where it didn’t at all before.

We’re also seeing some odd results, which I don’t think are good results. So in a construction industry we’ve seen some results all of a sudden appear from a builder who is about 3000 miles away from where we’re doing the search. We’re not going to get that builder, right? They’re a long way away. So we’re seeing things like this as well. Now hopefully, Google will sort that stuff out.

Results Refinement
But what it looks like is Google is trying to refine its search results further. So because we don’t do anything blackhat, or untoward, or buy backlinks, or anything like that, it’s not like we have to go, “Oh god. What have we done?” It’s nothing like that when you see a site drop. So you’ve got to go and work out, well where are the opportunities? How is Google trying to improve its algorithm? Because that’s what it’s trying to do, even if it’s just to get us to buy more ad space, but what is Google further trying to refine? And when you start to look at some of the key phrases that have dropped, and others that haven’t, you start to see, okay there’s a decision making process here that is different from one search to the other. And the ones that typically have fallen, are for very broad match phrases where maybe only one or two words, and they’ve dropped a lot for those, whereas maybe phrases that are three or four words long, that indicate that the searcher is a little bit further along in their research, they haven’t dropped as much.

So it’s only for some of these broad phrases, where I would say that in most cases that user is only at the beginning of their search. So they might be looking for more information, more authority. The ones I’ve seen though, especially in the construction industry, the sites that have come into the top 10 that weren’t there before, the one I guess constant between those sites is that they are all award-winning businesses, all award-winning sites, and they have all of those awards very visible on their site and linked through to the authority that gave them the award.

So start to have a look at, if you have been here, start to have a look at those sorts of things. How can you get more trust, authority, expertise, on your site? The three pillars for Google. Is there something else that you can be doing?

I haven’t seen any well known brands yet that have been hit, but I will continue to look for those because I think this is the sort of update which a well known brand should be protected from, because they have social proof and people are looking for them.

Anyway, I’ll bring you more about that next week. If you have seen some changes, or if you have been hit, please let us know because I’d like to have a look at your site to see if there are any other patterns that we can establish. Might help you, and might help us.

Thanks very much. See you next week. Bye.

Jim’s been here for a while, you know who he is.

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