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Google Rolls Out Core Algorithm Update

Written by Daniel
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Earlier this month, Google released its latest core algorithm update which has been labelled the ‘Medic Update’. The Flaunt Digital team discuss everything you need to know…

See below for the full video transcription.



Lee: So now we’re going to talk about Google launching a core algorithm update, which launched at the start of August. It was a global update and it’s been named as a core algorithm update, which means it’s a significant change. It’s now fully rolled out. It’s being nicknamed the “medic” update because a lot of medical sites have seen drops. 

Google’s sort of positioning it as a way to get rid of spam sites. So they’re referring to it as “your money, your life” kind of style sites where the transaction are based on advice, like aspirational advice sites, rip-off pharmaceutical sites and things like that. The official advice from Google is that there’s no fix for it, and just to make better content, which is pretty standard. 

So a lot of sites have been affected, but a lot of sites have had positive results. I think the key message is that you just need to stop doing dodgy stuff.

Chris: Yeah, well that’s always been the same, hasn’t it? But I think they’re just finding new ways to clamp down on it now.

Lee: They’re just taking a harder line, as well. They’re not releasing any specifics on what it’s targeting, what vertical it’s targeting, where they’re looking, what quality signals they’re looking at to penalize. There’s just nothing, there’s no… they’ve acknowledged it, which is about all they’ll give away these days. 

Chris: I don’t think they need to now… I think it’s probably a bit ignorant now as a brand out there, if you’re not familiarizing yourself with these changes that Google are looking for you to make. Everybody’s aware of the different ranking signals and things like that. And if not, obviously there’s a reason for them being penalized. So quality content’s always been at the forefront, hasn’t it, of Google. So if you don’t know that by now, then that’s probably one of the main reasons why you’re getting penalized. 

Lee: Yeah, well every move that Google have made, especially in search, over the last 18 months has been massively focused on user experience. If you’re not producing quality whatever, whatever industry you sit in, then you’re not going to do very well. Or you’re not going to do very well for very long. 

Chris: I think you’re right, though. I don’t think they even need to justify it now whereas before they’d been relatively helpful and try to steer brands in terms of what they can do to improve visibility and improve the content and everything like that. But this kind of sentiment’s been around for so long now that I don’t think they need to really say or suggest or justify rolling something new out, do they?

Lee: Well no, everybody knows that they’re making changes on a daily basis. And they do a core update at least a couple times a year, which is what this is. They have hired Danny Sullivan, who is the search liaison, to answer questions on stuff like this. But because it’s such a hard line and they’re trying to get rid of shit, he’s not even commenting… and his advice is, “There’s no fix for it, be better, do better. Make better content… make it a better user experience.”

Chris: Yeah, well that’s what I mean. In the past they’ve obviously tried to soften the blow by making recommendations and steps, but it always circles back to the same thing, doesn’t it? Quality content, optimized websites, good user experience. They’re the real themes that are constantly there. 

Lee: Yep. I think there’s a lot of signals if you read between the lines over the last 18 months. Like site speed being a core part of the algorithm, down to server response times and things. Proper server-side user experience stuff that are important and just getting more and more important. If you’ve got any kind of barrier that provides a bad experience, now you’re not going to do as well as you could be. 

Chris: Yeah, agreed. 

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