Websites in the healthcare, medical, and wellness industry saw a lot of upheaval in the last year with regards to their organic traffic and keyword rankings fluctuating drastically due to Google algorithm updates.
We have covered the same in a series of blog posts that tried to understand Google’s algorithm patterns and came up with a handful of suggestions regarding how to fool-proof websites in these niches from Google’s future algorithms.
We were quite clear that Google had tweaked their algorithms to understand the Expertise, Authority, and Trustworthiness of websites in these particular niches, which are broadly called YMYL sites. Till now, the search engine giant has been pretty shy to reveal it and like always, they ridiculed the speculations of SEO geeks as a farce.
Finally, the word has come from the horse’s mouth, thanks to Google’s John Mueller, who said, during the May 31st Webmaster hangouts, the new algorithms were trained to find medical and health-related sites that lacked authority.
Here is how he answered a question raised by a medical website owner who saw a massive decrease in traffic and ranking for his website:
Mueller says, “There are other kinds of websites where I’d say maybe our algorithms in the last year or so have been focusing more on. One area that I’ve seen mentioned a lot is the whole medical space where I see people posting online talking about authority, expertise, those kinds of things where I’d say that definitely makes sense.”
“In the past, it was really hard for us to judge the kind of quality of a medical or medically oriented site. But, over time, our algorithms have gotten better in that regard, and that’s an area where I’d say maybe if you had a low-quality affiliate site that was focusing on these medical topics, then maybe you would be seeing changes,” he added.
He also cautioned health and medical website owners that Google’s algorithms are improving and you might see further changes in the coming days.
“Perhaps over the last ten years or so, you had a really good run, so that’s another area where I’d say maybe from an algorithmic point of view, you might see bigger changes,” cautioned Mueller.
If your SEO agency is approached by a medical client hit by a recent update, your primary focus must be to improve the Expertise, Authority, and Trustworthiness of the website, which are now turning out to be the three success mantras of SEO success.