Google Algorithms Can Now Understand the Quality of Health and Medical Sites

Written by Dileep Thekkethil

Updated on Jul 29, 2020
Category: Google Updates

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.Expertise, Authority, Trustworthiness

We were quite clear that Google had tweaked their algorithms to understand the Expertise, Authority, and Trustworthiness(EAT) 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.

About Dileep Thekkethil

Dileep Thekkethil, a Journalism Postgraduate, was formerly with a US-based online magazine, is the SEO Expert at Stan Ventures. A He is a frequent blogger who keeps a tab on the latest updates in SEO and technology arena. Reach me @ Mail | LinkedIn | Twitter | Facebook or View all posts by Dileep

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  1. Avatar

    This is the post I was really looking for. I am a medical health site owner. I was receiving an ample amount of traffic as most of the pages were ranking on top of search engine results. However, a few months back it dropped like a bomb, with almost nil visitors. So, here’s my doubt Mr Dileep,
    1. Should I hire an expert to write for my website?
    2. I heard of EAT score, what is it?
    3. What are the ways to increase EAT score?
    4. Why Google doesn’t notify about such consideration officially soon after they update?

    • Avatar

      Coming to your questions:

      1) If you have the bandwidth to hire an health or medical expert, it’s well and good. In case if you are not, there are agencies like Stan Ventures who can assist you with finding the right expert.
      2, 3) EAT stands for Expertise Authority and Trustworthiness. Google checks these factors before pushing you up in the SERP. If you want to know more visit our article the explains what EAT factors you must include on your website.
      4) You see, it’s Google, and they have their own policies. Algorithms are their secretive business, and what we can do is to keep on doing A/B testing to find what are the factors that the algorithm considers for ranking a page.


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