Googler’s Guide to Recovering from the Medic Update


In a Google Webmaster Hangout session, a Googler was asked on ways to recovering from the Medic update. A detailed guide was then provided to compare what benefits is there in small tweaks against undertaking a bigger process to carry out the content review and identify the places where it may be irrelevant.

This official hangout session was a dual language version provided in both Telugu as well as English.

A detailed guide on how to recover from Medic Update

The key to recovering here from the so-called Medic update lies in taking a step back then revisiting the content sitewide. During the Hangout session, the Googler make mention that making little changes can be of help, however, should your site get hit by Medic, you may need to weigh up your option and take bigger steps.

He warned not to expect to find a single solution to the problem as the solution is based particularly on your site, giving examples of various methods:

“So, regarding the Medic Update question, I would say it depends upon your websites. For example, if you feel like there are a lot of pages on your website where you can improve content, then I would look at say an overhaul of the website, not just trying to change or tweak.”

In my humble opinion though, if you want to make a big change, you should proceed with caution. Firstly, you have to be sure there aren’t any technical problem affecting other on-page problems. After that, you can do an objective review to get the exact place your pages are having issues. It is quite important to make a plan and have confidence in your plan.

The Googler advised further that you can make attempt to fix things a little bit with a slight tweak here and there like titles that need fixing or additional structured data, etc. However, if nothing much changes then it will be advisable to go for the big change and check what queries are coming up, in the present year, and the next one.

Additionally, you should consider how you can make general holistic changes to your website which can help your site rank better as opposed to making just smaller tweaks.

The Googler further expatiated on the meaning of been hit by an algorithm update. He stated that it is about your site content as Google does not deem it fit to be relevant.

Does the Googler not contradict Danny Sullivan Proclamation that there is nothing to fix?

In an announcement made by Danny Sullivan on the First of August 2018, which he tweeted through the Google Search Liaison Twitter account. He said there will be a broad core update. The guidance will also remain the same as he had earlier tweeted in March 2018, where he stated that there will be no “fix” for poor performing pages apart from focusing on having great content.

On the surface it may look like the Googler’s advice to review your content contradicts Danny Sullivan’s claim that nothing is there to fix. However, there is no contradiction there. It is a matter of context, the context to Danny’s claim has to do with the history of SEOs attempting to know exactly what Google was trying to target with the update.

The claim that Google was trying to target something with its August 2018 update brought the term Medic Update as it was thought that Google broad core update was targeting medical websites. The name “Medic Update” given to the update by Barry Schwartz, one of the greatest writers in the search engine Industry, however, the update did not affect the medical websites.

Winners – and losers from the update:

So in the actual sense, the Googler’s suggestion seems to sync with Danny’s advice to pay attention to having great content for your website

If you revisit his words, he said when you have tried to fix your site with little tweaks but nothing is working out then maybe there is actually nothing to fix. He concluded that the issue may be that your pages are irrelevant. That means technically, there is nothing bad about your page not to talk of fixing it.

For some sites hit by Medic Update, the problem may be tricky and difficult to perceive. The answer may even lie in the websites that are ranking. As per the Googler’s advice, it could be fixed with little tweaks but for other websites, you might have to consider the difficult decision of overhauling the content. So like it is said, it all depends on your site.

Swiftype Reports

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