On 8th August this year, Google confirmed that their latest Google algorithm 2018 update was completed, but changes keep happening, both broad and more specific. Google advises webmasters that no technical changes are required for their websites and that the latest SEO update focuses on promoting sites that might have been undervalued before. The trick to the top remains the same – high quality content and user-friendly experience.
In a previous statement about similar type of Google algorithm changes, Google assures:
As with any update, some sites may note drops or gains. There’s nothing wrong with pages that may now perform less well. Instead, it’s that changes to our systems are benefiting pages that were previously under-rewarded.
However, some algorithm trackers indicate that the Google algorithm 2018 change is targeted at YMYL (Your Money or Your Life) queries and has had a disproportionate impact on health niche.
The Google rater’s guideline defined YMYL as:
- Pages that solicit personal information such as bank account number or personal I.D numbers which could lead to potential risk of identity theft.
- Pages used for monetary transactions like online shopping portals.
- Pages that offer information on medical health and well-being.
- Pages offering advice on major life decisions.
- Pages offering legal or financial advice.
Barry Schwartz termed it the Medic Update as majority of sites affected belonged to the medical niche though the update itself does expand beyond that. The YMYL theory might indicate that Google is paying close attention to EAT (Expertise, Authoritativeness, Trust ) signals. However, the decline of sites like IGN and Fortune does raise some serious questions on the reliability of these theories.
Speculation is that the core medic update has some connection to changes in Google’s Quality Rater Guidelines (QRG). The Google algorithm 2018 update might share some common aspects with the guidelines update, a better understanding of which will result in better search rankings. Danny Sullivan from Google himself pointed out that the QRG might come in handy to determine what is considered “high quality” content at Google. For example, if a website or it’s content writer has even a mildly negative reputation, it indicates low quality.
Here’s what counts, judging from the QRG:
- About Page
- External Reputation
- Should represent well-established scientific consensus, should it exist
Google’s latest algorithm update seems to have affected not only the organic search results, but also the local results. Many locally based companies outranked their counterparts located in multiple regions across a particular country.
With it’s August 1 algorithm update, Google is probably trying to promote more trustworthy sites.
Here are some possible solutions (for YMYL sites in particular) that plummeted:
- Displays EAT through About Page and Author Bio.
- Boost reputation through positive reviews
- Examine products before advertising them
In conclusion, there are no new secrets and the rules remain the same, increase your trust, create quality content and use this new Google algorithm 2018 to your advantage!