In August 2018, Google rolled out their latest algorithm update—a core update. By November, survey data was rolling in to indicate which sites and niches felt the biggest impact.
Before we get into the medical impacts from the core update, let’s look at what a core update is.
Wait, what is a core update?
In layperson terms, core updates are updates that are made to the actual search algorithm by tweaking the signal values, importance, weights or orders.
According to Google, the most recent core update:
“…increased the value of keywords in H1 tags by 2%, increased the value of HTTPS by 18%, decreased the value of keyword in title tag by 9%, changed the D value in our PageRank calculation from .85 to .70, and started using a TF-iDUF retrieval method for logged in users instead of the traditional TF-PDF method.”
Early after the update rolled out there were complaints of decreased traffic and lost rankings. The bad news to this is that Google says there’s no true way to fix this. Their only suggestion is for businesses to keep doing what they’ve been doing and improve their sites, improve their content and make their UX better—and hopefully they will have a better ranking after the next update.
Surprisingly given that this update was a global core update, survey data showed that a large percentage (41.5%) are within the fitness, health, healthy lifestyle and medical niches. Survey data also showed that even when there were impacts in other niches there was often a link to medicine or health. Typically, with these kinds of updates we see a more even impact amongst niches.