We’ve seen huge shifts left, right and centre in Google’s search results throughout the last 2-3 months, many due to the YMYL/E-A-T update, and many that followed.

As it stands at the moment, there’s no real backing as to what the actual focuses were in these updates, however, it was clear, of course, that the medical niche has seen a big impact as a result.

Off the back of these updates, and now (touch wood) that we’re seeing things settle a little, we’ve taken the time to gather some thoughts, outcomes and learnings from these updates. But first, let’s take a look at the “reported” activity:

August Algorithm Changes

September Algorithm Changes

October Algorithm Changes

Observations

During the initial E-A-T update in August, we saw average organic traffic increases of around the 50% mark when looking at the search impressions report provided by Google Search Console. This was across a number of different websites in different niches.

Many then saw a not-so-positive impact on the second update, with some being affected more than others. However, since the larger “before and after” updates took place, there were many smaller updates scattered through October.

As a result, we’ve seen some of these clients settle to a similar level they were at pre-update which gives no clarity as to the purpose of the updates in those 2 particular niches – suggesting a broad algorithm change as specified by Google and many rumours. Some, much more positive, these having quality content and the likes of references and/or lots of expertise.

There’s no denying that the instability of the recent ranking fluctuations have been and still are a concern, especially since there’s no specific cause to pin it on (only assumption).

As we know, the word from Google has been pretty textbook so far, referring SEOs and webmasters back to focusing on site quality.

To us, this means never being satisfied with your site, from content to structure – always look to improve what you’re offering users. Does this mean making your website the best instrument it can be? Ornament? Or both?

Conclusion

To conclude, what do we think comes next? For us, we stick to knowing what works best for each client, unique to both them as a brand or business and their niche.

Referring to site quality, we know this needs to be backing the likes of high-quality content, informative, brief and of value to the business or consumer.

We also need to appreciate the way Rankbrain works, assessing on-page data to identify possible weaknesses in pages and making improvements to support the likes of time on page, bounce rates and pages per visit.

Google is constantly giving us clues as to what it deems fit for purpose too. The likes of featured snippets and additional SERP information can assist us here. Be sure to dig deep into keyword data and SERP results to spot opportunities for these.

Content, for now, is and will be king for a while. For more information read our post covering this topic: Content | What can we take from the Google Medic Update? And sign up below to our monthly newsletter to keep up to date with all the biggest industry news, and follow us on our social media channels.

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