Google algorithm update: who’s affected?
Emily Hogarth, 9 Aug 2018
UPDATE: 16th August 2018 – Google algorithm update confirmed
We’ve been keeping a close eye on the developments of the now confirmed Google algorithm update, using our Pi Market Intelligence platform.
What was initially referred to as the ‘Medic update’, predominantly affecting healthcare sites and ‘Your money or your life’ brands (see below), is now impacting the performance of major brands across multiple industry verticals.
Google has stated that this update is global, and was implemented with the view to benefit pages that were previously under-rewarded.
Take a look at the winners across UK and US fashion, finance and electricals below:
(click to expand)
**Since updated – see above **
Google have now finished rolling out their new algorithm update, which seems to be affecting two main things: organic and local results, and the trustworthiness of content.
It’s done. That said, we always have changes that happen, both broad and more specific.
— Danny Sullivan (@dannysullivan) August 8, 2018
Cracking down on untrustworthy sites
YMYL sites that have low E-A-T (expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness) are seeing a decline in results.
Google’s termed ‘YMYL’ (Your Money or Your Life) sites are players that have the potential to impact the safety, stability, or happiness of a users financial future and even physical wellbeing.
Sites with pages providing content such as the below fall into this category:
- Legal information
- Financial information
- Health information (nutrition and dietary included)
- News articles
- Public information
So if sites with this content are:
- Not written by experts knowledgeable in field
- Selling products that could be harmful to people
- Have a bad reputation
They are now likely to be filtered out of results. It seems Google has found a way to better evaluate the safety of a site’s content.
For example, if we focus on sites performing for cosmetic terms, we can see that those with undeniable reputations like NHS and Bupa saw a slight uplift at the beginning of August, whereas sites with less reach or authority, such as Harley Medical, saw a slight downturn at this time:
Organic vs. Local
Multi-location chains are reporting a drop in their local keywords, whereas local sites now seem to have priority in rankings.
Google looks to be boosting sites with recognised authority in local areas. So smaller, local sites possibly stand to benefit from this update.
This post will be updated if we spot any other prominent changes.