the sky is falling! Google's 3rd core algorithm update in 2018





Erin | 08.13.18





Google routinely makes algorithm updates (to the tune of 500-600 times per year) with the majority of them going rather unnoticed. Occasionally, however, Google rolls out something major like Panda and Penguin, sending shockwaves through the marketing universe. While still significant, Panda and Penguin are not considered core updates. They were changes made to address specific issues (like low quality/thin content and link spam). The core update that Google recently announced is a modification to the main search algorithm - changing the importance, weight or values of one or more of the 200-500 ranking factors and signals used to determine where in the search results a website will appear.


Nicknamed the Medic Update due to the majority of its impact being realized on medical, fitness and healthy lifestyle sites worldwide; the roll-out was fully complete on August 8th. Of all the core updates of 2018, Medic has caused the heaviest flux across all verticals. And for those looking for a fix for their tanking traffic, Google has offered the following response: "If your site is penalized by Google and you have no way to fix it then you should not do anything". (Thanks, Google).


While the dust is still settling some early observations are that Medic seems to be Google reinforcing E-A-T (Expertise, Authoritativeness and Trust); making sure that only the best content will appear on the top of the SERPs. So, for those that are seeing a negative impact, keep in mind that often with core updates sites will begin to rebound after a few weeks. However, if your site has been impacted and you are not regaining lost traffic after a month, you will have to take a hard crack at determining what Google might have changed that could have effected your site so negatively.