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Can anyone explain "Medic Core Update"

     
8:11 am on Nov 2, 2018 (gmt 0)

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There was an update by google on August 1st with the name "Medic Core update" and I've gone through the Moz Description for this update but it is still not clear. Can anyone explain in detail how it works and what would be impacts of this core update?
11:14 pm on Nov 4, 2018 (gmt 0)

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It's not quite as simple as you make it out to be.

The update was coined by SERoundtable as his survey that was conducted said the update affected predominantly health-related sites.

There's no real way to fix your rankings as such other than the usual improvements.
2:07 am on Nov 5, 2018 (gmt 0)

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welcome to WebmasterWorld [webmasterworld.com], RaviKumarRana!

you should study the Search Quality Rating Guidelines:
https://static.googleusercontent.com/media/www.google.com/en//insidesearch/howsearchworks/assets/searchqualityevaluatorguidelines.pdf [static.googleusercontent.com]
3:41 am on Nov 5, 2018 (gmt 0)

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That was unfortunate that the "medic" name stuck. That was a case of mistaking the symptoms for the actual illness, so to speak.

In other words, it reflected the habit of SEOs to think in terms of Google "targeting" a niche or something bad in every update. That results in a distorted view of what Google actually is doing.

I have said all along that the medical targeting and the "authorship" targeting seemed a bit off and did not correlate with what I was seeing. That's because I was looking at it from the lens of Relevance, not trying to find what Google was targeting. And I was correct. John Mueller explicitly said that the algo did not target medical sites.

The fact is that Google improved relevance. That's pretty much it. Google also instituted AI into answering search queries for 30% of search queries, as I understand it. This has resulted in a remarkable increased ability to understand topics and subject matter.


The above are the highlights. I wrote an in-depth article about what it is on SEJ
[searchenginejournal.com...]

Good luck,

Roger Montti
4:15 am on Nov 5, 2018 (gmt 0)

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By this Google Medic Update, there was Big Impact On Health/Medical Sites. huge percentage of the sites impacted were specifically in the medical, health, fitness, healthy lifestyle space.
4:54 am on Nov 5, 2018 (gmt 0)

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...there was Big Impact On Health/Medical Sites.


As I said above, John Mueller explicitly said that the algo (update) did not target medical sites.

Any sites impacted were not impacted because they were medical, etc.

All sites impacted were impacted on the basis of failure to meet improved definitions/thresholds of relevance. Not because of what niche they were.
5:27 am on Nov 5, 2018 (gmt 0)

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So it means that this algorithm update effects all niche site which not fulfill the search quality requirements.

Then why this update named "Medic Core Update".?
6:00 am on Nov 5, 2018 (gmt 0)

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you should refer to section 2.3:
[static.googleusercontent.com...]

We have very high Page Quality rating standards for YMYL pages ...


this doesn't mean sites in the "in the medical, health, fitness, healthy lifestyle space" were targeted.
9:49 am on Nov 5, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Then why this update named "Medic Core Update".?
Because the SEO community named it.

I have a lot of time for martinibuster- he is easily the most influential professional SEO to my conception of the Google algo. However, have a look at the August Update Thread [webmasterworld.com]. You can note for yourself how many "health" or adjacent niche sites are affected. It was clearly a disproportionate effect on YMYL pages, of which "health" is a prominent example.

One explanation could be that a load of non-medical "health" sites got reclassified as YMYL. Diet, supplements, homeopathy, that sort of thing. But then, one of the really big medical sites (I can't remember which one) did get hit.

I don't have answers, just reference points. Here's a nice article with a pie chart [seroundtable.com]. You can make up your own mind.
9:54 am on Nov 5, 2018 (gmt 0)

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This update addresses the ratio between the trustworthy of the content of a site / page and the dangerousness (or sensibility) of the information provided.
11:41 am on Nov 5, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Google also instituted AI into answering search queries for 30% of search queries, as I understand it.


Was this inferred or you reading between the lines?

I'm not disputing you, I haven't seen this mentioned anywhere else, I think!
5:09 pm on Nov 5, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Hi RedBar,
Good question. That would be a reference to Google's Neural Matching Algorithm. It was officially announced by Danny Sullivan in a series of tweets. It's real. All SEOs should acquaint themselves with Neural Matching.

Imo, it's caused Google to jump ahead of Bing in terms of ability to return useful content for ambiguous search phrases. I wrote an in depth article about that algorithm, including screenshots of announcements and links to research here:
https://www.searchenginejournal.com/google-neural-matching/271125/ [searchenginejournal.com]

And here is the link to Danny Sullivan's series of tweets discussing this important change:
[twitter.com...]

Shaddows is correct in stating that the reason why some "medical" related sites got hit was because of a problem with their approach to the topics, which rendered them less relevant. This is my observation as well based on websites that I have audited.

And that is what I meant when I posted above that those who named the update Medic mistook the symptoms (medical sites got hit) for the illness (reclassified relevance to user search query).

It was not about niche or topic. It was largely about understanding user queries.

The Most Important Algo Change Since Penguin?
The AI component (Neural Matching) is, in my opinion, the most important algorithm change since Penguin. And this is the change that nobody's really discussing. But if you read my article about the Neural Matching algorithm (as well as the companion piece about the algo I linked to above) you'll see how incredibly complex this algorithm actually is.

It is very difficult to speak of it in a simplified form so that it's easier to understand but I gave it my best shot. Danny Sullivan gives a good breakdown by introducing the concept of super synonyms, which helps.

Good luck!
;)

Roger Montti
 

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