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Are health sites even worth it anymore?

     
6:50 am on Apr 7, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Good morning guys,

I had two websites that got hit last year in the medic update. As for a lot of other people, I lost 80-90% of my traffic and income. In March I got back some rankings, but most of them quickly disappeared again.

My two sites are far from perfect, but still contain a lot of valuable information, are pretty optimized in terms of technical SEO and on-page. Backlink profile is better than some of the ones that are ranking higher than me. The sites are good, but I could do better today.

Since health is one of my interests, I would like to continue doing research and writing about it. For a long time I've been thinking about creating a new site where I write about health. Last week I started a new project, a general site on which I am thinking of implementing a health section. I'm a bit nervous that the rug would be swept under my feet once again, though.

What do you guys think? Is it worth getting back to health, or is it too much of a risk? Are your health sites that got hit by medic still in the abyss like mine? What would you have done?

I would really appreciate your feedback on this.

I hope I'm posting this thread in the correct section. If not, I apologize to mods and hope that you can forward it to the correct one. I read the FAQ and it seem to fit here.


Thank you in advance!
2:15 pm on Apr 7, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Good morning Olov and Welcome to WebmasterWorld [webmasterworld.com]

I had two websites that got hit last year in the medic update.
One helpful point to understand is that the so-called "Medic Update" really had nothing to do with sites that cover health related topics such as you describe. This means you might be focusing on traffic loss from the wrong angle.

This post by martinibuster near the beginning of a good discussion [webmasterworld.com] on that topic:
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.
(my bolding) can help in seeing your question differently and maybe finding a solution.

4:37 pm on Apr 7, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Thank you for replying and welcoming me, no2easy.

Though I understand what you mean, I firmly believe that update was targeting YMYL websites. We can only speculate on what the update actually did. But from the statistics I've seen, there is no doubt that health sites (among other YMYL-sites) were targetted. But not specifically medical sites, as John Mueller said.
1:15 am on Apr 8, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Since health is one of my interests, I would like to continue doing research and writing about it. For a long time I've been thinking about creating a new site where I write about health.

Do you intend to mainly choose topics that have the potential to attract a lot of search traffic?
3:16 am on Apr 8, 2019 (gmt 0)

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These words: "I lost 80-90% of my traffic and income." and these words: "Since health is one of my interests, I would like to continue doing research and writing about it." have two different meanings.

One is making money.

The other is love of subject with desire to educate/share.

It is possible to do both ... but given the current climate at g (if that is your monetary source) a shift in algo has pretty much removed one and deprecated the other ... and LIKELY because AUTHORITY and BRAND has been elevated one more notch, which means those without have lost a notch.

If you are in it for the money ... think twice. If you are in it for the love of sharing, also think twice. Why? Traffic is the answer. If you are reliant on g for all traffic the handwriting is on the wall (you won't get what you want). That said, only you can determine what your success point is, regardless of what g is doing. For some (info stuff in particular) if ONE user is helped/enriched by what you do, then you have achieved your goal, on the other hand if your ROI is bottom-feeder level and your creditors (like the landlord) are nipping at your heels, then you have failed.

Only you can make this decision. Some who have been around a lot longer might offer comments (that been-there-done-that kind of thing), but we (I) are not oracles of any stature.

Paraphrasing John Wayne: "A Webmaster oughta do what they think best..."
4:55 am on Apr 8, 2019 (gmt 0)

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@aristotle
Do you intend to mainly choose topics that have the potential to attract a lot of search traffic?

Yes and no. The articles would be mostly about training and supplements. So "Best <snip> powder" and "Why <snip> is good for you"-type of posts would be my thing. Heavy keywords, but not a lot of searcch traffic in my country.

[edited by: Robert_Charlton at 6:05 am (utc) on Apr 8, 2019]
[edit reason] Specific keywords not allowed. Please read forum charter. [/edit]

3:58 pm on Apr 8, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Do you have a degree in healthcare, or are you otherwise qualified to tell people what's best for their health and fitness? Being interested in health is not enough. Health queries probably require more authority from web pages than other queries, because there's a lot of speculation and misinformation in that industry. If you can't convince Google you're an authority, you're not going to compete.

"Why X is good for you" and "Best X powder" type of articles are a dime a dozen anyway. I wouldn't bother.
4:18 pm on Apr 8, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Do you have a degree in healthcare, or are you otherwise qualified to tell people what's best for their health and fitness? Being interested in health is not enough. Health queries probably require more authority from web pages than other queries, because there's a lot of speculation and misinformation in that industry. If you can't convince Google you're an authority, you're not going to compete.

"Why X is good for you" and "Best X powder" type of articles are a dime a dozen anyway. I wouldn't bother.


Cheers for the reply Robzilla.

Yes, I am a physical therapists specializing in sports injuries. I have publications on the web and have been mentioned in national media several times. Within a certain (health) topic, my name and website is sometimes used as a reference.

When I google my name a bunch of reliable sources are showing up where they are mentioning me (universities, health publications and so on). Some of them are linking to my website.

Those articles might not be of value to you, but I have seen them bringing in a lot of dough and the time on page is long.

Moderator, you can go ahead and close this thread if you please. I've received a lot of good feedback on another forum. Thank you!
7:55 pm on Apr 8, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Still missing the point, but that's okay!

"Webmaster's gotta do what a webmaster's gotta do."

Rethink the niche. Some battles aren't worth the effort.
10:24 pm on Apr 8, 2019 (gmt 0)

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There are times when entertainment meets education by accident. I've enjoyed the spectacle here. I don't find anything wrong with an occasional dust up or scuffle and it has a certain appeal to me. Learning often times is void of entertainment which is why I find this discussion so fascinating. I title this, "When Great Brains Collide".
10:54 pm on Apr 8, 2019 (gmt 0)

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"Great Brains"? What about commonsense? Cheers for the ordinary (and obvious).

@robzilla and @Olov ... are we great brains? Colliding? @MrSavage... keep looking for the humor in life, keeps you young!
3:53 pm on Apr 9, 2019 (gmt 0)

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