Recovering From The Medic Update: Easy and Actionable Tips

S
Steve HaynesAccount Director at Global Search Marketing
Recovering from the Medic Update:
Easy and Actionable Tips
Steve Haynes // Global Search Marketing
@acousticradical
What is Google Medic?
July 22nd 2018 – Google rolls out
one of it’s largest ever Algorithm
Updates.
Analysis of impacted websites
showed that Health and Ecommerce
were the biggest affected areas
Reaction of the SEO community?
Desperate search for answers and
looking for how to undo the damage
that had been done to websites.
WHERE ARE WE NOW?
SERound Table- Categorisation of sites effected
Guidelines and EAT
1. Enough main content (MC): content should be ample enough to satisfy the needs of a user for a page’s unique topic and
purpose (broad topics require more information than narrow topics, for example)
2. The page and its associated content is expert, authoritative, and trustworthy for the topic they discuss
3. The website has a positive reputation for its page topics
4. The website features enough auxiliary information, for example, “About us,” “Contact,”
or “Customer Service” information
5. The website features supplementary content (SC) that enhances the user’s enjoyment and experience of a web page
6. The page is designed in a functional fashion that allows users to easily locate the information they want
7. The website is maintained and edited regularly and frequently
Googles Guidelines
Expertise Authority Trust
Core Takeaway from Guidelines
What does Google look for in post Medic World
1. Enough main content (MC): content should be ample enough to satisfy the needs of a user for a page’s unique topic and
purpose (broad topics require more information than narrow topics, for example) – Expertise
2. The page and its associated content is expert, authoritative, and trustworthy for the topic they discuss
3. The website has a positive reputation for its page topics – Trust & Authority
4. The website features enough auxiliary information, for example, “About us,” “Contact,” or “Customer Service” information
– Trust
5. The website features supplementary content (SC) that enhances the user’s enjoyment and experience of a web page –
Expertise
6. The page is designed in a functional fashion that allows users to easily locate the information they want – Trust &
Authority
7. The website is maintained and edited regularly and frequently – Expertise & Author
Source: Googles Guidelines
Optimising for…
Expertise
Expertise- “a high level of knowledge or skill”
How do we
Optimise for Expertise
8
“Enough main content (MC): content should be ample enough to
satisfy the needs of a user for a page’s unique topic and purpose
(broad topics require more information than narrow topics, for
example)”
How can Google assess
Expertise?
How do we Optimise for Expertise
How do we assess the users needs or intent?
A 2006 study from The University of Hong Kong found that search intent can be split into two segments:
• User is looking for general information about a topic
• User is looking to find answers to a specific question containing the keywords they have used.
Determining User Intent
Action Terms:
Buy Red Wine –
Make it Easy to Buy the
Wine
Makeup School Reviews –
Put the Reviews Front and
Centre
Informational Terms:
How can I lose weight? –
Give them the answer
straight away
Vegetarian Chili recipe –
Give them the recipe
straight away
Mixed Terms:
Red Wine – Broad
Information that covers
multiple areas
Weight Loss- Broad
Information that covers
multiple areas
Long Tail Head Terms
Enabling the users
Intent
Action Terms:
Buy Red Wine –
Make it Easy to Buy the
Wine
Makeup School Reviews –
Put the Reviews Front and
Centre
Informational Terms:
How can I lose weight? –
Give them the answer
straight away
Vegetarian Chili recipe –
Give them the recipe
straight away
Mixed Terms:
Red Wine – Broad
Information that covers
multiple areas
Weight Loss- Broad
Information that covers
multiple areas
“The page is designed in a functional fashion that allows
users to easily locate the information they want” –
Google Guidelines
12
“Enough main content (MC): content should be ample
enough to satisfy the needs of a user for a page’s unique
topic and purpose (broad topics require more information
than narrow topics, for example)”
Google Guidelines
Case Study: EMLA Cream
Situation:
Client has been hit by Medic update
Overall Site Organic Traffic down by 60% year on year
Technical changes to the site aren’t reversing traffic loss.
Meeting User Expectations Case Study
Solution:
Re-write the content to meet the user expectations.
Pages that were about using EMLA cream when pregnant,
became about that topic.
Combined shorter pieces into longer ones to create broader
discussions.
Removed unnecessary internal links and replaced with high quality
external links
Analysis:
Content is low quality, focused on key terms, and driving people to
the sales pages for the products (lots of internal links)
Meeting User Expectations Case Study
How much internal linking is too much?
If it’s not useful for the user then don’t link to it
What about External Links?
• If you make a claim back it up with a source
from a high-quality site
• Only if it’s high quality
What makes a good source site?
• Already ranks well
• Has an active community
• The site is one your users will be interested in
47%
Impact of Changes
62% 75%
15
Increase in RevenueIncrease in TransactionsIncrease in Sessions
“The website features supplementary content (SC) that enhances the user’s enjoyment
and experience of a web page” - Google Guidelines
Case Study: De-indexing an entire blog
• Lots of internal links to products you can buy on pieces that were meant to be informational
• Sets up that the blog is just a way to push traffic through so you can buy products
rather than provide meaningful information
• Content was thin in knowledge and in length
• Some content was absolutely getting marked by Panda, but the bulk wasn’t that bad,
but it wasn’t helpful (so wasn’t meeting a user’s intent)
What if there’s too much Low-Quality Content?
25%
Impact Across Site as a Whole
(Month on Month)
29% 11%
17
Increase in RevenueIncrease in TransactionsIncrease in Sessions
Optimising for…
Authority & Trust
19
“The website features enough auxiliary information, for
example, “About us,” “Contact,” or “Customer Service”
information
Google Guidelines
Attach an Expert Author to your content (where relevant) - provide a bio, with information on their
experience and qualifications
• Pharmaceuticals - Doctor or Pharmacist
• Wine – Sommelier
Ideally, they should be active on social media so that users can look at the profile and follow
them and engage with them.
How do we Optimise for Authority & Trust
Use the about us page to display the:
1. Membership of Relevant industry bodies – with link
2. History of the Site
3. Case Studies
21
Google Guidelines
Reviews and SEO
“The website has a positive reputation for its page topics”
Reviews and SEO
63%
of customers are more likely
to make a purchase from a
site that has user reviews.
18% 92%
Reviews increase sales by
18% on average.
of people with purchasing
power are more likely to
purchase a product or
services if they read a
trusted review.
https://econsultancy.com/ecommerce-
consumer-reviews-why-you-need-them-and-how-
to-use-them/
- https://learn.g2.com/consumer-reviews
Ecommerce Ecommerce B2B
Where are review useful?
Responding to Reviews improves
your Local SEO
Reviews account for 15.44% of how
Google Ranks Local Business
Up from 10.8% in 2015
In local SEO Reviews are as
important as backlinks
Source:
https://www.chatmeter.com/blog/google-
confirms-responding-to-reviews-improves-your-
local-seo
Source: Google Local Rankings Survey
General SEO
• Reviews allow the user of Schema that pulls
through star ratings in the SERP
- Indications that it can improve Click
Through Rate – Moz
- Improved CTR without Pogoing-
• Discussion that Reviews are akin to links -
Review.io
Where are review useful?
Buy Wine Online
Site
Ranking Trustpilot Score Reviews Links
Virgin Wines
1 9 14,626 261,728
Majestic Wines 2 9.5 3,038 73,661
Laithwaites 3 9.2 20,853 260,885
Naked Wines 16 9.4 2,224 2,780
Where are review useful?
Hyperbole around importance of reviews for
direct ranking doesn’t make it less of a priority.
• Reviews help you convert and will improve
your SEO indirectly
• Reviews will be picked up by Google as a
signal in some form
Where should you host your reviews?
o Platforms such as Trustpilot for General SEO
• Too big too be ignored by Google
• Provide extra level of assurance for users as
the brand has trustworthiness as well.
This is important for CRO and indirect
impacts of SEO
o Local SEO – Split between Google My
Business and Platforms such as Trustpilot
How do we get reviews?
NAP Time!
Name
Address
Phone Number
“The website features enough
auxiliary information,
for example, “About us,” “Contact,” or
“Customer Service” information” –
Google Guidelines
Consistency of information across the
internet is a signal that you can be
trusted because the information is the
same wherever Google Looks.
Metric Focus Pages
Non Focused
Pages
Search Visibility +8.51% -1.85%
Sessions (May- June) +29.67% -6.40
Users (May-June) +30.17% -7.91%
Conversion (May-June) +0% -5.63%
NAP Time!
Local SEO Impact
Minor Campaigns focused on NAP
Consistency for target Branches
Submissions to Quality National and
Local Directories
Metric Focus Pages
Non Focused
Pages
Search Visibility +8.51% -1.85%
Sessions (May- June) +29.67% -6.40
Users (May-June) +30.17% -7.91%
Conversion (May-June) +0% -5.63%
International NAP
Situation:
A client wants to drive
more business to their
Dubai Makeup School
Campus
Task:
Get ranking for the
Terms Makeup School
in Dubai and the
surrounding Gulf States
Solution:
NAP Focused Directory
Submissions to relevant
directories within the
target region.
Impact:
Search Visibility (Moz)
March- 4.67%
July- 22.07%
Currently Ranking 1-3
UAE
Bahrain
Kuwait
Saudi Arabia
Qatar
Summary of what we found works:
▪ High Quality Content is still the focus of quality SEO
▪ Internal Linking that’s excessive and not aimed at helping your users can be damaging
▪ Content Needs to meet the users expectations and help solve the problem or action they want to take.
▪ Working out what Google thinks the user wants to see is simply a case of googling the term and seeing what’s ranking.
▪ Poor Quality Content can damage your overall SEO- Be Prepared to take drastic action and remove it from your site / the
index.
▪ On Site Changes that aim to improve how you’re perceived as an authority are limited in impact.
▪ NAP Consistency can impact everything from Local to International SEO.
▪ High Quality Directories Only
▪ Reviews can be an important factor for SEO but are not currently replacing Links anytime soon
Thanks for listening
Twitter: @AcousticRadical
Global Search Marketing Twitter: @GlobalSearchMar https://www.globalsearchmarketing.co.uk
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Recovering From The Medic Update: Easy and Actionable Tips

  • 1. Recovering from the Medic Update: Easy and Actionable Tips Steve Haynes // Global Search Marketing @acousticradical
  • 2. What is Google Medic? July 22nd 2018 – Google rolls out one of it’s largest ever Algorithm Updates. Analysis of impacted websites showed that Health and Ecommerce were the biggest affected areas Reaction of the SEO community? Desperate search for answers and looking for how to undo the damage that had been done to websites. WHERE ARE WE NOW? SERound Table- Categorisation of sites effected
  • 3. Guidelines and EAT 1. Enough main content (MC): content should be ample enough to satisfy the needs of a user for a page’s unique topic and purpose (broad topics require more information than narrow topics, for example) 2. The page and its associated content is expert, authoritative, and trustworthy for the topic they discuss 3. The website has a positive reputation for its page topics 4. The website features enough auxiliary information, for example, “About us,” “Contact,” or “Customer Service” information 5. The website features supplementary content (SC) that enhances the user’s enjoyment and experience of a web page 6. The page is designed in a functional fashion that allows users to easily locate the information they want 7. The website is maintained and edited regularly and frequently Googles Guidelines
  • 4. Expertise Authority Trust Core Takeaway from Guidelines
  • 5. What does Google look for in post Medic World 1. Enough main content (MC): content should be ample enough to satisfy the needs of a user for a page’s unique topic and purpose (broad topics require more information than narrow topics, for example) – Expertise 2. The page and its associated content is expert, authoritative, and trustworthy for the topic they discuss 3. The website has a positive reputation for its page topics – Trust & Authority 4. The website features enough auxiliary information, for example, “About us,” “Contact,” or “Customer Service” information – Trust 5. The website features supplementary content (SC) that enhances the user’s enjoyment and experience of a web page – Expertise 6. The page is designed in a functional fashion that allows users to easily locate the information they want – Trust & Authority 7. The website is maintained and edited regularly and frequently – Expertise & Author Source: Googles Guidelines
  • 7. Expertise- “a high level of knowledge or skill” How do we Optimise for Expertise
  • 8. 8 “Enough main content (MC): content should be ample enough to satisfy the needs of a user for a page’s unique topic and purpose (broad topics require more information than narrow topics, for example)” How can Google assess Expertise?
  • 9. How do we Optimise for Expertise How do we assess the users needs or intent? A 2006 study from The University of Hong Kong found that search intent can be split into two segments: • User is looking for general information about a topic • User is looking to find answers to a specific question containing the keywords they have used.
  • 10. Determining User Intent Action Terms: Buy Red Wine – Make it Easy to Buy the Wine Makeup School Reviews – Put the Reviews Front and Centre Informational Terms: How can I lose weight? – Give them the answer straight away Vegetarian Chili recipe – Give them the recipe straight away Mixed Terms: Red Wine – Broad Information that covers multiple areas Weight Loss- Broad Information that covers multiple areas Long Tail Head Terms
  • 11. Enabling the users Intent Action Terms: Buy Red Wine – Make it Easy to Buy the Wine Makeup School Reviews – Put the Reviews Front and Centre Informational Terms: How can I lose weight? – Give them the answer straight away Vegetarian Chili recipe – Give them the recipe straight away Mixed Terms: Red Wine – Broad Information that covers multiple areas Weight Loss- Broad Information that covers multiple areas “The page is designed in a functional fashion that allows users to easily locate the information they want” – Google Guidelines
  • 12. 12 “Enough main content (MC): content should be ample enough to satisfy the needs of a user for a page’s unique topic and purpose (broad topics require more information than narrow topics, for example)” Google Guidelines
  • 13. Case Study: EMLA Cream Situation: Client has been hit by Medic update Overall Site Organic Traffic down by 60% year on year Technical changes to the site aren’t reversing traffic loss. Meeting User Expectations Case Study Solution: Re-write the content to meet the user expectations. Pages that were about using EMLA cream when pregnant, became about that topic. Combined shorter pieces into longer ones to create broader discussions. Removed unnecessary internal links and replaced with high quality external links Analysis: Content is low quality, focused on key terms, and driving people to the sales pages for the products (lots of internal links)
  • 14. Meeting User Expectations Case Study How much internal linking is too much? If it’s not useful for the user then don’t link to it What about External Links? • If you make a claim back it up with a source from a high-quality site • Only if it’s high quality What makes a good source site? • Already ranks well • Has an active community • The site is one your users will be interested in
  • 15. 47% Impact of Changes 62% 75% 15 Increase in RevenueIncrease in TransactionsIncrease in Sessions
  • 16. “The website features supplementary content (SC) that enhances the user’s enjoyment and experience of a web page” - Google Guidelines Case Study: De-indexing an entire blog • Lots of internal links to products you can buy on pieces that were meant to be informational • Sets up that the blog is just a way to push traffic through so you can buy products rather than provide meaningful information • Content was thin in knowledge and in length • Some content was absolutely getting marked by Panda, but the bulk wasn’t that bad, but it wasn’t helpful (so wasn’t meeting a user’s intent) What if there’s too much Low-Quality Content?
  • 17. 25% Impact Across Site as a Whole (Month on Month) 29% 11% 17 Increase in RevenueIncrease in TransactionsIncrease in Sessions
  • 19. 19 “The website features enough auxiliary information, for example, “About us,” “Contact,” or “Customer Service” information Google Guidelines
  • 20. Attach an Expert Author to your content (where relevant) - provide a bio, with information on their experience and qualifications • Pharmaceuticals - Doctor or Pharmacist • Wine – Sommelier Ideally, they should be active on social media so that users can look at the profile and follow them and engage with them. How do we Optimise for Authority & Trust Use the about us page to display the: 1. Membership of Relevant industry bodies – with link 2. History of the Site 3. Case Studies
  • 21. 21 Google Guidelines Reviews and SEO “The website has a positive reputation for its page topics”
  • 22. Reviews and SEO 63% of customers are more likely to make a purchase from a site that has user reviews. 18% 92% Reviews increase sales by 18% on average. of people with purchasing power are more likely to purchase a product or services if they read a trusted review. https://econsultancy.com/ecommerce- consumer-reviews-why-you-need-them-and-how- to-use-them/ - https://learn.g2.com/consumer-reviews Ecommerce Ecommerce B2B
  • 23. Where are review useful? Responding to Reviews improves your Local SEO Reviews account for 15.44% of how Google Ranks Local Business Up from 10.8% in 2015 In local SEO Reviews are as important as backlinks Source: https://www.chatmeter.com/blog/google- confirms-responding-to-reviews-improves-your- local-seo Source: Google Local Rankings Survey
  • 24. General SEO • Reviews allow the user of Schema that pulls through star ratings in the SERP - Indications that it can improve Click Through Rate – Moz - Improved CTR without Pogoing- • Discussion that Reviews are akin to links - Review.io Where are review useful?
  • 25. Buy Wine Online Site Ranking Trustpilot Score Reviews Links Virgin Wines 1 9 14,626 261,728 Majestic Wines 2 9.5 3,038 73,661 Laithwaites 3 9.2 20,853 260,885 Naked Wines 16 9.4 2,224 2,780 Where are review useful?
  • 26. Hyperbole around importance of reviews for direct ranking doesn’t make it less of a priority. • Reviews help you convert and will improve your SEO indirectly • Reviews will be picked up by Google as a signal in some form Where should you host your reviews? o Platforms such as Trustpilot for General SEO • Too big too be ignored by Google • Provide extra level of assurance for users as the brand has trustworthiness as well. This is important for CRO and indirect impacts of SEO o Local SEO – Split between Google My Business and Platforms such as Trustpilot How do we get reviews?
  • 27. NAP Time! Name Address Phone Number “The website features enough auxiliary information, for example, “About us,” “Contact,” or “Customer Service” information” – Google Guidelines Consistency of information across the internet is a signal that you can be trusted because the information is the same wherever Google Looks. Metric Focus Pages Non Focused Pages Search Visibility +8.51% -1.85% Sessions (May- June) +29.67% -6.40 Users (May-June) +30.17% -7.91% Conversion (May-June) +0% -5.63%
  • 28. NAP Time! Local SEO Impact Minor Campaigns focused on NAP Consistency for target Branches Submissions to Quality National and Local Directories Metric Focus Pages Non Focused Pages Search Visibility +8.51% -1.85% Sessions (May- June) +29.67% -6.40 Users (May-June) +30.17% -7.91% Conversion (May-June) +0% -5.63%
  • 29. International NAP Situation: A client wants to drive more business to their Dubai Makeup School Campus Task: Get ranking for the Terms Makeup School in Dubai and the surrounding Gulf States Solution: NAP Focused Directory Submissions to relevant directories within the target region. Impact: Search Visibility (Moz) March- 4.67% July- 22.07% Currently Ranking 1-3 UAE Bahrain Kuwait Saudi Arabia Qatar
  • 30. Summary of what we found works: ▪ High Quality Content is still the focus of quality SEO ▪ Internal Linking that’s excessive and not aimed at helping your users can be damaging ▪ Content Needs to meet the users expectations and help solve the problem or action they want to take. ▪ Working out what Google thinks the user wants to see is simply a case of googling the term and seeing what’s ranking. ▪ Poor Quality Content can damage your overall SEO- Be Prepared to take drastic action and remove it from your site / the index. ▪ On Site Changes that aim to improve how you’re perceived as an authority are limited in impact. ▪ NAP Consistency can impact everything from Local to International SEO. ▪ High Quality Directories Only ▪ Reviews can be an important factor for SEO but are not currently replacing Links anytime soon
  • 31. Thanks for listening Twitter: @AcousticRadical Global Search Marketing Twitter: @GlobalSearchMar https://www.globalsearchmarketing.co.uk