On August 1, 2018, Google released a new algorithm update that SEO guru, Barry Schwartz coined the “Medic Update”. It’s called the Medic Update because it targeted medical, health, fitness, and YMYL (Your Money or Your Life) websites. The Medic Update had a huge impact on dental websites that caused many to lose significant rankings.

Now that it’s been more than two years since this update took place, we thought it would be helpful to look at how we’ve changed our strategy by building authority on dental websites.

What Did the Medic Update Do?

If a website presents content with information that is untruthful, inaccurate, or deceptive, it can impact the reader’s health, happiness, financial stability. These websites are known as YMYL and typically include anything related to the health, medical, and fitness industry. Google’s update punished websites in this category that didn’t offer enough authority or trust to their readers. Many small updates subsequent to the Medic Update had a large focus on getting rid of poor information on YMYL websites.

Overall, the Medic Update created new standards for YMYL websites and despite its name, Google denied that it targeted medical, fitness, and health industries specifically even though 42-50% of the affected sites were in these industries. A former Google employee said it was a “happy coincidence” that these types of websites took a hit.

Our clients specifically took a lot of big hits but most of them either experienced an immediate bounce back or a gradual recovery over a 12-month span. Here are two examples of how the update affected our clients. One client saw an immediate hit and bounceback while the other one took a hit and experienced a gradual bounceback.

Google rankings and analytics showing changes to site traffic before and after update

How We Responded

After the update took place and impacted a large portion of our clients, we had to pivot our strategy. Our new focus on SEO was following the E.A.T. Theory. E.A.T. is a theory that claims if you enhance your website’s expertise, authority, and trust, it’s more favorable to Google. E.A.T. was outlined in the Quality Rater Guidelines provided by Google coincidently one week before the Medic Update took place – a huge indicator that the Medic Update was related to E.A.T.

To follow this theory, we continued making our content highly authoritative. This included working with our clients to establish them as experts. We touched up their bios, mentioned more about their experience and expertise throughout the content, and regularly updated the content with new information about continuing education. Our ultimate goal is to establish the dentists as experts. As a result, it builds trust with their patients and the community at large. As a bonus, it helps out search engine rankings.

What the Future of SEO Looks Like

The future of SEO is a little clearer since the Medic Update. We know to continuously stay on top of algorithm updates to ensure we’re covering all our bases. In the end, however, a well-built and well-maintained website can weather any algorithm update Google throws at us.

E.A.T. is here to stay and is part of our holistic process of website content, social media, Google My Business, citations, and other aspects of your marketing.

When it comes to the future of SEO for dentists, you have nothing to worry about as long as you have us by your side. We don’t take black-hat shortcuts, or ignore the resources Google has provided. We always strive to stay on top of the latest developments in SEO to ensure your website isn’t at risk of taking a huge hit next time Google decides to make an update.

If you’re not already working with for SEO help, now is the time. Don’t let your website fall victim to another algorithm update. Stay ahead of the curve by working with our highly qualified SEO team. Contact Pro Impressions Marketing at (970) 672-1212 today to schedule a consultation to learn more about SEO and our different dental marketing packages.