Beware a drop in your Google ranking next week

by Content, IT, Online marketing

Google released a ‘core update’ to its algorithm on Monday that will be affecting UK and Irish websites in the next five to eight days.

Google didn’t announce these in the past but it’s trying to give people more insight rather than keeping everyone in the dark, as was its modus operandi for 10 years.

There’s nothing specifically medical about this update, as a core update it’s a broader look at things. It’s about Google reappraising how it decides whether a website is ‘relevant’. If a website is outdated and looks bad, it might now deem it as not relevant.

It’s possible that websites that aren’t responsive, have slow page speeds and lack relevant content in their field will be cast down as irrelevant. For example, if you run an orthodontic practice, for the past 12 months ideally you will have been posting blogs about teeth straightening and braces.

If you haven’t been doing so it’s too late now. This core update will evaluate your website based on the past, and if your ranking is affected negatively you can only commission more content for your site ahead of the next update.

If you find your traffic has disappeared and your ranking is kaput, it means Google may have decided your content isn’t relevant and neither are the links coming in. We can help by building links from relevant websites, for example by targeting a health blog, writing a piece about orthodontics, and within that having a link saying “do you want straighter teeth?” that links back to the orthodontics page on your website.

Some online marketing suppliers still use directory links like There are thousands of directories, but they are low quality and will be deemed as increasingly irrelevant by Google each time there is an update.

Some things to consider:

  • Google’s official guidance is that there is nothing to fix.
  • Google updates sometimes take a week to 10 days to bounce around. So it’s best to wait before forming conclusions about what’s happened.
  • Google’s broad core updates do not target specific niches.
  • Google’s broad core updates are about relevance. Site quality always remains important, but it’s never been the sole focus of the algorithm. Keep in mind that this is a broad core algorithm update, not just a ‘site quality’ update.
  • When trying to figure out why your site is no longer ranking well, don’t approach it from the point of finding what to fix. Instead, it may be more helpful to ask yourself why your site might not be viewed by Google as relevant anymore.
  • Sometimes it’s more productive to wonder less about what’s wrong with your site and more about what’s relevant about the sites that are ranking better.
  • When a core update occurs, you generally cannot implement quick fixes to get your rankings to bounce straight back up.

Long term, this is about relevancy, which is why it is important to ensure regular content is created. For example, writing blog posts based around braces will increase the relevancy for orthodontics. Likewise, we can build links based on relevancy, embedded with relevant content and on relevant health websites. This is why we always say directories do not work, because they usually use meaningless text links such as “visit website” and use unrelated, low quality directories.

If it turns out that you need our help after this core update we will review competitor websites that rise above you and review the links they obtain. We will also review the website technologies they use, such as themes and page speeds. Let us know if you need us.

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“Websites that aren’t responsive, have slow page speeds and lack relevant content in their field could be cast down as irrelevant”

Andrew Thomas, SEO director