August 22nd Google Core Impact on Australian Health Brands

29th Aug, 2023
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Sofiann McKerrell
Product Innovation Director

The time has come, as expected. Just a few days ago, Google released a core algorithm update on the 22nd of August.

All SEOs experience a whirlwind of emotions during these times. We’re left pondering: Will our websites plummet in rankings or will they see their clicks skyrocket?

Given that core algorithm updates typically span about two weeks, many of us find ourselves checking traffic data daily, holding our breath for the best outcome.

If you’re among those feeling the anxiety, know that you’re not alone. But the good news? Health brands might not have much to fret about with this latest Algorithm update. Here’s why.

Understanding Google Core Algo Updates

A core update is one of Google’s regular adjustments to its search algorithms. This adjustment occurs several times a year. Google’s intention with these updates is to improve the efficiency and relevance of search results, staying true to its mission of delivering dependable and pertinent content to users.

These core updates don’t penalize specific pages or websites. Pages might experience changes in their performance after an update, but not due to any violation of Google’s policies. The focus of the updates is to enhance how Google’s systems evaluate and rank content.

For perspective, consider a list of the top 100 movies of 2021. By 2024, that list might be updated to accommodate new releases and changing opinions. Some movies may shift in ranking, not because their quality decreased, but because new content emerged or perceptions evolved. Similarly, with each core update, Google’s “list” or rankings adjust in response to the vast and ever-growing internet landscape.

Australian Health Brands and the Update

The core update has not been released entirely yet. However, based on what we have seen in about a week’s time now, we can tell that the impact on health queries was either tiny or null.

We created a list of 100 popular Australian websites operating in various health sub-industries to analyse how they have been performing since the update was released. We did the same with a set of keywords representative of various aspects of health. On top of that, we’ve looked at the data of our own clients.

And it is very clear that the changes we are observing are different from the usual fluctuations we see all year round.

This latest Google Core Algorithm update did not impact health websites in general. 

Factors for Stability in Health Websites Post-Core Update

How come health websites are not affected by such an important algorithm update? There are two main reasons.

Firstly, in health, the top-ranking websites are already being vetted and filtered constantly by Google’s ranking system.

We rarely see a new website without any ranking history showing up in the top results. Actually, we never see such a website in health rankings.

It takes a lot of effort to rank any website for health-related queries. While in some other industries, in the past 24 months, we have seen lots of small websites built with AI content getting a lot of traffic from Google.

Secondly, the algorithm update is meant to improve search results for a better user experience. We can assume that the health search results, in general, are already pleasing users.

What to do if you believe your site suffered from the last update?

If you are seeing organic traffic decrease right after the date of the Google Core Algorithm update, do not try to recover with fixes and a couple of updates.

Get an SEO to review the data, analyse your website, and come up with an organic traffic acquisition strategy.

It is always possible to recover from a painful Google Algorithm update but to do so, it is crucial to work on a long-term plan.

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