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This week, it was revealed that the internal team at Google has all of the details around core algorithm updates, but cannot release the information to the general public.

This isn’t really shocking news for those of us who specialize in SEO for a living. Google has traditionally not released much information relative to algorithm updates (aside from “mobilegeddon” and Core Web Vitals.

This all came to light this week in a podcast, which featured members of Google’s Search Relations Team. In summary, they confirmed that they generally just announce when a core update is happening and when it has been completed.

Here are a couple of notable quotes from the podcast that confirms content marketing is a good investment for doctors:

“Well, our team generally knows what we are doing when we are doing core updates or what the things in the core updates do, more specifically. And in the vast majority of the cases, the things are just focusing on the guidelines that we’ve been publishing for the past 20 years.

Gary Illyes

So basically, write good content, right, don’t buy links, whatever, I don’t know. So every single time we do one of these core updates, we are basically saying that… follow our guidelines, and that’s also our advice..”

Gary Illyes

Here’s the one that I thought was the most significant takeaway:

“So, it might be that those sites that were affected negatively by a core update didn’t actually do anything wrong, but rather, our algorithms changed, and that is very hard to explain and also swallow, I imagine. Because if you are publishing content and you’ve been publishing content for five years already, and you have a follower base and whatever, and suddenly, you rank lower and some competitors and ranking higher because Google made a change. That’s not easy to accept, I guess.”

Gary Illyes

So if you find your website ranking lower following a core algorithm update, it’s not that your site was punished per se. Instead, another site was rewarded for publishing better content.

Takeaways for Doctors

I believe that the information from this podcast was not so much a revelation from Google but rather a confirmation of what doctors need to do to be successful when it comes to SEO and online marketing.

Here are my top takeaways:

  • Create excellent content and do so consistently.
  • In your content, be focused on adding value to the patient. In other words, be generous in sharing your knowledge.
  • Review existing content and make improvements where you can.
  • Double down on your efforts, especially if your competitors are not yet doing online marketing or aren’t doing it well. Run up the score why you have the chance.