Medical Website Penalty Recovery Case Study

For obvious reasons, websites that target medical keywords are put under further scrutiny by Google. If an untrustworthy website is spreading misinformation, Google will likely figure it out at some point.

The problem is, you don’t want your legitimate medical website to be lumped in with illegitimate websites during these types of updates.

If you are wondering why these types of updates happen, I suggest you check out my previous case study, I go a bit more in-depth there.

That said, here is the recovery of the website I’m referring too:

It is fairly rare that everything will just “snap back” into place after a few simple updates.

Rather over the course of a few months or year, rankings will come back gradually, how you see above.

In this websites case, it is a huge web property, targeting a number of different languages.

Here is the framework we used for the recovery:

  • Optimize Top Pages on the site
  • Restructure the website, namely internal anchor text updates.
  • Branded Traffic campaign

Phase One: Update the Most Important Pages

I already wrote about this in this case study with a similar penalty recovery process and a longer term recovery in a much more competitive niche, therefore I won’t deep dive here.

The first step is to analyze pages that drive a lot of revenue.

Generally I use the tool Cora to analyze how competing websites are winning in the new search environment. Here is a sample report:

Phase Two: Restructure Website

In the case of this website, it had A LOT of pages, making it difficult to sort out in a single afternoon.

Again, I spoke about this quite a lot in previous case studies, but the major difference here is that we focused on internal anchor text. I even have another case study on anchor text alone.

Basically if i exported your anchor text, you want it to tell a story. Lets’s run though a few examples.

Internal Anchor text like this is confusing to search engines, it doesn’t tell a story or the end goal of your ideal rankings:

I also advise against using fragmented words, again, its confusing and doesn’t tell a story:

Instead, you are better off targeting anchor text very directly, or at a minimum making sure it contains related entity’s.

Phase 3: Branded Traffic Campaign’s

There are a lot of different ways to get branded traffic to your website, Digital PR would be an example. For the sake of this case study, I’m not going to get into any branded traffic or strategies.

If you aren’t in the know, branded traffic is when someone one searches for the brand name of your website.

Take Walmart, tons of people search for their brand name and variations every single month:

Once we got all these items in place, we were able to return traffic to normal levels:

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