Is there anyway to first check for the market categorisation and second to correct the categorisation with Google?

Our site was affected, lower organic traffic, after the August "broad core algorithm update" which reportedly has most affected the Health/Medical sites. Its informal name is the Medic Algorithm. Suspect that we mis-categorized as the Health/Medical site and we are not. We sell products to the biological research institutions and never sell products to consumers.

The reason for the suspicion is that when our Google Ads are disapproved the disapproval preamble is either Healthcare and medicines or Prescription Drug Targeting.

Neither is true and we can only gain approval (multiple times per month) by calling and reminding Google Ads that we are in neither category. And then they always approve the ads.

In the meantime we are following the EAT (Expertise, Authority, Trustworthy) guidelines to restore our lost rankings.

  • @StephenOstermiller Hey Stephen i know what Michael is talking about we managed to recover a site from this google update. Google launched an update for health and medic websites, judging on the proof each provider had and the certification of the doctors writing articles and products.
    – John Could
    Oct 26, 2018 at 21:04
  • @StephenOstermiller There's a question in there: "Is there any way to first check for the market categorization and second to correct the categorization [of my website]?" I'll leave it to your judgement beyond that, but I just wanted to point out there is indeed a question in the middle of the post. Oct 26, 2018 at 21:32

1 Answer 1


We were following closely this update and we actually "managed" to recover a site that lost about 50% of its traffic and revenue, 100+keywords lost more than 50+ positions from SERP, and now everything went back to normal around 2 weeks ago and even better. I will suggest the steps we took to recover from this but note that there were 3 stages of recovery! Meaning since 1 of august we saw 3 stages of websites recovering from the update, at this point we cant tell if the recovery was from our fixes or naturally from the algorithm update.

But we know why sites went down, Google evaluated how trust worthy articles and products were for the buyer and the information provided about them.

This is what i suggest:

  1. Who is authentication your products? Link the clinics or doctors who authenticate your products their medical background and most information you have about them, create a page for doctors.

  2. Correct the product cattegorisation, you mentioned a incorrect categorisation which was affected as well from this update try to keep your products in this order:

  3. General health > Stop smoking > Product

  4. Category > sub-category > product/article

  5. If you have a Blog internally link articles to the products to create information relevancy.

  6. Amend content given for products, this update affected sites with thin information about the products,b should be enough information since is a medic topic.

  7. Amend keyword placement taking into consideration users intend. Here is a quick best practice on where to include your keywords on the page:

    • Beginning of the title
    • Meta Description
    • As early in the content as possible
    • 2-3 keyword variations in text/content
    • H1 The exact keyword
    • H2 Keyword variation
    • On your URLs

This is a YMYL site and Google took into consideration users health, i know you mentioned your site doesn't sell to costumers but it still falls under the YMYL category.

Overall try to show Google the background of your products and that you give enough information.

There are a lot of articles out there about this issue if you haven't recover since the algorithm update i would suggest start making changes and creating some good informational content.

  • Thank for your feedback. The problem is that we are not of supplier YMYL goods, no consumer products. We sell only to researchers at large organizations. They use our products to research diseases or the affects of biological material on genes and cells. We work hard on number 7 on your list, though we do have a lot of products, well over 300,000 items. The keywords are pretty straight forward, the target and the reagent and our Ad Words placements help us with understanding of the organic needs. The belief that we have been mis-categorized is because the machine doesn't know biology. Oct 29, 2018 at 21:53
  • I did some more research and i bumped on this article: seroundtable.com/google-medic-update-ymyl-design-26234.html The medic update wasnt targeting specifically medic (ymyl) sites. I would recommend trying to fix your categorization and overall the general technical hygiene (like duplicate content etc).
    – John Could
    Oct 30, 2018 at 15:03
  • We are doing general hygiene to our site, but how does one get google to use the correct category for our business. I have researched NAICS (US), NAPCS (US), and ISIC (UN) and am ready to provide those criteria to Google. Now who? Oct 31, 2018 at 16:23
  • And our drop it traffic was significant and occurred the week that the algorithm was deployed. It is hard to believe that it is just a coincidence, especially when Google Ads disapproves our ads they state it is because of Healthcare and medicines or Prescription Drug Targeting. We do not sell prescription drugs we sell this that researchers and state that every one of our products is for research only noted on every product page. Oct 31, 2018 at 16:57
  • Why would our site be classified by google as a YMYL site when we only sell to research organizations? All of our products' pages are marked research only. How does that get defined as YMYL? Nov 5, 2018 at 23:30

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