Category: Website


Google’s “Medic Algorithm” update: What health websites need to know

In the last few months Google has been rolling out new features to it’s search engine targeting (among other things) better searches for health information. It has nicknamed the ‘Google Medic Update’ and it poses some serious questions for health bloggers and service providers. So here are the basic things you need to know:

Why such an update?

According to Google, pages offering health information or services fall into a category called “Your Money or Your Life (YMYL) Pages”. In the words of Google ‘We have very high Page Quality rating standards for YMYL pages because low quality YMYL pages could potentially negatively impact users’ happiness, health, financial stability, or safety’. In a nutshell getting bad advice and service from heath websites actually affects your life and Google wants to do something about it.

Who does it affect?

  • Shopping or financial transaction pages: webpages that allow users to make purchases such as paying for drugs  online.
  • Financial information pages: webpages that provide advice or information about things like health insurance.
  • Medical information pages: webpages that provide advice or information about health, drugs, specific diseases or conditions, mental health, and nutrition.
  • Legal information pages: webpages that provide legal advice or information on topics such as creating a will for a person who is mentally ill.
  • News articles or public/official information pages important for having an informed citizenry: webpages that include information about local/state/national government processes such as notices on public health activities.

Further evidence that is has had a major impact on health websites can be seen by the test run by Search Engine Roundtable which clearly shows health websites are definitely affected.


What can I do to keep my rank up?

  • You don’t need to be an expert to write about all health related topics…: Although YMYL does focus on expert knowledge, it’s quite possible to have everyday expertise in YMYL topics such as support pages where people share personal experiences in health.
  • … just specific medical information on health: Specific medical information and advice (rather than descriptions of life experiences) should come from doctors or other health professionals.
  • Maintain EAT – Google looks at High level of Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness (E-A-T). Your main content should be clear with a helpful title and it should be clear who the visitor is getting the information from. Examples of high quality pages can be seen here, here, here, and here.
  • Avoid the low quality YMYL signals such as
    • An inadequate level of Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness (E-A-T).
    • The quality of the main content is low.
    • There is an unsatisfying amount of main content for the purpose of the page.
    • The title of the main content is exaggerated or shocking.
    • The Ads or SC distracts from the main content.
    • There is an unsatisfying amount of website information or information about the creator of the MC for the purpose
      of the page (no good reason for anonymity).
    • A mildly negative reputation for a website or creator of the MC, based on extensive reputation research.

If you need even more information please feel free to contact us.


Social Media & SMS: Our two new services

If you are a health organization looking at growing your health informatics profile in Sri Lanka its hard to ignore social media and the mobile phone. Consider the facts:

  • There are nearly 500,000 social media users in Sri Lanka who are 25 and above who have mentioned either healthcare and/or medicine as an area of interest*. This is nearly 14% of the entire facebook population in Sri Lanka!
  • Even conservatively social media is growing at the rate of over 1.5 to 2 percent per year in Sri Lanka alone.
  • Mobile phones are now the top source of internet use even in Sri Lanka.

With these stats in mind Health Lab Crew is happy to announce our two new services: Social and SMS

Social Media

Our dedicated social media team has over 4 years experience in social media for health associations such as the Sri Lanka Medical Association and Ceylon Medical Journal.


Keeping in touch with your membership can be quite a challenge. At the same time informing them about important news and events can be rewarding experience both for the institution and member. Our SMS service is a one time installation which can then be designed to send custom SMS. The SMS can even be broken down into different categories (e.g. Life or Ordinary) so the right member gets the right message. You can even receive a SMS reply with our service.


Protect your website with these tips!

When it comes to a health website, Sri Lanka is no different to any other country. Whether your website is or .lk or even if your website is hosted locally you are vulnerable to getting hacked and losing your precious data. Based on the recently released website safety tips released by Google, here are our best practices to make sure your website and data are safe:

Always use latest and trusted

  • Always use the latest CMS versions. Don’t listen to those who says older versions are better unless you are having some sort of outdated plugin.
  • When creating password never create one password for all administrator logins. Also limit the access retries with a plugin.
  • Always ensure your plugins are reliable and reputable (This link will show you how)

See through the eyes of Google

  • Another thing you can do is when a site is down is see if the hacker has redirected traffic to a hacked page.
  • You can use the Fetch as Google tool which is basically your website as seen by Google. Check it out.

Google also recommends you use a secure FTP or SFTP, check your htaccess and similar sensitive files for read/write permissions and always be vigilant for any sort of change in files or structure when you access your web admin panel.

These are just some of the tips we use to protect our sites. What sort of tools do you use? Give us your thoughts here or @hlabcrew!

(CC Flickr kris krüg