Medic II: Google’s January Core 2020 Update

How Does Google’s Core Update Affect My Plastic Surgery Practice? 

On January 13, 2020, Google announced (via tweet) that they were “releasing a broad core algorithm update.” Deflecting further questions, they went on to say, opaquely, “Our guidance about such updates remains as we’ve covered before. Please see this [Aug. 1, 2019] blog post for more about that.”[1] GrowthMed is proud to report that we’ve stayed one step ahead of the massive realignment, which we are calling “Medic II.”

Our plastic surgeon clients have prospered.  

At GrowthMed, we’re no strangers to recovery from Google Core Updates—and seizing the new opportunities that they present. In 2018, our CEO and Chief Technologist, Steven Fruchter, distinguished himself in our industry yet again by helping our international clientele of dozens of plastic surgery practices recover from Google’s Medic Update. “Medic,” as the SEO community would later name it, was a large scale recalibrating of Google’s Search Engine Results Page (SERP) algorithm. There were winners and losers. With GrowthMed, our clients won the day thanks to our SEO expertise. We are responsive to Google’s unequivocal emphasis on great content.[2] 

One of our biggest wins, in fact, was when we rescued renowned and recognized Hollywood gossip content creator Perez Hilton. recovered 782% from an 84% decrease after the widespread disruption of the Google Medic Update.

How are your local search engine results faring? Is your website optimized to capture the intent of potential patients in your area? The world of SEO is dynamic and specialized, just like your plastic surgery practice. Contact us for a consultation. Call (310) 577-0000 to get the conversation started.    

About The January Core 2020 Update

Even though Google has since standardized its naming conventions to a simplified type and date format— to “avoid confusion”—we are unofficially titling this latest core update Medic II: this holiday season, Google strikes back! GrowthMed is based in Los Angeles, after all. And we know that everybody loves a good sequel. We love movie trailers, too.

On January 13, 2020, Google updated its Search algorithm and brought in the New Year with one of its biggest core updates since Medic. In this update, Google wanted to, yet again, prioritize content and user intent; aiding major changes to their algorithm from previous core updates like Medic and BERT

Read through GrowthMed’s rave reviews by practicing plastic surgeons and medspas to hear from the winners. Keep up with our blog to learn the latest news impacting the aesthetic space.   

With all major Google updates, like this one, there are a lot of websites that end up on the bottom of the totem pole because they do not meet Google’s rigorous Search Quality Rater Guidelines.[3] If you’re just like our industrious GrowthMed Tech Team and are avidly browsing SEO forums, it is almost certain that you have seen the copious amount of complaints coming from various industry verticles worldwide. With these unexpected changes to Google’s Search algorithm, there are always winners and losers.

Google’s Core Updates Are an Ongoing Project

Medic II is the latest in an ongoing effort by Google to improve its SERP page. Google’s (repeatedly) stated mission is to match the intent of user search queries with authoritative, trustworthy and, ultimately, useful results. GrowthMed’s own internal data confirms that the first Medic update two years ago dramatically adjusted the organic rankings for health, fitness and medical websites. Websites in the financial industry and many others saw their rankings change as well.    

GrowthMed has observed that sites affected by previous core updates are more likely to be affected by subsequent ones.

A big reason for this is that Google holds what it calls “Your Money or Your Life” pages (YMYL), to a different, higher standard. These pages, Google says, “could directly impact a person’s future happiness, health, financial stability, or safety.” 

GrowthMed’s industry-leading Content Team is our answer to Google’s ever-increasing requirements for YMYL sites like those of our plastic surgeon partners. Our expert copywriters research and write relevant content that is tailor-made to you and your practice. We also ensure that our content is specially structured to have what Google considers strong E-A-T (expertise, authoritativeness and trustworthiness). GrowthMed grants our esteemed clients final editing privileges to ensure our optimized content is in accord with their proven medical expertise.   

Google’s E-A-T Content Guidelines 

  • Expertise – Google’s measure of the knowledge and know-how of the website’s content creator (plastic surgeons, in many of our clients’ cases) 
  • Authoritativeness – measures the content creator, but also the content itself, as well as the entire website—are you an accepted authority on this topic?
  • Trustworthiness – Measures the website against other accepted authorities and established scientific consensus[4]   

Contact us for a consultation. Call (310) 577-0000 to get the conversation started.    

How Can My Plastic Surgery Practice Adjust To Dynamic Changes in SEO?

Since the January 2020 Core Update, our clients’ website rankings have skyrocketed. Our optimized content has helped keep them afloat during this time of uncertainty.  

As you can see from the example above, all our clients have emerged victorious after the core update. Impressions or site visibility has increased drastically due to the quality content we provide for our clients. We do our research and know what people want when it comes to plastic surgery.

Proactive Plastic Surgery Marketing, by GrowthMed

The impact of Google’s frequent core updates provides us with some major clues about its ultimate intent behind the Search algorithm.[5] We encourage you to do your own competitive analysis of other plastic surgery practices that are ranking well in your area. Try to understand how they are reaching prospective patients. Then, think hard about whether your current content is a match for Google’s strict E-A-T standards for YMYL sites like your own. 

If you target the right audience with the correct content, Google will reward you. Search engine optimization by GrowthMed ensures that you’ll be found when your next patient starts searching.


  1. Sullivan, D. (2019, August 1). “What webmasters should know about Google’s core updates” Google Webmaster Central Blog. Retrieved February 10, 2020, from 
  2. “Rigorous testing: Our goal is always to provide you the most useful and relevant information” Google Search. Retrieved February 10, 2020, from 
  3. “Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines” How Search Works December 5, 2019. Retrieved February 10, 2020, from
  4. “Webmaster Guidelines” Search Console Help. (n.d.). Retrieved February 10, 2020, from 
  5. “How Search algorithms work” Google Search. Retrieved February 10, 2020, from

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