How Important Are Expertise, Authority, and Trust in Your Niche?

By Spencer Haws |

Well, I picked a niche and even bought a domain last week, and I'm already having second thoughts…

You may have heard about the recent Google update that occurred in early August.  I've heard from lots of people that their sites were impacted.

In fact, as I've been doing niche research recently for Niche Site Project 4, I've seen several sites in the niche I had selected through SEMrush or Ahrefs that have clearly taken a hit in the past 3 weeks.

The common consensus on this most recent Google update is that sites that are better able to establish their author's expertise, authority, and trust are performing well, and other sites are losing rankings.

So, today I'd like to discuss my thoughts on this “Google Medic” update as some are calling it, how expertise plays into all of this, and whether you should pick a different niche or not.

The bottom line is this – do you REALLY need to be an “expert” in order to build a niche site?  I think the answer to that question depends on what niche you've selected.  I'll unpack that answer in just a bit.

And for the relevant Niche Site Project 4 news, I've decided to pick a different niche after doing a deeper dive into keywords, competitors, and overall expertise.  Not really what I want to do after spending several hours of research, but I'd rather switch now before my website has been started.

The Google Core Algorithm Update – AKA Google Medic Update

As for a quick background on why I've decided to choose a different niche, I need to discuss the most recent Google core algorithm update from early August 2018.

To be honest, I noticed no impact or very little impact across my sites.  In fact, traffic has been increasing ever since the update. However, for many other people in certain niches, there appears to have been a major impact.

You can read more about what Search Engine Land knows about the update here.

However, the consensus as stated in this great article is that sites in the “Your Money or Your Life” (YMYL) niches were more heavily impacted.  The YMYL is a reference that is used by Google in their quality rater's guidelines.

In a nutshell, sites that talk about health decisions, financial decisions, or other major life decisions that probably would be best if the advice came from a doctor or other qualified expert, are the sites that lost rankings.

This comes back to the Google quality rater guidelines where they talk about Expertise, Authority, and Trust.  Basically, if the authors on your site are truly doctors or other experts that have written widely across the web with official credentials, that's the kind of trust and authority that Google loves.

If you are just a “niche site creator” and writing about end of life care or major financial decisions, you likely can't establish the kind of authority and trust that Google wants without years of professional schooling and degrees.

They call it the “Medic” update because medical related websites were disproportionately impacted.

How Can You Establish Yourself as An Expert?

Now that you are armed with the knowledge that maybe you shouldn't be creating websites on subjects that are likely best answered by a Doctor, you know to avoid those niches.

But are there other niches where the “average joe” can still provide value and establish themselves as an expert?  Absolutely!

Do you need a college degree in a specific field to review hiking trails, or fun toys for your dog, or the best wall decorations for your home?  No!  There are thousands of niches out there where you don't need to be an “certified” expert, you just need to establish yourself with great content and other practical strategies.

So, here's my newest rule of thumb since the update: If there is a college degree that is exactly related to your niche, you might want to consider avoiding that niche.

Let's run through a couple of examples:

Hopefully some of those examples are helpful for how I'm starting to think of things.

The way that you establish yourself as an authority is through well-researched, great content and link building.  In a nutshell, it still comes does to who is referencing your website and the quality of those “citations”.

In other words, establishing yourself as an authority after the update is even more important, but it was always important to do so before.  It simply means that Google is going to rank certain sites higher when they can see that clearly a doctor or certified financial planner is better suited to be answering the questions that your outsourced Filipino writer.

But for the topics where there really is no “expert” per se, you can become that expert voice and have the topical relevance you need to rank your websites.

In other words, chose your niche wisely.

How to Establish Authority and Trust?

So, I've been reading the past couple weeks about the Google Medic update quite a bit.  The consensus is that the update mostly had to do with expertise, authority, and trust of websites.  I don't know all the signals that Google looks at, but a couple of ways that Google uses to understand the authority and trust of the actual authors is through About pages and Author pages.

Google wants to see that the authors of the articles are well established and preferably have history or credentials in the topics they are writing about.  

So when you select your niche, I would recommend creating an in-depth about page that lists the goals, history, and other nuances about your site.  If there is anything you can add that makes it more authoritative, that is helpful.  

Here's an example of a great About page on

Also look at that site for the types of Author bios it does, here's one example.

Now, you might not be able to list PhDs and have doctors writing for your site.  But I think you should have an author name and add details that might build trust in who is writing the articles.  (You might consider using the real names of your actual authors you are hiring and listing their credentials, as opposed to your own if that is helpful).

In addition, I think the update also just comes down to authoritative links.  I don't know if its about links related to the authors specifically, or just they've slightly tweaked how certain links are weighted.

So, those are the couple of things that I would recommend creating on your site to help build authority and trust.

Should I Pick a Different Niche?

When I got the idea for Niche Site Project 4, it was in mid-July…before the Google update.  I was on vacation just thinking of a couple of niches and I basically settled on one without looking at a ton of other options.

However, since the update and the more and more keyword research I've done, the more concerned I became with my initial niche selection.  I was seeing lots of “Doppelganger” sites that were impacted by the Google update in early August.

And even though my selected niche wasn't exactly in the medical space, some of the keywords were close enough that it made me nervous.  I could see in the future at some point that WebMD or other established sites with Doctor authors could potentially be writing on the same subjects as my site.

So, even though there are still lots of niche sites ranking right now, I've decided to move in a different direction where it's less likely that this more recent Google update will impact my ability to rank as well.

As you look at the niche you've selected, do you need to pick something different?  Are you going to be fighting an uphill battle against authors with advanced degrees and authoritative websites?

Even though I hated to spend hours of time on keyword research and  buy a domain, etc only to have that work be fruitless,  I'd rather switch my niche now before I've really started to build the actual site as opposed to 6 months down the road after potentially thousands of dollars spent on content only to realize that maybe the niche is too difficult.

Your Thoughts

I'm not sure if this blog post is helpful or makes you nervous as you research your niche…or re-think whether you've selected the right niche!

And honestly it's a little embarrassing to have to admit another mistake (after my misspelled domain fiasco). However, that's what Niche Site Project 4 is all about.

I'm going to do my best to be open and transparent about what I'm doing behind the scenes, even if it means I need to share all my mistakes.

Overall, do you REALLY need to be an expert in your niche?  Well, yes, you need to establish yourself as the expert.  However, for some niches that requires a Phd or other advanced certifications.  In other niches, it might only require that you've put in an extra hour of research for one particular topic.

So, chose wisely.  You want to find a niche where with some effort you can truly establish yourself as an authoritative voice in the space.

What are your thoughts?  How do you view expertise and authority for niche sites?  Are you feeling more or less confident in your decision now?

SEO | 69 comments

By Spencer Haws

Spencer Haws is the founder of After getting a degree in Business Finance from BYU (2002) and an MBA from ASU (2007) he worked for 8 years in Business Banking and Finance at both Merril Lynch and Wells Fargo Bank.

While consulting with other small business owners as a business banker, Spencer finally had the desire to start his own business. He successfully built a portfolio of niche sites using SEO and online marketing that allowed him to quit his job in 2011. Since then he's been involved in dozens of online business ventures including: creating and exiting Long Tail Pro, running an Amazon FBA business for over 3 years and selling that business, founding, and co-founding You can learn more about Spencer here.

Want to learn step-by-step how I built my Niche Site Empire up to a full-time income?

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Thank you for this great post! It will clearly help me to choose my further niches.
Maybe you don’t want to say it but I will ask anyway: what was your previous niche?

Spencer Haws

Great question! I think I will reveal my old niche…once I find my new one. I think that would be a great additional blog post.


Recent Google update have indeed affected thousands of websites and mostly in health niches. I don’t have any niche site in health niche, but one of my clients lose her 30% traffic this August.

Hope the dust settles down sooner. And I’m glad that I didn’t pick health-related niche for this project. So, no switching the niche for me (I’ve actually got two articles drafted)

Thanks for sharing the update.

– Shafi


Such a helpful article! Thank you! I’ve been in my field for over ten years now and that just helped solidfy to me that I’m right where I need to be!


Great post! Finally I got an answer to why my site went back to the sandbox (call it “aha moment”)!
My site was connected with medical field but not directly (I didn’t provide medical information which could be found on authoritative sites). Also in domain name there is word “medical”!

So I think Google thought that my site provides medical information and thus penalized it and threw it out!

Feel free to e-mail if You are interested in additional details! Fun case study! 🙂


An eye-opening post. I am in fact following along with the project and currently doing niche research. I’ve come across tons of ideas (which only makes difficult to settle on one) but your post has made it much easier for me to proceed. Thanks a lot.

Spencer Haws

Excellent, glad it helped!


Hey Spencer,

I read over your previous post about how to choose a domain name and I had just one question. Now you say to not keyword stuff but for example is it still okay to use words like: Best, Cheap, Etc? So for example Best Camping Cooler? Or has the days past where this wold be useful? Just looking into a domain name and found a few that may work.

Thanks for all you do!


Franco Colomba

That would be called EMD (exact match domain) you should stay away from it as it’s been abused a lot by shady people to rank on Google. Luckily Google took care of that (Google: EMD Update)
So in other words, if you want your site to do well don’t use exact match domain names.

Go back to Spencer’s last post (I think it was his last) where he talks about picking your domain name. Make it memorable, short (2 words preferably, I say 3 is fine) and unique. Essentially make it sound like something/some brand you’d buy at the store and not some cheap corny name that screams stay away.

Hope that helps. If you have any questions please feel free to reply. I’m not affiliated with Spence or anything just trying to learn and help others as much as I can.

Spencer Haws

That domain wouldn’t be any more useful. I’d go for something that sounds brandable, as opposed to just keywords (like your example).

Jules |

Hi Spencer,

I just heard about the new Google changes this morning. Luckily my current sites haven’t been affected negatively (but they’re not medical-related at all, so that is probably why.)

But I DO worry the niche I chose doesn’t have quite enough searches on Google. I’m hoping/thinking I will kill it on Pinterest, but I still worry about Google. Should I choose a different niche?

Thanks for all you do!

Spencer Haws

Hard to say. If your strategy is pinterest, then I know lots of sites doing well on Pinterest. Maybe dig a bit more or find a related niche that does get lots of searches on Google? (That you can have on the same site).


The fact that there are mistakes and changes along the way (oh, and you actually keep going!) is super helpful, makes it realistic, and is very encouraging! If it all went smooth sailing, where would be the fun in that? 🙂

On the one hand, I get why google would want to do this. I don’t like a lot of pseudo-medical sites myself. On the other hand, I find it interesting. The ‘book’ market has never had this type of thing happen, even with publishing houses. i.e. In the medical (or financial, or take your pick) space, you can find books of every kind – from quackery to academic.

I guess the key difference is…google isn’t a free market – it’s important to remember that. They can do whatever they want. If they want only 10 sites to show up when people search for medical info (webmd, mayo clinic etc), fine. They can.

But it’s tough. I wanted to enter a niche that would be something like 4 sub-niche levels below the broad topic of ‘Money’. Why? Because it’s my thing; genuinely and in real-life. It’s my hobby/passion.

I’m well-read on the topic (including academic material), and a practitioner myself, with value to add in the way of my own take on the topic, my experience, and my knowledge of authors etc. But – google apparently would now see me as a layperson in the money space. (side note: that’ll teach me for never getting started over the past few years – could have been an authority by now).

So, what do you do? Try – or move on (or do both: start this due to passion and start a niche site as described above with more of a pure ‘business’ motive?)

Spencer Haws

Thanks for the thoughts, Steve. I wouldn’t go so far to say you couldn’t write about anything financial for example…I think there are certain topics that are free game. I would just make sure you have enough experience in the area to offer good advice.


Verywell took a hit, I highly dought this update was about Author, mostly about links.

Spencer Haws

I did my best to provide a nuanced analysis. As you know, Google takes into account hundreds of factors. I didn’t say this update was all about authors, etc. I said that was part of it. I also said this:
“The way that you establish yourself as an authority is through well-researched, great content and link building. In a nutshell, it still comes does to who is referencing your website and the quality of those “citations”.”

Steve Allen

Really great post Spencer, very insightful!
Will definitely help when choosing a niche in the future.
Luckily, the niche I’ve chosen for niche site project 4 should no way be affected by this update.

Spencer Haws


Goran Duskic

Awesome article, very comforting to see you as well write about this update. I have 2 websites that were strongly impacted by this update (50% of traffic gone).

I think that the price of a domain name (if you hand reged it, as you said you did) is not worth plotting a course into wild waters. There are so many niches out there, unless you plan to work with a PHD or some “real” authority in these niches you mentioned, I would stay away. I certainly am going to, until I figure out how to proceed with my 2 websites.

Spencer Haws

I agree…and great chatting with you today 🙂


Okay, Spencer. I am now glued to your emails and posts. I’ve been wanting to build niche sites for a long time, and recently bought my 3rd domain name. Thank heaven for this post, because my 4th domain was in the personal health niche, using myself as an example. Ehhh, there still might be a way around that “medic” thing because the blog is intended as a journey site, not full of generic health material requiring a degree. Plus, I can curate medical articles (re-write, links, etc.) Yeah, I think I’ll still give it a go. Thoughts?

Spencer Haws

If you can build a following…people love following journeys. You may have to find some unique angles to come at in the space, but it’s a HUGE space, so I do think there’s room in the personal health space. Just might take more work than some other niches.


Hi Spencer! Excellent article. My problem with this “medic” update is the “mommy” attitude that Google has.

You mentioned WebMD as an example and that is a site I think is FULL of sh*t – yes, there are [supposedly] real doctors writing for them; however, said doctors were trained under the auspices of Big Pharma, and Big Pharma has always had the needle for natural cures as these affect their bottom line – they are NOT in the business of ‘cures’; their business is profit, nothing more, nothing less.

A while back Google hammered over 400 sites, basically delisting them, ALL covering natural cures [I have the list].

So, someone who is knowledgeable, but does not have a string of letters behind their name gets nailed – so wrong! [censorship, anyone?]


Ugh! Here we go again. Your post here, Spencer, is well timed and informative. I am not one to hide my feelings. This move by Google is ugly. Not the first core update that had heads scratching. The noose is getting tighter for available prospective niches with optimal potential. I just took a quick look at an affiliate oriented keyword that would normally show perhaps about 8 affilliate sites in the top 10 serps.; that being something like “best dry dog food in 2018”- Ugh! Today it is dominated with e-commerce sites like Purina or about 6 of these sites) . then we do have 1 major well known top of the gun affiliate site called “”. Then we prob all heard of the giant site called “”. I suppose one could ask do yu need a college degree for dog food topic.(maybe “canine nutrition specialist” in vet school). I guess blowing off some steam here and would not mind some feedback on this one. Thank you Spencer for your diligence in the field.

Spencer Haws

I agree, it’s frustrating. But if you continue to adjust, there’s still ways to rank your sites.


That’s just what I need to hear from you, Spencer. That there is hope, in spite of Google’s annual AI adjustments that suit Google’s needs as a relevant search engine, but plays havoc on the affiliate marketer’s end. I have just come way too far in my current niche as far as prep work to turn around now; its either quit or keep it going. I was just debating do I subscribe to Thrive Architect or should I go with the whole Thrive membership at $220 one time annual fee. Then bang, here comes this brutal core update. I am prepared to publish high quality content with alot of supportive work behind it as long as I can rank, That is whole question(can one still rank with reasonably high quality content). I tend to be perfectionist anyway in learning my niche thoroughly. Fortunately, I did not choose the health niche( at least for humans anyway). I have a college degree in accounting; not sure I can wave that around on my web site posts in a pet niche.


My website traffic dropped 40% with the update even though I’m not in the health niche. I’m in the pet niche. Not sure how to fix this.

Very curious to what was your original niche so looking foreword to that post.

Spencer Haws

Sorry to hear that. There may be no simple fix, as it hit lots of sites.


From the looks of it Cathy, you dont fix it. Its a “wait and see” after the dust settles. Does Google really want to go this route. It is pretty much slapping the affiliate marketer. We are and won’t be doctors, dentists or financial professionals ,pretty much, Hoping the dust settles and there is some return to sanity


Could you tell us if the specific articles that lost their rankings are “pet health” related?



Ok Spencer. I also have to admit a blunder/mistake on a comment I just posted to previous to this one. You may want to not even bother publishing it since the point of my comment was incorrect. How embarassing.
What happened is I was looking at the top 10 serps on my cellphone. I did not realize how cluttered and difficult the serps can be to interpret on a cellphone. It turns out the ads from ecommerce sites appeared to be part of the top 10 serps in the cluttered cell phone screen. I rechecked the serps for the keyword “best dry dog food 2018” on my laptop and found how dumb I was. The top 10 sites are actually pretty encouraging as they were loaded with affiliate sites in this niche as contrast to what I initially reported. Sorry I jumped to such an incorrect conclusion. Just a day in the life of an affiliate marketer. These things get to be contagious, heh heh!

Spencer Haws

I’ll keep both the comments…glad to hear it stills looks encouraging!


After update hooray it’s getting even harder to rank. People if you really want to spend so much money and time go for it, but NICHES = ARE NOT DAMN EASY!

I would say at least 2 + minimum 4 + years to get good income.


Jake. My thoughts unfortunately kinda coincide with your thoughts. It has been knocking at the door awhile via Google and Amazon harassment. “love is blind” but not that blind! Is the workload to create a successful niche getting ridiculous that we should forget it and move on? There will be people that quit. This can be a tough call. Then again, I suppose there will be some who adapt and somehow make it. Very frustrating. What was that saying “I should have been in affiliate marketing 10 years ago, not Now!”


Oh man you had me scared for a second. I finished writing my 8th 1,000+ word post this morning for my niche site. Luckily the niche I chose you can walk the aisles of Walmart to get a firm education in it. No doctorate of “fill in the blank” niche here.

And no, it’s not the travel site in my signature. That’s just a passion project I’m slowly working on 🙂

Spencer Haws

Awesome, glad you are in the clear 🙂 Good luck!


I am not too sure that this is (just) about E.A.T
For example draxe website took a 50% hit and this guy is an extremely popular doctor.
Another nutrition site that only has medical people as authors took 50% hit
Another site which is manged by a doctor had 50% drop.

All the above sites have well researched and lengthy articles.

I did noticed that the above sites dropped to their March traffic levels. Google had a “core algo update” in March. Many of these sites had a huge increase after that update.

Possibly Google reverted this update??

Only google knows – it’s too early to say.

To what level is google going to get – can a general doctor write an article about back pain or do you need to be an orthopedic surgeon.

Is a general doctor enough? You could argue that a general doctor is not a real authority about this subject.

Spencer Haws

All good points.


Hey Spencer, have you ever went into the same niche twice? perhaps targeting the same keywords competing with yourself in the serps?

I’m in a niche with a site thats doing well and i think there’s room for more…

Would you advice against it or?

Spencer Haws

Yes, I’ve done this in the past…a long time ago. I think it’s not a terrible idea.


I like the question. It was something I pondered about myself,


Really love your transparency, Spencer.

And thanks for the article. It has also given me things to think about.

Am not in a medical niche niche per se, but I can think of a couple of my chosen keywords that would talk about ‘medical/health benefits of…’ or a variation of such. I will have to be creative or just ditch those.

Thanks again for sharing.

Michael Pawlik

If the guys from the insider group haven’t established this already, I am a huge proponent of punishing sites that literally have zero qualifications – including my old fitness site.

You see, the internet runs rampant with every Joe and their sister’s brother giving natural remedies for diabetes and quite frankly it’s tiring and downright dangerous.

You should be a medical expert with the appropriate qualifications in order to give medical advice. If you don’t have them, you have no business giving medical advice.

It sucks that many sites suffered, but people seem to forget that there was probably a good reason for this. Case in point: Niche Pursuits didn’t suffer, and there was a REASON for it – because Spencer is an authority in the space and Google can recognise this.

Alright, I’ve said enough.


Thanks for this , I guess I have to pivet my health site topics and focus and recipes and kitchen tips , and stop posting health related topics


Thanks Spencer
We’re glad you’re making mistakes, or how would we all learn anything from the experiment?
One thing I’m wondering about, is how does google know you have a degree or qualification? Just because you write it on your about page? Or is it down to the links to your website?
I know it’s hard to know what google really “thinks”, just wondering about it…

Spencer Haws

They don’t know per se; however, the about page helps but also just authoritative links, etc. They are getting smarter.


Hi Spencer,

Are you using the Table of Contents Plus for creating TOCs?

Isnt it outdated and does it work with the current version of WordPress?

Spencer Haws

That’s what I’m running, seems to work fine.

Rene Dasbeck

Hi and thanks for your article. What do you say, that John Mueller now explained, that there is no such ranking factor like authority and also no personal review that has direct impact in rankings based on the quality raters guidelines. I think, that is all about KI and rank brain that has other criterias then before the update…

Spencer Haws

Its based on link authority, not so much author authority. Google is a complicated animal.


The thing with sport nutrition and other sites is that they were ALL penalized. Look at sport nutrition every single one lost at least 10 – 50%.

Even when you look at draxe site, that guy is doctor (high authorithy, high ranking site, best team etc.) was penalized for more than 30- 40%. In July (BEFORE) update draxe got 11 million visitors. Now 6.4 million, you can easily see that it was hit by update.

Even where I help with seo in nutrition we were hit almost identical %, so it’s major update especially for health niches.

Maybe google just don’t like that kind of grey area and advices from many people, even from doctor or anyone it’s hard to believe in that niche, as there are way to many misinformations etc. Who’s right with information and who’s wrong?


Anony, I would like to point out a perspective on DrAxe’s health site and your interpretation of his authority as a doctor. I was educated recently on a podcast from another expert affiliate guru, that Dr Axe IS NOT AN MD DOCTOR. He is not accredited by the American Medical Association with a standard regimen required going to standard medical school and residency which I believe takes about 8-12 years. Dr Axe is a naturalist doctor, whereby for the first year, a naturalist doctor takes the same biology classes as an MD doctor to be. After that the educations process splits as naturalist doctors go to their own particular naturalist training which is much different than being in a medical school environment, residency etc. The FDA regulates the pharmaceuticlal prescriptions that MD doctors dispense in their practice. The FDA does not recognize or regulate therapeutic procedures and products that naturalist doctors practice. So it would appear Google has taken the perspective that an MD doctor is required to establish legitimate authority on health sites and a naturalist doctor is not in the same level of expertise on health as an accredited American Medical Associate MD degree. I do not intend to put down the naturalist doctor as I am sure there are success stories from consumers on their holistic methods. I am just pointing out why Dr Axe lost rankings because he is not an MD doctor. The same holds true for Phd’s. Even thought Phd’s are highly educated, they would not hold the same authority in the health niche compared to an MD doctor.

Spencer Haws



You don’t need to be a doctor (MD) to give advice about nutrition. In fact doctors always send you to a nutritionist or a dietician to get advice about nutrition.

So what does this say about this update???

Maybe (just maybe) Google was just looking at the link profile. Because as far as I could see the only main winner from this update was healthline. If you dig a bit you’ll find that 2 years ago it received $95 million in equity funding.

“San Francisco-based Healthline Media received $95 million in funding from Summit Partners to compete with other consumer health information sites like WebMD. The funding will be used to invest in content development and social-media programs as well as launch “new media types, platforms and adjacent categories.”

I wonder how much of that money was used for buying domains / links.

Spencer Haws

Interesting thoughts.

Spencer Haws

Well, if one site got hit, that means another site took its spot. So, other sites saw massive increases with this update.

David Fox

Hey Spencer,

Glad you’re doing another Niche Site Project. After the update, I luckily didn’t get nailed and one of my sites that probably shouldn’t have gotten a boost did randomly get one. However, the update has made me re-think things and I’ve realized how much more authoritative my sites could be if I just tweaked a few things.

My mission lately with my sites is to connect with influencers and actually develop those relationships. It’s harder than I thought, but also in some ways not as hard. I do believe that most niche site people are not going to take the time to be contacting the manufacturers of the products they’re reviewing and that’s something I do all the time now. It has helped, but it’s also a slow process as I’m not priority #1 to these companies. Still, it’s worth doing, and it’s fairly gratifying to make a real connection with a real company you’re working with to sell their products. Or, to look at it another way:

But what I totally wasn’t doing was making my site reflect the fact that I am aware of the real influencers in my space, either by linking to them, writing about them, or even just mentioning them. My headspace was still in that of an affiliate marketer, rather than trying to be a real force in the space I’m working in. It has taken me years to come around to this mentality, but I think when you’re in it for the long haul, it’s the only way to go.

So what I’m saying is… Google is right in this case. If their goal is to weed out the fakes, then simply don’t be a fake. Or do your best not to be. Of course, I’m not buying every product on Amazon before I review it, but I sure as heck make sure I research them properly when I talk about them.

Looking forward to the project!


I have to wonder if Google got a wake up call after the “fake news” epidemic with Facebook, and the ensuing drama with the presidential election allegedly being affected by fake news on Facebook. Facebook is now under significant observation by congressional inquiries, and has had to make some adjustments to attempt to straighten out dangerous propaganda that can be created with huge internet venues. So be it, Google could be next. This could be a reactionary move by Google to protect itself from scrutiny it does not need.


These are some great points and exactly the reasons why I chose a niche that I’m passionate about and have lots of experience in… otherwise I don’t think I’d be willing to put in the time to make those connections with influencers and actually build authority in the space. Or I’d just get bored of it after a while. This is where I think being passionate about your subject definitely helps. Thanks for the great comment!

Spencer Haws

Sounds good…thanks for the update Dave!

Mr Alexander

Hi Spencer,

Great article, I agree with this google update, we should let the professionals educate about these important topics. I am sticking with my niche, is it about reviewing technology products.

01. There is a grammar error, […don’t need to be an “certified” expert…], should change “an” to “a”, as in […don’t need to be a “certified” expert…]

02. There is a grammar error, […it still comes does to who is referencing your website…], “it still comes does”… ? 🙂

03. […suited to be answering the questions that your outsourced Filipino writer….] “that ” should be changed to “than”.

04. […for some niches that requires a Phd..] “requires” => “require”.

05. […So, chose wisely…] “chose” => “choose”.

Spencer, can I review the articles that you write before you post them? 🙂

Spencer Haws

No. No one likes the grammar police.

John Moore

You are a better man than me. I would have deleted the gramnar cop’s snark. Really rude and cheap. Sorry, can’t stand when people do that

D.K. Fynn

This has been helpful and illuminating. I was thinking of creating a health and fitness site. Perhaps I’ll focus more on fitness. As for health, I’ll probably feature nutrition products, but perhaps those won’t be my main focus.


Holy Cow! Fresh off the press.

Talk about a roller coaster ride with the Medic update. About a week ago, I had checked on Semrush for a traffic change for August(medic update release period). Well Semrush gave a 31% decrease in traffic for

I happened to take another look just now on Semrush for the same website because I am doing alittle study with traffic changes. What I saw caused me to take my eyeglasses off, clean them and take a second look. I thought I was dreaming. Semrush had with a 90% percent traffic increase right before labor day weekend. Now unless there is some mistake, how on earth……well never mind!

Is the staff at geniuses who made some innovative counter adjustments to the medic update, or did the August google algorithm just re-adjust in favor of is some kinda crazy upswing. Maybe other sites have experienced this; this is a shocker to me! Any input would be welcome!

Carros A.

I was needing to read this. Already following your website, thanks Spencer!


Thank you so much first of all ! Well, after reading a lot about this Google update I already knew that the recent update is about Medic and Doc, so we need to stay away from these niches but Thank you spencer that you cleared me some other niches like finance and teeth care are also the same, Now I am gonna choose the niche where no degree required because All I have is the Software Eng. Degree !


I’m wondering if a non-expert can’t interview experts with appropriate links and be ok in the age of the medic update? Also, what I’ve noticed is that on a lot of sites, the author’s bio is often missing.

I guess what I’m saying is if I’m writing about heart disease and interview a medical doctor …and have my bio underneath, that’s gotta help with trudt (even though I’m not a physician).

Where sites in this update get into trouble (from what I’ve seen) is giving out specific medical treatment advice without having a credential in that field and/or not having a direct source (meaning human) who is an expert in the narrative (meaning an interview).

And again, the bio of the author being included likely matters.

monoyer chowdhury

Great example of niche and these make the concept very clear. great work haw! I though Google going make every complex for us. Bit hopeful now. thanks

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