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Google Updates Give Doctors More Reason to Blog

Recent updates made to Google’s search algorithm have put website owners on alert for misuse of keywords and unnatural links to their websites.

Google Penguin, which made its debut in April 2012, is aimed at decreasing search engine rankings of websites that use ‘black-hat’ SEO techniques i.e. the use of shortcuts and loopholes to rank web pages higher than they deserve to be ranked. Such tactics do not benefit users since they worsen the search experience by introducing unrelated links and overused keywords that have no real context to the rest of the content.

What does this have to do with doctors?

Black Hat

Google updates target 'black hat' SEO tactics that worsen the search experience for users

Image Credit: ‘Hat tip’ to my 4-yr old for the 6:00am photo shoot 🙂

The Blogging Doctor

These days patients naturally use search engines to ask questions about their health issues. Medical blogs and healthcare sites provide a good source of information for these questions. In fact no medical social media strategy would be complete without a blog. Doctors with high quality sites tend to update their blogs often with relevant content that benefits both patients and search engines.

A recent article published by Dr. Howard Luks explains how to evaluate your medical website for high quality content:

  • For a health related query, would you trust information from this site?
  • Does the article provide original content or information, original reporting, original research, or original analysis?
  • Does the page provide substantial value when compared to other pages in search results?
  • Does the article describe both sides of a story?
  • Is this the sort of page you’d want to bookmark, share with a friend, or recommend?

Google’s goal with these new updates is to reward high quality content and credible sites, which is a good reason why doctors should blog. Dr. Luks also gives fair warning to medical sites that use agencies which encourage them to violate positive and constructive SEO. To learn more about how Google’s algorithm changes affect medical sites, read the full article here.

Over to you: Is your medical site publishing high quality content? Call or email if you’d like a free evaluation of your website content.

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