synptom search hurts doctors

Symptom Search Google and Mayo Clinic

Medical Will Be Harder To Rank

The “Symptoms Search” program of Google’s and the Mayo Clinic team up to help people but may end up hurting doctors in the mean time.

synptom search hurts doctors

Doc’s might get hurt with Symptom Search

Medical directories and sales pages fight to make it to the first page of the search engines because it makes money for them in several ways. Directories charge Doctors to be in them. They often rank way higher than all of the Doctor website’s that they charge for.

From experience we have found that many people get upset from clicking so many times to find their doctor’s website. Those clicks can also generate income for the Directory website. The bottom line is the main concern for many directory sites not the health and wellness of their visitors.

This plan will upset the search engine rankings. At least rearrange them pushing the doctor websites even further down in the search engines. Doctors get hit up early in their careers to rent a website. It seems like a good deal because a new doc has so much on their plate to even think about a site. These websites are rented from a provider that shares the same media on all of their “client websites”. This creates several problems for the site right at the get go. Rather than discussing the negatives of renting, lets look at why it is better own.

Building Value into Your Practice

Unfortunately, Most doctors are way to busy to look into what it takes to get a website.  Below are 11 compelling reasons why it is the right choice to own your website rather than rent.

  1. It builds a real monetary value in their practice.
  2. It builds brand recognition into their practice.
  3. Creates trust in patients looking for a doctor.
  4. Build authority in their field or specialty.
  5. Puts their practice on the map (literally).
  6. Allows the doctor to take control of what is found online about them.
  7. Over time, it is much less expensive.
  8. If the company you rent from quits, you lose your site.
  9. You have legal ownership of your website URL
  10. Your medical practice & website build real value for your patients and business.
  11. You own all of the results of your search marketing.

Helping local Doctors be found easily when a search is made it is one of our primary missions as an SEO agency. We would like to make a difference for people that need medical help. Searching for and finding a Doctor that can help you when you need help should be easy.

Below is an exert from the Consumers Guide News Letter.

We all do it. At the first sign of illness we head for the internet and Google our symptoms.

What we find, of course, could be almost anything. Credible medical information is often mixed in with some highly questionable advice – advice that may not be vetted or from a credible source. Sometimes these questionable sites rank higher than those from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) or other trusted sources.

Back in 2014, researchers at the University of Florida published an interesting study that broad topic searches, such as “ear infection,” produced a search string in which more credible sources ranked higher.

But a search for more specialized and esoteric topics, like vaccines for newborns, produced a string where blogs and forums on the topic ranked higher. Most of the people posting opinions hadn’t gone to medical school.

Google’s Symptom Search

Will the Mayo Clinic be the first in the search engine results when it comes to medical searches? We will have to see for ourselves through testing. We have a team that investigates and tests SEO related data everyday.

The Mayo Clinic is taking steps that it hopes will place its advice in a more prominent position  In cooperation with Google Mobile Search, the Clinic is having its experts write concise descriptions and advice for a wide range of specific medical issues to be disseminated through a new feature called Google Symptom Search.

A symptom search using ordinary, non-medical terms will show a list of related conditions. A search for “headache” will show an overview, and provide links to self-treatment options and advice on when it is a good idea to seek help from a healthcare professional.

Mayo Clinic has enlisted teams of doctors and expert clinicians to assemble and vet the information. The goal is to get good information to consumers quickly, using the way they are most likely to seek it.

The Clinic says Google will navigate searchers to the information that may include details about how common a condition is, risk factors, and suggestions on when to seek medical care.

Mayo Clinic Verified By Google

“Providing reliable and accessible health information at the digital consumers’ initial point of need — such as through Google search — is a natural extension of Mayo Clinic and our health information website,,” said Sandhya Pruthi, M.D., chief medical editor, Mayo Clinic Global Business Solutions.

For its part, Google reviewed the information provided by Mayo Clinic and verified it with independent medical authorities.

The new feature also comes with a disclaimer. Mayo Clinic says the information it provides online is not intended to be medical advice or a diagnostic tool, and it is presented for informational purposes only.

Doctors Please Read

Baffman Media has the technology and resources to keep your site on the first page of the SERP’s don’t worry. If you do not have your practice in our hands, talk to the company that does. Make sure they are aware of the changes coming and that they already have a plan in place when the Axe falls. We are happy to help you find out if the proper measures have been taken to ensure your business website is working for you.

We do not believe in chasing the Google algorithm. we take your company to where Google is going.

Give us a call tool free at, 1-800-585-5201 or Find Out Now 

Thank You, Baffman

Baffman Media and the google 2016 preformance summit

Mobile First World

Mobile First & AdWords~

Baffman Media and the google 2016 preformance summit

Google Performance Summit 2016

Today I had the chance to see the Google Performance Summit live stream event. It was made abundantly clear that “the shift to mobile is no longer a change on the horizon. It’s here, says Google’s senior vice president, ads and commerce, Sridhar Ramaswamy.  The summit was all about mobile use by people throughout their daily moments in life situations. Google called them “I want to know, I want to go, I want to do and I want to buy.” They presented each one of these moments and responded with a well thought out scenario how the new mobile first ad words platform is going to help satisfy their needs.

Below is a list of bullet points that I got from Search Engine Land. They have a great detailed read about the Summit.

  • Google announces significant changes to AdWords bidding and text ads
  • Google AdWords to break up tablet & desktop and enable a mobile base bid
  • Official: Google to roll out Expanded Text Ads for all devices
  • Saying a third of mobile searches are local, Google brings “Promoted Pins” to Maps
  • Google has measured 1 billion+ store visits from AdWords ads globally
  • Google to expand “Store Visits” online-to-offline foot traffic measurement
  • WATCH: Google lets you speak in natural language & get analytics reports
  • Google is completely redesigning AdWords: Offers first peek
  • Google confirms live demo of new AdWords redesign will happen on May 24
  • Google now handles at least 2 trillion searches per year

As you can see this is quite a menu of items that were talked about and demonstrated on the beautiful, giant, wide screen Google used.

How will Mobile First affect SEO?

There were many statistics used to drive home Google’s various points. There are three of those stats that really struck me.

  1.  Google handles at least two trillion searches per year.
  2.  Close to half of that 2 trillion is from mobile and tablet.
  3. One third of “Local Searches” are made on mobile. (21,000 searches per second approx.)

That is really very impressive. But, how will that affect our clients and soon to be clients. After all that is the most important question to us. Don’t worry clients, we got it covered. We always test our client websites for mobile compatibility. We use web developer tools to do that and we also look up our client websites on a laptop, tablet and phone (Android and Apple). The proof is in the pudding so to speak, so verifying websites on a real device is the best test.  We also build dedicated mobile web-pages for those that need them.

We received an extra amount of phone calls today asking directly if we had to change our SEO strategy because of the summit news. The answer is a resounding no. No, we will not have to change the way we optimize a website for search engines. No, we will not have to change the way we go after key words and no we will not change the aggressive strategy we employ in our authority brand building program.  We have, and will continue to move our clients digital assets toward where Google is going and not just where Google is.  That is one of our biggest differences as a top level Agency.

Final thoughts on Mobile First

Because we are continuously monitoring the changes Google makes, big and small. Todays news was not a surprise in any way. It is not a secret that people use there mobile phone constantly. I would have a hard time going back to a pager and my suitcase sized mobile phone that I left in my truck 80% of the time.  I don’t think that will ever happen! I hope. Change is a constant in our digital world.  The changes that are being made to the Ad Word program will help many businesses.

Because search engine optimization is our business, our focus is on staying ahead of the upcoming penalties and filters that will begin to take affect. We expect those to come on slow at first. But, will eventually become an issue for many sites. The new normal going forward will be to create websites that will easily fall in line with the new standards and best practices. Local businesses will need to be easily found and be user friendly on mobile devices.

Fortunately for our clients we do not depend on Ad Words directly for their success getting to page one in the SERPs.  We help get you there by helping you build a strong, value containing web property or, “digital asset” as I like to say. Google has and always will serve up websites that offer trusted, valuable content to their customers. By helping our clients do just that, we are in turn, helping Google give their customers the best results for their search queries.

That is a win, win, win situation. Our clients win, Google wins and we win.

Thank You For Reading, Joseph