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How Dentists Can Adjust to Changes in SEO

Any idea what Pigeon, Possum, Penguin, Hummingbird, Panda, and Fred have in common? If you do, please contact our Human Resources Department and ask for an interview. If you do not, then congratulations, you are like 100% of all dentists that have a website and rely on Google to send you new visitors to your website. These are a few of the many names of Google’s search algorithms, the tremendously complicated science behind how Google reviews your website, what it’s looking for and how it presents its findings to web searchers.

Once upon a short while ago, webmasters were able to convince Google of the importance and relevance of any specific website, mostly by calling out certain keywords and descriptions, expecting to match up with user’s search words.

keyword practices of old no longer work
An example of meta name keywords embedded in a dental website.

15 years ago, not all dentists had a website, and if you had one and used something like the above keyword string, you could expect that your dental website would rather easily make it to the top of the search pages. And Google wasn’t constantly changing its algorithms, if your site made it up the search pages, it might just stay there.

Fast forward to 2010, Google begins changing results a few times per day with an algorithm named “Caffeine”. Then “Panda” shows up. Panda wants to judge if your website is high-quality or low-quality. With Panda Google begins the process of essentially reading your entire website all the time and determining if it is worthy to present to the search visitor. If Google thinks it is high-quality, original, relevant to the user, you will rank. If it decides you’ve got old, misplaced or borrowed text, good-bye to good rankings, you will fall.

How’s that impact, you the dentist? If your website is still built from old code and structured in a way that no one would consider current, you’ve probably already suffered the consequences and have fallen in rankings. Hopefully, that’s why you’re reading this article.

Google's search techniques have evolved greatly over the years
Screenshot of the original Google search page (1998)

With Google’s new approach, which is all about page relevance and quality, your web pages must satisfy what Google believes it’s web searchers expect to see on your website when they direct a visitor there. Your pages must satisfy the visitor with content that speaks directly and intelligently to them.

If Google sends your website a visitor based on their search of ‘dental implant’ and ‘specialist’, content that specifically speaks to issues of concern are expected to be on that page. If they are and the visitor spends some time on that page, better yet, clicks to another page – Google will reward you with enhanced search rankings. If the visitor ‘bounces’ off and leaves that page quickly, Google will assume that the content found there didn’t satisfy the visitor’s curiosity and interests.

Consider the searching habits of your patients.
It's important to consider the searching and web browsing habits of your patients.

With Google’s new approach, which is all about page relevance and quality, your web pages must satisfy what Google believes it’s web searchers expect to see on your website when they direct a visitor there. Your pages must satisfy the visitor with content that speaks directly and intelligently to them.

See this page for more on Google’s Quality Ratings.

If Google sends your website a visitor based on their search of ‘dental implant’ and ‘specialist’, content that specifically speaks to issues of concern are expected to be on that page. If they are and the visitor spends some time on that page, better yet, clicks to another page – Google will reward you with enhanced search rankings. If the visitor ‘bounces’ off and leaves that page quickly, Google will assume that the content found there didn’t satisfy the visitor’s curiosity and interests.

Google wants to see (and so does the visitor) that your website expresses a level of expertise, authority, and trust. This interpretation helps determines a website’s quality score. If you’re like most dentists, this sounds a bit variable and up for judgment – and yes it is. The human visitor will certainly make that judgment when they visit your website and Google is attempting to help them by pre-screening content and presenting to them only the high-quality sites.

So, how do you keep your content current, relevant and authoritative? Don’t go it alone. Ask for a FREE CONSULTATION from Optimized360. We will take the time to review your existing website, run and prepare reports that only we can secure and present to you and show you all the options. Maybe you just need a shot in the arm of some good SEO, or a PPC campaign, or an entire website makeover. Regardless you can trust the experts at Optimized360.

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