Google’s latest Panda 3.5 update is about content quality and penalizes misuse of keywords. Physicians using SEO agencies who advise stuffing pages with keywords without real context may already see traffic dropping off. You want to achieve natural organic search results with relevant and updated content.
Google’s new Penguin update targets unnatural links, the kind people buy in link-building strategies to link to their websites. Now Google is rewarding you for linking out to other credible sites. If you link to other colleagues or research institutions, you are seen as more credible.
Google’s goal with the new changes is to reward high-quality sites and combat spam.
High-quality medical websites regularly update their content, and a blog is one of most important tools. With a blog, you keep your content fresh and stay relevant with Google’s search algorithms. You also build authority which attracts Google and new business. Patients will find the physician who expresses and shares his expertise.
Why a High-Quality Medical Website Needs a Blog
Patients naturally use search engines to ask questions, and a blog is a great way to answer those questions. You probably answer the same questions every day in the same way--put it in a blog post! Chances are many potential new patients have the same questions. Putting your answers down in a blog post will actually save you time, and establish you as an authority on the topic. Content authority is what Google wants to see with the new updates. This will also enable you to compete in the world of “long-tail” search as opposed to trying to go up against the big guns in the short tail search world.
Content is the New Marketing
My post on whether or not a meniscus tear requires surgery is the most valuable question I answer on my website and the greatest driver of traffic. Since I first posted the answer to that question in March of 2011, I have had more than 80,000 views on my website for that question alone and 235 comments! This is a great example of a long tail search success.
What is the most important question in your practice?
Another great source for blog content is current medical news. You attend conferences in your medical specialty and read the latest research. You also hear about medical developments in the news–and so do your patients. Share the news with your patients, and add a brief opinion. Blog posts do not have to be long, 300 to 450 words is a good target for most subjects.
By reading this blog, you agree not to use this blog as medical advice to treat any medical condition in either yourself or others, including but not limited to patients that you are treating. Consult your own physician for any medical issues that you may be having. This entire disclaimer also applies to any guests or contributors to the blog. Under no circumstances shall this blog or any contributors to the blog be responsible for damages arising from use of the blog.
Furthermore, this blog should not be used in any legal capacity whatsoever, including but not limited to establishing “standard of care” in a legal sense or as a basis for expert witness testimony. No guarantee is given regarding the accuracy of any statements or opinions made on the blog.
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