By Stewart Gandolf
Chief Executive Officer
Did you know that cheap medical websites may be upsetting Google and other search engines? A low-cost, template or D-I-Y website isn’t a bargain. It costs money and lost opportunity. Google (the biggest search engine on the planet) can spot duplicate content, and it doesn’t like plagiarism. A bottom-dollar website puts your search listing in the crapper.
Here’s a brief back-story to illustrate the discovery process.
Recently, I was preparing for one of our healthcare marketing seminars, which includes reviewing promotional materials that are in play in attendees’ service areas.
Whenever I suspect a template website, I test it for duplicate content using copyscape.com. Copyscape is a free online service that compares website text to existing Internet content. Sure enough, this cookie-cutter website is full of duplicate content. In the digital eyes of the search engine giant that’s plagiarism, and you will get spanked.
The downside of “pretty poison” websites…
The practitioner-owner of the website in question isn’t aware of the plagiarism. The website was purchased as a quick, easy (and cheap) digital marketing “solution.” In fact, the website is simple, but the appearance is great.
We call this “pretty poison.” On the surface, the website has a strong visual appeal. But beyond that, there is little or no Search Engine Optimization. SEO does the heavy lifting of reaching and attracting new patients.
It turns out that other doctors purchased this same template website, including duplicate content. The Google search algorithm that reviews sites also detects the (unwelcome) duplicate content. Offending websites will not appear high—or at all—in page rank position.
It may be a matter of semantics, but Google says it doesn’t have a penalty for duplicate content. In fact, duplicate content always ranks unfavorably against original content. Google’s intent is to reward unique, authoritative content in medical websites for doctors. The greater reward is reaching prospective patients and new business.
The provider practice that opted for a “low-cost” website inadvertently bought into “ineffective.”
What’s more, unoriginal and unimaginative content brings little or no value to users, readers or prospects. Poor quality or “thin” material—including duplicate content—works against success.
If this sounds familiar, you are upsetting Google.
It’s unhealthy to have one of those cheap-and-quick medical websites for doctors. Give us a call today, and we’ll help you get a fresh and more productive start on a site that works for you. We’d be happy to conduct a website review and to recommend how to improve your rapport with Google and the search engine results pages
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