Since Google has become the King Kong of search (remember Ask Jeeves, AltaVista?), it kind of behaves like King Kong — it likes what it likes and if that bugs you then what are you going to do about it?
Google owns search now, so what Google like Google gets. Kind of like that song from Damn Yankees, “Whatever Lola wants, Lola gets…”
You went out and had your nephew design your practice website (despite our blogs recommending otherwise), and now you can’t figure out why you’re not showing up in Google search. Let’s go over a few things that Google hates. Maybe your site features some of these things and is being penalized by Google for them.
No links for sale
Money can’t buy you love, and it can’t buy links on other sites. Your nephew heard that Google loves links to and from other sites. Ah, but did you buy that link that was then placed in the footer of the site? Google can figure out that’s not an authentic link and it punishes your site for said behavior.
More ads than TV golf
This isn’t a problem for most practice sites (especially when we build them), but sometimes you will see ads from various vendors on practice websites. Questionable ethically? Probably. Questionable to Google? Probably. Google sees all of those ads and it assumes this impairs the visitor experience. It drops you in rankings.
Small guy versus big behemoth
Google likes big companies, for some reason. Maybe it’s because Google is a really, really, really big company itself. Google tends to rank big companies ahead of independent local small businesses. Again, this probably isn’t as much of a problem for practice sites, unless you’re up against some massive hospital that offers many of the same procedures your practice does. But because of the big/small bias, it’s imperative your site is optimized.
Google changed search a few years back to decrease the power of keywords, opting instead to reward rich content. But if your content is thin — say just one paragraph describing an elaborate surgical procedure — Google sees that as not helping your visitors understand what your procedure is and if they should have it done or not. Your reward for lame content? Demotion in ranking.
When your nephew was populating your site, he went out and stole a bunch of content from competitors’ sites. Beyond being a copyright infringement, Google knows this is duplicate content and it punishes your site for having it, as it should. Your content needs to be unique, written for your site solely, and that content needs to be educational for your patients and potential patients. Then Google will love you.
Not mobile friendly
If your site was built for desktop, that means users have to try and pull screens to enlarge text. It means photos don’t display correctly. It means a visitor is going to hit your site and run away screaming after a few seconds later.
Google knows if your site is mobile friendly or not. And if it isn’t, you can sing a funeral dirge the next time you want to appear in search. This is because mobile search passed desktop search a couple years back and the trend is only increasing. And that includes medical search. All of our Advice Media client sites are completely mobile friendly.
Google Insights; How Patients Search For Medical Advice
Your nephew built your site with Flash so that he could make a bunch of cool animations. Like Apple, Google also doesn’t like Flash. When its Googlebots crawl your page, they want to read text. Text in a Flash website isn’t readable to the bots. The bots don’t see the relevance of your site or what purpose it is serving, so Google demotes you in search.
If your site is built poorly, with incorrect load orders and such, it will be clunky and load slowly for visitors. Google likes fast, efficient sites. If your photos aren’t compressed, if your site isn’t otherwise correctly optimized for search, good luck ranking. Google likes speed and effective design.
These are just a few of Google’s pet peeves with site design. These issues are constantly changing, and your nephew probably hasn’t stayed in tune with them. That’s why it’s time to call in the experienced designers, SEO experts, and the wherewithal of Advice Media. For over two decades we’ve been building the best medical websites in the industry, and making sure those sites are loved by Google, and correspondingly ranked higher in organic search.
Tired of your site being lost in the netherworld of the Internet? Call us at Advice Media. We can fix that.