You should know by now that patients are going to Google to “look you up.” You may also know that Google is always changing their algorithm and the anatomy of their search results.
We recently noticed that Google has made another change to the search engine results pages that all doctors, dentists and other healthcare providers should know about.
Well, because as easy as it is for a patient searching for you to easily find your competition, Google has just made it easier.
Google Now Showing Alternative Doctor and Clinic Carousels in Search Mobile Results
Today, when a patient takes out their phone and Google’s your name they’re likely to be greeted by several new carousels that showcase competing providers, clinics and alternative specialties nearby.
Nicknamed a carousel because you can scroll through and almost never-ending stream, causing you to go “round-and-round” this feature shows patients a picture of the alternative provider or practice, followed by their name and their review score (plus number of total reviews).
While the positioning of the carousels comes at the bottom of the page, where it’s less likely to be seen by the majority of patient searchers, there’s nothing stopping Google from placing them a bit higher up in the search engine results.
Google has already shown a willingness to show carousels such as this higher in the search results. In fact in some professional services verticals the carousels are taking the form of paid advertisements.
Unfortunately, there currently is no way to combat this move to show competitive alternatives.
We will be sure to continue watching this as it develops and will be sure to post more as we see it.