There are many healthcare providers who dread hearing “Dr. Google” quoted in the exam room. From inaccurate or misleading information to downright “malpractice” (says Tanya Feke, MD in a blog posted on ), Dr. Google is a challenge for physicians when dealing with patient education. I asked Google expert (actually, Guru) Mark Traphagen of Stone Temple Consulting to join me in a conversation about the “Good News/Bad News” regarding health information online and what a healthcare practitioner can do to become a trusted voice in their community. Listen to our conversation or drop in at the discussion topics below.

00:00 Intro
00:45 Mark Traphagen – Guru
03:30 “Dr. Google Should be Sued for Malpractice”
04:50 Healthy skepticism for online health information
05:55 Google is part of the solution, Google’s ranking algorithm
07:00 Up to 20% of Google searches are health related
07:30 Google’s Direct Answers
08:18 “How do I boil and egg”
08:40 Google Highlights one answer from one source
09:12 Google partnering with trusted healthcare organizations
09:52 Re-purposing existing content or producing new content?
10:30 Pre-approving content
12:30 Competition between large healthcare brands for providing content
14:01 Do we care about anything other than Google?
14:24 “Google’s Mission is to organize the information of the world and diseminate it.”
14:58 You’ve got to be more creative than ever.
15:38 Can Bing or Yahoo compete with Google?
16:00 “The User doesn’t give a hoot about you. They just want the answer.”
16:44 How many trusted sources do you need for information?
18:13 Google’s Truth Algorithm “Knowledge-Based Trust”
20:15 Become a reliable and trusted source, and you could gain a “truth rank” from Google
20:50 Local emphasis may become more important
22:00 Does linking a blog post to a highly regarded website help with ranking?
24:34 If you are building a good content site – cross link to other content on your site
25:00 Create reasons to link content from other places on your website or blog
25:35 Pogo-Sticking
26:30 Google measures time spent on your website?
28:00 Google wants “useful’ information – not just “good.”
29:23 Google Search Quality Guidelines – Human evaluation of content
30:17 Google wants to provide more than the answer to the question
31:00 Don’t write for Google – write for your audience
31:35 Serve as a Physician online and offline but still need technical expertise
33:05 Next time: Mark shares his own patient experience
34:32 Social Media Tip: Mary Pat Whaley – Content ideas for your blog

Links and Resources:

The Stone Temple Consulting blog archive

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Links referenced in the show:

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