Dr. Google

Schooling Dr. Google with Mark Traphagen

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 KevinMD.com ), 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: