We reported last month on how Google had begun including Google+ pages in their search results. This week, they took it a giant leap further with the introduction of something they call “Search, plus Your World.”
Search+ allows patients to display customizes search results based on their friends’ Google+ pages. Before this week, patients would see a basic search results page that looks like:
With Search+, patients will see a search results page that looks like:
As you can see, this personalized content doctors a huge advantage to taking control of how a search for their own name is displayed on Google. By being able to have your own content as the top results displayed, you’ll be able to deprecate any 3rd party websites that have been using your name to advertise for your competition. (This is also why many of those other sites are crying foul and using words like “antitrust.“)
There are a few catches though. In order for your results to show up in a patient’s personal search results, you’ll need to be connected to them. (This is another one of those brilliant backdoors we’ve mentioned before that Google has devised to gain users to catch up in the social networking space.) And, currently, the patient has to opt to turn on Search+ by clicking a button on the search page. (Which we imagine will be one of Google’s arguments against the antitrust accusations.)
Patients are already researching healthcare online. More than 2/3 of that research starting on a search engine like Google – which itself owns around a 2/3 share of the search market. As everything online becomes more social, and as patients continue to look for advice from people they know & trust, Search+ has the potential to make online search an even more effective channel to reach patients.
Want some shiny stars to go with your Search+ results? Claim your free DoctorBase profile and learn how the Panda gets your star ratings displayed in Google Search+ results at: