Can dental web content really go viral?

Yes! This example illustrates how viral content can sky-rocket your search results

rising Google positionsA few months ago we started a low-key SEO campaign for a dentist based in the south-east of England. This was using a typical set of techniques including regular blogging, back-links and selective use of social media to broadcast suitable web content.

By month three we’d managed to move the dentist’s website from the base of page one to position five, great progress in a relatively short period of time. This increased his website traffic and contacts very nicely but still leaving more work to do as competition for the top Google positions obviously increases as you progress upwards. Typically at this point, progress slows down and it can take many months to finally make it up in to the top positions, particularly where competition is fierce. However, slightly unexpectedly, at this point one of blog posts we had written for the client “went viral” and things really started to take off.

What happened and what can we learn?

A blog post we had written for the client covered the topic of baby teeth and how they shouldn’t be forcibly removed. It was fairly in-depth, well-researched and drew on several bona fide references across the web, maintaining the usual high standards we set for our content generation. The blog was duly published and nothing much happened for a week or two. Then one evening, we noticed very high bandwidth usage on the client’s website which was far in excess of normal – 50 to 60 time more! So something was clearly going on. This continued for several days.

On inspection of the server statistics, it became clear that the client’s blog post had been picked up and used in several posts on the web, including YouTube and Reddit, two huge sites. This resulted from a post made by a man who’d removed his son’s tooth by attaching it to a projectile which yanked out the tooth when it was launched – not recommended! Argument about this tooth removal “technique” ensued on various forums and the dentist’s blog was used as a reference in many of the comments across several very large websites. Our client’s site was actually visited thousands of times as a result, explaining the huge jump in bandwidth. Those visits have slowed down a lot but are still very healthy weeks later.

What did the dentist gain from this?

You may think “so what” to a bunch of website visits from people who were, on the whole, unlikely to become patients of the dentist concerned. However, there was another enormous benefit from this activity which you may not have considered – i.e. a big jump in the dentist’s Google ranking. In the space of a few days, his site jumped from position 5 to position 1 for a range of the most popular dental search terms. This is because of the back-links which had been created by the posters who had referenced his website and also from the huge increase in activity on the website itself.

Google picks up and processes these types of signals very quickly and as we’ve seen in this case, can rapidly promote your site as a result.

So far the ranking positions are holding nicely and the new back-link profile should help to keep it that way for some time to come.


Whilst this is quite an extreme case and needed a little bit of luck, it does show how great content which is picked up and used by others, can really help a website’s progress. Not just with immediate extra traffic but for longer term SEO results too.

If you’d like to know more about these types of search engine optimisation techniques and how we can help with your own practice website, please get in touch with the Dental Media digital marketing team on 01332 672548. Our team will be pleased to review your website and discuss options to improve your website search ranking, traffic levels and new patient acquisition.