Did Google Penalise Your Dental Marketing Company’s Website?
Big players in the dental website and marketing sector crash in Google – is your site safe?
Over the holiday period I took the opportunity to take a look at how our competitors were doing with their Google ranking and what I found came as a bit of a surprise; but more of that in a moment. Our own website is typically up near the top of Google, but like any diligent business, we still assess our competitor’s performance periodically to see if we need to adjust our own search engine optimisation.
The process is quite similar to how we optimise and improve the performance of our dental client’s websites to help bring them the huge business benefits of a prominent Google ranking.
So what did I spot? What quickly became clear is that two of the long-standing agencies who are well-known and who have been around for quite a while, have been demoted quite severely by Google in the search results. It didn’t surprise me too much that one of the companies had been hit as they’ve been penalised on a number of occasions before. However, the other company has historically been at the top of Google for various digital marketing terms, and despite using questionable SEO tactics, seemed to escape penalty. However, this time it finally looks like Google has caught up with them and justifiably so.
Both of these companies, perhaps the two largest in the UK, have been pushed way down in the rankings for most of the important dental marketing search terms, e.g. dental web design, dental websites, SEO, marketing for dentists etc. This will certainly have affected the number of web enquiries they are receiving as well as raising a question mark about their credibility. The business owners will likely be quite worried; I know I would be. Indeed we can already see that they’re trying to address the situation by doing things like changing their domain name etc – this type of action normally indicates that the penalty they received was quite severe and possibly even unrecoverable.
Why is this important to know?
So whilst this is quite important to know if you are considering their services, what is even more important is if you are already a client. The reason for this is quite simple in that if they’ve used techniques which have been penalised on their own websites, then it’s extremely likely that they’ve done similar with their client’s websites too. Unfortunately it’s only a matter of time before Google catches up and issues a penalty, whether automatically via their algorithmic tools, or via a manual inspection.
Indeed we’ve had a number of clients move to us from both of these companies and in several cases, we had to remove clumsy SEO attempts to help get their websites back on track. This was both in the off-site and on-site context; for example disavowing spammy back-links and removing stuffed keywords in website content.
Do you think your practice website has been affected?
Unfortunately there are potentially hundreds of dentists websites who could be affected by this. We won’t name the suppliers but maybe take a look in Google to see if your website company is still ranking right up there at the top of Google; perhaps where they were when you first contracted their services? Or are they now a fair way further down the list? This should give you a pretty clear idea. If those companies are also carrying out SEO for you, then you have reason to be concerned – remember that if their own websites crashed down the search ranking, it’s likely just a matter of time that those same SEO techniques will penalise your website too. So even if you’re OK at the moment, things can and likely will, change.
What can you do about it?
First thing is to get an independent check from a bona fide SEO expert such as the team here at Dental Media. We have many years of experience in promoting dentist’s websites and recovering those which have been penalised by Google. So we’ll be able to see what is going on and advise you accordingly.
This is not a “scare” article designed to make you jump ship to a different marketing company; unfortunately it’s an accurate description of what’s happening in the world of SEO for dentists. There are too many companies who will wreck your website if you’re not careful, even some of the most well-known ones; so please be careful.
If you’d like a transparent, no-obligation audit of your own practice website and any SEO that has been undertaken, please call 01332 672548 to arrange with our team.Google+