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The vast majority of dentists in this survey report they’ve searched for themselves online. Google, of course, was the leader.
"For marketing, all dentists should know 1) where they are on search engines, and 2) what is being said about them," said one dentist.
While Google is the obvious place to start, there are other dentist review websites to check as well. One in six dentists reports searching for themselves on Yelp.
Other sites dentists search include Yahoo, search engines, and consumer review sites.
Search engine positioning is directly related to internet marketing success
- "If you have a website on the internet, you better search your site at least monthly to see where it is positioned on the search engines!" (Ohio prosthodontist)
- "If you are not on the first page of Google and other search engines, then you are not on the internet for practical purposes." (Illinois dentist)
You can't always control the message
- "I have heard that there are places where upset patients can go and leave a derogatory message and you have no way to refute it?? Is this true??" (California orthodontist)
Editor's Note: That is essentially correct. While many consumer review sites allow you to respond to negative reviews, not all do. The most troubling example of this is Yelp. In fact, a California dentist recently filed a libel lawsuit over a bad review on Yelp.
Keeping your contact info current
- "It is amazing how much information is incorrect and not entered by me. For example, I moved to another area of the country, and the websites still had me listed under an address from 4 years previous!" (Illinois periodontist)
Don’t you want to know what they say about you?
- "From a marketing point of view — all dentists should know 1) If and where they are on search engines — increasingly patients pick their dentist from an internet search, 2) What is being said about the practice/dentist." (Washington orthodontist)
- "It's a good idea to see what your patients are reading about you." (New York dentist)
Just keeping an eye out
- "Actually it was not ego but curiosity, especially after friends said they surfed me." (Connecticut dentist)
- "Looking for flames or leaky web sites polluting the internet with personal information about me, like home phone numbers or other inappropriate info for the web." (California dentist)
Note: Survey sample included 67 respondents.