Search Quality Ratings Guidelines for Dentists (part 1)

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Patient Attraction Episode 715

Last year, Google released a 160-page document that details what its human website evaluators are using as judging criteria. It’s not the search algorithm, but it shows what the search engine considers important. I’ll be back after to the break to tell you how dentists can use the guidelines for better search engine page placement.


– I’ve got 2 buzz phrases for you today: mobile rules, and needs met.

– I’m Colin Receveur, and welcome to the podcast.

– Search engine criteria are always evolving, and business owners have to try to keep up.

– Thanks to Google’s “2015 Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines,” I can share with you the big picture of what Google is looking for on your site.

– This will be a 2-day review, because there’s a lot to cover.

– First, mobile rules: Smartphone use is skyrocketing.

– More and more people are running searches on their phones.

– Google has a “mobile-friendly test,” and getting a passing grade is an absolute requirement.

– In fact, you can run their test on your own site.

– But you can also evaluate your own mobile website.

– Basically, it’s all about appearance, legibility, and functionality.

– Here are some things to check.

– How well does your site fit on a small screen?

– Is your content readable without scrolling left or right?

– Are all the features usable?

– How easy are the navigation features to use?

– How easily can the user enter data or fill out forms on the screen?

– Do the images fit?

– And last, how does your site behave when the user is on a slow or inconsistent connection?

– If you think about those guidelines, they’re all about ease of use and the user’s experience.

– If your mobile website doesn’t provide a good user experience, it’s time to make changes, pronto.

– I’ll just mention that the rules are somewhat different for handhelds like tablets.

– That’s the user experience; what about the content the user finds?

– One other way that search criteria have evolved is that just 2 years ago, the emphasis was on “relevant” content.

– Now, the criterion is how well the content meets the user’s needs, based on the search query.

– The 3 “needs met” criteria for mobile web pages are that they should:

– Require minimal effort to immediately access or use what users are looking for.

– Satisfy all or almost all users looking for the same thing.

– Provide content that is trustworthy, authoritative, and/or complete.


– For mobile pages, the ratings run from “Fails to Meet” to Slightly, Moderately, Highly, and Fully Meets.

– Your site should Highly Meet the criteria.

– The “needs met” test goes far beyond these three requirements, though.

– Tomorrow, I’ll take a much deeper look at the needs met test and what you need to do to satisfy it.

– And I’ll tell you why your dental website is held to a higher standard than, say, a retailer.

– Here’s a hint: Your dental practice website is considered a “Your Money or Your Life” site.

– Until then, keep moving forward.