"Dr. Google will see you now": New medical update for SERPs

For every Google search there are thousands, if not millions of sources of information at your disposal. Although this is rarely a bad thing, if you’re feeling unwell and you want to find out what your symptoms mean (but aren’t sure you want to trouble your GP just yet), it can make working out what’s wrong very difficult indeed.

Around one percent of all Google searches are symptom-related, so to help people find the answers to these medical questions more easily, the search engine will soon be rolling out a new feature of the results pages.

Google made the announcement on their blog last week:

“Starting in the coming days, when you ask Google about symptoms like ‘headache on one side,’ we’ll show you a list of related conditions (‘headache’, ‘migraine’, ‘tension headache’, ‘cluster headache’, ‘sinusitis’, and ‘common cold’).

“For individual symptoms like ‘headache’, we’ll also give you an overview description along with information on self-treatment options and what might warrant a doctor’s visit.”

The feature will utilise Google’s Knowledge Graph which has been collecting medical information from high authority websites on the subject, while they have been working with a team of doctors and Harvard Medical School experts to ensure the information provided is as accurate as possible.

The rollout is just in English for US mobile devices for now, however it is Google’s intention to expand it to different languages and countries soon.

This rollout continues the trend of Google providing more and more content within the SERPs themselves, rather than requiring users to click through to the various listings to discover the information. It’s a controversial strategy with webmasters who have seen traffic levels dropping for searches where the Knowledge Graph provides information directly in the SERPs. However, for these types of searches I can definitely see the benefit to users who have struggled to navigate the myriad of - occasionally conflicting - medical information available.

Do you want to improve your position in the SERPs? We can help your business - just click below to get in touch.

Our content includes affiliate links. This means that we may receive a commission if you make a purchase through one of the links on our website. This will be at no cost to you and helps to fund the content creation work on our website.