What the Google+ Update Means for Your Practice
Google recently rolled out a highly-anticipated mobile responsive Google+ update and redesign, and it is having a huge impact on local listings for dental practices.
With the redesign, Google has opted to focus on content and community by removing visitors’ ability to view or generate reviews. At first glance, we understand that this new look could be a cause for concern regarding your practice. We’d like to take some time to explain the changes, so that you can feel worry-free about your practice’s listing in Google.
Previously, your Google+ page acted as a highlighted version of your website, where patients posted and read reviews and could catch up on your posts to the page. This earlier design of Google+ acted far more as a directory listing rather than a social media network.
The new Google+ page alleviates the clutter of the previous directory listing version and allows patients to get vital contact information quickly.
Google’s update also focuses on improving local community awareness and collection sharing. This will make it easier for users to find others who share the same passion for a particular hobby, interest, or organization. In doing this, we can see that Google is really pushing to enhance the social media aspect of Google+ in order to compete with other more popular social platforms, such as Facebook and Twitter. For now, Google requires users to have their own Google+ page before leaving a review, but it’s rumored that anyone will be able to leave a Google+ review in the future, as Google may continue to make the platform more open and accessible.
How does this affect my practice’s SEO?
Unfortunately, the “Write a Review” option is no longer available on the Google+ page. This makes it difficult to point patients in the right direction to write a review, but the option to review a business is still available on the knowledge graph in your Google search.
As a proactive measure, the Sesame SEO Team has begun to redirect our members’ traffic from the Google+ icon on their websites to the new review destinations in the Google search knowledge graph. It’s still very early on in measuring the effects of the update, so it’s difficult to say if reviews will carry the same weight in local search rankings moving forward. We will continue to monitor Google’s changes and work to put our members in the best possible position in local search listings!
If you would like to know how your practice website ranks in the search engines, click here to request a complimentary SEO report ($149 value) from Sesame! Don’t forget, WSDA members get at 5 percent discount on all services provided by Sesame Communications.
By Amy Sanford, SEO Manager, Sesame Communications (a WSDA Endorsed Company)