When you do a google search, you are by default shown 10 search results per page. If you use google’s Instant Search feature (where search results show up as you’re typing in the search box), then you will always see 10 results per page. If you do not use Instant Search, then you can change your settings to customize how many search results you want on each page. Since very few people change the default settings on anything, it’s safe to assume that when a patient searches for your name or practice, they are seeing 10 results on the first page. While many people stop on the first page, the second page of search results is also considered important – especially since those could easily jump onto the first page at any time.
An important rule when you’re looking at what comes up on the first 2 pages of search results for your personal or practice name is that google will generally display a maximum of 2 search results from any one domain. So even if you have a great website for your practice, and it has quite a few pages of information with your name, google will very likely only choose 1 or 2 of those pages to display early in the search results. The reason for this is that google attempts to show a variety of search results in order to make it more likely that the searcher will find something interesting. So even in the unlikely situation that the first 2 pages of search results for your name contain 2 results from each domain listed, you will still have at least 10 different domains represented in what people see when they search for you. Hopefully if you have a website, that’s one domain that’s showing up. Likely other top search results candidates are: facebook, linkedin, healthgrades, citysearch, and vitals. The more profiles you control, the more control you have over what patients see.
For this reason and others, it’s important to put an active effort into maintaining or improving your online image. Here is one specific way to gain more control over your online reputation. We’ll continue to give you more information about this topic, and more suggestions for how to affect your online presence.