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Today, a steadily increasing number of people are turning to the internet for advice on medical problems, specific medical treatments and procedures. Hence medical SEO that specifically targets potential patients can help medical websites to rank well in search engine results pages. With growing popularity of medical searches, SEO is becoming a necessity in today’s fast-paced digital world. However, ranking algorithms are constantly being updated and in order to enjoy a top position in search engine result pages, it is important to discard some old school SEO techniques.

Last year Google announced the introduction of Rank Brain which is an artificial intelligence system that can even detect pages that don’t have the exact keywords mentioned in the search query. The relevance for SERP is now determined by various factors and following are some of the methods that should be ditched:

  1. Keyword stuffed content: Search engines rank pages based on keywords but overuse of keywords in the content is an outdated technique. Repetition of short keywords or long tail keywords can clutter your page and search engines may penalize over optimized content. Similarly, over-optimizing Meta description too is not a contributing factor for better search engine ranking.Google lists the following as examples of keyword stuffing.
    • Blocks of text listing the cities and states a web page is trying to rank for
    • Lists of phone numbers without substantial added value
    • Repeating the same words and phrases again and again so that it sounds unnatural. For example, “We sell custom cigar humidors. Our custom cigar humidors are handmade. If you’re thinking of buying a custom cigar humidor, please contact our custom cigar humidor specialists at cigar.humidors@example.com.”

    Keyword stuffing contributes to a poor user experience because of its unnaturalness. It can be avoided by including only those keywords that are relevant to the web page subject. Concentrate on developing content that is interesting to the user and in which your main keyword is included naturally.

  2. Article spinners: Article spinners are created to produce pages for every keyword variant. The words and phrases in an article are replaced to provide an alternative version of the original article. Article spinners aim at increasing the probability of showing up on the search result pages. However, this is not a good strategy now because Google devalues such content.
  3. Link building: A few years ago, sending your website to link directories and article mass production could increase SEO ranking as they were considered as ways of back linking but this practice was misused by many websites that started posting low quality content. But now that the search engine algorithm is revised,this strategy is no longer useful.
  4. Misuse of anchor links: Hyperlinks help in increasing the traffic to the website but over doing it cannot help with ranking. Attaching irrelevant links to anchor text for improving visibility is an outdated practice. Click bait links are manipulative and can lead to spamming.
  5. Over use of guest blogging: Guest blogging is one of the popular link-building strategies but in the past few years this technique has been used for only earning links.According to Google’s webspam team head Matt Cutts, guest blogging shouldn’t be used to just gain links.
  6. Ignoring mobile optimization: The year 2016 has been the Year of Mobile since the release of mobile friendly update in April 2015. Websites that are not mobile optimized may experience a negative impact as a result of this update.
  7. Depending on Google Keyword Planner: Google Keyword Planner is a popular tool for keyword research but it is suitable only for paid search engines and not for organic search results.
  8. Ignoring social media: Not focusing on social media is a missed opportunity. Social media plays a crucial role in SEO. Industry experts say that the more the number of social shares of your content, the higher will be your ranking on search engines.

With more and more people on the internet everyday, it is vital for any medical business to stay ahead of the curve with an online presence.It is important to use the right medical SEO techniques ideally with the support of a healthcare digital marketing agency for better page ranking and visibility.

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