Google UPDATE for Dentists: New Google Places Layout and How it Affects Dental Marketing

Tuesday, July 13th, 2010 at 9:02am by Linda Buquet

Yesterday I blogged about a drastic change in Google search results layout that they are currently testing that could make LOCAL listings much more important and push organic rankings further down the page.

I promised to show you today one change THAT HAS ALREADY HAPPENED and is currently live, that shows Google intends to give LOCAL listings and Google Place pages MUCH greater visibility and more real estate on the home page.

I’ll illustrate the differences with screen shots from 2 of my Dentists I recently got top rankings for. If you are a Dentist that spends time at the DT forum, you know these two Drs. well! :-)

1st up, Dr. Howard Goldstein. This image illustrates the CURRENT Google layout you are used to seeing.

7 LOCAL listings next to the map :: Name linked to website :: 2 lines per listing

Note: I just started working with Howard a couple weeks ago and already got him 7 Page ONE rankings – and I’m just getting started!

Plus see other major differences as noted below.

Note: I only worked on Chip’s account for one day to fix a couple things really quick for him. Now he’s on my waiting list, so won’t be starting the rest of his optimization for about a week. But already got him numerous top rankings!

RE: The new layout – I just I documented it all right on the image, but here it is explained in a little greater detail in plain text, in case anyone has images turned off.

The red bracket is all ONE BIG LOCAL listing! It’s called a ONE PACK or ONE BOX and they are hard to get! And the obvious benefit is Chip has the listing all to himself so he’s not competing in that top space with 6 other Drs. Sometimes I get my Drs. a 2 PACK or 3 PACK listings as well. But those are still the OLD layout, as you see in Howard’s screenshot.

The differences in the NEW Google one box layout include:

1) No link to web site

2) Only a link to the Place page (so be sure yours is claimed and optimized as more patients will be seeing it.

3) HUGE listing, 11 lines. Almost as big as the 7 PACK filled with 7 Dr. listings

4) Lots more info including full address, phone, hours, directions link and more space for showing a snippet of reviews. (So be sure you have some reviews and some good ones! I help my clients with that part as well and teach staff how to ask for and get more patient reviews, EASILY!)

FYI if you have not yet, be sure to read yesterday’s blog post about even more radical changes Google is testing that could make local MUCH more prominent and push organic further down the page.

Google Radically Changing the Dental SEO Game with NEW Google Places Layout?

Hat tip and professional credit given to Mike Blumenthal who made the original discovery and blogged it here.

SIDE NOTE: I put my name on the images above to prove they are copyrighted! There is a NEW SEO that’s trying to break into the Dental market by copying everything I do and STEALING all my images, claiming they are his work and his results! PLEASE STOP! These images are copyrighted and can be used with permission only!
(If you are anyone else in the Dental industry and would like to blog this, please contact me, I’m always open to sharing.)

Google Radically Changing the Dental SEO Game with NEW Google Places Layout?

Monday, July 12th, 2010 at 9:27am by Linda Buquet

I made a discovery about a new Google front page search results format that Google is testing that could RADICALLY change the Dental SEO game, make the LOCAL listings almost 4 times bigger, push organic rankings way down the page and make LOCAL Google Places, an even more of important place for Dentists to be! I broke the story last week via the #1 blog in the Google Local industry because everyone reads it.

I was so inundated with calls and emails after breaking that story last week, that I never even had a chance to blog about the effect it could have on OUR industry. I shared other screen shots and insights over there, but here I’m going to focus on Dental. YOU JUST NEED TO SEE THIS, then scroll down for my insight/analysis.

(This is page 1 above the fold – LOCAL (Places) Listings on top – organic pushed down.)


(This is page 2 below the fold – LOCAL (Places) Listings on top – organic pushed down.)


I’m not sure why, but I seem to be sitting on a Google datacenter test server that hardly anyone else can see. The above test was from Chicago, but I’ve seen similar results in Dallas, Raleigh, Charlotte and some other cities.

Here are some of the key differences I observed:
1) The Places listings are 3 times BIGGER and look like the organic results except they have a map pin.

2) It’s pulling meta description from the site – just like organic. PLUS it adds some snippets from reviews on the Place page. So best of both worlds and BIGGER!

3) As you scroll down the MAP scrolls with you. So even when you are at bottom of page in the organic listings the map moves down and shows on right.

4) ONLY 7 (purely) organic listings show and in this instance most are directories or assn. Only 2 are Dentists.

5) To get on the top TWO screens you need to be in local. Most of the organic are 2 screens BELOW the fold.

6) Reviews are more prominent

7) Link to Place Page is marked as such, instead of just “More Info” which means better branding and name recognition for Google Places

I’m not going to repeat everything I posted over there, so if you want to know more, head over to Mike’s blog to read the full story and see all the other screen shots I did. Some have a different layout with 3 organic above the local listings.

Now after we broke the story on Mike’s blog, Google sent their publicist over there to say that this is only a test. So the actual version they roll out could be different than this layout. But make no mistake Google IS going to be making Google Places the focus for a number of financial reasons I won’t go into in this post.

CHECK BACK FOR MY NEXT POST to see an ACTUAL change Google JUST MADE that moves in the direction of the layout above. I’m going to share 2 #1 rankings I just got for a Charlotte Dentist you all know and love if you are regulars at DT. ;-) One of his #1 rankings shows the NEW format and one still shows the Old.

ALSO if you just LOST a bunch of your precious patient reviews on your Google Place page like TONS of other Google users did, I’ll have some answers about that. It has to do with the update above.


Update 7/13: MUST SEE the new post which shows some of the new changes that Google ALREADY MADE that make your Google Places listing even more important than ever! Google UPDATE for Dentists: New Google Places Layout and How it Affects Dental Marketing

Dentist Horror Story about Why he Lost his Top Google Local Listing

Monday, July 5th, 2010 at 6:00am by Linda Buquet

I have permission to post a real-life horror story from a Dental Practice that I’ve been helping with their Google Local problems. (FYI Google local is now called Google Places) This practice was #1 on Google local and they were getting LOTS of new patients. Then they toppled to 7th place and felt a big impact in the drop off of new patient calls and clicks to their main website!

BACKGROUND: Dr. Pauley is retired from practice now and runs the office and handles all of the Internet marketing. His wife and daughter are the Dentists. Brookside Dental in Bellevue Washington is a great practice that specializes in Cosmetic Dentistry.

Dr. Pauley previously worked with some guru that wrote a book about how to get to the top of Google local. That’s who originally helped him optimize his Places page. Now he is working with another company that specializes in Google local. Once he got to the top, he realized how much of an impact it made for the practice.

COPIED VERBATIM from Dr. Pauley, who commented on my blog in reply to THIS IMPORTANT POST about why Dentists need to Claim and keep checking their Google Place Page (Google local listing).

Dr Pauley wrote on June 19th

Linda, you have a very informative website blog. I found you when you started following us on Twitter (Bellevuedentist). I intend to be a regular reader of your blog, because your information is good.

The horror stories about dental websites are true (others profession’s websites too I am sure). We recently went from #1 in Google Local rankings to #7 — I guess it is good that we still show up there. Google split us into several different listings as you mention. Our verified dentistry website is the #7 (previously #1) but they haven’t combined the listings yet as we have requested and that is what is hurting us I think. By splitting us they also split our patient testimonials, including all of our 5-star Yelp testimonials which went to one of the unverified sites as well as several 5-star listings from Kuduz, insiderpages, and citysearch. Very frustrating!!! This may have hurt our organic search position also, but I am not sure. We have been #1 in organic listings for our main search terms for two years or more, but coinsiding with the Local drop we have dropped to #2 and #3 listings in organic search. Not a huge drop, but it leaves some questions to be addressed. Again thanks for the good info on your blog.

So their practice was #1 for about a year then dropped to #7 due to Google bugs. After doing some background research for him, I found Google had created a total of 5 rogue listings.

Here are 3 of their 5 listings in Google maps. The unclaimed ROGUE Patricia Pauley listing STOLE 28 reviews from the main listing (Brookside Dental), which was one of MANY factors that caused them to lose ranking.

Multiple listings are against the Google TOS, even when Google themselves creates the problem. PLUS the duplicates had stolen some of his reviews and split up his trust points so he lost rankings.

Additionally one of the duplicate listings HIJACKED the link to his practice web site and replaced it with a link to someone else’s site. Potentially stealing his traffic.

Here is the BOGUS listing Google created AT THEIR ADDRESS with THEIR PHONE, for a Dentist that QUIT WORKING THERE 2 YEARS AGO.

Again, this Google created, incorrect listing HIJACKED the link to their site.
The LINK is not even their site. Patients clicking THEIR listing would be taken to some no-name directory site that does not even mention Brookside Dental or any of their Dentists!

Note: you can see part of this post, direct from the Doctor at the 1st comment in this important post: Why Dentists need to CLAIM and DoubleCheck Google Places Page and Local Listing TODAY

So there’s a real life story from a Dentist about why you need to check your Google local Place page.

Have you checked your Google ranking and Place page today???

CHECK YOUR PLACE PAGE – Check your name, address, phone, website and categories and be sure to check for duplicates and rogue listings.

To check for duplicate listings go to Google maps (not regular search) and search maps for your phone # in this format: (555) 555-1234. Then check your address in maps, then check your name + city in maps.

Let me know if anyone has questions, problems with duplicate or hijacked listings or needs assistance in a competitive Dental market to get to the TOP! I’m always happy to help!

Dentists: Freedom and Independence – Happy 4th of July

Friday, July 2nd, 2010 at 5:53pm by Linda Buquet

fireworksAre you thankful for your Dental independence?

Think about it! We work in the most “free” country in the world. Plus Dentists have the freedom to work their own hours and the independence to largely create their own destiny.

I hope you all take time to celebrate – your freedom and independence, this wonderful country we live in and this amazing opportunity you have to truly help people and to work in the Dental Industry.

Enjoy a day off with your family and Happy 4th of July!

Photo credit: Michelle Jones UK

Dentists: New Google TAGs $25 Ad Option for Google Places Local Dental Listings

Tuesday, June 22nd, 2010 at 7:24pm by Linda Buquet

Dentists have a hot new ad option from Google and it only costs $25 a month!

Google recently changed the name of it’s Local Business Center to Google Places and they have continually been rolling new features. One of the most exciting new features just launched nationally today, after being available in beta in just a few cities.

Google TAGS make your local Google Places listing on Google Maps stand out from your competition and it only costs $25 a month. Tags can be used to highlight a particular aspect of your practice such as coupons, videos or your website. SEE IMPORTANT INFO BELOW the screen shot! (Click image for live search result.)

Google Places Tags Dental

Read the rest HERE!

Slick FREE Dental Practice Building Tip from Chris Bowman, DDS

Monday, June 21st, 2010 at 8:21pm by Linda Buquet

I was reading Chris Bowman’s Dental Insider’s Alliance blog over the weekend. Wow, he has some great practice-building tips! This one does not have anything to do with Internet Marketing which is typically all I blog about, but it’s such a simple, effective FREE tip I wanted to share. It’s really thinking outside the box and flipping a vendor you are PAYING a bill to, into a potential new patient that not only pays you, but also could create other referrals from that company.

Discover how it works below. SLICK Chris!

The check’s in the mail…with the offer!

Dental Internet Marketing Video about Google Places, Previously Called Google Local

Thursday, June 17th, 2010 at 6:21pm by Linda Buquet

If you are interested in attracting more new patients from the Internet, the short video below from Google is invaluable! It’s only about a minute long, so if you haven’t seen it yet, you’d be doing your practice a favor to watch it. Then see Cosmetic Dentist example of a TOP Google local ranking below.

Google Places Video (Previously Google Local Business Center)

Google Local is now called Google Places.

Google recently announced that 1 out of 5 Google searches are LOCAL including city or zip.

So it’s a HUGE opportunity for Dentists to get to the top of the 1st page in Google for Dentist City, Cosmetic Dentist City and other primary search terms that can bring more patients to your practice.

See Cosmetic Dentist Google Places top ranking example here!

See the highlighted area in the image at the link above? That’s also known as the Google Lucky 7, but I call it the Google sweet spot. WHY??? The map draws searcher’s eye to that spot, it’s above the fold AND it’s easier to get into that spot on the 1st page of Google, than it is to get in the organic listing below IF you know how.

DentalCatalyst knows how to get your Dental Practice on top! We just took a Chiropractor in a highly competitive city from #44 to #1 at the TOP of the 1st page in Google.

Contact us for a free consultation to see if we can help your practice too!

Why Dentists need to CLAIM and DoubleCheck Google Places Page and Local Listing TODAY

Thursday, June 10th, 2010 at 6:58pm by Linda Buquet

I just posted this on a Dental forum, then realized it’s so important and applies for everyone so wanted to share the info here on the blog as well.

Having a high ranking Google Places page can be a Dentist’s best marketing ally. It can get you up at the TOP of the 1st page in Google for Dentist Yourcity, Cosmetic Dentist Yourcity and other important key phrases.

HOWEVER Google Places is full of bugs, hijacking, fraud and other security problems, so if you haven’t yet you REALLY need to claim your listing which provides partial protection – but it does not by any means provide full protection so you really need to monitor your listing at least weekly.

Read the rest HERE!

Dentists: Get Listed on InsiderPages Dentist Finder – FREE

Monday, June 7th, 2010 at 9:05am by Linda Buquet

Good news for Dentists! InsiderPages, which is owned by Citysearch, just launched their new InsiderPages Dentist Finder which offers a local search engine and reviews of doctors and dentists.

Patients can search by medical or dental specialty, distance, insurance, gender and other criteria. The ratings content comes from InsiderPages and Citysearch and much of the data comes from HealthGrades.

Here’s a screen shot for Denver Dentist

Read the rest HERE!

Dental Search Engine Optimization – Top Google Rankings for Dentists

Friday, June 4th, 2010 at 5:50pm by Linda Buquet

I’ve done traditional SEO (Search Engine Optimization) for over 10 years, however now my Internet Marketing practice specializes in LOCAL Internet marketing, which I think is much more important for Dentists these days than regular SEO.

LOCAL SEO gets you into a higher more visible placement than the organic search results provide. See great Cosmetic Dentist LOCAL Google placement here. Getting to the top of Google maps, gets you at the very TOP of the 1st page of Google for your keywords in your local market, where new patients can find you.

Read the rest HERE!