How Recent Google Updates Impact Dental Marketing

How Recent Google Updates Impact Dental Marketing


If you run a successful dental clinic, you probably know that your patients find you through various sources, including Google searches. With Google prominently coming into the picture, dental practitioners are realizing that they need to prioritize ranking well on search engines.

As a dentist marking tactic, achieving a high search engine rank is no mean task as the competition in the dental industry is cutthroat.  A robust dental SEO strategy can be of great help in putting you in the coveted top spot, though.

An effective SEO strategy, however, takes skill, effort, and time to start showing results. It also requires dental business website owners to be aware of the constant changes occurring in the world of Google local algorithms, which directly affect SEO.

In other words, your SEO strategy needs to keep evolving as Google keeps rolling out algorithm after algorithm. Let’s take a look at some of Google’s recent updates and how they impact dental marketing.

More Emphasis on User Intent

In an attempt to better understand searcher intent, Google has been paying less attention to exact-match keywords for a long time now. This shift became more pronounced in a recent update called MUM (Multitask Unified Mode), which allowed Google the extraordinary ability to transcend format, context, and language barriers.

The MUM update employs advanced artificial intelligence to accurately analyze complex queries. Before MUM, the 2019 BERT (Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers) update was all about natural language processing, helping Google understand the context of every word within a search phrase.

MUM, however, goes several steps ahead, in that it can translate languages, collect data from images, and use other clues to better match related and relevant information.

In other words, Google’s search is getting increasingly better at what searchers are looking for and finding appropriate web pages, regardless of the keywords. As a result of this, dentist marketing experts are using keywords as key topics rather than mere search terms.

Providing compelling, unique, and insightful content that’s relevant to that particular topic has now become non-negotiable. Needless to say, if your content offers high-quality and relevant answers to searchers’ questions, Google will be more likely to find and present it in the search results.


Erstwhile Google Places, Google Local, Google+ Local, Google My Business (GMB), and now known as Google Business Profile (GBP) – this feature has endured numerous transformations and rebranding over the years. But irrespective of the name it goes by, your dental practice’s listing on Google is a vital factor in optimizing it for local search. GBP is a must-have part of your dentist marketing strategy.

With GBP, Google made some key changes in feature availability and user interface. Even dental practices with one office location will need to know how to create a profile for it. The fact is, Google now wants individual businesses to use the update options available directly on the Map app and search pages. This way, it reserves the GBP console for businesses with multiple locations.

Some of the many new features for business listings are:

  • Profile management: Businesses can claim and/or fully manage their listings directly from the Google Map app or search page via their Google account.
  • Call history: Businesses can use the Call button on their Google profile to track calls. This feature can be easily enabled or disabled as required.
  • Messaging: This interface can be accessed directly from the Google search page.

As always, Google will keep making upgrades and adjustments to this feature. An experienced dentist marketing firm can help you keep a close eye on the updates.

Page Experience Matters

As a dental practice, you want to go beyond simply getting potential patients to your website. You want your website to help convert them into paying patients.

A website that loads slowly or has major glitches or any other problem is unlikely to help you achieve this objective. In other words, a poor user experience (UX) will get your dental practice nowhere.

Whether you realize it or not, the UX of your website plays a huge role in the success of your website design. This means one thing – UX is an important part of SEO.

This brings the Page Experience update into the picture. Of course, it is now fully implemented in mobile and desktop searches. In fact, this update made UX a key factor in determining a website’s search engine ranking.

The Helpful Content Update

True to its name, the helpful content update tries to improve the content in the search engine so it is truly helpful to searchers. Google called this update a part of a “broader effort to ensure people see more original, helpful content written by people, for people, in search results.”

This update is likely to affect dental practice websites if they have robotically-created content that’s created only for the sake of boosting their search engine visibility and website traffic. And while the metrics Google uses to rank content quality aren’t exactly clear, what’s well-known is that the overall design of your dental website design will have a say in it.

As dentist marketing specialists, we understand that Google uses metrics like user engagement, clicks, bounce rate, webpage media, type of interaction, and website design to determine quality. So, if your website looks visually appealing, has clear calls to action, satisfies user queries, and encourages engagement, Google will be pleased. On the other hand, a website that isn’t intuitive or optimized for mobile, or if its design is lackluster, will likely rank poorly on Google.

If you’re wondering whether this update affects all the pages of a website or just the low-quality ones, Google’s answer remains a tad cryptic. While it is unlikely that the rankings of the overall website will fall because of a few bad apples, Google says, “… it also depends on many factors.”

As you can see, this is not a job for the layman or someone who’s new to dental marketing. It’s best to work with a seasoned dental marketing agency to create a powerful strategy that not only keeps you in the game but also helps you stay ahead of the herd.

We’ll Help You Keep Up with Google’s Unending Updates

Undoubtedly, Google will keep rolling out multiple updates several times a year. While some will have a minor impact on the dental care industry, others might have a massive one. You never know what repercussions the ever-changing local Google algorithms will bring with them.

Fortunately, sound dentist marketing practices and a potent SEO strategy can keep you relevant, top-of-mind, and discoverable by your target audience. Investing in dentist marketing will impact in positive ways.

Not sure how to keep tabs on Google algorithms and the ever-evolving dental marketing landscape? DentaMarketing will help you stay on top of things – always. Call us at 910.623.0319 or schedule a free consultation online. We’ll manage your marketing so you can focus on your dental practice.

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