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We manage about 100 of our clients' pages on GMB. Many of our clients are doctors/dentists either in single practitioner practices or multiple practitioner practices.

According to Google, multi-doctor practices are able to create their own GMB pages in addition to having a branded practice page. See below for Google's policy/protocol. We see positives and negatives of this policy.

Can anyone shed light on what you are doing for these multi-doctor practices? After speaking with Google several times, we were told these individual pages are just a courtesy and not a requirement.

Below are our questions:

  • What are the advantages of creating separate GMB pages for each doctor?
  • What are the disadvantages?
  • Are you actually creating individual GMB pages for dentists who don't have them?
  • How do you optimize these individual pages differently than the practice GMB page?
  • How does this impact the management of this practice's directory listings through Moz/Yext?

Also - we have been implementing this strategy for multi-doctor GMB pages instead: What are your thoughts from an SEO perspective?
List Business name: Practice name: Doctor 1, Doctor 2, etc.
The Grove City Center for Dentistry: Bryan J. Simone, DDS, Kyle J. Lowe, DDS

Below is Google's Policy:
https://support.google.com/business/answer/3038177?hl=en

Individual practitioners (e.g. doctors, lawyers, real estate agents)
An individual practitioner is a public-facing professional, typically with his or her own customer base. Doctors, dentists, lawyers, financial planners, and insurance or real estate agents are all individual practitioners. Listings for practitioners may include title or degree certification (e.g. Dr., MD, JD, Esq., CFA).
An individual practitioner should create his or her own dedicated listing if:

  • He or she operates in a public-facing role. Support staff should not create their own listings.
  • He or she is directly contactable at the verified location during stated hours.
A practitioner should not have multiple listings to cover all of his or her specializations.
Learn more

Multiple practitioners at one location
If the practitioner is one of several public-facing practitioners at this location:

  • The organization should create a listing for this location, separate from that of the practitioner.
  • The title of the listing for the practitioner should include only the name of the practitioner, and shouldn?t include the name of the organization.

Solo practitioners that belong to branded organizations

If a practitioner is the only public-facing practitioner at a location and represents a branded organization, it's best for the practitioner to share a listing with the organization. Create a single listing, named using the following format: [brand/company]: [practitioner name].
Acceptable: "Allstate: Joe Miller" (if Joe is the sole public-facing practitioner at this Allstate-branded location)

I really appreciate any help and advice. Thank you so much.
 

Linda Buquet

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Hello and welcome Whiteboard Marketing!

Here are a couple quick answers, others will fill in the gaps...

Below are our questions:

  • What are the advantages of creating separate GMB pages for each doctor?

    There are typically no advantages. EXCEPT if some Drs are specialists. So if large group practice with one Endo and one Ortho and 3 general Dentists. The only advantage/recommendation is to create one for each specialist with only that specific specialty listed as category (Don't overlap categories on any of the listings). I would not create for the general Dentists for a few reasons.

  • What are the disadvantages?

    Several... They all compete for the same keywords and only 1 listing will have a chance of ranking, the others will be essentially filtered. Soooo... lets say the practice page has the most energy put into it. Great images and LOTs of reviews.
    What if G ranks Dr. Smith with no reviews instead of the great practice page? The main listing you want showing if you had a choice would be invisible.


  • Are you actually creating individual GMB pages for dentists who don't have them?

    DEPENDS - Often Google has already created 1 or even more listings for practitioners. It can be hard to find all the variations unless you know how cuz G hides them. If you create a new listing and missed that Google had already created one, then you have a dupe situation which will hurt ranking and is extra time/frustration to deal with.

  • How do you optimize these individual pages differently than the practice GMB page?

    1) Again I would not create except maybe in case of specialist you want to rank for that additional keyword/category. If it's just 4 GPs & G already created listings for all. I would fully optimize the practice and focus on reviews for that one. The practitioner listings you can't get Google to delete if they are still valid. So you can try to minimize them. I have an old article I need to try to find that explains.

  • How does this impact the management of this practice's directory listings through Moz/Yext?

Also - we have been implementing this strategy for multi-doctor GMB pages instead: What are your thoughts from an SEO perspective?
List Business name: Practice name: Doctor 1, Doctor 2, etc.
The Grove City Center for Dentistry: Bryan J. Simone, DDS, Kyle J. Lowe, DDS

Sorry but that naming convention is not allowed and will trip you up and could even get you suspended.

1 Dr only - who plans to stay a sole practitioner forever, can have the combo name.
"Grove City Center for Dentistry: Bryan J. Simone, DDS"

If there is more than one Dentist, can only have 1 practice name by itself and each indiv Dentist on separate listings. None can have the practice name included with their name.


I really appreciate any help and advice. Thank you so much.

You're welcome. I just barely grazed the surface. Used to specialize in Dentistry too and dupes and practitioner listings can get very complicated.

There great posts on the topic by Joy. Here is one of them:
https://searchengineland.com/cannot-ignore-practitioner-listings-gmb-case-study-253314

Anyone else care to fill in some gaps or give other opinions?
 
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Thank you so much for your very helpful insight! If you come across the article about minimizing existing practitioner listings, that would be great. We were worried about letting them sit out there unclaimed, but didn't know if claiming them would bump their value, which we don't want to do, since all reviews, etc. are focused on the practice page. We appreciate it!
 

Linda Buquet

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We were worried about letting them sit out there unclaimed, but didn't know if claiming them would bump their value, which we don't want to do, since all reviews, etc. are focused on the practice page. We appreciate it!

Yes meant to mention in "disadvantages" another biggie is potentially fracturing the practice's review profile by some of them going on the Dr listings.

Claiming I think does bump value in Google's eyes, in that they want listings to be proactively managed. However claiming does not affect ranking really, unclaimed Dr listings, in the past, often would outrank the practice. But I still in most cases advise not claiming just do a user edit right on maps.

If you come across the article about minimizing existing practitioner listings, that would be great.

Since that article was back in 2012, and everything has totally changed, just realized it may be more confusing since it tells how to edit in Map Maker, which is now gone, etc. etc

So just edit the maps listing. You want to minimize by making the listing compete less with the practice. To do that you can change the category to something valid but now "Dentist" or "Cosmetic Dentist" if that's what the practice wants to rank for.
Also edit the link to NOT go to home page, which is usually strongest, but link to an internal page that makes sense - like Meet the Team or the Dr's bio.

Does that make sense?
 
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Perfect - thank you for your clarification! One more question...
You are suggesting changing the category and web link, which makes sense. This can be done without claiming the page? I know you advocated NOT claiming.
We appreciate your insight!
 

Linda Buquet

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Yes you edit right on the maps listing, as a user, not the owner. Just like you would if your local restaurant was listed at wrong address.
 
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How would you recommend handling GMB listings for practitioners who have left the practice (either retired our work elsewhere)?

- Change their listing to closed or moved (as a user)?
- Ask them to take ownership of the listing and move it themselves?

Thanks!
 
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Hi Linda,
Great to know - thank you! Is it advantageous to have more than one person suggest the user edits? I started doing them today. Is Google more likely to accept changes when they come from more than one person? I appreciate your help!
 
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Thank you Miriam! That's a great resource and answers many questions I had!

As for Joy Hawkins' case study, pure gold! Thanks for pointing it out!
 

Linda Buquet

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Thanks so much Miriam for sharing the best resources out there!
 
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Hi Linda,
I just wanted to check back in with regards to this original post. With Google, we know stances can change over time.
  1. Google will still not delete GMB listings for individual doctors, correct?
  2. What is the best way to minimize the individual doctor listings? We want the practice to outrank the practitioners?
  3. What value does claiming and optimizing all doctor pages have if we are most interested in the practice page ranking?
Any recent resources or insight you have would be much appreciated. Thanks so much!
 
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