More threads by mcdannald

mcdannald

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Has anyone in the health or medical clinic niche seen a crazy drop in traffic since the Google May 2022 Update?

I work with 1 or 2 provider foot and ankle clinics and have seen a massive dropoff in traffic over the last few months. For search terms like "podiatrist near me", the clinics are now being pushed down way below review/aggregator websites. Searches, where I used to be position 1, are now position 6 or 7.

Any ideas or resources to better understand the update or counter this decrease in organic traffic would be much appreciated.

Thanks,

Jim

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Colan Nielsen

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I have not noticed this trend. I will take a closer look though.
 

JS Girard

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I remember seeing an article discussing this trend in the product space a few months ago, but it's impossible to relocate something like that because have you ever tried to locate again a blog post about SEO?? I think I found the link in a NearMedia blog post's "short takes" though.
 
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Not in the same niche but in my niche it is littered with 'authoritative' overseas owned JV aggregator sites dominating page one (or page two depending on how many google properties on page 1)
 

JeffClevelandTN

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Has anyone in the health or medical clinic niche seen a crazy drop in traffic since the Google May 2022 Update?

I work with 1 or 2 provider foot and ankle clinics and have seen a massive dropoff in traffic over the last few months. For search terms like "podiatrist near me", the clinics are now being pushed down way below review/aggregator websites. Searches, where I used to be position 1, are now position 6 or 7.

Any ideas or resources to better understand the update or counter this decrease in organic traffic would be much appreciated.

Thanks,

Jim
Yes, we've seen very odd search results recently, especially for medical based "near me" search phrases. But we haven't narrowed down whether this occurred after the May update or the October update, or in between. As an example, you can search for "rsv testing near me" and regardless of search location, the majority of the results are identical and not "local". We have been testing with both Google Anonymous Ad Tool and Local & International Google SERP Checker and you can set your location to Atlanta, Miami, San Diego, Nashville (literally anywhere) and they are virtually the same results with no local webpage results AND no local pack results. However, if you put "rsv testing city state", the results are different. Interestingly, the results are similarly disappointing when doing a Google Maps search for "rsv testing near me".

This is very similar to a recent post from @keyserholiday: Google is testing out lowering the map pack

Frustratingly, the physical placement of local pack results isn't something that you can identify by simply looking at most monthly ranking reports. You can remain in position "1" or "A" but not realize that local pack moved all the way to the bottom of the page (or disappeared).

We've only recently begun trying to further optimize content to use more "near" phrases to combat the SERP decline on the affected search terms, but I don't expect much improvement as there appears to be something much bigger going on that are affecting these search results.
 

keyserholiday

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I am seeing more authoritative websites outranking my locations too. The ads are getting bigger, then it's 4 organic results, followed by the map pack.
 

sd1111

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Listing sites dominating local businesses has been the case in my industry (wedding) for years, but it seems to be even more prevalent recently. What's interesting—Google seems to have even more preference recently for small business' blog posts listing multiple businesses.

Check out these results for "nashville wedding planner". Only two actual Nashville wedding planners are on Page 1 below the map results. Two other small businesses, though (a wedding venue and a photographer) have snuck onto Page 1 with blog posts listing multiple planners.

serpchecker_nashville_wedding_planner_page1.jpg

FWIW, I have seen wedding venues rank higher for their keywords by creating blog posts on their site listing multiple venues (yes, including their competitors).
 

mcdannald

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Thanks to everyone who replied and provided insights into what they're seeing.

Doesn't sound like there's a clear reason why Google's chosen to make these changes or a way to address it yet, but I'll test out some ideas.
 

JeffClevelandTN

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Hi Jim, as I mentioned earlier, we are still seeing a decrease in SERPs for medical related search phrases and it hasn't gotten any better. As also mentioned, Local Packs seem to be affected too. Recently read this short article, which I think was linked within Sterling Sky's newsletter: Are Local Packs Dropping From Google SERPs? | Local SEO Guide

I think the last paragraph may be the best explanation: There are many new SERP Features that we currently don’t track in this data, but given Google’s bad quarter, I wouldn’t be surprised if we also saw a big increase in various monetization features.

We are re-evaluating our ad campaigns for the affected search terms, which are almost exclusively "near me" searches and going to probably run specific campaigns requiring "near me".
 

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