What are syndicated reviews?
These are single reviews that end up on many places.
If you are so inclined, an expedient way to drag down your search ranking is filling your online presence with duplicate content. Google defines duplicate content as “substantive blocks of content within or across domains that either completely match other content or are appreciably similar.”
Duplicate = Syndicated.
When a vendor promises to “syndicate” your online reviews across the Internet, it’s important to understand what that means.
Usually, it means your reviews are published on their web property plus shared as a data feed to other websites.
Why is syndicated content so toxic to your search engine ranking?
When Google’s search crawlers run into identical content on multiple webpages, the search engine cannot easily decipher which version should be ranked higher for related searches. In that dense fog, Google may pick the wrong page to rank – thus negatively impacting your search results. In a panic, your spend on SEO increases to compensate and usually skews analytics. Lather, rinse, and repeat.
Google can also penalize your website by lowering your website’s rankings or stop indexing your website altogether if it believes syndicated content is being used to manipulate rankings and deceive the public. History shows Google aggressively devalues anything that is not unique, original content.
Original content is lowest risk – and easy to obtain. Here’s how.
What happens when you quit using a syndicated service?
Since the reviews are placed on the vendor’s website instead of yours, you may lose all of them if you cancel your subscription. You may be in it for life. You have to perpetually feed the beast.
With a syndicated service, you do not control the destiny of reviews your patients leave for you. Why would you want to cede this control to a third party?
A better approach – get in the driver’s seat
Google’s mantra is to offer users the best search results. The foundation of that offering is unique information. Those doctors who make it easy for patients to create original, relevant content and follow SEO best practices (demonstrating quality of care) will be rewarded. How? With improved search rankings, more website traffic and increased new patient volume and increased revenue.
When patient feedback is captured using our service, there’s no syndication. Google recognizes that feedback as original content. This content provides SEO value for you and your practice, not someone else’s.
And if you ever leave our service – the reviews stay up.
This approach provides much more lasting value than a “syndication” approach, which may have worked many years ago but is penalized now. Don’t get penalized.