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3 Reasons Not to Syndicate 5-Star Reviews

Congratulations on getting a 5-star review! Too bad you cannot syndicate it. Well, actually you could, but here is why that is not a good idea, nor is it a practice an online reputation management service provides:

1) Search engines, like Google, favor unique content. Once the search engine bot that trolls web pages spots duplicate content, it lowers the page ranking for all pages where that content appears. This will sink that good review to page 3, 4, or 5, or maybe even farther down in the ranks. This has just made that fabulous 5-star review nearly worthless, while simultaneously sinking that site’s page where all your reviews appear. Imagine a patient searching for a provider in your area of expertise and your page appearing on page 3 or 4 of the search results. Because the same content appears on multiple pages, the duplicate content is treated as spam and search engines drop the rank of every page where it appears.

This became a large problem for many popular content provider sites (“content mills”) that placed a large amount of content on popular consumer sites. Google, specifically, identified and targeted these large sites and suddenly the pages went from appearing in the top three search results on the first page to the middle of the second page or lower. When the typical consumer searches the internet for any type of service, they rarely go beyond the first page. These statistics from Chitika compare first page ranking importance to every subsequent page. Traffic drops by half on the second page.

2) Patients can tell if you are “gaming” the system when they read the same review on several different sites. Patients want unique opinions on your services and expect to read both good and bad reviews. If the same review appears on every site the patients visit, they may become suspicious and give more weight to negative reviews. Duplicate reviews also invite commentary from consumers who will point out that they have read the same review in multiple places, which draws further unflattering attention to the syndicated content.

3) Finally, most review websites simply forbid third parties to copy content from other sites to post on the review websites. This practice violates the terms of service for many sites. These websites want only unique content written by consumers of the physician’s services. If you violate the terms of service, you may be banned from the site and all reviews and any mention of your name removed.

In order to get the most value from your patient reviews, the best practice is to have one patient write one review on one website. Then, establish a process in the office to ask patients to regularly post reviews, utilize tools such as Review Concierge’s Online Reviews Survival Course and the unique, Review Link ,and ask for help from your online review team. Together they will help you navigate the subtle nuances of best practices in online reputation monitoring and management.

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