For those who are unfamiliar with the inner workings of Google, Knowledge Graph is a project that was launched in May of 2012. The philosophy behind the project was simple: provide the information users are looking for, and not just links to relevant webpages.

Rapid Expansion

According to Moz, in mid-July of 2013 Google expanded the reach of their Knowledge Graph by over 50%.  By expanding reach, we mean that 50% more search queries in Google were shown to have elements from their Knowledge Graph project. Interestingly enough, this update was missed by most industry experts and wasn’t reported by Moz until over a month after it occurred. It seemed like everyone was too fixated on Penguin and Panda to notice the explosive growth happening elsewhere.

Answers to Your Medical Questions

The most recent update to Knowledge Graph has been far from ignored. Virtually every digital marketing news outlet published articles this week explaining and reviewing Google’s most recent expansion of Knowledge Graph, and for good reason – it’s important. Google users will now be able to receive accurate medical and health information for thousands of diseases, conditions, medications, and even nutritional facts.

Below is an example of how the Knowledge Graph enhances search results pages (SERPs) for the search “heart attack."

Google Now Has Answers to Your Health Questions - Small Business Website Design, SEO, and Online Marketing Blog | High Level Marketing  - Medical_Knowledge_Graph

This update to Google’s Knowledge Graph will have a substantial impact on how users find answers to their medical questions. Now this might sound like a good thing, which it is for users, but what about websites that currently serving this demand?

What about WebMD?

Many industry experts speculate that Google increased their reach into medical and health related SERPs due to poor quality results. Health questions, medical concerns, treatment options make up a large portion of the searches performed on Google. According to the Pew Research Center, 72% of Internet users say they look for health information online. This gives the search giant every incentive to provide the best possible results to such a high-demand segment of users.

While writing this, WebMD currently ranks #1 for “medical questions.” This highly competitive phrase returns around 1 billion results when searched. Achieving this ranking is quite an accomplishment; however, when Google begins answering your visitors’ questions right in the SERP, your website’s traffic will likely take a hit.

It is clear that even if Google ranks your website high in their index, their primary objective is still to provide users the best results with as few clicks as possible. This could potentially mean additional competition for your business in the organic search results space.

Conclusion

Google’s search results landscape has changed significantly since the company’s inception in 1998. From rich snippets to carrousels, there is much more to search engine optimization than ranking well for individual queries. As many experts and media sources have said, “SEO isn’t just SEO anymore.”

High Level Marketing is Michigan’s premiere SEO company. Since 2009, we have been serving clients in Michigan and throughout the U.S. with the dedication and attention to detail that it takes for websites to rank high and attract valuable leads that grow business. Contact us today to learn how HLM can help your business grow with an unrivaled SEO strategy and an arsenal of today’s best web design and digital marketing tools.