Google Releases “Pigeon” Algorithm Update

One thing we know for sure in the world of SEO is that change is the only constant. Last week, Google made yet another algorithm change, this time targeting the location-specific search results.

And, yes, this one was also named after an animal. We would like to introduce you to “Pigeon!” (We’re not in charge of the names here. Promise.)

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Why Your Homepage Doesn’t Matter


Do you have stakeholders in your organization constantly asking to be featured on your site’s home page? Well, the trick may be on them!

The truth is, users find their way into your website in many different ways. While the homepage may be a popular entry point, if your search engine marketing tactics (search engine optimization, pay-per-click ads, etc.) are working properly, users are finding their way to the exact landing page on your site that can answer their question. They may never see the home page!

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Zero to Piwik Analytics in Under Three Minutes with VitalSite CMS

Screen capture of VitalSite Script Manager displaying the Piwik Analytics tracking code.

We’ve been making some major investments in VitalSite that provide more power to the system administrators who manage hospital websites, and to the client advisors who work with them. To this end, one of the new features we’ve recently released is the VitalSite Script Manager. This new utility is available to users with GeoTechnician or System Administrator privileges, and it allows them to manage the markup and scripts that appear in the <head> sections and near the </body> sections in the HTML of all VitalSite pages.
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6 Resources Everyone in the Search Marketing Industry Should Be Using


One question Geonetric hears from clients is, “How do you keep up with all these changes in SEO, PPC, and social media?” Good question!

I shared my reading list with attendees of Geonetric’s 2014 eHealth Client Symposium: Camp Reboot, and thought others may benefit from this list as well. A word of caution: these blogs will turn you into a search marketing geek in no time flat.

So, what do I read in my free time to keep up with Google, Bing and the other cast characters in search and social media? Here’s my current reading list:

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Finding Broken Links and Fixing Them With VitalSite Redirects

Image conveying "redirect URL"

In the previous section, , we explored the differences between internal links, outbound links, and inbound links. Now that you have a working understanding of what these are and how they are different, we’ll cover some easy techniques you can use to be proactive about identifying them. For broken links that require 301 Redirects to fix, we’ll even show you how you can use VitalSite’s redirect manager to add redirects.
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Understanding Broken Links and 404s

Image showing a stylized person connecting two lengths of chain

In , we introduced 404 errors, what causes them (typically, broken links), and explored why it’s important to fix them.

In short, we fix broken links because 404 errors often represent bad user experience and missed opportunities to maximize the business value of our hospital websites.
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An Introduction to 404s, Broken Links and Hospital Website Hygiene

Keyboard keys arranged to spell, "404"

I’ve been working on websites since the only browser option was Mosaic, and if there’s one thing in all this time that has consistently made me see red, it’s the willingness of some webmasters to let bad 404s linger. This is doubly so for hospital and healthcare websites, where a bad user experience isn’t just something that affects revenue, but can affect a visitor’s health as well.

At one point in time the advice about 404 errors was clear: you fix broken links (which result in 404 errors) because it’s a bad user experience to have them on your website.

In the last few years, however, Google has muddied the waters.
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Geonetric’s Top Five Webinars, Blog Posts, and Tweets of 2013

Happy 2014 From Geonetric

Before looking ahead sometimes it’s important to learn from the past. Taking a look at the popular topics from webinars, blog posts and tweets from the past year provides a snap shot at past trends. Content marketing, social media and search engine optimization continue to be hot topics for healthcare marketers. Geonetric will be here throughout 2014 to keep you informed through our GeoVoices blog, free monthly webinarseHealth Spotlight eNewsletter, eHealth articleswhite papers, eBooks and on Twitter.

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3 SEO Tips for Today’s Healthcare Marketer

SEO Guide for Healthcare Marketers

If you’re like most healthcare marketers, SEO is just one of many, many things you’re in charge of. That makes it even harder to stay on top of the latest changes. Here are three tips to get you on the path to SEO greatness.

  1. Understand the implications of Hummingbird. You’ve probably heard Google released Hummingbird… but you’re probably wondering how it impacts you. Google is sharing very little about Hummingbird. What we do know is that it impacts 90% of search queries and is creating a search environment that places less emphasis on content featuring popular keywords and more emphasis on original and valuable content.
  2. Use Google+. You’re probably thinking: “Great, another social media channel to manage!” But Google+ and its family of related Google stuff – like Google Authorship and Google Publisher – are real game changers when it comes to improving SEO. Why? It appears Google is giving posts with Authorship and Publisher attributes more weight.
  3. Create sharable content. Search engines are recognizing that shared content is good content, and they are adapting search results based on social cues. Make sure you include sharing options on your content and most of all create content that visitors actually want to share! Think infographics and video testimonials.

Want more details on how to optimize your hospital’s website for search engines? We’ve written a SEO guide specifically for healthcare marketers, spelling out what’s changing in terms of SEO, what you need to pay attention to and how to get started. Give it read, get your plan in place and regain the title of SEO God (or Goddess!) at your organization.

How Can Healthcare Marketers Optimize for Natural Language Search?

Natural Language Search With iPhone Siri

Natural language search has been around for quite a while – ever use or WolframAlpha? But the shift from keyword-based search to natural language comprehension has gained much more attention since the release of virtual assistants such as Apple’s Siri and mobile search applications such as Google Now in 2012.

Throughout 2013, other tech giants have made moves to accommodate the growing natural language search trend as well. In March, Facebook released their natural language search engine Graph Search. Then in August Google announced Hummingbird, their latest search algorithm update. Both Graph Search and Hummingbird aim to not only understand what the searcher is asking but provide accurate and relevant search results to them. With the announcement yesterday that Yahoo has acquired natural language processing technology SkyPhase (most likely to keep up with competitors), it’s time to discuss what exactly natural language search is all about.

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5 Social Media Trends that Will Change How Healthcare Marketers Approach Strategy in 2014

5 Social Media Trends for Healthcare Marketers

Ninety-three percent of marketers will be maintaining or increasing how much they are spending on social media advertising in 2014, according to a new report from eMarketer. But where should healthcare marketers be focusing their attentions to get the most bang for their buck, not to mention their valuable time?

Social media strategy in 2014 will shift focus away from increasing the number of likes/followers your brand has to engaging your target audience through organic interactions. Marketers will need to adapt quickly across many social media channels in order to incorporate micro-video, image-centric content and native advertising into the mix. And finally, if you haven’t built out your brand’s Google+ profile yet you are already behind.

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How the Google Stole Christmas

Google Stole Christmas

Twas the night ‘fore Thanksgiving and Mother logged on
To the Internet looking to shop until dawn.
Black Friday then Thursday then Wednesday too,
The deals kept on coming, so what could she do?
On Amazon, on eBay, on Overstock she yelled,
On Toys R Us, Best Buy and Zappos as well!
She maxed out one credit card, then pulled out one more,
She shopped ’til she fell asleep on the floor.

The Grinch name of Goo(gle) found the whole thing quite funny,
His internet business practically printed out money.
But the season was starting and competition was high,
More aggressive tactics he’d need to get by.
Email blasts, PPC, and SEO anew,
Door buster discounts and remarketing too!
What’s that? Never heard of it? What does it do,
Asked Marvin from marketing to the Grinch name of Goo.
Our customers come and our customers see,
And sometimes they buy, but sometimes they flee.
We cannot allow them to just get away,
We’ll follow them, track them and hunt them like prey.

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An Appeal for a Balanced Digital Promotion Strategy

WeighIndividuals devoted to organic search engine optimization (SEO) and those to paid search have butted heads for years. Each espouse a purist view on the acquisition of traffic that’s incompatible with the other. Does it need to be this way?

The Arguments

The SEO community argues that the power of the Internet comes from its ability to even the playing field for all involved. This philosophy to let the best content win allows small companies, even individuals, to have a voice equal to that of the largest firms. This democratized utopia has been tainted by the growing influence of paid advertising that directs naive consumers not to the best results, but to the sites able to pay the most.
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Ah Crap! Google Changed Something… Again!


Google Analytics (GA) is one of the most widely-used analytics programs in the world. Although Google tends to make changes to most of their products and algorithms often, Google Analytics is a little different. It only gets fundamental changes maybe once per year … and even that might be pushing it. Granted, there are little updates here and there that happen, but generally the big ones don’t happen that often. This has been true, until recently.

There are a lot of people who want GA to focus only on what they want and need. A lot of people used to say that the user interface (UI) of their analytics product was terrible (my opinion is that it was OK, but could use some help in certain areas). They also noted that it was too hard to find things and that there was too much fluff data in the program. Knowing that they can’t please everyone, Google has started making changes where the most people are asking for them.

Within the last week or so, there has been two HUGE changes to Google Analytics. Both of which change the fundamentals of the program many of us had finally began to master. Both of these changes center on the UI of their product. This is fascinating to me. Not the fact that they made a change – the fact that they made two changes so close together. I want to go over each of these changes and share some of the things that I have observed.
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Google Giveth and Google Taketh Away

Not Provide in Analytics

There’s been a noticeable increase in the level of griping by SEOs about the way that Google has been treating them. The complaints are mostly focused on the rapid growth of (Not Provided) keywords from Google searches. While SEOs struggle with the changing tools available to them, what Google is trying to accomplish is much larger than frustrating the search optimization business – they intend to fundamentally change the way we approach our organic search strategies and I believe they’ll succeed.

(Not Provided)

About two years ago, Google started to slowly shut off our ability as website managers to see what searches brought visitors to our sites. Google decided to hide the keywords used by anyone using the search engine through an encrypted (https) connection and clicking an organic (non-paid) result – primarily those logged into Google when doing a search.

Their argument was that this is a privacy issue. Google explained that they should protect the browsing habits of anyone using an encrypted search. These users wanted greater privacy – that’s WHY they used an encrypted page, after all. Functionally, this meant anyone logged into Google for any reason including Gmail, Google Voice, YouTube or Google Analytics would now have their keyword searches hidden from destination websites.

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