Healthcare providers have always faced special challenges managing physician listings. Physicians usually work in multiple locations, and consequently healthcare providers need to manage physician data more carefully in order for their physicians to be found when people search for care nearby. Recently, we heard about a potential development that underscores why healthcare providers need to treat their physician data as an asset to be managed closely.

We heard from an inside source that Google might get more aggressive about flagging duplicate GMB listings for physicians and other professionals who work out of multiple locations. If Google identifies a listing as a duplicate within an account, it will unpublish that listing and only one GMB listing for that professional will be found in search engine results in Maps, the Knowledge Graph, and the Local Pack.

For example, let’s say a physician has two listings with different URLs, locations, and phones. The pages may indeed seem legitimate if the same physician works out of each location. But if the hours of operation overlap, we’ve been told that in Google’s eyes, those listings could be considered duplicate.

We’re going to monitor the situation closely. Meanwhile, I recommend that healthcare systems:

  • Review the data on all your physician pages for accuracy. You’d hate to be penalized for duplicate content over office hours that were not even accurately listed in the first place.
  • If a physician’s location data is very similar, consider using only one physician profile noting the different locations and contact information.

Let us know if you’ve heard anything about Google more closely monitoring duplicate data. Meanwhile, for more insight into managing your physician location data, contact SIM Partners. We possess the consulting, technology, and business intelligence to help you build your brand.