Dr Google

Have you noticed more people are searching online to figure out mysterious symptoms? It’s great for pharmaceutical and health websites, but there is information you should know in order to provide the experience your site visitors really need.

Here’s what’s going on with the trend of “Dr Google”, and how to leverage it for your brand…

What people are asking Dr Google?

Because the internet allows anyone to share information freely, it has become a vast resource for many kinds of health information. And people are using it to look for answers to their own health concerns.

Here are the top health questions people are searching for online:

  • What causes hiccups?

  • How can I stop snoring?

  • What causes kidney stones?

  • Why am I so tired?

  • How long does the flu last?

  • What is normal blood pressure?

  • How can I lower my cholesterol?

  • What causes high blood pressure?

  • What is ADHD?

  • What is Lupus?

Of course, the issue with this is—is health information found on websites reliable?

Should you trust Dr Google?

When it comes to something as important as health, it pays to check the sources. And modern web goers are aware that just because something is found online doesn’t mean it’s true. The answer, then, to whether online searchers should trust these results is it depends on the reliability of the site.

What your real doctor thinks about Dr Google

Your doctor is aware that when you experience symptoms, your first instinct is usually to go to a search engine. And that’s not always a bad thing. As discussed in the above section on whether you should trust search engine health advice, the issue is how reliable the source is. Your doctor’s main concern is that you may find contradictory advice, confusing advice, or just plain wrong advice.

The bottom line is your Dr. is absolutely fine with you going to trusted, reputable sites. What they do not want you to do is work yourself up with worry and anxiety about ambiguous symptoms.

You see, many symptoms are shared by a variety of issues. And when you look up your own symptoms without further context, you could “diagnose” yourself with something much scarier than what the real issue is. And doctors find this quite problematic because it reduces the quality of life for their patients. Your doctor does not want you worrying all day about a serious disease that you don’t have. And you shouldn’t want to do that to yourself either.

Aside from that, it can be a little annoying to your doctor when you come in with your diagnosis prepared for them —  before they’ve even had a chance to examine you or ask what your symptoms are. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t express your concerns or let them know if you have a good reason to suspect illness, but it’s a good idea to let your doctor hear your symptoms and consider all the possible causes.

After all, if you come in asking to be tested for one specific thing, then you may miss your real diagnosis because it wasn’t even tested for.

How pharmaceutical and health sites can benefit from this trend

If you sell health or pharmaceutical related products or services, the trend of people looking for health advice online is good news for your business. If you want to keep those customers for the long run, however, the key is providing the most up-to-date and realistic information possible.

Healthy Ads can help you get your message out to more online searchers looking for exactly the advice you provide.

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