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Machine Learning is playing an even more significant role in physician SEO than ever before. So what is machine learning, and how does it impact online marketing for physicians?

What Is Machine Learning?

Simply put, machine learning is when computers teach themselves how to do something, rather than have information programmed to them.

Back in 2016 is when things really started to change relative to SEO and machine learning when Google introduced the Rank Brain Algorithm.

The goal from Google’s perspective was to have the search engine return better answers to search queries.

Why Is Machine Learning Important For Physicians To Consider?

Physician SEO is changing quickly as a result of machine learning. The most significant impact on all of us is Google trying to understand user intent better when patients are searching for medical-related issues.

As machine learning continues to evolve, Google’s ability to connect search intent with content will improve. Right now, a voice search will still yield different results than a text-based search, just because people speak differently than they type.

Failure to adapt will likely result in lower local SEO rankings.

But there is a key advantage for physicians who are aggressive with their online marketing. One of the great things machine learning provides is actionable insights based upon the incredible amount of data that’s now available.

So if you’re using tools such as SEMRush to monitor keywords and searches, you’ll have some great insights into how searches are changing and how to better create and structure your content.

What Do Physicians Need To Do?

Content is King. This same basic principle has been and continues to be the cornerstone of SEO.

As a physician, your responsibility is to continue producing content that patients will find helpful, and answer what they’re looking for when they enter a search in Google.

So in order to rank well today and in the future, the focus must be on creating great content, which provides patients with a positive online experience.

Technical SEO is also an important component, and won’t be something that goes away. Things like keyword targeting, structured data, and schema are all things that will greatly benefit you going forward.


Anyone who knows me knows that I often say the days of ‘build it and forget it’ websites are long gone. And machine learning won’t change that.

A physician website needs to be looked at as an on-going, continual effort. New content must be consistently created, and updates to new technologies must always be incorporated if you want to be successful in the long run.