Google Alerts: Look Who’s Talking

Have you ever wondered who’s talking about you, and your dental practice, online? You might have googled your name to see where and how often you show up in search results. Oftentimes, however, dentists aren’t aware of being mentioned by a patient, in a social media post or online review. While it isn’t foolproof, Google Alerts is a tool that can let you know who’s talking about you on the Internet.

How Alerts Work

Google Alerts will send you an email, in real time, daily, or weekly, with links to where your name was mentioned online. If your name is posted on any page that’s indexed by Google, you should receive an email alert. Like I said, it’s not foolproof, and not everything online is followed by Google’s robots. For instance, pages with a “no follow” tag in the code are not indexed.

How to Get Alerts

First, you need a fee GMail account. If you don’t have one, get one now. The logins you use for your Gmail account will allow you access to Google Analytics, Webmaster Tools, Google+, YouTube, and all other Google-owned applications. Once you’re inside your Gmail dashboard, click “More” on the top of the page, in the navigation. From the dropdown list, choose “Even More.” You’ll land on a page with all of Google’s cool applications. Scroll down to the category “Specialized Search,” and select the bell icon next to “Alerts.”

Now you have to decide what you want to be alerted about: your name, your practice name, employee names, product names? To start, I suggest your casual name and professional name, with your professional designation, and your name with “Dr.” in front of it. Note that the alerts are for exact matches, and you can choose whether you want alerts for everything (every time the phrase/name is indexed) or for particular categories, like discussions and blogs. I suggest you select “everything” and “all results.” My alerts come to me weekly, in one email.

You can create as many alerts as you like. Some people like to receive alerts for their children’s names, sports teams, or special events. Select to your heart’s content.

Why Alerts Matter

Google is pushing SEO criteria toward social mentions and public reviews (testimonials). If your practice or name is mentioned in social media or in testimonials, you’ll gain positive SEO credit. However, a single bad review can cause rankings to plummet – even if the review is old. Alerts, when they work properly, can let you know when you’re mentioned online, and if necessary, you can address that mention with a “thank you” or another response.  Most often, no response is required.

Help for Bad Reviews

Do you have negative online reviews? Is your website’s rank suffering? Perhaps you need to consider a reputation management program that will help your team solicit positive reviews from your happy patients. For information on the MDPM Consulting Reputation Management Program, call us today at 972-781-8861, or email