The Role of SEO in Battling Fake News

  • December 10, 2021
No Comments

SEO is more than just a tool of patient acquisition; it’s also a critical asset for getting ahead of health misinformation. 

Whether you run a single clinic or a whole healthcare system, everyday people turn to you with questions about their health and wellbeing. You are an authority on health information, and your website should be too.

Pero SEO saw this first hand with the COVID19 pandemic. One of our clients is a well-known hospital system in Colorado. On February 14, 2020, this hospital system published its first page on the relatively unknown illness that is now a constant news topic: COVID-19. A month later, the global pandemic was in full swing, and our team knew we had to act quickly to elevate credible voices of authority over the noise of misinformation.

Working closely with the Colorado hospital system’s writing team, we strategically used artificial intelligence (AI) technologies to uncover people’s most pressing COVID-19 questions and the specific search queries they use to get answers. Given the rapid pace of change, these AI technologies were the only way to accurately and quickly amass this kind of specific data.

Based on these insights, we helped the hospital system proactively churn out and optimize content about everything from asymptomatic COVID to monoclonal antibodies to taking zinc for COVID. More recently, we’ve helped them cover the highly infectious Delta variant of COVID-19, addressing pressing reader concerns about vaccine efficacy, mask-wearing, and vaccinating children.

This AI-informed SEO approach catapulted this healthcare system’s content to national standing. Their COVID articles have collectively received over 5.9 million pageviews*, a number that exceeds the population of the State of Colorado. In other words, this regional health system is now informing a national audience about one of the most important medical topics of our time.

Our SEO insights also sounded the alarm about some troubling misinformation. For instance, the search query ‘COVID vaccine and fertility’ started gaining traction in late December 2020, as the first doses of vaccines were rolling out in the US. The search trend exploded in the spring and summer, as did vaccine misinformation related to the topic. Our data insights help our client get ahead of the misinformation; they published their first article about the topic in May and followed up with a second one in August. Being a Google News publisher and having a well-optimized page helped the page net over 6,000 views in the first month and rank for over 50 keywords.***

SEO has always been an important tool for patient acquisition, but it also has proven essential in the battle against COVID19 and other health misinformation. The results are unimpeachable: our client’s 268 COVID-19 related articles appeared on the first page of Google results 99.96% of the time for over 1000 search terms**. The optimized content has also been featured in Google “Special Announcements” over 718,000 times. UCHealth COVID articles have appeared multiple times in Google’s Top Stories, and in the last 3 months have been read 7,200 times in Google News.** Our client helped address “People also ask” for over 180 unique questions, adding an average of 5,000 clicks a month to organic traffic.***

All this data points to how Search Engine Optimization is a vital tool during a global pandemic. Not only does it facilitate the delivery of fact-based medical advice to the public, but it can help fight against dangerous myths and misinformation that so often plague search results. With so much misinformation out there on the internet, it’s more important than ever that your website be visible, present, and responsive to your readers’ questions and needs. And good SEO strategy is your best line of defense.

About us and this blog

We are a digital marketing company with a focus on helping our customers achieve great results across several key areas.

Request a free quote

We offer professional SEO services that help websites increase their organic search score drastically in order to compete for the highest rankings even when it comes to highly competitive keywords.

More from our blog

See all posts