WebMD was founded in 1998, and has served as a model for those searching for health care on the internet. Today WebMD will announce layoffs because how people are searching and finding information on the Internet is changing. Enter ShareCare, a social networking website that is aimed at consumers seeking healthcare. So, what has changed since 1998 in Internet search? Plenty, I am here to tell you.
Caring.com was an early entrant into the expert led answers to consumer questions. And, this field is clearly just beginning to surface. Wikipedia is probably the most famous consumer fed informational website, but, the nature of the Internet is constant change, based on usage. That “based on usage” component is the key.
Consumers are seeking more information about many things before they buy, make appointments, test drive, or call for information. Google is responding accordingly as well. The SEO (Search Engine Optimization) rules are changing as consumer usage and demands change, and as the Internet starts to reach adolescence. I hesitate to say “mature” as the nature of the Internet makes change inevitable.
We do keep up to date with trends in Internet usage, trends in how to market aging related services using the Internet, and what our clients need to do to be positioned correctly as changes occur. There are some nefarious practices right now that try to trick the SEO Gods, and those users will find themselves black listed. What consumers are demanding, and getting, is control over what they are returned when they search, and what level of expertise they are seeking and demanding when they search for information on the Internet.