Medical Practice Website Scams

The Search Engine Optimisation Scam every medical practice should know about

Updated August 2021.

David Douglas

David Douglas

Director – Medical Website Solutions | Head of Health Marketing.
Over 15 years of website and online marketing experience.

The Search Engine Optimisation Scam

What is Search Engine Optimisation – We may not need to tell you this, but here it is in a nutshell:

Google, Bing and Yahoo are the three top search engines used in Australia. People type in search requests to find the products and services they are looking for online. The search engines use a complex algorithm to find and rank information (websites) that they deem most relevant to the user.

The Google algorithm alone considers over 200 factors when ranking a website.

Source – Blue Corona Google’s Ranking factors 2019

Why is Search Engine Optimisation so important

62% of all people click on the the first 4 natural or organic search results:

  • 31% of traffic clicks to the first position
  • 14% of traffic clicks on the second position
  • 10% of traffic clicks on the third position
  • 7% of traffic clicks on the fourth position.

Source – Blue Corona Google’s Ranking factors 2019

So if your practice’s website does not rank in the top natural search results on Google you potentially miss out on a lot patients finding out about your medical services.

It’s a simple formula. Not ranking highly on page one of search engines – Less patients, less income.

You can see why Search Engine Optimisation should be considered as a very serious aspect in your websites strategy to help patients find your medical services.

What is the Search Engine Optimisation Scam

This is commonly what happens – Your practice is contacted by email stating:

I was looking at your website and found “” is not ranking on the first page of Google for their targeted keyword “Specialist Orthopaedic Surgeon Australia”

On the other hand your competitors are coming on top results and they must be getting good customers through the internet.

I believe in just 2 things, i.e. QUALITY CONTENT and QUALITY BACKLINKS. I am Jason and I am looking for collaboration with your company. My rates are very cheap..starts with $100/month. If you are interested in speaking further, you can revert to me on email. Or if you want, we can communicate on skype or phone.

Why does this scam potentially work

It plays on the insecurity and potential inexperience of the practice thinking “I am missing out on patients and income because my website is not optimised for the keyword – Specialist Orthopaedic Surgeon Australia”.

What is the reality in this situation

The reality is most patients will search for specific specialists using their location – For example:

  • Foot surgeon Melbourne or;
  • Hip replacement surgeon Melbourne

The example used in this scam “Specialist Orthopaedic Surgeon Australia” is too general to help a patient looking for help in relation to a specific ailment.

Other reasons this scam falls apart under further analysis

The majority of the time, the organisation or person contacting you does not know what keywords your practice’s website pages are optimised for. They will also not know the online strategy employed on your website and most likely they haven’t even taken the time to research the target patient group you are trying to capture.

Contacting these scam artists will most likely result in wasted time, money and the loss of potential patients to your website.

What should know about your medical practice’s website

Ask your website team:

  1. What keywords is our website optimised for
  2. What is the potential amount of traffic that these keywords can drive into our practice
  3. What position does our website currently rank on Google in relation to our targeted keywords
  4. Are our target patients using the keywords to find our practice
  5. What is our conversion rate on our website in reltion to our keywords.

A legitimate Search Engine Optimisation company will ask the above questions as a minimum and undertake further research in terms of your practice and overall strategy.