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Health Library Content and SEO - Frequently Asked Questions

NOTE: Companies that are interested in having their Health Library content pages appear in search engines such as Google should use the EIT Web Services API delivery method. Please note that the browser-based delivery method is not optimized for search engines as it is syndicated content that lives on the EBSCO servers.

The FAQs that follow provide answers to the most common questions regarding Health Library Content and Search Engine Optimization. Please see the document Search Engine Optimization Tips for Your Website and Your Health Library Pages for a list of SEO best practices.

What is SEO and what does it have to do with my Health Library content?
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization, and it is the practice of improving your website in order to help search engines such as Google crawl and index your site so it can appear in the search engine results pages when someone conducts a search for a specific keyword. Often referred to as ‘organic’ these rankings are decided by the search engine algorithm and are different than ‘paid search.’

When you place Health Library content on your website using the EIT Web Services API delivery method this content has the ability to appear in the search engine results pages for relevant queries. This can help you increase traffic to your website, increase brand recognition, build trust, increase revenue, and establish your website as a leading health information portal.

Is the content in Health Library optimized for the Search Engines?
Yes. The content contained in EBSCO’s Health Library has been optimized for search engines and can help you generate traffic to your website from search engine platforms such as Google and Bing. Medical searches are very popular online, and your Health Library content will help your site be found for consumer related health queries.

Please note that there are many other important factors that affect search engine optimization that are unique to your company website and are the responsibility of your website team. Please see the FAQs ‘How is the content in Health Library optimized for the search engines’ and ‘What do I need to do on my end to help improve the rankings of my website and Health Library Pages?

How is the content in Health Library optimized for search engines?

  • Health Library Provides Quality Content
    High-quality content is one of the most important factors in search engine optimization. Health Library provides content that is useful, evidence-based, cited, sourced and systematically reviewed. Search Engines provide higher rankings for quality content, and users tend to share high-quality content through social media, blog posts, etc. which can increase site authority.

    Customers can also add unique content to their Health Library pages, such as how their institution deals with a particular condition, or other services they offer that are related to the condition. Having some unique content on your Health Library pages can help your pages perform better in the search engine results pages.

  • Health Library content is optimized with relevant keywords with high monthly search volumes based on research and contains keywords for:

    • 1,000 conditions for the A-Z conditions fact sheets
    • more than 98% of all condition cases treated in the USA
    • 430 A-Z procedures
    • topics included in magazine style articles
    • alternative treatments
    • answers to questions
    • drug information
    • English and Spanish language
  • Health Library contains variations of keywords
    In addition to the main keywords, the content in Health Library is also optimized with synonyms and alternatives names for conditions. The keywords in the content include both long-tail keyword phrases and short-tail broad phrases.

  • Keywords are placed strategically on the page
    Keywords are placed strategically on the Health Library pages following SEO best practices. The main keywords are contained in the H1 tag and the synonyms are in the H2 tag. The keywords are also used multiple times in the body copy and in the anchor text of links.

  • Health Library contains a browse interface that helps Google crawl and index content
    Health Library provides an organized navigation structure and a clear browse interface that can help search engines crawl and index content.

  • Health Library provides an internal link structure with keyword-rich anchor text
    Internal links can help search engines crawl and index pages. Health Library provides a robust internal linking structure with keyword-rich anchor text.

  • Health Library is mobile-friendly with responsive design
    Google provides higher rankings for mobile-friendly websites in mobile search. The browser-based delivery method includes a responsive design interface. If you are using the EIT Web Services API delivery method you can customize the Health Library content to be responsive and mobile-friendly.

Why aren’t my Health Library content pages appearing on the first page of Google?
Broad keywords for the consumer medical market are extremely competitive and chances are if you search on a broad term such as ‘heart attack,’ the search engine results pages will display content from government websites such as the NIH, or other large medical search engines.

However if you were to enter a more specific query such as ‘heart attack and the name of your medical institution’ your Health Library page should appear first in the search engine results pages. This applies to other long-tail keyword searches that are relevant to the content on the page.

It is also important to understand that search engines prefer to display unique content higher in the search engine results pages, as they want to provide variety and they do not want to return the same content multiple times. When you use syndicated content on your website you compete with other websites for the same keywords and you may not always appear in the search engine results pages for broad terms. Therefore we recommend that you add some unique content to your Health Library pages to help your pages stand out. See the FAQ ‘Will the search engines penalize me for having syndicated content on my site?

Will the Search Engines penalize me for having syndicated content on my site?
No, there is no ‘penalty’ for having duplicate content on your site, however unique content has the ability to rank higher.

Google will only penalize a site if the duplicate content is used maliciously to try to deceive or manipulate the search engines or create spam. It is an accepted practice for websites to place syndicated content on their websites. That being said, you should try not to use duplicate content within your same website domain as this can divide backlinks and confuse Google for which version should appear in the search engine results pages. Google provides instructions on how to manage this type of duplicate content here.

The issue to be aware of when using syndicated content is that this same content also lives on the websites of other institutions who also subscribe. Google strives to show variation so it does not want to show a long list of results that contain the same content. Therefore it will most likely show the content for the sites that have the most ‘authority’ or that are optimized the best. It may also use some signals such as location to decide which results would be most relevant.

We suggest you add some unique content to your Health Library pages which will provide additional value and help the search engines recognize it as different. For example you could add information on how your medical institution deals with a particular condition, or you could include quotes, testimonials, and images.

What are the pros and cons of using syndicated content as it applies to SEO?

PROS

  • You can provide high-quality content that is useful to your visitors without having to spend the time and money to create it.

  • High quality content is the most important factor for SEO. Health Library content is very high quality as it is evidence-based, contains cited sources, and is regularly updated.

  • The content in Health Library is optimized for search engines and covers topics for the most popular search queries based on research. It also contains a browse feature and internal linking.

  • You can use Health Library content across all digital channels to drive traffic to your website, generate backlinks, and encourage social shares, all of which can help your rankings in the search engine results pages. Content can be used in social media, direct mail, blog posts, web ads, videos, and more.

  • You can attract new visitors to your website who discover your Health Library content in the search engine results pages.

  • Apart from driving traffic to your site, when your content appears in the search engine results pages it can help increase brand recognition, build trust, and position your company as a medical information resource.

CONS

  • The main problem with using syndicated content on your site is that this same content is also on the websites of other companies who also subscribe. This means you are competing with those websites for the same keywords, and the search engines may not rank your site high for broad keywords as it likes to show result lists that contain unique content. We recommend that you add some unique content to your Health Library pages to help set them apart. See the FAQ ‘Will the Search Engines penalize me for having syndicated content on my site?

What do I need to do on my end to help improve the rankings of my website and Health Library Pages?
EBSCO’s Health Library content has been optimized for the search engines in terms of keywords, navigation structure, and internal linking, however there is a lot more to consider to ensure that your website is optimized for search engines, and much of that has to do with how your individual website was build and designed. Some issues that affect SEO include domain level issues, page level issues, internal site structure, site indexing and accessibility issues, and technology issues.

We suggest you work with your website team and ensure they are following SEO best practices on all levels. Google provides clear outlines of what you can do to improve your website’s interaction with users and search engines (see the FAQ ‘Where can I learn more about SEO?’). Google’s guides explain the importance of quality content, meta-data, URLs, site speed, bounce rate, internal linking, 404s, robots.txt, and more.

Search Engines also take into consideration the popularity, or ‘authority,’ of your domain and individual pages. There are many factors to gaining ‘authority’ and some include the amount of high-quality sites that link to your site, social shares, brand mentions, the age of your domain etc. You can encourage backlinks by providing high-quality content and marketing your website and Health Library pages.

What if I don’t want my Health Library Pages indexed in the search engines?
If you do not want your Health Library content to appear in the search engine results you can add a noindex meta tag to the pages.

Does EBSCO provide SEO Services?
EBSCO can answer any of your questions regarding Health Library content and SEO, however we do not provide customized SEO services. Search engine optimization is typically the responsibility of your website team as it is an issue that applies to your entire website, not just the Health Library pages.

If you have an in-house SEO expert they can instruct the website team, or you could consider consulting an SEO expert. There is also a lot of excellent documentation online regarding SEO best practices (see FAQ ‘Where can I learn more about SEO’). Also see EBSCO’s document SEO Best Practices to Optimize Your Website and Health Library Pages .

Where can I learn more about SEO?
EBSCO provides some SEO best practices to help you optimize your website:
SEO Best Practices to Optimize Your Website and Health Library Pages.

You can also learn a lot about SEO best practices from documentation provided by Google and SEO Consulting Companies. We recommend the following:

From Google: