We’ve been talking about online reputation management for dentists on consumer review websites.
We recommend monitoring what patients are saying about you on the Internet, but not taking it too seriously. Freaking out or filing lawsuits isn’t likely to be in your best interest.
If you want to find out what people are saying about you, you need to know where to look. Here are the major players in the public dentist review business. To give you a sense of each site’s scope, we’ve seen how many dentists are listed for two sample areas: San Francisco, California, and Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (Note that the numbers may not be directly comparable, since some sites provide results only for a specific city, while others search the entire metropolitan area.)
Though most of these sites are national, each geographic market has its own favorites. Ask around to find out which site is preferred by people in your area.
Yelp (1,660 dentists in San Francisco, 280 in Milwaukee)
Firmly entrenched in the San Francisco area, Yelp serves 24 urban markets in the US. These days, Yelp is generally considered to be the industry leader in the consumer review category. The site covers all sorts of businesses and professionals.
Angie’s List (500 dentists in the San Francisco and San Jose area, 300 in Milwaukee)
This site is different in that there is a small monthly fee in order to view reviews. This site is especially popular in the Midwest.
DR. Oogle (850 family dentists listed for San Francisco, 80 family dentists in Milwaukee)
This website calls itself “The Good Dentist Guide” and specializes in dentist reviews, boasting over 100,000 reviews and more than 5,000 registered dentists. It is based in San Francisco, but serves most major metropolitan areas. Some San Francisco dentists have hundreds of reviews. The site does allow dentists to reply to comments and remove their listings. It may display information on high-ranking dentists on competitor’s listings, but these are not paid advertisements.
RateMDs (70 dentists listed for San Francisco, 7 in Milwaukee)
Founded by the man who created RateMyProfessors.com, this site lets users review medical professionals. You can register to respond directly to any comments made about you, but you cannot remove your name from their listings.
Judy’s Book (70 dentists listed for San Francisco, 3 in Milwaukee)
A more minor player in the review game, this site was recently sold and relaunched. In the Health & Medical section, there’s a category for “Coroners”… one can only imagine the situation in which an ordinary person would have cause to rate a coroner… or the situation in which an ordinary person would go shopping online to find the most highly-recommended coroner.
Insider Pages (170 reviewed dentists and 1,800 total dentist listings for San Francisco, 43 reviewed dentists and 900 total listings for Milwaukee)
The site appears to list a massive number of doctors, but most listings do not include customer reviews. Owners can add coupons and messages about their businesses to their listings.
CitySearch (50 reviewed dentists and 273 total dentist listings for San Francisco, 110 reviewed dentists and 1,228 total listings for Milwaukee)
CitySearch recently acquired Insider Pages.
Google (1,140 dentists with consumer ratings in the greater San Francisco area, 560 in the greater Milwaukee area)
Though it’s rarely mentioned as a review site, Google’s local business search allows users to enter in their own ratings and reviews, but most of the reviews are from other sites such as those listed above. This means that a review on one website can find its way to Google. Since many people to go to Google to find local businesses, expect these ratings to carry more weight over time.
Wondering How To Search for Yourself?
Option one is to go to each of the above websites and browse the directory or search the listings for yourself. But it turns out there’s an easier way…
The second option is to let Google do the heavy lifting for you. But to take advantage of this option, you’re going to need to determine your keywords. Then you’ll use Google to search each website, one at a time, for those keywords.
Take a moment to consider which keywords would best identify you. You’ll want to select some combination of the following:
- Your last name. (If you have a common last name, you might also include your first name.)
- A geographic identifier: your town, city or state.
- Your dental practice name, or a keyword in your practice name.
- Either “Dr.” or “dentist.”
Then go to Google. In the search box, enter the keywords that will identify you. Then you’ll want to specify which site you want Google to search; do this by entering “site:www.yelp.com” or whichever website you’re interested in.
So let’s review: The text you enter in the Google search box should look something like one of these:
- Boucher Kansas Dentist site:www.yelp.com
- Dr. Stillman Toronto site:www.droogle.com
- “Gentle Dental” Boston site:www.insiderpages.com
You’ll then see a complete listing of everywhere on that site where your keywords appear.
Once you find your profile, it’s a good idea to bookmark it. You might get in the habit of checking your reviews about once a month.
One More Time – Which Sites Should I Check?
We recommend taking a look at all of the sites listed above. Once again, here they are:
- www.AngiesList.com [NOTE: Angie's List requires a paid subscription to see full reviews.]
- local.google.com [NOTE: Go to Google Maps and search for your keywords there to find your listing.]
You might be surprised to find out what people are saying about you… Because, like it or not, the Yelp Revolution has happened, and you don’t get to control all information about your dental practice anymore.