Google Adds New Health-Search Feature For Medications

Last year Google began integrating structured health-related content at the top of search results (“Health OneBox“). Here’s what that looks like today for a search on “diabetes“:

Today Google is expanding that search feature to include medications.

When users search on a prescription or generic drug (e.g., “Lipitor” or “acetaminophen”) a summary and description will appear at the top of search results. The summary links to National Institutes of Health (NIH) content and more specific information such as “side effects.” (The National Institutes of Health in turn license this data from The American Society of Health-System Pharmacists.)

The content and feature is US only. Google declined to say whether it would roll out to other countries. I would imagine that reliable content partnerships are a challenge to find in many countries around the world.

I spoke briefly this morning to Roni Zeiger, MD, Google’s “Chief Health Strategist,” about the new feature. He characterized Health as a key vertical in terms of consumer interest and query volume. Bing designated Health as one of its “strategic verticals” as well.

By making this type of information more visible — and reliable — in search results Google may drive additional consumer queries for drugs and their side effects.

In terms of advertising, the IAB shows Phrama and Health Care as a significant online ad-spending category.

At 4 percent of ad revenues, Health/Pharma represented just over $900 million in online ad spending in 2009 according to the IAB. And if search is roughly 47 percent of all online ad spending (or was in 2009 ) then the paid search share of this online health advertising pie is a little over $426 million.

Having said all that Google is trying to serve a perceived consumer need for authoritative health information and any advertising benefits that accrue to the company are a secondary matter. But that’s the beauty of the model, serve the consumer and the revenues follow.

Related Topics: Channel: Consumer | Google: Health | Google: Web Search

Sponsored


About The Author: is a Contributing Editor at Search Engine Land. He writes a personal blog Screenwerk, about SoLoMo issues and connecting the dots between online and offline. He also posts at Internet2Go, which is focused on the mobile Internet. Follow him @gsterling.

Connect with the author via: Email | Twitter | Google+ | LinkedIn



SearchCap:

Get all the top search stories emailed daily!  

Share

Other ways to share:
 

Read before commenting! We welcome constructive comments and allow any that meet our common sense criteria. This means being respectful and polite to others. It means providing helpful information that contributes to a story or discussion. It means leaving links only that substantially add further to a discussion. Comments using foul language, being disrespectful to others or otherwise violating what we believe are common sense standards of discussion will be deleted. Comments may also be removed if they are posted from anonymous accounts. You can read more about our comments policy here.

Comments are closed.

Get Our News, Everywhere!

Daily Email:

Follow Search Engine Land on Twitter @sengineland Like Search Engine Land on Facebook Follow Search Engine Land on Google+ Get the Search Engine Land Feed Connect with Search Engine Land on LinkedIn Check out our Tumblr! See us on Pinterest

 
 

Click to watch SMX conference video

Join us at one of our SMX or MarTech events:

United States

Europe

Australia & China

Learn more about: SMX | MarTech


Free Daily Search News Recap!

SearchCap is a once-per-day newsletter update - sign up below and get the news delivered to you!

 


 

Search Engine Land Periodic Table of SEO Success Factors

Get Your Copy
Read The Full SEO Guide