“Insincere” Dental Blogs: We are not that naive!

Why I Blog about Dentistry and Dental Topics

As a full time practicing dentist and a part-time blogger, I write about dentistry because I enjoy doing so.  With years of clinical experience under my belt, I feel privileged to be able to share my observations online and to help readers and potential patients understand the many facets of private practice dental care.  When it comes to my posts, I always try to personalize the information so that readers know that there is a real dentist behind this blog and not some for-hire marketing professional.

I also blog because it helps to increase my online visibility.  Patients not only look for information about dentistry online but they also search for and evaluate dentists.  If you are a dentist without a visible web presence, it is unlikely you will get new patients who searched for a dentist online.  When I blog about common dental topics (fillings, root canals, dental implants, etc.), patients searching for information online are likely to come across my blog. Assuming the patient is in the same geographic region as Orange, CT and that they believe I am a good clinician, they may actually pick up the phone and make an appointment.

Why Other Dentists Blog

The fact that a blog about dentistry can help a dentist gain visibility online is in no way a secret.  This is well known by many dentists and the numerous enterprises that help dentists with their websites.  As a result, many other dentists have started blogs, a fact which I pointed out in my inaugural post. However, the majority of dentists do not blog because they like writing and conveying dental information; they blog solely to “juice” up their online presence.

Most dentists have neither the time nor desire to blog about dental topics. So they hire marketing firms to blog for them. The following is an example:

Insincere Dental Blog post canned content not written by dentist

The above is a screenshot of a “blog” from a dentist in a part of the country far away from my office in Orange, CT.   Some key observations here:

  • The topic is Kathy Ireland and her need for dental implants.  Kathy, as a well-known celebrity, lives in the Los Angeles area.  This dentist resides approximately 2500 miles from Los Angeles and does not market himself as a “Dentist for the Stars.” Do readers actually believe that he provided the dental treatment to Kathy Ireland?
  • Near the top, there are white brush strokes where I blanked out the dentist’s name to preserve his anonymity.  But it used to read: “By: Dr. ZZZ YYYYYY DDS” implying that Dr. YYYYYY DDS actually wrote the article.  Does the reader actually believe this dentist wrote this?
  • The post is written in the third person, with no reference to that dentist’s experience and training, his geographic location, his interests, or anything else relating the post to that particular dentist.

If you go ahead and cut and paste two sentences from this blog post into Google, this is what you will see:

Google Results showing insincere and recycled dental blog posts

You end up seeing the same exact content on multiple different dental blogs!

I used a red pen to cross out information that might allow readers to quickly identify the exact dental blogs.  Basically, these dentists have all contracted with one marketing firm to allow them to package and publish content under their own names. On just this one page of Google search results, we see dentists from Michigan, Georgia, and Illinois all “writing” the same information about Kathy Ireland’s dental implants!

On the surface, this may seem like great marketing for the dentist. After all, if the dentist is writing about Kathy Ireland’s dental implants, then he/she must be a great clinician!  But if you analyze it more, you reach several conclusions:

  • Readers are not naive enough to actually believe that a dentist in Georgia is intimately familiar with Kathy Ireland’s dental implants, let alone restoring them!
  • Any reader who actually spends more than 30 seconds perusing the article will see no references to that particular dentist at all, leading the reader to question who wrote this boring article.
  • Readers will then realize the dentist didn’t write the article, despite it saying on the blog that the dentist wrote it. From there, they will wonder what else the dentist is not being truthful about and start thinking about going to a different dentist…

Please keep in mind that I am in no way bashing my fellow dentists as incompetent clinicians. I am sure that each one of these dentists treats his/her patients with respect, provides good treatment, and has an excellent clinical team supporting them. I am simply  questioning their judgment in attaching their name and reputation to such an insincere endeavor.

There are many good dental blogs out there.  Dr. Chip Payet in Charlotte, NC blogs about digital dental photography here.  Dr. Alan Mead in Saginaw, MI writes about many dental topics at Mead Family Dental.  And there are many others.

So what is the secret behind a great dental blog? Original content written by the dentist himself or herself.  It’s that simple. And that is the point of Directions in Dentistry!