Jul 9, 2010
Thank you to everyone the commented on the previous blog post I did regarding Google force-ranking NIH drug product information in the #1 position for organic searches. I received several good, thought-provoking comments in the blog itself, as well as many more direct emails and DMs to my twitter handle.
One interesting question posed was “How do you know what’s really going on?”. Fair enough.
Rather than assume anything, we went right to the horse’s mouth, called up Google and asked them a few questions. I’d like to pass along the answers to those questions to the readers.
Not an ‘official’ interview…the conversation went something like this:
Roska: Is there an explicit or official partnership between Google and the NIH [or is Google merely pulling NIH content]?
Google: Google has partnered with the NIH to license their information to serve it through Google. The goal is to provide NIH results for all drugs searches [brand and generic], so there is a consistent, credible source of health information.
Roska: Why do some drug searches not currently yield an NIH search result?
Google: The NIH may not have all information yet but Google does intend to roll this out for all drug searches occurring in the US (no exceptions). No specific timeline has yet been released. If a product is not listed, you can submit it to your Google rep and they will hand it over to the proper contact. Additionally, if there is incorrect information for a product, you can work with your rep to update it.
Roska: Are there any future updates planned you can tell us about?
Google: There is a new subset of YouTube policies around pharma manufacturers.
So…back to some of the original questions.
- Is there a deal between Google and the NIH? Yes.
- Do we know the real motivations behind the deal? No.
- Is all of the drub information current and accurate? No.
- Are all of the drug products listed? No.
- Will pharma pay the price by having to spend more on paid search? Absolutely.