Is chiropractic medicine gaining traction online?

By Michael Dorausch, D.C.

The information in this article is intended for chiropractors and involves a report on the status of current terms or phrases appearing in search engine log data. The author has been studying search related web logs for more than 10 years with a specific emphasis on chiropractic related search terms.

Some important things to consider when reading content like this is that the information can (and will) change quickly. The data for this article is based on US search results for the month of May, 2006. This was the most recent data I had available to me while preparing this article.

I was curious to find what the status was on the term “chiropractic medicine” in relationship to other terms that may or may not be getting used when performing search engine queries online.

Chiropractic Care Search DominatesIt would be a poor argument for me to say that the term chiropractic medicine would even be closely as popular as the more general common term “chiropractic.” No term related to chiropractic is being searched or sought out more than the word itself. With that being said, I was not so interested in seeing a comparison between the term chiropractic (which includes everything even remotely related to the term) versus something more specific, such as the term chiropractic medicine.

For those of you that are interested, according to the most recent global data, for every 100 searches including the term chiropractic medicine, there are 3000 that do not include medicine in the search query. That is a factor of about 30 to 1 in favor of chiropractic.

What I found interesting about the search results was that while searching for the chiropractic medicine term I came across the term chiropractic care. Not only did the term chiropractic care appear more frequently in search engine data, it was by a factor of more than 1.6 times that of the medicine term. In other words, for every 10 searches including the phrase chiropractic medicine, there were more than 16 searches for the term chiropractic care. The care term then has a current popularity that is not quite twice that of the medicine term, but it has a significant numerical advantage over it. (One million vs. one point six million makes it more obvious)

But what is someone typing chiropractic medicine seeking? And how about a person searching chiropractic care? There is another term that is gaining in popularity and that is the term chiropractic information. For the May data that we researched the term chiropractic medicine was only .14 times more popular than the term chiropractic information. And research on the term chiropractic medicine information brings back a big zero for results at this time.

It’s fairly clear that when somebody is typing chiropractic information into a search engine such as Yahoo!, Google, MSN or Dog Pile, that they are searching for just that. They could get pro chiropractic information, anti chiropractic information, stuff related to various chiropractor organizations, and lots of paid advertisements.

The person typing chiropractic medicine or chiropractic care does not give us as clear an understanding as to the intent of the searcher. But the intent of this article isn’t necessarily to be clear. It is intended to get a basic fuzzy understanding as to what’s going on in the United States and the world at large when it comes to searching for these phrases and terms.

So a person searching chiropractic medicine or chiropractic care may likely be searching for information about the benefits of chiropractic care. And for that matter, the benefits of chiropractic medicine. I am not quite sure how somebody is using the term chiropractic medicine in a sentence or question but I’ll publish what I find. Chiropractic care makes sense to me, as it would be a logical assumption that somebody would be searching for “benefits of chiropractic care.” That is not to say that they wouldn’t search for the benefits of chiropractic medicine, the data to date is just not suggesting that a measurable population is doing so.

Conclusion: this is a moving inquiry and the jury is still out on overall popularity of these terms. I am not suggesting that anyone begin using the term chiropractic medicine (especially since the term chiropractic care is showing to be more popular), I am just reporting the facts as I found them.

For those of you that find this discussion interesting consider the terms chiropractic adjustment and chiropractic manipulation. Even though many chiropractic schools and colleges (and insurance companies for that matter), may more frequently use the term manipulation, the search data for this same time period (May 06′) shows that chiropractic adjustment is two times more popular. So regardless of which side of the fence you’re on the term chiropractic adjustment currently rules the day. @ 3:22 pm | Article ID: 1151792525