By Michael Dorausch, D.C.
Health-care related topics are often times reported to be one of the most researched topics on the internet, especially when one suspects they have symptoms of a particular disease or condition. A brief scanning of today’s health related news returns headlines related to carcinogens, bird flu, cancer risks, over-the-counter drug safety questions, prescription medication safety concerns, breast cancer and chemotherapy, vaccine recalls, reports of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease in hospitals, and stories of mercury found in eye products like eyeliner and mascara. Nearly every major media web site features at least one health section that provides original health-care related content, or aggregates syndicated content from other popularly known health resources.
Well-known hospitals, medical associations, and prestigious journals are commonly mentioned in these news articles, and readers are sometimes given an opportunity to click through on articles, taking them to websites that focus more specifically on the published topic, whether it be condition related, drug related, or disease related. But links are not always provided, which leaves users with the requirement of searching (often via one of the major search engines) for more information. The ability to track search queries provides us with an opportunity to study the popularity, consumer consciousness, and/or brand awareness of various healthcare associations and organizations in the United States.
Taking a single keyword term we were able to determine which groups currently command the greatest amount of search traffic related to their association, organization, or society names. I believe all of the health-care organizations and associations addressed in this article rely on donations, membership, and financial grants as a source of income, making this a significantly important topic when it comes to branding and overall share of mind.
The parameters set out for this research were to use a single keyword term and to limit results to the top 100 searches. We incorporated the use of a third-party application that periodically compiles a database of over 300 million terms, which is updated on a weekly basis, so we could pull from a wide array of results.
Results below are listed in order of most searches performed for a particular keyword phrase, to the least searched phrase, which still had results appearing in the top 100 search queries. The average number of searches (for each key phrase) for the past 90 days is listed to the right of the term. Results came from US-based search queries.
Search Term: American
Results: 9 health-care related results in top 100 search queries.
1) American Heart Association — 1,557
2) American Cancer Society — 1,490
3) American Red Cross — 1,367
4) American Diabetes Association — 863
5) American Medical Association — 859
6) American Dental Association — 366
7) American Lung Association — 323
8) American Psychological Association — 288
9) American Academy of Pediatrics — 271
In reviewing the terms we can group Heart, Cancer, Diabetes, and Lungs, into a category of disease and/or condition focused organizations. The remaining five can be categorized into various specialties of medicine, with the possible exception of the American Red Cross, which is likely best known in the US for blood drives.
For those interested, if we dipped into the top 200 search terms (that included the word American), results included: American Journal of Nursing (227), American Diabetic Association (177), American Nurses Association (174), and American Psychological Association Publications (154).
Three things I discovered from performing this research is that “American” is a commonly used term amongst US-based healthcare associations and organizations, and all of the nine listed have strong brand recognition amongst consumers, with the American Heart Association being the most searched of the group.
If you’re curious, perform a Google News query for any of the above search phrases (here are two examples: American Heart Association News Search and American Red Cross News Search), you may be surprised to discover the great number of relevant results returned.
Have a term you’d like to see related research on? Contact the editor (yellow envelope image under title of this article) with your request.
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