These past few years the United States has seen an extreme rise in drug addiction. As a result, the addiction treatment industry has skyrocketed. Since President Trump declared the opioid crisis as a national emergency, people and their family members are taking addiction more seriously. When these people search for help from an addiction treatment center they often search on Google. However, in early September a huge exposé by The Verge exposed the numerous misleading and problematic ads for addiction treatment centers flooding the most popular search engine.
Once The Verge exposé gained momentum, Google began taking action against misleading ads. Google has cracked down immensely on addiction treatment ads mainly by blocking a continuously growing list of keywords. Some of these keywords include “rehab(s) near me,” “alcohol treatment,” “drug addiction treatment,” and thousands more. Unfortunately, the removal of Google AdWords that prevent scam addiction treatment center ads from being seen also hide ads for reputable addiction treatment centers. This removal of ads became an unfortunate surprise many addiction treatment marketers experienced without warning.
Google is the biggest source providing patients to addiction treatment centers across the United States. Treatment centers advertising on Google state how much they want to spend on search ads per month and which keywords they’d like to run those ads against. These treatment centers pay Google every time someone clicks on their ad. This process has since been derailed by the blocking of many keywords used by treatment centers for advertising.
Another problem with eliminating Google Adwords for certain keywords is the Google Maps business listings popping up in their place. A large number of addiction treatment center business listings are complete spam. These listings contain an address that only exists for a lead generation number to reach more people. Additionally, business listings are vulnerable to hijackers that take advantage of the “suggest an edit” feature on Google. Hijackers often use the edit feature to add their own 800-numbers taking away leads from the actual business. Alan Johnson, the Chief Assistant state attorney of Florida, warns businesses that “If you’re a facility and you don’t check your map on a regular basis, you will be hijacked”.
Millions of people trust the search results given by Google. So, many marketers in the addiction treatment industry hope Google takes an active role deciphering between the scam and legitimate centers. These marketers believe setting up a certification program on Google for rehab centers is the best step for to take. Meanwhile, addiction treatment marketers can still find success advertising on websites like Bing or Facebook. Or through the traditional advertising route of radio, television, and billboards. At Brandamos, we have experience in both digital and traditional advertising and we know the best ways to reach your selected audience. Contact us today and we will put your addiction treatment center in front of as many eyes possible.
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