As health apps become more available, more people are searching for health information. Doctors are concerned that people who are well will clog up the health system after misdiagnosing their own condition based on their Google searches. And there is also concern about the accuracy of much of the health information that results from such searches. Adi Gaskell on Social Business writes:
As searching for health online has become more popular, there have been a number of projects aiming to highlight reputable sources. The Information Standard for instance is a NHS run project aiming to ‘kitemark’ reputable sources of content, but it doesn’t extend very far online yet, with just 250 websites covered.
One site that does is Geneva based Health on the Net who aim to provide a reputation score for sites with quality information. They’re slightly more wide reaching than The Information Standard, with 5,000 sites included.
I suspect that until now you’ve remained blissfully unaware of these services however, and they don’t show up anywhere in the Google search results, and the badges provided by these services probably aren’t noticed by the majority of users.
Suffice to say, Google do take reputation into account already when ranking sites, but I suspect the only real solution is to take this a step further, maybe including the seal of approval from sites like the two above in their algorithm.