If you work in the healthcare field, either as a medical professional, support staff, or in marketing, you may have noticed something unsettling this week.
You might have even said to yourself, “My Vitals.com listing is missing. Where did it go?”
Vitals.com may be just as important as HealthGrades for medical professionals, and is sometimes nearly as important as Google itself.
Patients use Vitals.com to find specialists, and often use it to find general practitioners, as well.
Let’s say you’re a practicing neurosurgeon. If a patient visits Vitals.com to find a specialist with reviews and recommendations, and your listing was all of a sudden missing, they may quickly move on to one of your competitors, right?
It’s a problem, and it’s a problem you probably didn’t know about until you went to check on your listing.
I didn’t know about the missing listings until a RevenueJump client contacted us this week, understandably distraught because his Vitals.com listing disappeared.
Feeling my client’s pain, I dug deeper.
Here’s what I found.
Why My Vitals.com Listing is Missing: Redesign and Acquisition
Vitals.com very recently underwent a site-wide overhaul. It looks completely different than it did the last time I checked.
Here’s what it looks like now:
According to archive.org, here’s what it looked like late last month:
There’s quite a difference there, partially because Yext.com is now handling Vitals.com’s listings.
Yext announced the partnership back on September 8th. Here’s a snippit from what was said:
“Yext today announced the Healthcare Location Cloud, a purpose-built solution for the unique needs of health systems and healthcare providers. The Yext Healthcare Location Cloud includes enhancements to Yext’s award-winning platform that help health systems of all sizes solve their office, facility, and physician location data challenges — and ultimately attract new patients.
As part of today’s announcement, Yext unveiled new partnerships with leading healthcare websites Vitals, Wellness.com, BetterDoctor, EZDoctor, DocSpot, UCompareHealthCare, and DrScore that allow providers to publish data and content about their physicians and facilities in real time via Yext’s patented Dual-Sync™ integrations.”
Vitals isn’t the only directory affected by this partnership but, for medical professionals, it’s likely the most concerning.
The Vitals.com’s blog hasn’t been updated since April, and we’ve yet to see them address the changes.
Here’s what we’ve found:
-The website is completely different
-The website’s FAQ has not changed
-The website’s search function seems to override any location data you input manually, in favor of using your physical location
Apart from the missing listings, the search feature is also disconcerting. Imagine someone living in Ohio who has a sick mother in Colorado. They need to find a reputable neurosurgeon in Colorado, but Vitals.com keeps searching for neurosurgeons in Ohio, no matter how many times they manually input their location parameters. Frustrating, right?
Something fishy is going on for sure.
Yext: Pay to Play
I’ll keep this section brief, because you likely want to know everything we’ve found in our research.
Yext now works with Vitals.com, and Yext is a “pay to play” listing service. They’ll list any given business on multiple directories (most of which are free and fairly easy to set up), which helps businesses that are strapped for time or don’t have a marketing budget.
I understand why Yext thrives. It’s because they offer a convenient service.
But if you stop paying, your listing will either disappear or revert back to how it was before you signed up for Yext (not good if it contained incorrect information).
Previously, Vitals.com took its listing data from around the web. You couldn’t submit your own listing, but you could claim it. It works similarly to Facebook or Yelp– once those platforms find your business name and address, they automatically create a listing so consumers can find business information and leave reviews.
Once the listing is created, it’s up to you to claim it. Vitals’ listings are aggregated from other sources, and you can’t directly create a listing yourself. You can try to claim a listing but, as of now, that functionality seems to be pretty choked up with requests.
So, how will these listings change with Yext at the helm?
What We Actually Know
We’ve reached out to both Vitals.com and Yext, but have yet to hear back from them.
A month ago, I called Vitals to help me solve a problem. They answered within three rings. When I called yesterday, I was sent to voicemail. That tells me they’re overwhelmed with calls right now, so we know something isn’t right.
Much to my relief, the missing listings aren’t because of RevenueJump. But, much to my frustration, the missing listings are still affecting our clients. And they’re affecting you, too.
I did some more digging on my own clients’ listings. 60% of the medical professionals I work with no longer have Vitals.com listings.
If your listing is gone, it redirects to the website’s search function, which looks like this:
A few hours before I sat down to write this, it showed a generic 404 error page. So things are still changing.
If your listing still exists, it now looks like this:
So, here’s what we know;
-The disappearing listings are a result of the website update or Yext listing management
-In the future, you may be required to pay Yext for your Vitals.com listing (yet unconfirmed)
-Missing listings seem to be happening at random, with no rhyme or reason behind them
-Missing listings redirect to the search page
-The search feature is currently buggy
This has nothing to do with review traffic. I could not correlate any reason for the missing listings– number of reviews definitely had nothing to do with it, using my own clients as a sample.
I’m fairly sure this is an accident and it’s being remedied as we speak. Broken listings used to bring up a 404 page, and now they redirect to search– so things are moving behind the scenes.
There’s a possibility Yext removed some listings on purpose, but there’s no way to confirm this.
In the future, though, you may have to pay Yext for your Vitals.com listing.
Depending how long your listing is down, this could have a huge impact. If you’re engaging in any sort of reputation management, or trying to build up your online profile with a Vitals.com listing, you won’t get any reviews on a profile that doesn’t exist.
More importantly, potential patients won’t find you on Vitals.com right now.
I’ll update this post as soon as I hear back. If you want to contact Vitals.com, feel free to update me with any new information you hear, as well.
It looks like we’ll just have to wait this one out, but it looks as if it’s all the result of a major website overhaul combined with Yext integration.
What a headache!
Thanks for reading!