Doctor Google improves health-related searches

Doctor Google

It’s no secret that web users often turn to Doctor Google in an effort to diagnose health-related issues. Now, Google Search recognises this and accompanies symptom searches with a list of possibly related health conditions.

Google analysed its own search data and found that searches for illness symptoms are often followed by searches for related conditions. By returning a list of possibly related conditions along with searches, Google may actually remove some of the associated risk with online self-diagnosis.

Search for symptoms in Google Search

Google do stress that the lists of conditions returned are generated algorithmically and “not authored by doctors”. They are in no way advice from medical experts.

Google’s health service product Google Health shut-down permanently at the start of last month, so perhaps it has brought some of the experience gained there to Google Search.

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Darren McCarra
Darren McCarra is co-editor of The Sociable. He has a keen interest in photography, all things mobile, and writing about technology and social media. You can follow him on Twitter, Facebook and Google+.