How Tech Companies Are Getting In-between Small Businesses & Customers

Major Australian tech companies, like MenuLog and HealthEngine, are using Google’s paid advertising platform as a way to profit from the goodwill of small businesses.

The tactic involves exploiting Google’s advertising platform. Allowing these tech giants to divert existing customers away from a local business’s website to their own platform, ‘refer’ them back to the business, and charge the business for the privilege.

Platforms like HealthEngine are, in theory, supposed to act as a conduit for customers to easily find relevant health service providers and make online bookings. Healthcare providers which sign up for HealthEngine’s service do so for its online booking functionality as well as a way to find new patients and grow their practice.

HealthEngine’s marketing services are paid for by way of a referral fee, on the assumption that patients booking online through the HealthEngine site are a new patient the business couldn’t have found otherwise with its own marketing efforts.

The problem, however, in this arrangement, is that HealthEngine is incentivised to send as many bookings as they can to the healthcare provider to maximise their referral commission.

When someone searches for the name of a specific practice, HealthEngine are able to display an ad at the top of the search results. In turn, when the patient books online, they do so on the HealthEngine website and not on the website owned by the small business.

Instead of marketing to customers who are unsure where to find a provider or which provider to use, they are able to simply claim existing customers as new referrals and profit.

Let’s take a look at the example below.

My local GP is St Francis Medical Centre. When I want to make an appointment with them, I do what most do and Google their name.

After all, who saves phone numbers anymore?

When I do this, the first search engine result shown is not the website of St Francis Medical, but HealthEngine. Not only that, but HealthEngine uses the name of the medical centre as the headline in the ad.

The average person would most likely assume the HealthEngine ad to be the practice’s own and would make a booking through that link.

ezgif.com webp to jpg converted

This is not only the case with the search of a business, but of an individual practitioner as well.

ezgif.com webp to jpg converted (1)

Someone searching for a business name or healthcare professional’s name on Google, must already know the business. Most likely they are either an existing patient or have been referred to them by someone who is. In this situation, they would have booked with this business without the need of HealthEngine.

With over 11,000 practices on their books (by their own claims), this tactic is likely profiting them an sizable figure in referral commission.

HealthEngine is no orphan in this regard among similar customers. It’s a common practice for large tech ‘disruptor’ companies with similar models to use their scale and better knowledge of online marketing to place themselves between small businesses and their customers and profit during the process. All the while, providing no added value to the small business using their services.

Try this search yourself…find a local company you use, search their business name in Google and see if they too are being taken advantage of by one of these companies.

Get in touch with us

Choose Pathfinder Marketing and let our results-focused approach transform your brand’s growth and success.
Contact us today to discuss your unique needs and discover how we can help you achieve your business goals.

Browse by your
industry or location

We recognize that a one-size-fits-all approach doesn’t yield the best results. Our team of industry-savvy professionals crafts customized strategies that align with the unique demands of your sector. Whether you’re in hospitality or real estate, we have the expertise to take your online presence to the next level.

Frequently Asked Questions

1 How can a digital marketing company help businesses optimize their online presence?2023-11-29T10:30:35+08:00

A digital marketing company can help businesses optimize their online presence by conducting comprehensive audits, providing strategic recommendations, implementing SEO techniques, managing social media campaigns, and analyzing data to drive continuous improvement.

2 How do you ensure that the digital marketing strategies align with the overall objectives of a consulting project?2023-11-29T10:28:40+08:00

We ensure that our digital marketing strategies align with the overall objectives of a consulting project by conducting in-depth research, collaborating closely with clients, understanding their business goals, and regularly monitoring and adjusting our strategies to maximize their effectiveness.

3 Can your digital marketing company provide measurable results and analytics for consulting projects?2023-11-29T10:35:35+08:00

Yes, our digital marketing company provides comprehensive analytics and reporting to measure the success of our strategies in consulting projects. We track key performance indicators (KPIs), such as website traffic, conversion rates, customer engagement, and ROI to ensure transparency and demonstrate the value we bring to our clients’ businesses.

4 What specific areas of digital marketing can a consulting company assist with?2023-11-29T10:24:29+08:00

A consulting company can assist with various aspects of digital marketing, including but not limited to search engine optimization (SEO), pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, social media marketing, email marketing, content marketing, and conversion rate optimization.

Group 242 min

Reviews

star

5.0

Discover why our clients love us!
Check out our Google Reviews to see how our exceptional services have transformed businesses and boosted their online visibility.

Ellipse 15
Octane Software Solutions
8 months ago

We are so glad working with Pathfinder. We love the ideas that were presented and work that they have done for the project is very professional and commendable.

Ellipse 15
Octane Software Solutions
8 months ago

We are so glad working with Pathfinder. We love the ideas that were presented and work that they have done for the project is very professional and commendable.

Ellipse 15
Octane Software Solutions
8 months ago

We are so glad working with Pathfinder. We love the ideas that were presented and work that they have done for the project is very professional and commendable.

Go to Top