Google trials free medical consults

Surely this the best example yet of how dangerous it is to put all one’s business eggs in Google’s search basket.

Google is testing a new search feature that allows users to video call a doctor directly from search results for illnesses or symptoms.

Huge news for those of us who publish health care information! As I’ve watched Google destroy virtually any kind of website that provides information that can be returned by Google itself (e.g. flight data), I have smugly thought, “Well, at least in health care I’m immune to such tomfoolery — Google just can’t provide the kind of information I’m providing!” But offering free medical consults? Sheesh! I didn’t see that coming. And it will compete powerfully. How many people will take advantage of that, rather than click on an article? Lots, I imagine. There will still be place for quality longform info, I think — forever, I hope — but it’s going to get knocked down a peg or three.