Google Penguin 2.0 and Law Firm Websites
Google recently rolled out the 2013 update to its 2012 Penguin anti-spam algorithm changes. The most prominent anti-spam face of Google, engineer Matt Cutts, announced the update May 22, 2013 on his blog, generating well over two hundred comments already.
This May Penguin update is the fourth Penguin-related update and is an actual change to Google’s algorithm, not just a data refresh. This updated algorithm will specifically target certain types of spam in much higher frequency than previous Penguin updates. The Penguin 2.0 update was designed to specifically target spam classified as “black hat.” In addition, users are allowed to report spammy pages directly to Google at a dedicated online location.
What is Black Hat SEO?
"Black Hat" search engine optimization includes the use of unethical techniques to obtain higher organic search rankings. These SEO techniques generally involve a breach of search engine rules and an unethical presentation of content to spiders crawling websites. Black hat methods are employed to “beat the system” and outsmart search engines, and are generally designed without any thought to the overall user experience.
Many black hat SEO techniques were formerly legitimate online practices involving short-term ranking gains. This form of SEO is shortsighted, and a quick-fix solution that provides no long-term value for the website owner or web searcher/website user.
While the original anti-spam Penguin algorithm focused on a website’s home page, the new generation goes much deeper. And with that depth, Google hopes to impact a greater percentage of spam than the original Penguin and previous updates.
How Will Penguin 2.0 Affect My Law Firm Website?
Penguin 2.0 will force webmasters and others in charge of law firm websites to clean house and inspect inbound links more closely. All law firms should know what links exist to their website, to prevent being associated with undesirable or even unethical content. If your law firm is shopping for an SEO or web marketing company based on their ability to get you to “Page One on Google,” regardless of the tactics employed, your thinking is not in line with current best practices.
In addition to link evaluation and possible restructuring, marketers will again have to refocus and redouble their efforts in the ever-growing arena of content marketing. Content remains the cornerstone of all ethical and effective online marketing strategies. Lawyer and law firms can and should create an editorial or content calendar across the year, including content marketing strategies such as guest posting, offsite testimonials, directory listings, and more. Looking at your content comprehensively can help your firm obtain valid inbound links from trusted, credible sources of high Page Rank.
The best way to ensure that your law firm website is not smacked down by the Google Penguin is to work with a reputable, experienced law firm marketing company. For more information on how to work with Stacey E. Burke, P.C., contact our consulting firm today.