The challenging thing about Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is that Google and other search engines are constantly updating their search algorithms. What is considered “quality” and “relevant” changes frequently. While Google makes a few minor algorithm updates daily, every now and then Google rolls out a much more comprehensive update.
It’s rare that Google algorithm updates ever directly impacts the legal industry. Luckily (or unluckily depending on your outlook), a Google algorithm update that began on August 1st takes direct aim at law firm websites. In the first month of August, law firms may have seen their organic website traffic fall off a cliff or skyrocket exponentially. Unfortunately, unless you are actively engaged in a very comprehensive SEO strategy, you probably suffered a loss.
As we all know, Google matters A LOT but it can be hard to understand its never-ending intricacies, particularly because Google is continually evolving and changing. To get your law firm to show up in as many organic Google search results as possible, you need to have a basic understanding of Google’s business platforms.
If you live in Houston and you search Google for a plumber in the area, it isn’t helpful to see results for plumbers in California. This sounds obvious, but this concept is having profound effects on search engine results. In order to provide users with the best possible results to match their search, Google shows a preference for businesses based on the searcher’s location. If your law firm website is not optimized for local search, you’ll be left out.
Somewhere in the three to ten days after we launch a new website for a client, I am invariably asked, “So when we will start ranking on page one of search results?” There seems to be a common misconception that a brand new website will immediately get noticed by Google and start appearing on the very first page of search results.