When it comes to search engines like Google, algorithm updates can occur at virtually any moment. These updates affect how search engines rank websites in organic search results. Recently, the massively popular search engine announced it would be rolling out its latest round of changes early this year. Read below to learn more about how these updates can affect your law firm website and its Google rankings.
Understanding Google Updates
Google recently announced its first major algorithm update this year. Known as a Core Update, the January change will impact search results worldwide. In a statement on its recent update, Google described the rationale behind it as ensuring the company delivers relevant and authoritative content to searchers. Broad updates often produce widely notable effects. As such, Google expects sites will see drops or gains in search engine rankings.
Websites experiencing rankings drops should note that a decrease in ranking does not necessarily mean Google sees something wrong with your webpages. Core updates don’t target specific pages or websites; rather, these changes improve how Google’s systems asses website content overall, which can cause some pages that were previously under-rewarded to perform better in organic rankings.
In order to break down how this Core Update will affect website rankings, Google used the example of ranking your favorite movies. For example, if you ranked your top films over the last decade, several years ago you may have said Pulp Fiction topped your list, but now it could have changed to Once Upon A Time…In Hollywood. Just because Pulp Fiction dropped in your rankings doesn’t mean it’s a bad movie.
Just as your opinions on certain movies or music may change over time due to recent releases, Google page rankings will also change. As new and authoritative pages of content are produced and added to a website, Google ranks them relative to existing pages.
As this update has just begun to roll out, it’s hard to tell which sites will be affected and how. The update has already begun to affect websites in the healthcare sector, which has suffered past issues with Google updates.
If your law firm organic rankings drop after an algorithm update, take a look at what is now ranking ahead of you. Some items to consider in order to mitigate ongoing changes include:
Website Content and Quality
Evaluate your firm’s website content, especially if it hasn’t been updated in quite some time. In order for a law firm website to rank well, it needs original, high-quality content with current information. The page titles should be relevant to the content within each page, and enticing to those who may come across your firm’s site in search results or elsewhere.
Your website content should prove your firm is a trustworthy source. The information provided must be accurate and offer answers to questions a searcher could potentially ask via search, like “how can I find a Houston medical malpractice attorney?”
The aesthetic makeup of a website can be just as important as its content. Website design should be both visually appealing and user-friendly. For example, if webpages are slow to load (or don’t even load at all), this will potentially hurt the site’s rankings in Google.
A law firm website should offer added value when compared with a competitor. Review your competitors’ sites and see how they stack up against yours, as this can be a good indicator of what may need to be adjusted down the road.
Does Your Firm Need Website Help?
Staying up-to-date on algorithmic changes is essential, as Google continues to roll out updates on an ongoing basis. Monitor your law firm website’s organic rankings as updates roll out to determine if any changes should be made.
Google updates can be frustrating and can leave your law firm unsure of what to do to stay on top of organic search engine results. The legal marketing experts at Stacey E. Burke, P.C. have successfully built over 200 eye-catching, content-driven websites that showcase each law firm’s unique qualities. If your law firm would like to learn more, contact us today to discuss your needs.