Google literally rocked the Internet world with a massive shift to its algorithm. As many attorney websites were able to ride the wave of changes, some sites plummeted into non-existence. Why did Google modify its search algorithm (which is used to create the results page)? The answer is simple: to weed out websites with poor quality content.
Perhaps Google itself can best explain this radical shift:
“This update is designed to reduce rankings for low-quality sites—sites which are low-value add for users, copy content from other websites or sites that are just not very useful. At the same time, it will provide better rankings for high-quality sites—sites with original content and information such as research, in-depth reports, thoughtful analysis and so on.”
The change is believed to affect nearly 12 percent of Google’s queries. While that might not seem like a big number, when you consider the millions of websites out there, it gives you a clearer picture of the significant impact.
5 Tips to Protect Your Attorney Website
From the beginning, we have always preached that content is KING. What we are referring to is good, relevant content. This recent algorithm shift only confirms our message. Whether you were affected or not by Google’s decision, there are some things you can do to safeguard yourself in the future:
- Focus on quality. One of the most crucial elements of your content is its quality. Make sure that your content is interesting and relevant to your target audience. Quickly throwing together content, just for the sake of SEO, can come back to bite you.
- Never copy content. Even if you find a great article on another site that would be appealing to your prospects, avoid the temptation to cut and paste. Google will penalize you.
- Write for people. Sometimes, it is too easy to become focused on writing for search engines without considering the human readers. Make sure your content is appealing to your prospects and not just search engines.
- Link only when it makes sense. We typically recommend that you link your keywords to your practice area pages. However, these links should be done naturally. Don’t over-think it or try to stuff keywords into your content.
- Revise pages that have a high bounce rate. If you discover in Google Analytics that a particular Web page has a high bounce rate, meaning people are quickly leaving, give it a revision. Try to figure out why visitors might be leaving and what you can do to keep them on there.
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