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Google Update May Harm Your Firm's Search Rankings

By Cynthia Hsu, Esq. on November 21, 2011 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Small firms who maintain an Internet presence may wonder: what does the recent Google update mean for their law firm's website?

Just let Google do the explaining. Apparently, their most recent algorithm update puts an emphasis on "the most up-to-date results."

Just 8 months ago, Google unveiled its "Panda" update which is said to have affected 12 percent of searches. This most recent update is said to impact 35% of searches. What can law firms do to stay afloat of this recent change?

It depends. Google says that the new update will determine the level of "freshness" necessary for each search query and give corresponding results. If you're in a fast-paced industry that constantly requires updates, this may mean you might need to generate new content in order to stay on top of the rankings.

For example, if you made a website about selling yarn, you probably still wouldn't need to update your site often to ensure your search rankings. There likely isn't much "news" and "recent updates" when it comes to the world of yarn.

But for legal services providers, it may be useful to implement a blog or news section. After all, the field of law is ever-changing. New regulations are constantly being passed, and new case law is created every day. It's possible that the new Google algorithm will look for firm sites that provide current information on specific areas of law and rank them higher because it may be more relevant to a user's search.

It's something to keep in mind. In the past, potential clients would come to firms through referrals and the Yellow Pages. Now, while referrals are still important, a firm's website can be an equal draw. This new Google update could mean the difference between your firm landing on the first page of search results or on the last. The more eyes that see your firm's website, the more likely webpage views will turn into actual billable cases.

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