18 things Law Firms need to know about SEO in 2024

June 11, 2024

By Jonny

A recent leak of Google documentation may give a law firm's a clearer road map to SEO success. 

This SparkToro article anounced the detail of a former Google employee, who shared a massive leak of API documentation from Google's search division. 

Here are 18 takeaways that should help you get ahead of competitors in search engine results.

  1. Domain Authority - Google may use a thing called "siteAuthority" and "authorityPromotion" to determine how important your site is.
    To do: Build authority with quality backlinks, brand mentions, and offsite authority signals helps.
  2. Get Lots of Clicks - Clicks from search engines matter. Good clicks, bad clicks, and the time users spend on a page after clicking from search results, all influence rankings.
    To do: Focus on creating engaging content and improving website user-experience.
  3. There's a sandbox for new websites - New websites might be in a "sandbox," meaning they need to prove themselves before ranking well.
    To do: Use the history of your domain to your advantage
  4. Chrome data usage - Google might use data from the Chrome browser for ranking, tracking user interactions to influence search results.
    To do: Optimise page load speed and make sure your website is mobile-friendly.
  5. User satisfaction signals - User engagement metrics like click-through rate (CTR), bounce rate, and time on site can indicate if users find your content helpful or not.
    To do: Focus on creating high-quality, relevant content that users want to engage with.
  1. Twiddlers in search results - Twiddlers are filters that adjust search results after the main algorithm processes them. They can boost or demote websites based on additional factors.

    To do: Stay aware of changes and updates in search algorithms to stay ahead of the game.
  2. Google authorship - Google may still consider authorship information in rankings, associating data with authors to evaluate expertise and authority.

    To do: Establish yourself as a thought leader and build your online presence through quality content silos.
  3. Anchor text - The text used in links (anchor text) is crucial. Google checks if it accurately describes the linked content and may demote pages with irrelevant anchor text.

    To do: Use relevant, descriptive anchor text that is keyword optimised in your links to improve rankings.
  4. Exact match domains - Using domains like "cheapdivorcelawyers.com" can be seen as spammy. They might get demoted if the content is low quality.

    To do: Don't worry about it if your website isn't spammy.
  5. Panda Algorithm - Panda focuses on user behavior and backlinks to assign a "Site Quality Score."

    To do: Create a good user experience and build quality backlinks from legal sector websites.
  6. Demotions for poor quality - Various factors, like bad navigation or irrelevant content, can lead to lower rankings. Ensure good content and user experience.

    To do: Avoid platitudes and provide webiste visitors with value that answers their questions and tells them how you can help.
  7. Content length - Google measures content originality with a token system.

    To do: Important information should be high on the page to ensure it's read.
  8. Quality raters - Google uses human quality raters to evaluate sites. Their opinions might impact rankings.

    To do: Follow Google's quality guidelines.
  9. Backlinks still matter - Links are crucial for rankings. Google uses a sophisticated system to evaluate link quality and PageRank.
  10. Link quality based on traffic - Links from pages with high traffic are more valuable.

    To do: Get links from quality legal websites with good authority and traffic.
  11. Backlink velocity - Google tracks the speed at which websites gain or lose backlinks to spot genuine growth or manipulation.

    To do: Have a consistent link building strategy e.g. build 4-5 quality links over a period of 6 months rather than 30 links in one month and then nothing for the next 5!
  12. Changes are tracked - Google keeps a record of web pages over time, considering the last 20 versions.

    To do: Be aware that frequent, wholesale changes might reset your website's history.
  13. Content freshness - Google tracks how fresh your content is.

    To do: Regular updates and consistent dates across the page are important.

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