When it comes to Internet marketing, Google is king. Organic search results are the holy grail for online businesses, and while there is certainly more than one way to skin the proverbial cat, nothing boosts your bottom line like “free” traffic.

In 2013, users queried Google nearly 6 billion times per day. As any web property owner knows, these searches are the lifeblood of your online business.

Your firm can’t afford to lose traffic!

It’s no secret.

Traffic x Conversion Rate = PROFIT for Your Firm

As search-engine-driven traffic has increased over the last decade, monetization methods have improved and web enterprises have learned to position their websites for ever-increasing traffic. Unfortunately, as with any profitable venture, those seeking to manipulate the system have diligently found cracks in the foundation. Perhaps you’ve encountered these “black hat” SEO providers in the past.

Google Fights Back Against Black Hat SEO

In response to the rise of black hat SEO tactics – techniques designed to acquire Search Engine Results Page (SERP) rankings for low quality sites – Google has been systematically tweaking its algorithms to weed out pretenders and make unwanted tactics obsolete.

By penalizing low quality sites, duplicate content, excessive advertising or affiliate links, misleading domain keywords, etc., Google has effectively eliminated the false successes of techniques SEO “experts” had used for years.

If your site was optimized by black hat SEO techniques, it may be suffering from Google penalties.

As we mentioned before, you can’t afford to lose traffic. Some of Google’s biggest penalties have resulted in a devastating 90+% decrease in traffic on select keywords for offending websites. And the worst of it is, these penalties are not limited to low quality sites. While unintended, Google’s updates always come with peripheral damage to innocent bystanders. Your site isn’t necessarily safe simply because you’ve taken the high road in your marketing efforts.

Can you afford to lose 50% of your traffic?

For almost 100% of law firms, the answer to this question is a resounding “NO!” So what’s the solution? Since its inception, Black Fin Media has understood the core truth of online marketing:

Quality always wins in the long run.

We’ve spent years building extensive, high quality networks for our web clients, and we understand how to get your law firm on Google’s front page!

But what if your site’s been penalized? How would you even be able to discern this? Let’s start by taking a look at the two most important Google updates for SEO purposes.

The Panda Update and Related Penalties

On February 23, 2011, Google launched the Panda Update, sending the first round of shockwaves through the online business and SEO communities. Primarily targeting content farm sites with thin or duplicate content, Panda rendered common SEO distribution sites like Ezinearticles.com, Hubpages.com, and other low quality, user-generated-content aggregators entirely obsolete. Estimates in the week following this update showed the worst hit sites with an unimaginable 94% loss in traffic!

Google followed up the initial Panda Update with 24 additional tweaks over the next 2 years. In the end, the updates penalized sites with the following features:

  • Extensive or obtrusive advertising blocks

  • Low quality User Generated Content, most likely intended for marketing purposes

  • Content cluttered with ads or affiliate links

The good news is, for any problem there’s always a solution. If you’ve been penalized as a result of Panda, we can help you recover your traffic.

Easy Panda Update Solutions

While it takes an experienced eye to plan a full recovery, you can get started right now with these simple Panda Update solutions.

  1. Drop the duplicate content! Produce high quality, original content for your site
  2. Maximize original content above the fold

  3. Enhance website design – remove empty pages and pages used solely for navigation

  4. Lower your site’s ad and affiliate link ratios

While these techniques will get you started, remember this:

TIME = MONEY

Unless you’re an expert in content creation and conversion optimization, or your traffic generates a very small percentage of income, hiring an expert to fix these issues for you is your most profitable option. There’s no need to waste time figuring it out when the experts at Black Fin Media can have your website back to full capacity in no time at all.

Do yourself a favor! Let us worry about the traffic! You have more valuable things to spend your time on.

The Penguin Update and Related Penalties

On April 24, 2012, Google released yet another major update, this one titled “Penguin.” The primary goal of Penguin, as stated by Google, was to penalize keyword stuffers, irrelevant links, and content not intended for human consumption. As with Panda, Penguin did result in peripheral damage. Your site may currently be penalized for spam practices you are unaware of.

Here’s a quick list of the primary site features targeted by Google’s Penguin Update:

  • Spam-based affiliate networks

  • Websites receiving primarily spammy backlink patterns

  • Websites employing primarily spammy outbound links

  • Keyword “stuffed” articles, headlines, and other content

As with Panda, there are some quick fixes for penalized sites, and Google regularly updates the Penguin Update software, allowing for formerly penalized sites to regain traffic after “cleaning up their act.”

Simple Penguin Update Solutions

You already know what we’re going to tell you. It takes an experienced eye to fully rectify these penalties without sabotaging your site’s positive content, but you can get started with the pointers below.

  1. Diversify your anchor text for both domain links and external backlinks
  2. Eliminate spammy outbound links or excessive affiliate links

  3. Filter out stuffed keywords

If you’ve previously been involved in excessive affiliate networking or had black hat SEOs set up penalizing networks of inbound backlinks for your site, you might need to use Google’s Disavow Tool. We’d strongly caution against using this on your own. This tool should only be used as a last resort by an expert who understands when it truly is time to employ last resort measures.

How Do I Know If I’ve Been Penalized?

This is one of those important questions, and we’re assuming you already know the answer if you’ve read this far down the page. If you’re not sure, however, the key indicator is a sudden drop in traffic that didn’t correlate with a major website adjustment.

If you see something along these lines in your unpaid traffic results for primary keywords, you’ve definitely been penalized.

The problem is fairly straightforward. If you’ve noticed a significant drop in traffic or conversions generated by your website, you have probably been penalized by a Google update.

3 Irrefutable Reasons Hiring Black Fin Media Is Your Best Option

We’ve spent the last few minutes looking at the basics of Google updates and site penalties. The question now is, “What are you going to do about it?”

Quality information is useless unless acted upon, and that’s where we come in. Your firm or practice shouldn’t be wasting time on areas outside its expertise. You have bigger fish to fry. If you’ve been penalized, your best option is to hire Black Fin Media to put you back on track. Here’s why:

1. Your Online Platform is The Future of Your Business

As we mentioned before, traffic equals money, and there’s no reason to leave any on the table. If your Internet-generated revenue doesn’t constitute the majority of your profits now, it will in 10 years, or you’ll be out of business. Successful online marketing is no longer simply a new tool to get ahead in the industry – it is now mandatory if you want to be a competitive player in the legal field.

You can’t afford to lose traffic to Google penalties. Any problems resulting from current site issues will only magnify as time goes by. NOW is the time to turn your law firm’s website into a client-generating machine!

2. Your Time is Too Valuable to Waste on Learning Irrelevant Skills

It makes zero sense for you, a high-earning lawyer who probably bills by the hour, to waste your time learning advanced web skills completely irrelevant to your profession. Your time is FAR too valuable to waste, particularly when there are generously affordable options to outsource this type of work to actual experts.

And speaking of experts…

3. Literally All We Do is Put Law Firms on Top

For the last 7 years, all we’ve done is put our clients on top. And we’re not talking about modest gains. We’re talking massive boosts in SERP rankings and MILLIONS of dollars in increased annual revenues. The law firms represented by the Black Fin Media network are leading their markets in traffic, conversions, and most importantly, online profitability. Putting law firms and practices on top is literally all we do!

Take Control Of Your Firm’s Future


The time to act is now. If you’re tired of messing around with bandaid fixes and cheap contractors – if you’re ready to finally take your firm to the next level – fill out our contact form today.

If you’d like to learn even more about what separates us from the SEO marketing pack, go ahead and check out the Black Fin Advantage.



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"I cannot be happier with Gerrid Smith and Black Fin, and highly recommend their services."

- Seth Gladstein, Gladstein Law Firm

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