While there are other major, major, players out there, when the vast majority of us think of a search engine, we all think of the same one: Google. For years, Google has been the driving force behind online advertising, and the arbiter of how and when a website is found on the Internet – the process we all know today as search engine optimization (SEO).
Google has consistently defined and re-defined the best practices for enhancing websites’ SEO. From its origins with keyword stuffing to the recent regime of relying on third-party links to boost your firm’s “credibility” – and therefore its worthiness to appear near the top of Google’s ranks – SEO, in its various forms, has never quite catered to what truly differentiates a law firm from its competitors.
That may be about to change.
The Internet is a Popularity Contest
For law firms, the problem with Google’s current SEO metrics is that they basically boil down to a popularity contest. Now, quality content still clearly matters, and some inbound links get weighed heavier than others; but, generally, the more traction a website gains online, the better its chances of gaining first-page placement in Google’s search results. This means that a salacious story about a Hollywood actor’s drunk driving arrest is probably going to fare better than a Los Angeles DUI attorney’s comprehensive website on the ins and outs of the law.
How do you compete with all of the noise?
Well, we’re good at it, frankly. However, for the average law firm without an established and well-maintained SEO strategy, the answer is: You can’t.
At least, that’s the answer today.
Google’s Newfound Interest in “Trustworthiness”
As recently reported by NewScientist, Google is planning to revise its ranking system to shift away from so-called “credibility” metrics to the Internet’s version of “trustworthiness” – Google’s Knowledge Vault. Similar to Wikipedia, Knowledge Vault seeks to find accurate answers by relying on users of the Internet to reach a consensus on distinguishing fact from fiction.
Relying on its Knowledge Vault, Google plans to start ranking websites by the volume of correct facts that appear within their content. Have a half-baked story designed to get clicks without providing anything of substance? Get in the back of the line. A poorly-researched web page that has lots of errors? Good luck ever seeing the light of day.
Law firms, step forward and collect your prize.
At least, that’s the idea, anyway. With this new focus on accuracy over popularity, law firm websites may be able to get recognized for their content rather than their ability to hire a technical SEO expert.
Get Ready for Change
The system is yet to go live, so it remains to be seen what its ultimate impact will be. But, law firms should consider revamping their website content now so that they are poised to jump to the front of the line. Today, content is king. Tomorrow, it may rule the world.
Contact Black Fin Today
If your law firm is struggling to attract online leads, Black Fin can help. Contact us today to learn more.