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A review of Google’s 2014 algorithm changes – Part 1

Google Penguin - © 2012 - 2015 Adviatech Corp. All rights reserved.2014 brought a steady stream of changes to Google’s algorithm. The majority of the updates were aimed at preventing spam and low-quality content from reaching the top of the search results, and rewarding high-quality content. As collected by Moz, the changes that occurred in the first half of 2014 were:

February 6, 2014: Page Layout #3
The page layout update released early in February was the first major change of the year. The update penalized pages with too many ads close to the top of the page.

March 24, 2014: Unnamed Update
March 24 brought rumors of a Panda update, as many sites saw ranking changes and algorithm flux trackers spiked. However, Google never confirmed this update.

May 16, 2014: Payday Loan 2.0
This update to the “payday loan” algorithm, which targets spammy queries, was released just prior to Panda 4.0. The rapid succession of the updates made it difficult to examine the exact effects (more…)

How Your Firm Should Combine PR and SEO Strategies – Podcast

Listen as we outline some strategies companies may sue to integrate their PR and SEO marketing.

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How voice search is changing the way people find your law firm

Rankings Not as Important as New ClientsVoice search is an increasingly common way to use search engines, with companies like Google, Apple and Microsoft all pushing their versions of the technology. Google in particular has recently advertised its voice search capabilities in venues such as the World Series. More and more people are using voice search, and the increase in its usage is changing how people find law firms.

The increase in the use of voice search is substantial. A recent Google study found that 55 percent of teenagers ages 13-18 use voice search daily. Most people enjoy using voice search – fifty-six percent of adults said that using it makes them feel “tech-savvy.”

Smart phones have been ubiquitous for years now, with many people relying on Siri for their searches. In addition, the use of tablets continues to grow, 171 percent last year according to the Google study. Tablets are widely used, both in an out of the (more…)

How your firm should combine PR and SEO strategies

News on tabletPreviously, we looked at how PR and SEO are inextricably intertwined in the modern content marketing world. Here, we will take a look at some strategies companies can use to integrate their PR and SEO marketing.

What might a combination of PR and SEO look like? Robin Swire recently wrote on Moz about a PR stunt his firm orchestrated for a client specializing in parking lots. The “Bonkers for Conkers” promotion allowed drivers using the company’s parking lots to pay using conkers, or horse chestnuts, which were then donated to a nature reserve.

The first step to getting the word out was issuing a press release that integrated strategies such as keywords and links to the client’s website. The story was soon running in the national media, then international outlets. Online, the response could be seen in new visitors to the company’s website and in thousands of people engaging with the car (more…)

How public relations and search engine optimization are intertwined

Attorney SEO Keyphrases for LawyersTraditionally, search engine optimization (SEO) and public relations (PR) had little in common; each had distinct goals and required distinct approaches and skill sets. That is no longer the case. Thanks to changes in search algorithms and in how the public consumes content, PR and SEO are now inextricably intertwined. As Moz recently reported, a good PR strategy should draw on SEO, and can boost SEO; similarly, SEO and content marketing should not neglect PR.

Part of the shift is due to Google algorithm updates. The most recent updates, Penguin and Panda, reward quality content over SEO tricks. While SEO is still important, methods designed to boost search engine ranking without providing quality content, such as SEO footers and hidden content, are punished in Google’s results.

As a result, SEO and PR now have similar, mutually compatible goals. SEO marketers seek to create high-quality content that captivates the audience, and which may also (more…)

Google Pigeon to Reshape Local Listings – Podcast

Google released a new algorithm, nicknamed Pigeon, which alters the way local search results are generated in Goog Maps and Google Web.

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Retargeting Means Never Having to Say Goodbye to Your Law Firm Visitors – Podcast

If your law firm wants to take advantage of a 10-20 percent conversion rate, try retargeted ads. Find out how that works in this podcast.

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Authorship Dropped from Google Search Results

authorshipWebmaster trends analyst John Mueller announced in an August 28 Google+ post that Google search results will no longer display page authorship, also known as rel=author markup.

Mueller stated that Google tests found that taking authorship away did not reduce traffic to websites or increase clicks on ads.

Regarding the display of authorship information, Mueller wrote, “Unfortunately, we’ve also observed that this information isn’t as useful to our users as we’d hoped, and can even distract from those results.”

Google Authorship was implemented in 2011. The goal of authorship markup was to was to connect pieces of content to author profiles on Google+. The schema.org standards, which are still used in rich snippets, were used for this and other aspects of structured markup.

The end of authorship follows two recent reductions in authorship in recent months. Last December, Google decreased the number of author photos shown per query. In June, Google removed all author photos, (more…)

On Google Plus You Can Now Be Anyone You Like – Podcast

Three years ago, Google launched Google+, but you could only use your real name to participate. The rules have now changed.

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Google Pigeon to reshape local listings

Google layoutOn July 24, Google released a new algorithm, nicknamed Pigeon by Search Engine Land (SEL), which alters the way local search results are generated in Google Maps and Google Web. The Pigeon update is designed to make the local search results more accurate and relevant.

Google told SEL that the new algorithm relies more heavily on their hundreds of traditional web search ranking signals. It also draws on features like spelling correction, synonyms and Knowledge Graph. This change will make local search results align more closely with organic search rankings.
The algorithm is also designed to improve distance and location ranking parameters.

Currently, the algorithm affects only U.S. English results. Google has not confirmed whether or not Pigeon will be introduced in other countries or languages.

The Pigeon algorithm is still new, and it will take some time to get a feel for its full implications, especially since it’s possible that Google is still smoothing (more…)