Google has rolled out a redesign of its Local Pack, traditionally called the Local 7-Pack for its letter A – G rankings. The new search results page design shows just three listings and no direct link to a Google+ page.
Search engine ranking reports and impressions from Google are likely to decline for the four unlucky websites that no longer enjoy first page placement for their prized keywords. But are those four law firms really unlucky?
While the concept of losing your first page placement may sound scary at first, there is one more feature on the new, consolidated local listing pack that may be a positive change. Google has introduced a larger defined “More” menu.
This new link replaces the easy to ignore “Map results for…” text with a bigger, more defined “More” link and a menu icon. Clicking on the link takes you to a list of 20 local results (more…)
Yahoo’s new Local search design looks like Google’s Local format. However, there are some beneficial differences.
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The July issue of Bigger Law Firm magazine features a column by Ryan Conley, Into The Future of SEO.
In it, Conley made a case for citations becoming as important as inbound links. Your law firm should embrace this concept with open arms.
Here is how it works:
1) Smith & Smith, LLP setup their Google+ Local page, connecting the profile to their website, lawexample.com.
2) In their profile, they place themselves in the category of “estate planning lawyers.” Now, Google knows that Smith & Smith, LLP is equal to lawexample.com, a website about estate planning.
In the past, had John or Susan Smith been interviewed by The New York Times, the article would probably mention their name and the law firm’s name, but would more than likely not link to the firm’s website — giving the firm great exposure, but absolutely no search engine optimization value. That has changed.
With the release of Penguin 2.0 in May, Google made it apparent that, among other things, a business’s location would play a little more heavily in search results. You may have noticed over the last few months that businesses near you are getting preferential placement in results for non-geo-specific terms like “sushi” or “veterinarian.” Your firm can take advantage of this development by adding a targeted local strategy to your online marketing efforts.
Google wants to see more diverse link profiles and higher quality content in its quest to provide relevant and useful results. Old-fashioned link exchanges and over-optimized, location-based keyword stuffed pages will do your firm more harm than good. Google may be giving physical proximity more weight, but it will still recognize and penalize geo-specific keyword spam.
Instead, local search marketing efforts must be organic. Here are some things you can do to make sure (more…)
Google Penguin and Panda are not the only reasons an older law firm website loses ground in the search engines. Find out some of the common causes for dropped rankings.
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Except for the 250 largest law firms in the United States, most lawyers do not seek a nationwide presence on the search engines, but rather a prominent local presence. Such services as Google Places (formerly Google Local) have taken priority over search engine optimization.
However, law firms that invested heavily in improving their Google Places ranking were hit with a surprise in November when Google merged the search engine rankings with the Google Places ranking in most markets.
Before this took place, local listings were displayed next to a Google Map at the top of the search results page with links to five to seven attorneys to the right. Below the maps area were 10 standard search engine rankings based on the search engine optimization of those websites.
When Google merged the two, everything changed. While some markets still see the traditional top map and lower rankings, most are starting to see and feel (more…)