Changes to the search engines mean you should understand new search engine optimization techniques for law firms.

Changes at search engines don’t mean you have to scrap everything and go back to the drawing board. The changes should affect how you approach content on your website, though.

Changes at Google require a new outlook and new search engine optimization techniques for law firms

Search engines are always making changes – small and large – to how they determine which sites come up when users type various keywords and phrases. Not long ago, Google made some pretty big changes to how it determines search results. Dubbed “Hummingbird,” this update to Google’s algorithm was a big one. A few of the highlights include:

A focus on “Conversational Search” – Google still won’t book you a ticket to Washington, DC if you ask, but it’s getting closer. Conversational search is evolving and has gotten pretty sophisticated already. Conversational search lets you ask Google questions and get answers. You can even follow it up with another question and Google “understands” what you’re talking about based on your previous question. For example, I asked Google, “Find a law firm in Denver.” Google presented results. Then I asked, “do any of these specialize in personal injury law?” and Google presented personal injury firms in Denver. The results weren’t perfect, but I expect them to improve.

According to Search Engine Land, conversational search is “about parsing the language you use so the search engine understands, really comprehends, what you’re talking about.” It will be interesting to see how it evolves.

Of course, what worked in the past won’t go away completely, but here’s some more good information about Google’s Hummingbird update:

Good Search Engine Optimization Techniques for Law Firms (or any business)

Search engines continue to get better at rewarding sites that real, live people will also appreciate. If you learn more about how search engines work, there’s a better chance you’ll get your law firm website to the top of the search engine results page.

Search Engine Guidelines for Creating a Quality Website – Learn what Google, Bing and Yahoo have to say about how your site can get high rankings. After all, they ought to know. Perhaps not surprisingly, what makes a site valuable or easy to use for its visitors also helps your site do better in the search engines. For example, if your site loads slowly, it’ll be penalized by the search engines. If each page, and the site in general, is well-organized and presented, it will make it easy for visitors to find what they need. It also helps your search engine placement.

Read Google’s take on how the search engine rewards high-quality sites. Bing also explains how it looks at search engine optimization.

Google’s Matt Cutts: We Don’t Use Twitter Or Facebook Social Signals To Rank Pages – Speaking of how search engines work, you may have heard that Facebook and Twitter are really important to your Google search results. They are, to a limited extent. Google doesn’t catalog a large part of Facebook and Twitter and doesn’t place more weight on what appears there compared to what appears on some other page elsewhere on the Web. Hear from Matt in the video posted here.

More from Matt – Guest Posting: Has someone approached your law firm about providing free content for your website? Maybe the called this a “guest post.”  Beware of this practice. Matt Cutts is one of the people at Google who tries to cut down on the spammy techniques sites us to try to come up higher in search engine results. He says these SEO scam artists are really trying to drive traffic to their own sites.  Yes, of course, you can still post quality content on other websites. You can even have someone post quality content on your site, but beware of unsolicited emails and “free” content that comes out of the woodwork.

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