Recent Google Update Winding Down

The still as-of-yet unannounced Google update seems to be coming to a slow close for the legal industry. 


The update has been largely affecting search engine results page (SERP) positioning, leading to general unrest among the SEO community. Based on metrics from SEMrush, the instability caused by the recent update has been greater than that of the past two official updates, peaking at a 9.4/10 in SEMrush’s SERP volatility metric. 


The volatility has lasted longer than expected and is largely recognized as having begun on February 7th and continuing through the present moment (February 13th). As far as the legal industry goes, SERP volatility has since dropped to 6.8/10; still high, but trending downwards. 


From; Legal industry-specific data


What does this update mean for my site?

Google ranks SERPs on a variety of factors, from domain authority to site organization to links and affect organic traffic. It is unclear whether this update has been a net positive or negative for the legal industry. Either way, expect changes. Adding an annotation to your Google Analytics account is probably a good idea to keep track of which trends might be due to this update.


How can I protect my SERPs?

There is no way to prepare for Google updates other than by following Google’s best practices and ensuring your content is high quality and up to par with your competitors. If it’s any consolation, your competitors are probably getting hit just as hard.

Keeping Your Site Stable During Google Updates

2019 saw a series of Google updates big and small, impactful and unaffecting. Many sites saw drastic changes in their rankings, traffic, and leads during this time, not all of the bad and not all of them good. But as with anything, even the small changes caused unrest in the SEO community.


Change is inevitable, so fluctuations in traffic should be expected whether or not an update has happened. That being said, there are measures you can take to reduce the influence updates have on your site. You can’t stop an earthquake, but you can make sure your furniture won’t fall on your bed while you’re sleeping.


Follow Best Practices

This should be relatively intuitive. Keep producing content that users find useful and Google finds relevant. By following best practices, you are showing Google that you are respecting their guidelines. Google likes that.


Organize Your Website 

By properly organizing your title tags, meta descriptions, and headers you are telling Google exactly what is on each page on your website. This helps the search engine to properly categorize your content and provide it to the most relevant users. Simply keeping Google up to date with your website will help it maintain its traffic during updates.


Keep Your Finger on the Pulse

Things shift, sometimes at a glacial pace, sometimes extremely quickly. Take keywords: not too long ago, SEOs would pile keywords onto every page, taking into account every synonym and potential phrase. With AIs designed to determine user intent, exact keyword matches are no longer a priority. By keeping up with current events in the industry you are ensuring that you won’t be blindsided when updates reflect where the industry is naturally going. 

No one knows what updates 2020 will bring, but the best way to be prepared for them is by keeping your website up to date and well maintained. If you think your law firm could use assistance in any of these areas, contact Mockingbird. We work hard to prepare for and manage changes from updates.