Anyone who follows SEO news on a daily basis was likely swamped with one topic over the last week-- Panda 4.0.
On May 20th, Google's Matt Cutts revealed that the latest algorithm changes targeting spammy content was rolled out--likely affecting search rankings for a variety of sites. As a Search Engine Watch story explained, "The Panda algorithm, which was designed to help boost great quality content sites while pushing down thin or low-quality content sites in the search results, has always targeted scraper sites and low-quality content sites in order to provide searchers with the best search results possible."
The Panda updates first started over three years ago and were mainly targeting "content farms." These "farms" including low-quality nonsense pages that provided readers with little information but included a high percentage of keywords. These sites are on the way out. Instead, Google is pushing natural, useful copy. Google wants to reward websites that add text to their website and blogs that is well written, well organized, and answers actual questions or provides genuinely useful information.
The Lesson for Law Firm Web Copy
It is best to view these updates as akin to changes in the enforcement of criminal laws. If you follow the law, then there is no reason to worry about an increase in enforcement efforts. If the speed limit is 70, then go the speed limit. If you do, there is no reason to fear a dragnet to catch all speeders.
The same is true for best practices in legal SEO. Create high-quality original legal content that is actually useful to readers. If you do, then not only won't you worry about these Google actions--you will welcome them. If you have high quality legal content, Panda 4.0 is a net-positive, resulting in an increase in rankings.
Whether you are an SEO company working with law firms or managing you own firm's online presence, the time to invest in legal content is now.
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