Search Engine Optimization

Google’s New How Search Works Site

Do you care about how Google’s search engine works?  If not you should because search engine optimization (SEO) is something you our your web guru must understand to get high search rankings and traffic.  Google just announced that it created a website aptly called “How Search Works” to educate us on how Google’s search engine works!  Spend some time on the site and educate yourself.

The site lets you follow the entire life of a search query, from the web, to crawling and indexing, to algorithmic ranking and serving, to fighting webspam. The site complements existing resources, the help center, user forums, Webmaster Tools, and in-depth research papers.

A few things you’ll find:

  • An interactive, graphical explanation of Google Search
  • A view into major search algorithms and features
  • A 43-page document explaining how we evaluate our results
  • A live slideshow of spam as we remove it
  • Graphs illustrating the spam problem and how we fight it
  • A list of policies that explain when we’ll remove content

How to Search is intended to illuminate the split-second journey from algorithms to answers.

By |March 17th, 2013|Google, Search Engine Optimization|0 Comments

LexisNexis Study Finds Lawyer Bios Most Viewed Content on Lawyer Websites

Law Marketing Blog:  “LexisNexis® Legal & Professional ( www.lexisnexis.com ), a leading provider of content and technology solutions, last Thursday announced results from the latest LexisNexis® Martindale-Hubbell® study on how international B2B law firms are using their websites as part of their marketing programs. . . . When asked about the most popular content on their website, lawyer biographies are the most visited pages (85% of respondents), followed by information about practice area/sector expertise (52%) and thought leadership articles, case histories, etc. (50%).”

This article misses the point.  You don’t need a study to know that if a person stumbles on a lawyer’s website he/she is probably looking for a lawyer and so it follows the website visitor will probably check the lawyer’s biography page.  The missed point is that the number one purpose of a law firm web site should be to attract visitors.  The firm’s goal should be to create a website or blog that gets a lot of traffic.  Bio pages do not generate traffic to your website.  People who know you may Google your name and find your bio page, but that is not how people who do not know you are going to find you after doing a Google search.

If you want website traffic you must have good content and a lot of it.  There is no secret to getting traffic to a website.  Traffic is the result of tons of content.  Years ago I noticed that my search engine word tracker said that people searched the phrase “Arizona dog bite” over 900 times in a single month.  Although I did not litigate or do dog bite cases I wrote an article on Arizona’s dog bite law solely because I wanted to increase the traffic to my site.  It worked.  The image below shows a Google search result I did today for the phrase “arizona dog bite law.”

When I first started my website twelve years ago I used to write articles just to increase the traffic to my site.  It worked.  Another important fact of search engine optimization life is that sites that have a lot of traffic will have higher search engine rankings.  Now I only write articles with the primary purpose to inform people about an area of law that I practice.  It works.  My Arizona LLC Law website had 9,911 visitors the month of September 2012.  The bottom  line is more traffic means more new clients.

By |October 27th, 2012|Search Engine Optimization, Websites|0 Comments

Google’s Webmaster Academy

We all want the content in our websites and blogs to have high Google search engine rankings.  To achieve that goal there is a learning curve that requires an investment of your time.  Do yourself a favor and take the courses Google offers in its free Webmaster Academy.  Google says that the goal of the academy is “to help you create great sites that perform well in Google search results.”   To graduate you must complete 19 tasks.  Here are the major topics:

  1. Learn how Google works
  2. Make sure Google knows about your site
  3. Influence your site’s listing in search
  4. Create great content
  5. Images and video
  6. Connect with Google+
  7. Extra resources

By |May 25th, 2012|Google, Search Engine Optimization|0 Comments

Google Guy’s Video Explains How to Get Your Picture Next to Google Search Results that Show Your Content

I figured out how to configure my website/blog content with Google so that when Google displays search results that show a link to any of my pages or posts my picture will appear to the left of the link.  People say that having your picture next to your Google search result will substantially increase the number of clicks the link will receive.  I’m ready to implement this new feature Google calls “rel=author,” but I am going to up date my bio picture first.  Some people also call this feature “rich snippets.”

The process is confusing, but not difficult.  This video is by Google employee and SEO expert Matt Cutts.  He and Othar Hansson discuss how to rel=author works.  I recommend watching this video first so you will have an understanding of the big picture.

For more about this topic read “Google Plus & Google’s Rich Snippet.”

By |May 23rd, 2012|Google, Marketing, Search Engine Optimization, Video|0 Comments

Beware of Blog Posts with Long or Ugly URLs

I got an email today from a lawyer who said check out my article at : http://blog.firmname.com/index.php/estate-planning-2/7-major-errors-in-estate-planning/#more-147.  Have you ever gotten an message with a link that is mostly numbers such as www.firmname.com/blog/12/5/030455020110304440500060.phx?  I am sure you get lots of email messages that have URLS with a long string of text or numbers and/or text that doesn’t make much sense.  I call these URLs “gross URLS” or for WordPress users “gross permalinks.”

Do yourself and your readers a favor and do not create pages or posts on your website that have gross URLS for four reasons:

  1. They look bad.
  2. They often get broken by email programs and don’t work when clicked.
  3. They are hard for people to type into a browser.
  4. They probably do not help your search engine optimization.

The last point may be the most important because you want your URL to contain key words that may help increase the page or post’s search engine ranking.  Think about the most important key words in your post and use them in the URL / permalink.  If you are writing an article about Arizona widget law which of the following URLS is better:

  • www.firmname.com/blog/12/5/030455020110304440500060.phx
  • www.firmname/arizona-widget-law
By |May 8th, 2012|Blogs, Ramblings, Search Engine Optimization|0 Comments

Google’s Matt Cutts Explains How to Get Better Visibility on Google

You might call this video by Google’s SEO public relations guru Matt  Cutts “search engine optimization 101.”  He explains the basics of SEO and what you must always consider when making a web page or blog post.

By |May 1st, 2012|Google, Search Engine Optimization, Video|0 Comments

What Is SEO / Search Engine Optimization?

If you have not subscribed to Search Engine Land’s RSS feed and if you want to learn how to get higher Google / search engine rankings you need to sign up yesterday.  SEO means search engine optimization.  It is the “science” of how search engines work and what to do on your website to get high search engine rankings and how to avoid being penalized for engaging in bad SEO practices.  What you do not know about SEO can prevent your website from getting higher rankings and more visitors.  To learn more see “What Is SEO / Search Engine Optimization?

Search Engine Land has a great introductory course to SEO.  Watch its video called “What is Search Engine Optimization” and then read its course on SEO.

By |April 24th, 2012|Search Engine Optimization, Video|0 Comments