Despite What You May Think, Google Doesn’t Use These Factors to Determine Law Firm Search Results

by Aug 12, 2020

Google wants website owners to make web pages for users, not for search engines. 

The search engine giant has repeatedly stated that creating high-quality content for its users is among the most crucial ranking factors it considers when returning search results for a query.

However, there are many things that Google doesn’t use as ranking factors. Focusing on these things instead of content creation will keep you from creating a website that drives new business to your law firm. 

Here are several things that don’t directly affect how Google ranks your law firm’s website and why focusing on content creation is a much better way to attract new business.

Google ads (PPC) are not a ranking factor.

Google Search Liason Danny Sullivan recently tweeted, “Search is completely separate from ads. We don’t use any ad signals in determining the relevance of our search results.”

It’s not the first time Google explained that buying ads has no impact on rankings in organic searches.

“Google’s first responsibility is to provide Search users with the most relevant possible results,” the company writes on its “SEO vs. PPC” page. “If businesses were able to pay for higher rankings in the search results, users wouldn’t be getting the information they’re looking for.”

Google continues by noting:

“Search listings are free, and no one can pay for a better ranking, because Google is committed to keeping our search content useful and trustworthy. 

PPC ads like Google Ads are paid online advertisements that appear next to relevant searches and other content on the web. Running a Google Ads campaign does not help your SEO rankings, despite some myths and claims.”

Word count on law firm websites is not a ranking factor.

Google’s John Mueller once noted that content length is not an indicator of the content’s quality on a page.

“Some pages have a lot of words that say nothing.”

However, that has not stopped the myth of a preferred word count for better search rankings.

When attorneys are worried about word count, their focus is in the wrong place: Instead, it’s much more efficient to ask the question: “How well does this content serve the needs of my potential clients? How well does this content answer their query?”

Even in its search quality ratings guidelines, there is no guidance to raters about word count. Instead, Google asks its raters to focus on whether a page achieves its purpose. The way that Google raters make that assessment is through examining the quality of the content on the page.

Instead of focusing on specific word count, focus on creating pages with the best possible answers to your clients’ questions.

A higher page count on a law firm website is not a ranking factor.

Google is interested in quality content for its users over the sheer quantity of content on any given page. 

Some attorneys believe having more pages on their law firm’s website — regardless of content quality — will mean better visibility in search results. Some are then surprised when creating more pages (without quality content) doesn’t yield the results they’re looking for.

Having more pages on your law firm’s website can mean better rankings, but only when those pages meet certain criteria. 

To learn more, see: “Do More Webpages on My Law Firm’s Website Translate to Better Google Rankings?”

Stars, ratings, and reviews on law firm websites are not ranking factors.

Google’s John Mueller indicated that stars, ratings, and reviews on websites are not ranking factors:

“We don’t use the content that we see in surveys as a ranking factor. So if you have a survey on your site and currently it says you have…two stars, we’re not going to rank your site lower… Because we don’t know what these two stars mean. It might be that one star is the best and fewer stars and more stars is something different….In general, we wouldn’t rank them differently in the organic search results based on the star rankings.”

While Google doesn’t use reviews and ratings as a ranking factor, it is important for potential clients to see positive reviews as they decide on the right attorney for their needs. To learn more about the importance of creating client reviews that drive more business to your law firm — and how LawLytics makes collecting positive reviews easy — see: “How to Add Reviews & Recommendations With LawLytics.”

LawLytics helps attorneys create websites that rank well with Google.

LawLytics helps attorneys create website content that potential clients like to see and read. As a result, LawLytics helps attorneys drive more potential clients to their firms.

When attorneys use LawLytics, they discover that creating a web presence that helps them get found by potential clients is simple and affordable. We provide you with the system, strategy, and support you need to have a thriving law firm website.

To see how LawLytics makes it easy for you or anyone you choose to produce content that ranks well in search results, schedule an interactive 20-minute demo.

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