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How Google is Fighting Spam in Search (And What That Means for Your Law Firm’s Website)

Published: 06.10.2020

“When you come to Search with a query in mind, you trust that Google will find a number of relevant and helpful pages to choose from,” writes Liaison Danny Sullivan in a recent blog post

“We put a lot of time and effort into improving our search systems to ensure that’s the case[…] Equally important is our ability to fight spam. Without our spam-fighting systems and teams, the quality of Search would be reduced–it would be a lot harder to find helpful information you can trust.”

Since its inception, Google has been focused on providing the best information to its users when they conduct queries. That includes people who are looking for legal information on the web.

In this post, we’ll explain how Google is fighting spam in Google Search and what that means for your law firm’s website.

How Google handles spam in search

It wasn’t always easy for Google to fight spam in its search results — one of the first issues the search engine giant had to handle was detecting individuals who were trying to trick the search engine into rewarding spammy sites.

Over the last decade, Google has become significantly more proficient at spotting spammy sites that violate its Webmaster Guidelines. According to Sullivan: “Our spam-fighting systems detect these behaviors so we can tackle this problem at scale. In fact, the scale is huge. Last year, we observed that more than 25 billion of the pages we find each day are spammy.”

But Google doesn’t rely purely on automated systems to handle all search-related spam. Google also has human reviewers (Google’s Search Quality Guidelines Raters) who supplement the work that computers do. 

“Often, this human review process leads to better-automated systems,” Sullivan writes. “We look to understand how that spam got past our systems and then work to improve our detection, so that we catch the particular case and automatically detect many other similar cases overall.”

In other cases, Google can issue a manual action when discovering a website that doesn’t comply with Google’s Webmaster Guidelines. While Sullivan writes that “We send millions of these notices each year, and it gives site owners the opportunity to fix the issue and submit for reconsideration,” it’s best not to run afoul of Google’s Guidelines in the first place.

What do Google’s spam-fighting policies mean for your law firm’s website?

“It’s unfortunate that there’s so much spam, and so much effort that has to be spent fighting it,” Sullivan writes. “But that shouldn’t overshadow the fact there are millions upon millions of businesses, publishers and websites with great content for people to discover. We want them to succeed, and we provide tools, support, and guidance to help.”

Sullivan encourages webmasters to visit sites like Google’s How Search Works to get a better understanding of what the search engine is looking for in superior search results.

Google co-founder Larry Page once described “the perfect search engine” as “understanding exactly what you mean and giving you back exactly what you want.” This is what Google is consistently working toward, and why it encourages the creation of high-quality content.

To succeed in the Google era, attorneys must understand their potential clients’ search behavior, recognize what their potential clients want, and give it to them. Conveniently, what your potential clients need to solve their problema nd connect with you is the same thing that Google wants to provide potential clients with:

High-quality law firm website content that answers their questions.

Online, potential clients are looking for information about their case or matter, and they’re looking for guidance on how to handle the problem they’re facing. Google is trying to return the best information available to that potential client so that they’ll continue to use Google.

How LawLytics makes it easy for attorneys to capture new business online

Your potential clients often search for answers to their questions before concluding that they need your services. Even when they know they need an attorney, they spend time researching their issues — and your firm — before deciding to contact you.

Supplying useful information on your website that demonstrates your expertise and answers their questions makes it more likely that they’ll contact you and hire you, and with less “sales” effort. 

This is content marketing, and it outperforms all other forms of legal advertising. It provides an unprecedented opportunity to attract new clients and referral sources — without exposing yourself to the risks and expenses inherent in other forms of online legal marketing.

LawLytics works with you to build your law firm’s website into an appreciating asset using content marketing best practices. To accomplish this, we give you all of the tools and guidance you need. 

To learn more about using LawLytics for your law firm, schedule a free, no-obligation demo with us.

About Victoria Blute

As the Director of Communications at LawLytics, Victoria loves showing attorneys what works on the web. She leads our communications efforts including our weekly customers-only mastermind webinars, as well as our podcast and public webinars.

Get a brief, no-obligation demonstration.