June and July 2021 SEO Updates: Hype vs. Reality

June 10, 2021 –  I recorded this video on Tuesday. We sat on it until today, and we’re releasing it because the hyped-up SEO messages just keep coming.

Transcript (by otter.ai):

So, being an attorney comes with many blessings — and some curses as well.

For me, being a non-practicing attorney, one of the curses that comes with people out there who think I’m still practicing law is that I have the privilege — if you will — of receiving a lot of inbound emails about SEO. Every day in my inbox, there are at least four or five messages from random Gmail accounts, promising to fix the SEO on my website, talking about things that are wrong on my website (even though they’re not attached to any company and usually don’t even speak in complete sentences).

And then there’s another subset of inquiries that I get. They’re oftentimes in the forms of either advertisements from SEO agencies, or in the form of newsletters. Today happened to be one where I got several newsletters from legal marketing agencies talking about:

“Oh, Google is at it again! Watch out for rascally Google — they have not only done an update in June, but they’re planning another update in July.”

Well, guess what? Software companies and technology companies update their software all the time. Just this morning, we released several different updates to the LawLytics software. And so, what happened? What happened was: we had a Tuesday. That’s what happens in software.

As I read through some of these emails, it started to occur to me that these are starting to feel like a very predictable, dramatic TV show: You tune in for the first one or two seasons, and there’s an adrenaline-filled crisis with every episode. You’re not sure whether the main character is going to make it or not. And at the end, they come up with some kind of ingenuity, or a lock or combination of both. And lo and behold, they survive.

Well, you know what? After a while, it gets so predictable that you know the main character is going to survive. The show has “jumped the shark”, It’s done. It’s boring. And because you know, what’s going to happen, you move on.

The same can be said for these Google updates.

These are all “much ado about nothing”. If you’re doing the right things, if you have the right structure on your website, if you’re following Google’s Webmaster Guidelines, and have been, there’s nothing to react to. And yet, these people that make their money from following the latest Google algorithm updates, and making attorneys concerned that they might need to do something are always going into the hype. The next thing is something that this is some kind of armageddon — this is Mobilegeddon, this is PageSpeedMageddon. They attach some kind of fear to it.

I’m here to tell you that I have never once seen attorneys (who follow Google Webmaster Guidelines and that have the proper infrastructure to their site) suffer from a Google algorithm update. It just doesn’t happen if you’re doing the fundamentals.

Each one of these reminders should be to essentially reflect and ask yourself, have I been doing the core things that Google expects me to do? In other words, does my website provides my clients or potential clients with useful information that they can easily find, easily navigate, and easily digest? Does the information on my website add something to their knowledge that they didn’t have before visiting the website? Or does it put it into a context that they didn’t have before visiting the website? Does it essentially frame their problem in a way that’s specific to them either locally, or case-specific, court-specific, specific intersections, (or specific whatever-the-case-may-be)?

There is so much out there that you as an attorney can add to the context. If you’re not doing that, if you’re simply reacting to SEO hype, this isn’t going to be the thing that you react to that gets you ahead. This isn’t going to be the thing that helps you leapfrog the competition. This isn’t going to be the breakthrough that if you pay for this now, then all of your marketing worries are over. The attorneys who focus on the fundamentals enjoy a steady stream of clients and potential clients. They enjoy steady traffic from Google and other sources. They don’t have to worry about these interruptions. And so they can turn that stupid, repetitive TV episode off and say, “Look, I know what’s gonna happen. The character survives, there was much ado about nothing. It was all an illusion, it was all a bad dream. And somebody is just trying to make money off of me.”

So when you get that next email, trying to separate you from your money, ask yourself: Have I been doing the fundamentals? Have I been avoiding paying somebody to try to trick Google for me? If the answer is, yes, you’ve been doing the fundamentals. — and no, you haven’t been trying to trick Google — then you can ignore it. You don’t have anything to worry about.

If you haven’t been doing the fundamentals, or if you have been paying somebody in the past to trick Google for you, this may be the perfect time to take a look at getting on the right path — the sustainable path; the path that’s going to put you in good stead with the search engines and feed your practice long term without you having to be on this treadmill, this cycle of fear and greed, and rinse and repeat.

Once and for all, you can put yourself on a footing where you can predictively grow your practice and expand your overhead because you have a predictable way of bringing in revenue; you understand what the cost of that revenue is going to be. And you can rely on it going forward regardless of how well Google tries to and how good they become at preventing those very people that are trying to sell you SEO services from tricking Google and its algorithm.

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

About The Author

Attorney Dan Jaffe previously built successful small law practices in WA and AZ. He currently serves as the CEO of LawLytics.

Other posts by Dan.