What Attorneys Need To Know About Upcoming Google Changes – Spring 2021

You may have heard the news about Google’s “page experience update” sometimes referred to as “Core Web Vitals.” Like any announced Google change, marketers want you to believe that this will fundamentally rock the hierarchy of law firm website rankings, and make or break your practice. This is false. Google itself debunked this assertion. For time-strapped attorneys, here’s the gist:

  • Nothing will happen until mid-June 2021 and it won’t be in full effect until the end of August 2021.
  • This isn’t a huge deal, and it won’t cause dramatic shifts in rankings.

According to Google:

While this update is designed to highlight pages that offer great user experiences, page experience remains one of many factors our systems take into account. Given this, sites generally should not expect drastic changes.

Here are some additional tidbits:

  • The perceived advantages of AMP (which we have warned were illusory and would be a short-lived experiment) will be gone. Google has (in its Googlie way) essentially acknowledged that AMP was not the best way to ensure the best usability and the best content simultaneously. And, just as Google giveth, well… like so many other things that attorneys get talked into buying… it’s gone.
  • The upcoming changes will be a tiebreaker, not a fundamental change.

According to Google:

This is similar to changes we’ve had in the past, such as our mobile-friendly update or our speed update. As with those signals, page experience will be more important in “tie-breaker” types of situations. If there are multiple pages of similar quality and content, those with better page experience might perform better than those without. In short, publishers shouldn’t worry that when we begin using page experience, that they may suffer some immediate significant drop, if they’re still working on making improvements. But publishers should be focused on making those improvements a relative priority over time. This is because as more and more sites continue to improve their page experience, it will be the norm that publishers will want to match.

As a LawLytics member, we have your back. And, because the LawLytics platform is cloud-based (and for attorneys only), we can instantly deploy updates to thousands of law firm websites. So, unlike working with a marketing agency or using WordPress, there is nothing for you to worry about, and nothing for you to do or buy to be ready. Just like every other Google update, our engineering and product teams are ready. We’re always rolling out updates to make sure that when your website’s content is subject to a tie-breaker with a non-LawLytics website, your site is engineered to win the bake-off.

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.