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What Google’s August 24, 2021 Update to Web Page Titles Means For Your Law Firm

August 27, 2021

On Tuesday, Google announced an update to how its search engine generates web page titles (the code snippet on every page that tells both users and search engines what the topic of a particular page is).

At LawLytics, we ensure your web page titles are optimized for the web without you having to think or worry about it. The system automatically creates titles for you, and is designed to allow Google to easily scan your content and determine what is best for its intended audience.

Here’s how Google explains its latest update:

“One of the primary ways people determine which search results might be relevant to their query is by reviewing the titles of listed web pages. That’s why Google Search works hard to provide the best titles for documents in our results to connect searchers with the content that creators, publishers, businesses, and others have produced.

 

Last week, we introduced a new system of generating titles for web pages. Before this, titles might change based on the query issued. This generally will no longer happen with our new system. This is because we think our new system is producing titles that work better for documents overall, to describe what they are about, regardless of the particular query.

 

Also, while we’ve gone beyond HTML text to create titles for over a decade, our new system is making even more use of such text. In particular, we are making use of text that humans can visually see when they arrive at a web page. We consider the main visual title or headline shown on a page, content that site owners often place within <H1> tags or other header tags, and content that’s large and prominent through the use of style treatments.”

How does this affect my website?

This announcement highlights Google’s continued efforts to optimize for user experience. Since the search engine launched, bad actors have tried to find ways to “trick” Google to improve a page’s ranking and search engine results page (SERP) performance.

Google understands the importance of users trusting its search results. It wants to ensure individuals get the best possible information first when they make a search query. This is true of how the search engine ranks web pages and how it displays information on the SERP.

How does this affect my law firm’s website?

If your firm has been following Google Webmaster Guidelines and best practices, you have nothing to worry about. Google explained why it has updated its approach to web page titles:

“Why not just always use the HTML title tag? For the same reasons we explained when we began going beyond the tag significantly back in 2012. HTML title tags don’t always describe a page well. In particular, title tags can sometimes be:

 

  • Very long.
  • “Stuffed” with keywords, because creators mistakenly think adding a bunch of words will increase the chances that a page will rank better.
  • Lack title tags entirely or contain repetitive “boilerplate” language. For instance, home pages might simply be called “Home”. In other cases, all pages in a site might be called “Untitled” or simply have the name of the site.

Overall, our update is designed to produce more readable and accessible titles for pages. In some cases, we may add site names where that is seen as helpful. In other instances, when encountering an extremely long title, we might select the most relevant portion rather than starting at the beginning and truncating more useful parts.”

If you’re an attorney who has, in the past, either tried to trick Google or paid an SEO person or a marketing agency to try to trick Google on your behalf, it’s likely time to reevaluate your approach to being found on the web.

How can LawLytics help me?

If you’re already a LawLytics member, you’re all set! Our platform is designed to ensure you create web pages the way Google wants. That was true before this change and is true today as well. If you have questions, please feel free to contact our support team here.

If you’re not a LawLytics member and are looking to grow your firm’s online presence, LawLytics can help. The platform is built to provide everything you need to have a website that’s optimized for Google to attract and convert your ideal clients.

To see it in action, schedule a 20-minute interactive demo with a member of my team.

Other helpful resources about LawLytics and Google updates:

About the Author

Dylan Hendricks runs the marketing and sales efforts at LawLytics and has more than a decade of digital marketing experience. If you’d like to ask a question or share your thoughts on this blog post, email Dylan at [email protected].

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