Recently, Google announced another algorithm change in their efforts to stop web spam. The newest change has nothing to do with your links and little to do with content. This time, Google is targeting your law firm's domain name.
The goal with the newest change is to target low-quality “exact match” domain names. For most law firms, this change may actually help their rankings.
Over the past decade, spammers in all industries (not just law) have been picking up domain names that are packed with keywords. A personal injury lawyer in Boston may spend thousands of dollars to snag bostonpersonalinjurylawyer.com. A business attorney may create a hyphenated domain name of Dallas-business-lawyer dot some extension.
If a law firm provides the same care and attention to their keyword-rich domain as they would a domain based on the firms' name, this algorithm change shouldn't penalize them. The problem is when an exact match domain name is purchased and the owner throws on a couple pages of content, does little-to-no link building, and because of the domain name only, is ranked on the first page of Google for a competitive keyword. That is what Google intends to stop with the newest upgrade.
If your law firm is utilizing an “exact match” domain name, it's not the end of the road. Your domain name can still be valuable, but it's time to ignore the fact that it's based on a keyword.
1) Design a quality website – Keywords in a domain name can help (a little), but the actual website needs to have a quality look, feel, and content.
2) Create a sitemap – Now that the domain name can't stand on its own, create a sitemap and start building content around your practice areas. Create a blog and make your keyword-rich domain name a resource.
3) Build links – You have to get other websites to link to your domain.