New for 2017: voice search and mobile optimization checklist for attorneys

New for 2017: voice search and mobile optimization checklist for attorneys

Voice search is no longer a novelty. Increasingly, people are using personal assistants like Siri and Google Assistant to ask questions and perform basic searches. In May of 2016, approximately 20 percent of all searches performed on Google’s mobile app and Android devices were done by voice. The popularity of products like Amazon Echo and Google Home will only increase consumers’ comfort with voice search. Research by ComScore suggests that 50 percent of searches will be voice-based by 2020.

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What law firms can learn about mobile search from Google’s latest quality rating guidelines

What law firms can learn about mobile search from Google’s latest quality rating guidelines

In November, Google released the full version of its Search Quality Rating Guidelines for the first time. Last week, we discussed Google’s standards for quality content and website reputation, as detailed in the document. This week, we will delve into the newest section of the guidelines: mobile ratings.

The rating guidelines document is given to Google’s human quality raters to help them determine how to rate a series of test queries. The scores raters give pages do not directly…

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Google's RankBrain brings machine learning to search results

Google’s RankBrain brings machine learning to search results

Last week Google revealed it has been using RankBrain, a machine learning process, to help return results for a large number of search queries. Google began a slow, quiet rollout of the update in early 2015, and RankBrain has been completely live and in use for searches globally for the past several months.

With the addition of RankBrain to its algorithm, Google is attempting to better predict what information people are searching for by using past queries to learn…

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What is Google looking for in a mobile webpage?

What is Google looking for in a mobile webpage?

Five months ago, Google rattled the nerves of webmasters everywhere with its widely-publicized mobile algorithm update. The effects of the change were not immediately apparent; in the weeks following the update little movement was seen in search results.

Time is beginning to show that Google may — at least for the moment — be taking a gradual approach toward pushing sites to become mobile-friendly. Some movement is beginning to become apparent. According to Searchmetrics’ 2015 Mobile Ranking…

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How firms with multiple locations can improve local rankings

How firms with multiple locations can improve local rankings

Law firms with multiple locations may find it more difficult to rank well in local search results than those with only a single location. Size, which can be advantageous when building authority, does not necessarily translate into better local visibility. Each office has unique business data associated with it, and citations corresponding to each location can easily proliferate to unhealthy levels without consistent oversight.

Law firms of all sizes benefit from good local search visibility. Most legal issues are handled…

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Law firm business development: 10 essential questions to ask a marketing agency

Law firm business development: 10 essential questions to ask a marketing agency

Marketing is a reality for lawyers. It has become a necessary part of business development, which is important for maintaining and growing a solid client base and being prepared for challenges like recession or client loss. Finding a good marketing company can be arduous. The choice is considerable. Many professionals have been let down by a company they have hired, and most know a colleague who has been disappointed by a relationship gone sour or promises not kept.

Your…

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The month in mobile: 5 developments that will impact search marketing

The month in mobile: 5 developments that will impact search marketing

Google’s recent algorithm update may have produced mixed results, but it did push mobile usability into the spotlight, forcing many businesses to face long-standing mobile compatibility issues.

Some analysts saw Google’s update as a power play in which the search giant used its size and influence to force changes it wants to see in the industry. Writing for CNET, Richard Nieva said, “Google has used its power as the most-visited website in the world to force other sites…

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Verdict is mixed on the effects of Google's mobile algorithm update

Verdict is mixed on the effects of Google’s mobile algorithm update

Google began rolling out it’s most recent algorithm update on April 21st, to much fanfare. The change, hyperbolically dubbed Mobilegeddon, applies to mobile searches only. According to Google, it is now prioritizing pages it deems to be mobile-friendly in smartphone search results.

Google makes hundreds of adjustments to its algorithm every year, all quietly and mostly unnoticed. But Google took the rare step of announcing that this change was coming, which likely added to the general air…

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Google adds mobile-friendly usability factors to its mobile search algorithm

Google adds mobile-friendly usability factors to its mobile search algorithm

Google has announced that mobile-friendliness will be a ranking factor for all mobile searches starting April 21. Pages that are mobile-friendly according to Google’s usability tests will receive a boost in results for searches performed on a mobile device.

According to Google Webmaster Trends Analyst Gary Illyes, the update will run page-by-page. There is no site-wide penalty. If your site were to have 20 mobile-friendly pages and 10 pages Google does not deem to be mobile-friendly, the 20…

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Who is paying attention to banner ads?

One of the challenges of online marketing is determining how to best divide your budget between available methods. A number of forces continue to converge that make this decision ever more complicated. Google’s successful efforts to encourage high-quality, contextually relevant content and penalize sites that try to take short-cuts coupled with the growing influence of apps and mobile search are forcing firms to employ multiple tactics. And the question of how much social media activity and influence may (or…

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