Surviving and Recovering From a Google Penalty

It’s every attorney’s worst nightmare: you toil away on your organic search efforts for months, even years, and finally seem to outrank competing firms in your area. Then, just when you’re finally signing a decent number of cases from digital search, the rug is pulled out from under you and a Google algorithm update negatively impacts your organic search. If you’re convinced your traffic loss is due to Google and not seasonal fluctuations, here are some steps you can take to survive:

1. Learn More About the Update

Once you’ve pinpointed the exact update that affected your firm (Google makes up to 6 updates per day, but very few actually affect many domains), you’ll want to learn as much as you can to determine how you can improve your rankings. For example, in July 2018 Google rolled out an update that penalized mobile rankings for websites that were slow to load on mobile devices. Recovering from this algorithm update is simple—pay someone to improve your mobile load speed, whether it’s your own in-house web development team or a third party.

2. No Clue Where to Start? Check Google Analytics

More often than not you may not have any idea which update impacted your firm’s traffic or what caused the drop to occur. When this happens you’ll want to take a closer look at Google Analytics to see where you’re specifically losing traffic. Some metrics to look at include, but aren’t limited to:

  • User location
  • Mobile vs. desktop vs. tablet
  • Browser (or browser version)
  • Individual pages
  • Content types

For example, let’s say you’ve lost a lot of traffic to your pages on filing a claim after specific auto accident scenarios. If this happened you can work to improve these pages by adding more content, adding additional content on related terms, or working to get websites to add backlinks to the pages that were negatively impacted.

3. Follow SEO Best Practices

If you were negatively impacted by an update and you’ve been paying webmasters to link to your firm’s website, it was honestly only a matter of time before you faced the wrath of Google. You should always follow SEO best practices, which revolve around providing high-quality and beneficial content to web users. Usually, when you’re faced with an update you need to improve poor content and add more, higher-quality content. If you’re constantly worried about getting hit by an update, you’re likely doing something wrong.

4. Buckle In for a Long Road

It takes a long time (think weeks) for a big update to actually settle down and give you an accurate reflection of how your traffic is. If at the end of the day your firm is losing clients due to an update, the fix won’t happen overnight. You’ll need to add a lot of content to slowly regain your organic traffic, but there’s no guarantee you’ll ever be back to what you used to find, especially if you’re in a saturated area of law like personal injury.

To help keep your firm afloat after losing your organic traffic, consider supplementing your efforts with legal case leads. We currently offer Social Security disability, personal injury, workers’ compensation, and FDCPA leads. Call us today at (617) 800-0089 to learn more about our lead pricing and availability.