Backlinks That Used To Work For Your Law Firm Website, Don’t
Google has rolled out several search algorithm updates within the past year, most of which have been geared towards improving user experience by focusing on high relevance and strong content.
Many websites took a hit after Google’s Penguin algorithm update in 2012. You may be one of those who are still struggling to regain your rankings. The Penguin update particularly analyzed link portfolios, penalizing sites with poor backlinks pointing to their domain. Manual backlink based penalties are determined by human reviewers, but Penguin looks at links algorithmically. For example, if the new algorithm found hundreds of low-quality directories were pointing to a website, the site likely got punished for spammy links.
These bad link building tactics not only disregard Google’s standards, they also reflect poorly on your business. Your legal Web developers should hold to the same ethical standards with which you operate your law firm.
As a general rule, if a link does not pass value to the user and send relevant traffic to your site, it is not a link you want. If you want to boost your law firm website’s rankings, avoid these outdated and ineffective tactics that will certainly hurt your website.
Links From Irrelevant Sites
It may seem obvious, but it is worth mentioning that content with irrelevant links will hurt your law firm’s website. Google and other search engines are continually improving their user experience. One way to prevent a poor user experience is to serve up relevant and useful content, backed with equally relevant and useful links.
Link farming is a known black hat SEO tactic. Link farm websites have only one purpose: to list links for websites that want more links, usually in exchange for a fee. However, these link farms add no real value to your website. Your rankings will suffer if your site developers have utilized the damaging services of link farms. If you are concerned your backlink portfolio may have traces of link farming, you may benefit from the information provided in a comprehensive Web audit.
Paid link building is another artificial link building process. Law Web Marketing blogger LeAnna Easterday says, “Paid links are normally from non-relevant sites (e.g., ilovefood.blogspot.com) and the link to your site in the context of the articles will not make sense. For example: Cucumbers are good for you and are definitely not needed if you have been in a Texas car accident.” Like link farming, paid links are an outdated link building tactic. Ensure that your law firm website is not penalized by the search engines and stop any known paid link building efforts.
Exact Match Domain Satellite Sites
Google’s Penguin algorithm specifically targeted low-quality EMDs, or Exact Match Domains. Historically EMDs were one of the popular ways to build your site’s link portfolio. Many firms created multiple EMDs with targeted keywords in the domain. Then they used these to link back to their primary website. In this “hub and spoke” strategy, multiple EMD sites would act as “spokes” that directed visitors towards a main law firm “hub” website.
Today, search engines prefer to see Web developers invest their resources to build a strong, primary website. Your law firm will have much stronger online visibility with your link building efforts centered on one authoritative website.
Blog Comment Spamming
SEO Analyst andLinks Expert Jason Giroux says that blog spamming is another bad link tactic which should be avoided. Blog comment spamming is the practice of leaving irrelevant comments on sites not related to your niche. If you’ve browsed the Internet for any length of time, you’ve likely noticed an out of place comment — such as a user selling rock climbing gear on your family law site. “Not only are these links bad for SEO,” Jason says, “but because they are posted on forums and blogs frequented by others it can make your firm look unprofessional and spammy.”