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Wednesday, October 05, 2016

Google, Pandas and Penguins - Updates in September 2016

Google, Pandas and Penguins - recent updates in Google listings

On September 23rd 2016 Google announced a major update to the way they list their natural rankings. Some years ago Google basically upended the entire Search Engine Marketing industry by bringing in new elements to their algorithm which were called Panda and Penguin (the names sound quite cuddly but the results were positively terrifying for some businesses!). The new update is called Penguin 4.0. This part of the algorithm has now gone real time, which means that it is continually refreshed. Penguin now devalues anything that looks to be "the thing that rhymes with ham" and adjusts the page ranking rather than affecting the ranking of the whole site.” This means that if a solicitors firm 'stuffs' a page on their website with loads of keywords to try and encourage Google to rank them higher in the organic listings then Google will not necessarily devalue the rest of the site. So anyone planning on filling a page with the words "conveyancing", "solicitors" and "Brighton" in the hope of increasing their business, may not be risking the status of their website overall.

SEO or SEM (search engine marketing) has again become important since Google changed the way adverts were shown. Not a lot of people know this, but Google now only show 2-3 adverts at the top of the search results, and none are now visible down the sides. This has reduced the opportunities for smaller companies to compete with big business when paying for advertising on Google. As a quick example, if I now want to advertise for "Conveyancing Locum" across the UK I am looking at paying over £4 a click. Something I would rather not do!

Jonathan Fagan is Managing Director of Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment and a non-practising Solicitor. Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment provides online Legal Recruitment for Solicitors, Legal Executives, Fee Earners, Support Staff, Managers and Paralegals. Visit our Website to search our Vacancy Database.

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