On June 8th, Google’s Caffeine update went live. The caffeine update is a new system for indexing the web, providing 50% fresher results than the old system. For those that aren’t sure if I’m writing in English right now, here is an explanation from Google on how it works:
Some background for those of you who don’t build search engines for a living like us: when you search Google, you’re not searching the live web. Instead you’re searching Google’s index of the web which, like the list in the back of a book, helps you pinpoint exactly the information you need. (Here’s a good explanation of how it all works.)
In a nutshell, Google used to update its index every couple of weeks and now it is doing so virtually in real time.
What This Means For Your Firm’s Website
How exactly does this impact you? Well, this is great news for you if your firm is actively adding new content to your website or blog on a regular basis. Since Google updates its index more frequently, it will be constantly searching for the most up to date, relevant content to display in its results. As you post new articles, Google will find them faster and display them in results, virtually in real time.
What If I Don’t Add New Content To My Website?
The Caffeine update deals with the indexing of information as opposed to an algorithmic change of the ranking of that information. However, if you have a static law firm website you aren’t adding content to, the long-term prospects for your site probably aren’t very good. You may find your static website slipping as other sites, which add content regularly, start to pass you in search results. At the very least universal search results will display recent articles and updates in the SERPS above the traditional links.
The bottom line is that you can’t afford to have a static law firm website anymore. You have got to put together a content strategy to keep your site fresh and take advantage of the long tail traffic you can get from search.
What You Can Do
- Start a blog (You can use a free service for this like Wordpress or Blogger)
- Contribute articles and posts on a regular basis (2-3 a week)
- Make sure you can update your website easily (This can be accomplished with a content management system such as Wordpress)
- Use press releases (prweb.com is a good service we use ourselves)
- Send out newsletters and post them to your site
- Integrate your social media accounts such as Twitter with your site