One thing we have to keep in mind is what is going to be the best possible user experience. Google is really hard-core about what this entails.
First, you’ll notice that it should be mobile-friendly and that they favor websites that are formatted for smart phone searches in its smart-phone search results. This is because Google wants people to, when they are using Google, have the best possible experience. And, it makes sense, because it’s not Google necessarily being altruistic; Google wants to show a lot of ads. The fact remains that most people use Google to perform searches because it’s such a wonderful experience. Google is going to make more ads, and people are going to click on those ads, and Google’s going to make more money. So, when we’re doing things to our website, we want to think about what is going to make a better user experience. That might be a better navigational; we might want to remove a lot of noise from our website and limit our navigation to just the things that are important to legal consumers. That will provide a better user experience so that people will navigate to other pages on your website and maybe stay on your website a little bit longer, and maybe do the calls-to-action that we want them to do. That’s going to be a good user experience, and Google will reward you for it.
Another element is load time: Your website should be fast. Sometimes that’s costly, so it’s something we’ll explore in detail another time. But there are many things you can do at minimal cost such as improving the quality of your content. Of course, we want people to like your content, and we want Google to like your content, because they read your content, and they know what it’s about,
In the old days we would keyword-stuff, and we would have the words “personal injury” on the personal injury page 20 times to the extent that we could, while still writing to people. We didn’t want it to look too spammy, but we would make sure that the keywords were in there as much as possible. Now, that’s not as important as it used to be, because Google is smarter, and if the page is about personal injury, Google gets that sense, whether we have the words “personal injury” or not.
Just by way of experience, on best user experience that we’re talking about, here, back 5 or 6 years ago, there was this infrastructure change we went through with Google, where they were upgrading all of their servers. The thing that’s fascinating about it is they made this major infrastructure change where they upgraded all their servers so that it would serve up their search results faster, because they found that if people got faster search results, they would search more.
In this particular case, they spent probably hundreds of millions of dollars upgrading tens of thousands, or hundreds of thousands of servers at a tremendous expense, so that the page would load 1/100th of a second faster: That’s much quicker than the blink of an eye. And in the research studies, they found that people would perform ten extra searches for every thousand searches if it popped that much faster. And, while that doesn’t seem like much, if you spread that over a couple billion searches a month, then all of the sudden we’re talking about a lot of ads that Google gets to display and a lot of money. And, I’ll bet you that that one-hundred-million dollars or more that they spent on the server upgrade was paid for in the first month.
So, anyway, Google is really big on this user experience, and when we’re doing our SEO, we kind of have to keep that in mind. We just want to know what Google is going to like. If Google is going to like it, or if the user is going to like it, then it’s probably going to be a good thing.