How Voice Search May Change Local Attorney SEO

The author’s views are entirely his or her own and may not reflect the views of Cirlce of Legal Trust. Speech recognition technology on machines has always left something to be desired.  Leading edge platforms like Siri still had bugs to be worked out as recently as 2013[1].  Today a new breed of software and digital assistants are telling a different story.  In 2016 there has been an explosion of voice searches that are accounting for a huge portion of all online searches made by consumers.  … [Read more…]

Will FaceBook Local Be the Yelp! Giant KIller?

We have read the stories about Yelp! suing a lawyer in retaliation for him suing Yelp! and winning. Most of us who own small businesses have heard the other horror stories about good reviews disappearing and negative reviews being “recommended” when businesses stop paying Yelp! for ads. With so many reports of tactics like this, whether they are real or imagined, it is shocking there have not been shareholder lawsuits against Yelp at a bare minimum. Well, actually there have been at least two … [Read more…]

Yelp! Can Legally Alter Reviews If You Won’t Pay Them?

To Yelp! or not to Yelp! that is the question many a law firm struggles with. We fear if we stop the ads that Yelp! will screw up our reviews and make us look bad. Courts appear to believe Yelp! can do what would amount to extortion if not but for the internet being the forum. When we speak to Yelp! reps they say that Yelp! never favors advertisers over non advertisers, and there is nothing to fear. Then we hear other stories of lawyers upset at Yelp! being revenge sued by Yelp! for expressing … [Read more…]

Using Yelp! As a Form of Alternative Dispute Resolution?

Yelp! Yelp! Yelp! what a nightmare. I seriously doubt the company can last with what many users believe is its unfair system that forces consumers and businesses to be regular Yelpers or likely have their reviews buried. What we do see is that business owners are seeing their Google Local and Yahoo! Local results fall in favor of businesses that figured out how to seemingly manipulate the Yelp! algo. The only viable way to do that we have found is to try and only get clients from Yelp!, which … [Read more…]

Google Going Hyper Local And Bringing Out A Terrific New Service

In what is probably going to be a game changer for attorneys, is the the end of “free” local search. We already saw many injury lawyers reconsider whether local search is worth investing in at all since the introduction of the 3 pack. But now, we are seeing whole areas in small geos being tested for an all paid for local search in Google. Of course we all know that organic results for lawyers have over time been slowly been pushed down the page and/or have been getting replaced at the top with … [Read more…]

Yelp! Now Let’s You Slam Government Agencies like the IRS?

Yelp’s leadership must have been reading about the targeting of individuals the IRS was doing and thought, “Gee, we’d like to be on that list.” The web services company has just announced that it is now expanding its coverage to include government agencies. This will allow users to be able to rank and criticize the service they get from public employees. The word seems to have spread quickly. Candidate for President Carly Fiorina has got the ball rolling, as reported in Fortune. The … [Read more…]

Google’s New Deal For Mobile Ads

Thursday Google announced more changes for the mobile ad formats that will affect the local based searches for mobile users. Google’s search engine will show as many as four ads for businesses based on location and nearby that will display directions and click-to-call. The March Google Trends data shows the “near me” searches over the past year have increased and approximately 80 percent of the increase is by mobile users. The business ads for “near me” will be driven by local extensions in … [Read more…]

Google Maps Update: What It Means for Attorneys

The author’s views are entirely his or her own and may not reflect the views of Cirlce of Legal Trust. Summary Google changes the rules yet again Attorneys must use a real, valid working business address Virtual offices have been nixed No more spamming your business name & title Must precisely choose appropriate business category Google recently changed the local page quality guidelines[1] for businesses in Google Maps.  For lawyers this could have an impact on how … [Read more…]

Levitt v. Yelp! – Ninth Circuit Rules Against Suing For Online Reviews

Yelp!  We all know is a local business directory that has become a formidable player in the game of online search for local businesses including attorneys.  Yelp listings include the normal name, address and phone number (“NAP”) information for local businesses like law firms but, also has reviews from consumers who have purportedly had experiences (positive and negative) with the business listed.  In a recent Ninth Circuit opinion, the alleged legitimacy of these reviews came into … [Read more…]

Mistakes Attorneys Make When Trying To Check Their Rankings – by Chris Dreyer

The author’s views are entirely his or her own and may not reflect the views of Cirlce of Legal Trust. Search engines (mainly Google) are software programs that take a user’s query and match it against trillions of different web pages using complex mathematical algorithms to find the most relevant one.  Attorneys often make mistakes when trying to determine where their websites fall in the rankings.  I’ve provided optimization services for attorneys over the past several years and here are … [Read more…]