Curated from Bruce Clay and Rand Fishkin

Qamar Zaman a Dallas SEO Explains and discusses predictions about Search Engine Optimization for this year 2015 that will change how lawyer sites are ranked.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) constantly has changes and updates due to its adaptation with the different search engine site’s algorithm especially in Google. That is why a lot of businessmen including lawyers strive to be updated on the latest trends and effective techniques of SEO so as to be able to compete and be ahead of their other business and lawyer competitors. This year, 2015, SEO continually evolves and modifies its factors governing internet marketing in general.

A lot of predictions of these SEO changes for the year 2015 have been discussed by a lot of Search Engine Optimization Professionals and Engineers. Some may have varied and different ideas of this SEO evolution. It is important that lawyers have an idea regarding this matter so that they can be able to effectively think of SEO strategies and techniques on how they can effectively market their own law firm. So I decided to make my own predictions regarding this matter.

For this year, the user satisfaction brought about by mobile results will greatly exceed those other technical factors surrounding SEO. Google now issues warnings to all the webmasters who owns a website that has mobile errors. It is said that another algorithm will be launched that will focus on mobile ranking. Lawyers are advised to give emphasis in providing a good user experience not just in websites but also in mobile version accessibility since 99% of the population now has each of their own mobile gadgets they can use anytime and anywhere, and majority of people now search for lawyers and legal services through their mobiles and gadgets rather than surfing through the web using computers or even searching for it on newspapers and magazines.

Google will now show results on its first page, those sites which have the answers that are more specific and more focused to the user’s questions. Also, the results will include lawyer sites which cover more in depth, more complete and detailed topics that are more in demand by searchers. So if you own a lawyer site, you need to write unique and worth reading blogs that have a comprehensive and thorough content which includes answers to common questions mostly asked by a lot of searchers who are looking for a lawyer and those who are in need of legal services.

Search engine sites especially Google will still continue to focus on local results for all searches made as well as getting rid of spam sites. Lawyer sites which do not follow the guidelines will still be penalized and would suffer same consequences. So it is also very important that lawyers update their knowledge regarding the guidelines of search engine sites like Bing and Google so that they will have an idea on the things that they might be penalized for especially if these sites have added another rule in their guidelines.

Another prediction about SEO changes is the additional factor that will control and govern lawyer site’s ranking which is having an on-page video. Videos can deliver many words to your potential clients compared to having your message written in your blog. Your viewers won’t necessarily need to do a lot of scrolling to be able to read your message and having these videos will promote less clutter on your lawyer site as well. With the growing mobile bandwidth, users will now be able to easily access and view these videos. That is why Google is now considering on-page video is one factor of ranking a lawyer site.

These are just some of the Search Engine Optimization (SEO) predictions that will change how lawyer sites will be ranked in search engine sites especially Google.

Sources and some curated content from Top Industry sources.

Bruce Clay’s 2015 Predictions for the SEO Industry

  1. Mobile results satisfaction will be more important than any other technical issue.

As of yesterday Google issued warnings through Webmaster Tools to webmasters whose websites contain critical mobile usability errors. The signs point to a mobile ranking algorithm that is near launch. Voice search will rapidly expand, a consequence of increasing mobile use. Long-tail searches will increase as a result of these unstructured voice queries.

  1. The first page Google results will be entirely made up of pages that are mobile friendly, fast, and contain mission specific content (answers questions).

In order to serve long-tail conversational queries, Google will focus on serving results that have very specific answers to questions. We’ll see fewer results at the top of page 1 which cover a theme in a general way, and more sites that cover very specific topics in-depth. Among the ranking algorithm’s variables that correlate with characteristics of E-A-T, expertness will come to outweigh authority and trust. With trust and authority equal, expertness will be weighted the most important. This is how Google will be able to algorithmically give preference to results that answer questions.

  1. The search engines will continue to emphasize local results on all searches. Local results will include opportunities for paid enhancements.

I predict that more queries will include local results. Google reports slightly shrinking market share and they have growing pressure for increased revenue. With avenues for generating revenue in search limited to page 1, I expect local results will be the next SERP real estate to get paid results, sold as enhanced entries. These paid enhancements, a form of paid inclusion, could include coupons, phone numbers and images.

  1. On-page video will be more heavily weighted as a ranking signal as bandwidth capacity today allows for video to be served for everyone.

I’ve predicted this for some time, but bandwidth, especially on mobile, has gotten to the point where it’s justified. Video can communicate many words’ worth of content in a small area of your website. Users don’t have to scroll in order to receive your message, explaining your benefits to people, concisely. As mobile bandwidth grows it will be easier for users to download videos.

Google has been working to add on-page video as a ranking signal for a long time. They own YouTube, so they have incentive to promote the importance of video, and they have a property with engagement and quality signals they trust. What we’ll find is that video is a signal of expertness, as well as an authority signal if the video is pulled in from YouTube. I expect Google to examine all of its properties, looking for what signals it can extract regarding expertness and authority.

  1. SEO will become more technical, but those doing SEO will become more than programmers. Marketing skills re-emerge as vital to doing the job.

If you’re a successful SEO, you have to do several things. You have to be a problem solver. You have to be really good at games because this is a business simulation where SEOs are competing against the business’s competition. The only thing that could make the job of an SEO more fun is if Google introduced a game controller. If there was a game controller to play the game of ranking in Google, SEO would be a lot more fun because we could shoot the enemy. Instead, working to win within the Google algorithm is something that’s increasingly technical.

And yet, in order to optimize for E-A-T, site maintenance, and usability (especially in the mobile world), the brands that will win in Google need to know marketing. To improve a site’s E-A-T and usability, you have to understanding marketing, reach, client psychology and how clients think, calls to action — and that’s influencing SEO more. The marketing and messaging component is not a little discipline out there called conversion rate optimization. Technically minded SEOs will have a harder time incorporating marketing strategy into their methodology than marketing professionals will who integrate technical SEO requirements into their discipline. So, I expect marketing to absorb SEO.

  1. Bing will lead the search engines in market share expansion as the search engine’s marketing skills overtake Google’s programming skills. Google will maintain dominance of market share, but Bing will expand.

10 Predictions for the Marketing World in 2015

January 6th, 2015 – Posted by Rand Fishkin to Marketing Industry

#2: Google will continue the trend of providing instant answers in search results with more interactive tools.

Google has been doing instant answers for a long time, but in addition to queries with immediate and direct responses, they’ve also undercut a number of online tool vendors by building their own versions directly into the SERPs, like they do currently for queries like ” timer” and “calculator.

I predict in 2015, we’ll see more partnerships like what’s provided with OpenTable and the ability to book reservations directly from the SERPs, possibly with companies like Uber, Flixster (they really need to get back to a better instant answer for movies+city), Zillow, or others that have unique data that could be surfaced directly.

#4: Google’s indexation of Twitter will grow dramatically, and a significantly higher percentage of tweets, hashtags, and profiles will be indexed by the year’s end.

Twitter has been putting more muscle behind their indexation and SEO efforts, and I’ve seen more and more Twitter URLs creeping into the search results over the last 6 months. I think that trend continues, and in 2015, we see enter the top 5-6 “big domains” in Mozcast.

#6: Mobile search, mobile devices, SSL/HTTPS referrals, and apps will combine to make traffic source data increasingly hard to come by.

I’ll estimate that by year’s end, many major publishers will see 40%+ of their traffic coming from “direct” even though most of that is search and social referrers that fail to pass the proper referral string. Hopefully, we’ll be able to verify that through folks like Define Media Group, whose data sharing this year has made them one of the best allies marketers have in understanding the landscape of web traffic patterns.

BTW – I’d already estimate that 30-50% of all “direct” traffic is, in fact, search or social traffic that hasn’t been properly attributed. This is a huge challenge for web marketers — maybe one of the greatest challenges we face, because saying “I brought in a lot more traffic, I just can’t prove it or measure it,” isn’t going to get you nearly the buy-in, raises, or respect that your paid-traffic compatriots can earn by having every last visit they drive perfectly attributed.