Is SEO & Google Page Rank REALLY Dead?

Image f an arrow moving up in a zig-zag. Caption reads, SEM, or Search Engine Marketing is related, yet different from SEO in that the former continually feeds content which is in high demand by searchers. SEO could be called static whereas SEM is vibrant.

The number one thing Law Firm website owners want today is guaranteed traffic. Yet, many claim SEO is dead. True? The short answer is, Yes. The long answer? Not Entirely. Let me explain.

To answer, let’s break this into two questions.

Is Google Page Rank Dead?

Yes. After Google introduced two major changes to their search algorithm a few years ago, it did away with Page Rank, so named because it was developed by Larry Page, one of the co-founders of Google.

Instead, Google turned to a complex array of elements which the search engine would examine to determine if a web page was worth recommending. A large part of that change converted their Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) from a means of identifying entire websites worthy of referrals to a focus on individual pages.

Page Rank permitted entire websites to rise to the top of the search results whereas the new system largely ignores the site in favor of pages contained on the site. Which brings us to the second part of the question.

Is SEO Dead?

SEO, or Search Engine Optimization as a concept is dead as well. But replacing this is Search Engine Marketing (SEM). The key component of SEM is a focus on providing the search engines what they seek, namely, great content.

A website may have several pages not worth recommending to readers, but a few pages which are good, and some which are great. In marketing to search engines, the focus is on creating great individual pages. The more pages a website has which the search engines deem worthy of recommendation to searchers, the better the website will perform.

But the website will not be given a one-time, hey-you-did-it Page Rank. Instead, a website must continually provide great content via its pages and blog.

What is the Role of Blogs in SEM?

Blogs are intended to be a sort of journal of activity for a website or company. Because a company is open for business at least five days a week and a website operates every day, the search engines have been directed to scan blogs often.

Image f an arrow moving up in a zig-zag. Caption reads, SEM, or Search Engine Marketing is related, yet different from SEO in that the former continually feeds content which is in high demand by searchers. SEO could be called static whereas SEM is vibrant.
SEM, or Search Engine Marketing is related, yet different from SEO in that the former continually feeds content which is in high demand by searchers. SEO could be called static whereas SEM is vibrant.

If a blog is fairly active, the search engine spiders will crawl the site often, looking for fresh, new content. If the blog falls into inactivity, the spiders will reduce the frequency of their crawls. Some sites, such as CriminalJusticeLaw.org are searched hourly; some more…most less, some far less. In fact, a website that does not have a blog will likely be scanned for updates every six months to a year.

In time, the search crawlers will determine the frequency of new content and adjust accordingly. Some site data will be updated weekly, some monthly, some quarterly–it all depends on how often new content is added and how useful that content is deemed to be per the elements contained thereon.

So, Can Traffic from the Search Engines be Guaranteed? Can a Website Reach Page One of Google?

Absolutely. Yes. The simple fact is that although Page Rank and SEO as it was known just a decade ago is dead, many sites have multiple pages which rank high on Google. Using CriminalJusticeLaw.org as an example again, at least 30% of the pages contained on that site rank on the first page of Google, as noted by Google Webmaster Tools. Some of these include:

The detailed reasons these pages rank well with the search engines and draw considerable traffic to the website are a subject for another blog. For now, suffice to say the key reason has to do with the content contained on the page. There is ample content.

The number one reason we find at Oakes Writing for the failure of Law Firm websites drawing traffic from search engines is the lack of content–it is usually just too short to recommend–there is not enough and what is there is fluff.

That may sound harsh, but those are the facts.

Think of a web page like a book on a shelf. When we go to the library and seek a book on a particular subject, our eyes are naturally drawn to books which are larger…they contain more information. Pamphlets often get overlooked. A book which is too large may also get overlooked.

A web page is the same thing. Think of the website as a library and web pages like books within. The books that are not too large and not too small receive larger circulation. Likewise, a web page which is not too large and not too small get traffic. In the immortal words of Goldielocks, “This one is just right.”

Oakes Writing produces content for Law Firms which is “Just Right.” If your Law Firm website is underperforming and you need help, call