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Algorithm Changes Can Hurt Your Website

In a recent blog post, we talked about how complex search engines could be. They scour the internet for the best websites for any given search, relying on mathematical models to determine which websites are relevant and important for each and every query. These mathematical models, called algorithms, have been developed and tweaked to make searching the web even better and more rewarding.

Every time a search engine changes its algorithm, though, there’s a chance that existing websites could see their online presence affected. Even a small change can move websites up or down in the search results, which can severely impact their web traffic. As a law firm, this can affect the number of leads your website generates.


Algorithm Changes of the Past

Google, the dominant force in the search engine market, tweaks its algorithms all the time. Most of these tweaks are to hone its search models, and make searching better for users. For example, by paying attention to whether someone enters a Google search, clicks on a website in the results, and then immediately goes back to the search results page, Google can infer that the website they tried out was not a good fit, and give it negative points that might make it appear lower in the results, next time the search is made.

Mug Shot Websites Lose Web Traffic

Other algorithm changes, however, are a little less straightforward.

A few years ago, websites started appearing that automatically copied mug shot pictures and details of someone’s arrest from government websites. These sites became popular as internet users scrolled through the websites and gawked at the occasionally funny pictures and arrest details. Most of the people depicted in the mug shots, however, had never been convicted of a crime, and many had never been formally charged. Nevertheless, the popularity of the mug shot sites meant that, if you searched for someone’s name, often the top result was their mug shot. People would pay hundreds of dollars to have their mug shot removed, and the “mug shot publishing industry” was born.

To help combat the practice, Google altered its search algorithm. As shown by the popularity of one mug shot website,, the result was drastic, as the site fell from being one of the top 16,000 sites on the internet, to barely being in the top 100,000:

Alexa Rankings Mug Shot Site

Regardless of the reason behind the change to the search algorithm, the effect of the change can be extreme: A change to Google’s search models back in May played a considerable role in declaring an 11% drop in its earnings.


How Quality Legal Blogging Can Prevent This From Happening to Your Site

These market shake-ups show the necessity to take the wholesome road that Myers Freelance has adopted for search engine optimization (SEO). Google and other search engines are in the business of finding the most relevant and important websites online for every given search. They will adapt their search models until they’ve reached a level of perfection that they can live with. Therefore, the best way to ensure that your website will gain prominence over the long term is to make it a relevant and important site for the search queries that you’re interested in. Filling your site with relevant and important content through legal blog writing is the Myers Freelance way.