In our recent blog, Positioning of Legal Directories in 2024, written in early March of 2024, we were able to see the annual update on how individually-owned websites stacked up against reputable directories such as Justia, SuperLawyers, FindLaw, and in some cases, Expertise. LawInfo, Yelp, Avvo, Martindale-Hubble, etc. are not even mentioned at this point, so if you’re not getting value from the organic search traffic on those directories, you ultimately have to decide if the backlinks and other supposed perks are truly worth it at this point. There were big changes that occurred algorithmically almost immediately after the fact, and while we looked at the differences over just the past few weeks, it still seems like the newest shakeup was nearly negligible.

In short, just a few changes were observed, such as Quora and Reddit results stepping back into 5th and 6th position rankings on the first page of Google; not a far cry from the 4th position they surreptitiously received two weeks prior. But if you look more into this next iteration of Google’s infamous methods of madness, here are a few more key takeaways worth considering.

Directories Never Have a Shot at the Top Spot for Car Accident Keywords

Why is it that a directory like Justia or SuperLawyers can find success ranking for Personal Injury but never Car Accident? The main thought is how we treat these pages differently from a content and SEO standpoint. For example, when it comes to the site architecture for a PI website, in this case, we’ll often structure it accordingly:

  • Personal Injury (home page)
    • Car Accidents
    • Truck Accidents
    • Med Mal
    • Wrongful Death
    • Etc.

The homepage is normally dedicated to the overarching Personal Injury, which may receive plenty of authority from a backlink strategy but is rarely set up content-wise to capture everything necessary to truly come out on top for that particular keyword. The catch is, nor should it – your homepage is utilized to capture so much more than a keyword. It is the overview of the firm and contains everything from a brief About the Firm, Testimonials, Reviews, Case Results, Practice Area Overviews, and much more. You can’t balance user experience with competitive content on the same page.

This gives way to the thought that the homepage should simply be a complete branding play, and you work to compete for your PI keywords on a subdirectory instead of the standard of the homepage. So instead of this:

  • (personal injury)
  • (car accidents)

You have

  • (firm branding)
  • (car accidents)
  • (personal injury)

The proof is in car accident pages doing well with this structure and directories beating law firm homepages with theirs.

New Results on the Block?

The biggest change, of course, was Reddit and Quora showing up on the first page of Google. This has (shockingly) been abused to no end, from buying upvotes for spam responses to questions like “Who is the best car accident lawyer in Houston?” to the sale of aged, high-clout Reddit accounts professing all of their favorite local services, seemingly across the entire United States. Who knew someone was worldly enough to have a strong opinion on a Family Lawyer in Bartow, FL, and an Optometrist in Montclair, NJ, on the same day? We also saw a Bar Association result in Nashville when searching “Nashville Family Lawyer”

This result already declined from 4 to 8 in a few short weeks (seems like SEO wasn’t really a priority for this .org to keep things moving). But it was the first result of its kind since I started doing this four years ago. But in accordance with Google’s newest updates, results like this should actually start proliferating. After all, local bar associations are legitimate and should be an authority on presenting legal options. We’ll see reputable websites like Forbes start to drop off in results when talking about “best of” lawyers via paid articles because, well, Forbes frankly has no business telling consumers of the former. In fact, this result here has dropped about 5-7 spots since I last checked and is hovering around 13. It’ll either stay there or drop further as Google continues to roll out its changes well into April.

Why Some Directories Don’t Compete Whatsoever Anymore

Avvo, Thumbtack,,,, dexmedia, LawInfo, Three Best Rated, Upsolve…you get the point. Maybe you were on some of these at some point (without a huge contract). For the past several years, there have really only been Justia, FindLaw, and SuperLawyers worth having a presence on, and both have varying degrees of success depending on your geography and practice area. Why have they succeeded where others have failed?

The short answer is that they all have their own extremely competitive, proactive approach to SEO. The technical work and content structure they maintain are at a high level, enabling them to stay relevant year after year. That being said, you can look at the backend of these websites and see what strategies they’re employing that can be emulated on your own website. Oftentimes, if you use an SEO tool like Ahrefs or SEMRush, you’ll see when there’s a spike in their inbound links, there’s a spike in their online visibility and, in turn, the upward trend in organic traffic. They follow the same virtues and parameters of online success as we do with our own websites.

Navigate the Evolving SEO Landscape with Market My Market’s Expertise

In the ever-changing world of SEO, especially for legal professionals, staying ahead means more than just keeping up—it means leading the charge. Our recent exploration into the 2024 Google SERP landscape, particularly focusing on legal directories, uncovers essential insights that could redefine your firm’s online strategy. At Market My Market, we don’t just react to changes; we anticipate and strategize for what’s next. Whether it’s adjusting for keyword optimization nuances or understanding the shifting relevance of directories, our team is committed to ensuring your firm’s digital presence not only survives but thrives.

Don’t let your law firm’s SEO strategy become a relic of the past. Embrace the future with Market My Market, where our expertise translates into your online success. With a focus on innovation, adaptability, and results, we’re here to guide your firm through the complexities of SEO, ensuring your visibility, relevance, and authority online. To start shaping a more effective SEO strategy, schedule a discovery call today at (800) 997-7336 or fill out our contact form.