Lawyers and Attorneys Losing Google Search Traffic in September 2014

If you are a lawyer or attorney looking to get clients from Google search please feel free to reach out to me at as I offer several SEO and internet marketing packages that will help your firm.

The Private Blog Network (PBN) and Panda 4.1 Google algorithm updates hit hard in late September 2014. One of the most competitive niches when it comes to Google search rankings is the legal vertical. Personal injury, criminal defense, divorce and family lawyers in every major city in the United States are vying for that front page real estate on Google search. If a Miami personal injury lawyer is ranked #1 for “Miami car accident attorney” you can rest assured they will be getting phone calls on a daily basis. That said, getting to the front page of Google search is not easy for such a competitive keyword.

After doing some extensive research I found out that “[Major city] car accident lawyer” is a $80 to $120 per click keyword. Yes, per click. Rather than dropping $10,000 a month for 125 search visitors most law firms would rather receive traffic organically because it does not come at a cost per click. There are some SEO companies that are built around personal injury lawyer SEO. Unfortunately, any type of excessive or unnatural linking to a website could get the law firm penalized. Getting out of the Google penalty box can be extremely different and may even take years. In September and October 2014 it will likely be the case that many lawyers and attorneys are looking for answers as to why their Google search traffic dropped so much. Here are a few observations.

Private Blog Networks Linking to a Website

With every single Panda and Penguin update it seems to be the case that more blog networks and article marketing websites get hit. These are websites that tend to have an entire network of “sister” websites pointing back to them. Unfortunately, many of these websites are splash pages and provide very little value to the user. These types of networks also tend to allow anyone with an email address to submit an article. When article marketing and private blog networks were extremely popular in the 2007 to 2010 timeframe it was the case that editors were very strict with their publishing guidelines. That is no longer the case.

I have been an “expert” writer for Examiner for several years. When I first signed up in 2008 there was a vetting process for each article. If the article was not perfect it was not published. Last month, I went on to Examiner and found out that you don’t even have to have an article edited for it to be published. This is bad news. If anyone can go on a website and publish whatever content they so desire you can be rest assured they are going to be linking to everything under the sun from car accident lawyers to prescription drugs. This is not the type of websites you want pointing to your domain.

How Do I Remove Private Blog Network Links?

This can be very difficult. Google continues to expand the disavow tool in Google Webmaster Tools but that does not always do the trick. If you have an article on a website like EzineArticles there is a good chance that article is being shared around the web each and every month. This means the links are going to continue to pop up on websites that have little to no quality. SEO companies and internet marketing firms that used this tactic years ago have often been fired or are dried up. Trying to find the usernames and passwords of the accounts that submitted links is all but impossible.


If a website has age it has value. One of the most troubling things I see is a website that has age, domain authority and a strong readership but has been hurt with a bad SEO company that is pointing low value domain links back to their website. When signing up with any SEO company it is very important to ask them how they are going to help you rank better in search. If they talk about using schemes or strategies to create wheels or other methods it would be best to find other options.

Content will always be king. If an SEO firm is not willing to help you create and publish content it is time to seek other options. There is no reason for a website to point to your business website if you are not providing quality content and new resources. If you are seeking content and SEO please feel free to reach out to me at

5 thoughts on “Lawyers and Attorneys Losing Google Search Traffic in September 2014

  1. Sergey Sus

    I think that you are correct in saying that if your SEO firm is not willing to create and publish content to seek elsewhere. Yet, its very difficult to explain to clients who are looking for immediate results.

    Just discovered your blog and think you are putting out just the right vibe.

  2. Jackie

    Interestingly enough I’ve been checking the backlinks of some of competitor SEO firms and have noted that one that is dominating the SERP’s in the attorney niche is still using backlinks from his private network and ranking VERY well in a very competitive market and on the 1st page for many terms despite the talk of Google cracking down on it. His sites all have a unique WP theme and “look” like authority sites but a lot of the content is garbage; spinned articles. It made me wonder if his clients were aware of the fact but then I think that some attorneys wouldn’t mind if they got banned as long as the short term profits made up for it whereas other businesses may have more of a vested interested in their main site.

  3. Pingback: Personal Injury Lawyer Google SEO Keywords for 2015 - Wojdylo Social Media

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