Search engine insiders, like the rest of the human race, have been slow to recover from the holidays. This means that vital news has been thin on the ground for the first half of January 2014.

However, the third full week of the year has seen the industry spring back from the post-celebration climb down so coverage of new topics has sprung to life. In this roundup you will read about Google’s first major announcement of the year and the industry’s reaction to it.

This week’s roundup features news stories fromGoogle Webmaster Central Blog, Google’s Inside Search, Search Engine Watch, Search Engine Land,Search Engine Journal and the Matt Cutts Blog.

Googlebot re-designed for mobile and smartphone content

Attorneys, do you have a mobile website? Have you experienced difficulty getting Google to notice your smartphone-specific law content? This big announcement from Google is one to read through. Googlebot-Mobile is being phased out over the next 3 to 4 weeks to make way for a new crawler that is more sympathetic to smartphone content. If you found your smartphone pages ignored in the past this is because the Googlebot-Mobile strategy discarded content-rich mobile content, assuming that these were handset and service-provider features rather than third-party content. Lawyers, get your Technical Services team to read through this one – it is a tech-heavy article.

Google smartphone crawling explained

While your tech team crunches through the Google announcement on Googlebot-Mobile changes, you can find a more human-readable explanation over at Search Engine Watch. This article, published on January 24, puts the latest update into the context of Google’s ongoing effort to improve mobile accessibility and if your firm’s website caters to smartphone access you will need to keep abreast of these changes.

US Consumer Device Preference Report

Search Engine Journal produced an interesting news item on the 24th that illustrates how urgent Google’s adaptation to mobile technology really is. Research from Movable Ink shows that more marketing emails are read on smartphones and tablets (combined) than on desktops. Bear these trends in mind when designing email campaigns to your law firm’s clients.

Rich media search effects

Although Search Engine Land covers the Googlebot-Mobile change, they have another article that will be of more interest to your law firm’s website designers. This article covers an analysis of rich media content, such as images, on top ranking pages.

Snippets in SERPs

In their only post of the year so far, Google’s Inside Search covers a new feature of their search results pages. This article, dated January 22, explains that a snippet giving info on each SERP entry will appear in an overlay box when the user hovers the mouse pointer over that entry. Make sure you know where Google gets the snippet for your law firm’s pages and get it in shape.

Guest bloggers beware

Google’s algorithm supremo took to his own blog to drop a bombshell on the industry on the 20th. Matt Cutts fired off a few rounds to show that he is gunning for guest bloggers. This revelation should have caused an SEOer stampede back to the drawing board, but the SEO news sites don’t seem to have noticed the fatwa. Strategists take note: reassess any blogs your partners and lawyers may have contributed to.

Upcoming Events:

SES London

If you like conferences and love London, then you are in luck. The search engine and social media marketing conference will be taking place at the Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre, across the yard from Big Ben from 10th to the 13 February. Twitter’s UK Managing Director, Bruce Daisley will be headlining the “converged media” shin-dig.

SMX West

If you can’t make it to the UK for February, then make sure you know the way to San Jose. The Search Marketing Expo (SMX) will be rolling into town on March 10th for four days of boot camps and summits. Book your place before February 1st to earn a discount.

If you need help with SEO for your attorney website, contact us to see how we can help you.

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