Law Firm SEO Expert Explains Google EMD Update, Impact on Website Rankings

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Search engine optimization consultant J.R. Oakes of, Inc., writes in new blog post that law firms should react to Google’s recent algorithm update by making sure their main site is a quality reference for potential clients in their market.

Google Penguin and EMD updates

J.R. Oakes, Director of Search Marketing for, Inc.

Unless you are willing to make a significant investment in your EMD websites to get them on par with main websites, you should get rid of your low quality EMDs and focus on making your main site a quality reference.

In a new blog article, law firm SEO expert J.R. Oakes describes the impact that Google’s recent Penguin and Exact Match Domain (EMD) updates are currently having on law firm website rankings.

The article, “Have Your Law Firm Rankings Dropped? Google’s Latest Exact Match Domain (EMD) Algorithm Update and How You Should Respond,” can be found at the blog, which is produced by the team of online law firm marketing experts at, Inc. focuses on providing Web marketing products and services exclusively for lawyers, including search engine optimization (SEO) for law firm websites.

Oakes, the company’s Director of Search Marketing, explains in the article that EMDs have long been used as a SEO by both law firms and others on the Web.

EMDs are websites that use desirable keywords in the domain’s name to help the site rank high in Google and other search engines for those keywords. An example would be using “” in a domain name to rank high for the keyword phrase, “Sunnyville Accident Lawyer,” Oakes explains.

However, on September 28, Google announced a change that is aimed at combating what Oakes calls “low quality EMDs.” These are sites that are thin on content and lack relevancy.

“Google has much more data now than it had 10 years ago,” such as Google Maps, AdWords and Google+ Local, Oakes writes, explaining the search engine giant’s algorithm update. “This means many more data points are available to assist in understanding which result is a legitimate business and which is a shallow website.”

How should law firms react?

If the firm has a main website and several satellite (or EMD sites), the firm should consider whether it is making enough of an investment in the EMD sites, Oakes writes.

The EMD update may point to the need to consolidate content around a single authoritative domain or else significantly increase the content, time and resources involved in a firm’s EMD sites in order to keep them competitive in their market, he says.

“Unless you are willing to make a significant investment in your EMD websites to get them on par with main websites, you should get rid of your low quality EMDs and focus on making your main site a quality reference,” according to Oakes.

About, Inc.
Since its founding in 1999,, Inc., has built a reputation for being a national leader in law firm Web marketing. provides law firm Web marketing consultation and strategy and a wide array of products and services, including website audits, website design, website hosting, website domains, law firm reputation management, search-engine optimization (SEO) marketing, pay-per-click (PPC) services, Internet systems setup, website editorial and content services (including substantive content, press releases, legal blogs, satellite sites and law firm videos), online chat products, social media marketing (including Facebook, Twitter and Google+), call tracking and legal directories. has offices at 114 Main Street, Berea, KY, 40403, and at The Forum I, 8601 Six Forks Rd., Suite 400, Raleigh, NC, 27615. The company works with law firms across the country. For more information, call Marketing Director Tanner Jones at (800) 872-6590 or (859) 353-7720 or use the convenient online contact form.

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