Legal Tech: What does Google consider high quality for ranking purposes?

By Peter LaSorsa

Months ago I wrote an article in this publication about the new Google algorithm called Panda. Google has a webpage devoted to questions about Panda and how the average person can tweak their website content to allow for better rankings. The Google article is located here. Below are a few of the more important things to consider for improving your rankings but I would suggest reading the Google article and coming up with a more robust website strategy based on the tips in the article.

Here is a list of the top five questions the algorithm asks (chosen from my own personal preference).

  1. Does this article have spelling, stylistic or factual errors?
  2. Does this article provide a complete or comprehensive description of the topic?
  3. Are the articles short, unsubstantial, or otherwise lacking in helpful specifics?
  4. Does the article provide original content or information, original reporting, original research, or original analysis?
  5. Is the site a recognized authority on its topic?

What you can see from this short list is the search engine is looking for well-written, original content that is of substance.  Having two websites that list the same information is not helpful and even hurts your rankings. Another major problem is allowing other websites to cross-publish your articles. This results in having the same content listed on two websites, which could punish both sides and/or the weaker of the websites. So for example if this article is published in Illinois Lawyer Now and I publish the same article on my website the search engine will probably punish my website even though I wrote the article. The reason is the ISBA website is probably seen by the search engine as more of an authority, gets more traffic and is seen as a more reliable source. So instead of republishing the article on my website, the better course of action is to write on my website under my publications section, a few lines about having the article published by Illinois Lawyer Now and then provide a hyperlink to the article. 

If a username and password are required to access an article, you can always save the article as a .pdf and link to the .pdf of the article. The search engine won’t crawl through the linked .pdf so there will be no duplicative content.

Just some points to ponder if you want your website to come up on the first page of an Internet search.

Peter LaSorsa can be reached at He also publishes a blog at


Posted on September 1, 2011 by Chris Bonjean
Filed under: 

Member Comments (1)

My SEO people who help me with my blawg (Justia) had me switch from their prior strategy of "newsy" blogs to more substative, with citations, greater lenght of articles etc when the new algo came out. it helped my traffic a lot.

Login to post comments