Wake Up and Smell the Coffee
Wake up and smell the coffee people.
Wake up and smell the coffee: Google matters. Google counts. Copyblogger said so this morning (Seriously. Go get some coffee and click on the article. It’s a must read today):

A forewarning from Google’s Chairman

Just 19 days after my predictions for 2013, the Wall Street Journal published its comments on The New Digital Age, a book written by Google’s chairman, Eric Schmidt. These comments included this quote (bold is mine):

Within search results, information tied to verified online profiles will be ranked higher than content without such verification, which will result in most users naturally clicking on the top (verified) results. The true cost of remaining anonymous, then, might be irrelevance.

This is a powerful statement by one of the most powerful people in Google. Schmidt makes it clear that Authorship will be a very material factor in search ranking.

For those of us operating in the legal community this is REALLY good new. Why? Because lawyers have content. Lots of it. The job of the legal marketer is to help them get that content into digital, and connect with the Google game. I’m not talking about gaming Google, but realizing that Google has a strategy to promote good content, and we legal marketers and lawyers need to stay awake and on top of it. Lucky for me, I have some really smart friends out there, like Jayne Navarre and Nancy Myrland, who help me stay at the top of my game (which needs to be somewhere between the attorney’s knowledge and being an EEECs Geek (what we “cool” kids writing goth poetry used to call the Electrical Engineering and Computer Science kids while at UCSD)). A few months back I finally caught wind of Google Authorship. I scrambled to get my Google Profile connected to my blog so my search results now come up like this:

Heather Morse Google Authorship.
A work in progress … but my avatar and links to my G+ profile are there.
With all the clutter out there, if you are logged into your Google account, with your Google Profile nicely filled out, those in your circles will see articles popping up, with picture, from YOU, now rating higher in the search results.
A tale of two posts, both by Kevin O'Keefe. Which one are you most likely to click through and read?
A tale of two posts, both by Kevin O’Keefe. Which one are you most likely to click through and read?
WHAT DOES THAT MEAN? It means when that general counsel you added to your circles, when she is searching online in the middle of the night to find the answer to her business problem, will hopefully see your recent blog post on that topic pop up on the first page. This will all take place well before your competitor is even in the office, responding to his emails, who still thinks this whole blogging thing is a waste of time. Fine. I got it. I connected my Google Profile to The Legal Watercooler as a Google Author. Took me a few tries, and some messaging back and forth with Nancy, but I did it. Still need to finesse how it is showing up … but I have made progress. Now Google has upped the game again with the introduction of Google In-Depth Articles:

To understand a broad topic, sometimes you need more than a quick answer. Our research indicates perhaps 10% of people’s daily information needs fit this category — topics like stem cell research, happiness, and love, to name just a few. That’s why over the next few days we’ll be rolling out a new feature to help you find relevant in-depth articles in the main Google Search results.

Turns out that 10% of the people searching topics out there — people with perhaps a LEGAL program that you can solve — want more than just a short synopsis from a blog post. They also want in-depth articles. Articles that are 2,000 – 5,000 words in length. HELLLOOOOO. Mr. Gets-Paid-By-The-Word attorney. You just got discovered. I’ve always been a proponent of longer blog posts from lawyers? Why? Because they are often times writing on complicated issues that don’t educate in 300 words or less. Glad to see that Google agrees with me.