Hubspot: Top Marketing Trends You Need to Know in 2022 || Wait, Google Wants What Now? – Legal Talk Network

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Gyi Tsakalakis founded AttorneySync because lawyers deserve better from their marketing people. As a non-practicing lawyer, Gyi…
After leading marketing efforts for Avvo, Conrad Saam left and founded Mockingbird Marketing, an online marketing agency…
Weed, cookies, Google, TikTok; this episode has it all! Gyi and Conrad sort through the latest and greatest in the world of law firm marketing, and help you stay ahead of the curve. Hope you’re hungry.
The new Hubspot Marketing Trends Report, The State of Inbound Marketing Trends is out. And you know what? Short videos, TikTok, and “reels” are hot. Social Media might be the new king, but is it better than search engine Marketing? A look at what’s new in 2022. Hack your way through today’s digital jungle.  
Then the guys take a look at the Google Search Quality Rater Guidelines Update. What’s working in Google search results? And what are you wasting your time on? YMYL, E-A-T, and all the big changes. The things you need to know—and put to work—today.
The News:
References mentioned: 
Lunch Hour Legal Marketing is now on YouTube! 
Mockingbird.Marketing.com/benchmarks 
Google Ending Third-Party Cookies
Canna Law Blog Cited by Congress 
China Law Blog
New Hubspot Marketing Trends Report: 
Law By Mike
Joshua D. Hodges, Esq
Google Search Quality Rater Guidelines Update: What Has Changed 
2022 Update for Google Quality Rater Guidelines – Big YMYL Updates 
Clio Cloud Conference
Clio Legal Trends 2021 Report
Special thanks to our sponsors Nota, Posh, Lawyaw, and Clio.
Gyi Tsakalakis: Before we get started, we want to thank our sponsors Cleo, Laya, Posh Virtual Receptionist and Noda.  Conrad for the people that are not watching us on YouTube I’m going to try to describe what you’re wearing.
 
Conrad Saam: Go get it.
 
Gyi Tsakalakis: Well, I see you’re black Diamond shirt which you tell us about in a second.  But most importantly, I don’t know if you’re wearing.  Are they shooting glasses or Blade Runner glasses or what are you going to tell me about what’s going on?
 
Conrad Saam: I’m definitely not a shooter.  The gun scare the crap out of me.  No, so I have gotten back into triathlons kind of.  I found middle-aged equivalent of the triathlon which is called the aquathlon and it is basically for slightly overweight middle-aged men who can’t run anymore.  And so I’ve gotten back into it because it’s important for people to have things that are outside of work and I found that this is a great way.  Like, when you’re training for a long distance riding, for example.  You spent a lot of time on the bike by yourself just kind of mulling over things and it’s a good way to kind of be healthy and get your brain in the right space as well.  The funny thing is with these glasses, they’re great riding glasses.  They’re also great skiing glasses but I can’t see garbage because they’re not prescriptions.  So I’m going to pull it off.
 
Gyi Tsakalakis: but it looked very professional.  And tying it to Lunch Hour Legal Marketing I think this is kind of the idea here is, let your personality, what your interests are shine through because guess what happens people gravitate, oh, hey, maybe we have a listener that runs triathlons.  I don’t know.  You know what?  I don’t want to be presumptuous.  Listeners if you run triathlons.
 
Conrad Saam: We want to hear from you.
 
Gyi Tsakalakis: Hit us up because Conrad is a triathlete.  You could race.
 
Conrad Saam: Well, I’m like a two-thirds triathlete.  I’m like, it’s — so this weekend, I did.  I was really proud of it and then I started doing the math.  I was like, well, it’s not that great.  I did two thirds of a half ironman.  So you start multiplying those fractions together and it starts to get pretty less impressive but it’s still good stuff.
 
Gyi Tsakalakis: I don’t know.  Yeah, two thirds more than I’m doing.  But, anyway, in addition to triathlons, what are we talking about today?
 
Conrad Saam: All right so we’re not going to talk about tri’s anymore but we will, as usual, cover the news.  Really interesting news coming out as usual.  We are going to go over and I’m really excited about this.  The HubSpot State of Marketing Trends Report which is very notably not legal but it really is a great review of what’s hot in the marketing world and then Google launched some search quality guidelines updates.  We are going to cover that but for now, I want to hear about some money.
 
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Male: Welcome to Lunch Hour Legal Marketing, teaching you how to promote, market and make fat stacks for your legal practice here on Legal Talk Network.
 
[Music]
 
Gyi Tsakalakis: Welcome to yet another episode of Lunch Hour Legal Marketing and as we like to do, let’s roll some news.  In the news, Google has kicked the can on their cookie rollback date.  So we’ve been telling you and marketers has been telling you to make sure that you start to take action because Google is not going to use third-party cookies.  Conrad, what is a third party cookie?
 
Conrad Saam: Well, a third party cookie other than being delicious is what basically indicates that someone has been on a website and this is why when you’re on Amazon shopping for overpriced triathlon glasses, the ads for that follow you all over the place and that’s the basic functionality.  It enables marketers to deliver very very customized solutions.  The concern with cookies, as always, has been privacy.  So not only do I know that I was shopping for sunglasses but the internet’s, the people who control the internet’s know that I was looking at a divorce lawyer or know that I was looking at how to make a bomb.  All sorts of things.  And so there has been a concern.  I think it’s a legit concern around privacy.  And there was an announcement, I don’t know when this came out but it was not that long ago that they were going to roll back and it was going to be a big push towards privacy.  It was going to roll out in 2023.  That has now been pushed back to 2024.  I’m not surprised but I would love to have been a fly on the wall when there was a debate around privacy is not that important anymore.
 
Gyi Tsakalakis: Well, they ran the numbers and they realized that shareholder value is going to drop because advertisers are less efficient in campaigns and they’re going to be spending more way.  So practically speaking, what this means is you get a little more time with your third-party cookies.
 
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Maybe this will go on but we should — look, they’re talking about sun setting, its chance it’s going to happen.  The first-party data, email opt-ins really when you really boil things down, that’s what you should be focusing on to prepare for this cookie apocalypse.
 
Conrad Saam: So at the risk of hijacking the news and getting deeper into this, I want you to go back to what you just said because it is so important.  So, okay, cookies are going away.  How should marketers respond?  You talked about opt-ins?  What does that mean and how should that change the way we are thinking about helping law firms engage with their audience?
 
Gyi Tsakalakis: Yeah, so we probably should do a whole segment on this because this is just a news that you’ve taken over.  But —
 
Conrad Saam: News take over brought to you by —
 
Gyi Tsakalakis: Google version is create great valuable content that people want.  They subscribe to it and when you have their permission — here’s what’s not going away, permission based marketing.  So custom audiences, right?  So if someone comes to your website and you say, download our free guide on understanding consequences of divorce or personal injury or criminal defense issue and part of that is an opt-in to receive regular tips and advice and updates.  That’s where the gold is going to be in the cookieless world.  And then of course, you can use that email opt-in if you get their permission to show them ads on Facebook, Google Display Network, yada yada yada through their email.  That’s what’s going to change.  So the idea is that instead of dropping this code that seems a little bit nefarious or surreptitious on people’s browsers.  They’re saying we’re going to control it with emails and so that’s going to give people the ability to opt in opt out.  There you go.  And from an efficiency standpoint, it’s better than cookies.
 
Conrad Saam: It’s much better than cookies and you’re really dealing with people who are much more engaged, more likely to purchase, recommend refer, et cetera.
 
Gyi Tsakalakis: Exactly.  Okay. Another quick news items and we’ve gone over time and we’re going to —
 
Conrad Saam: We’re going to go over time again on this one as well because we cannot turn into a lesson.
 
Gyi Tsakalakis: That’s right.  But our good friend from Lexblog, Kevin O’Keefe published on LinkedIn, then notice that Harris Bricken Sliwoski, I apologize if I’ve mispronounced any of those names, discovered that US senators, Elizabeth Warren and Cory Booker, cited their blog in a letter to Merrick Garland.  And so thank you, Kevin for bringing this to our attention.  Conrad, I think you had already known about this but it was new for me.  Conrad, tell us about Canna Law Blog.
 
Conrad Saam: Well, so Canna Law Blog is a blog about cannabis.  And there’s some really good instructional pieces in here.  Number one no one wants to link to your law firm website.  Blogs are much better at generating links.  They always have been.  There’s a conversational tone to things.  There is an informality.  There is a kind of timeliness of the topics that you can talk through and they are a —
 
Gyi Tsakalakis: Some might say, the original social media.
 
Conrad Saam: The original social media.  So they are a fantastic method for actually driving links back to a law firm.  The key and this was an interesting thing for Harris Bricken.  Dan Harris who is — if I ever get in a legal knife fight Dan Harris is the guy I’m calling.  He is just a mean guy and if he hears this he’ll nod along and he’ll be very happy to hear me say that.  But Dan Harris is one of the original.  I mean, back in the early days, when I just got into this game he had and continues to have a blog called China Law Blog which is about doing business in China and he also created a blog around cannabis.  And he has taken those blogs that used to exist as kind of these freestanding elements put them on his law firm website.  Now, the key here and the reason I’m going into the tactics of this is the link from Elizabeth Warren and Cory Booker going back to the cannabis law blog, that’s great, but the beauty of that is that link will help Harris Bricken’s law firm website rank for all of the practice areas that they are interested in whether it be about cannabis or not, it’s not just that page specifically.  And so this Is like link building on steroids.  I want to make one key and again this is supposed to be news and we’ve turned a tactical so I apologize.  The key thing here is I’m going to pick on the concept of content.  You can’t just write a piece of content, throw it on the web and expect it to be found.  That is not going to happen.  Harris Bricken has been at this for I’m going to go 15 years, something along those lines.  And so this is a flywheel that takes time, that needs to be fed, that needs to be consistently used in order to make it work.  But when it works boy oh boy, is it effective.  And this was an amazing example of where blogging just great link building.  It is SEO on steroids and well played.
 
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Gyi Tsakalakis: Yeah.  And so a lot of good learnings there.  If you need inspiration for blogging and how they’re actually organizing their site.  Inspiration for PR.  I think the other quick thing I would add is you don’t have to get the endorsements of Elizabeth Warren and Cory Booker to make this stuff work, right?  The same concept can be applied at a super hyper local level.  So you know, a lot of the pushback is people say, well, we’re not Harris Bricken, right?  We’re not Dan Harris, we’re not SCOTUS Blog, we’re not the preeminent source.  And it’s like, yep, that does take time, but shrink it down, find a more niche practice in a local market and stuff still works.  With that, we are taking a break.
 
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Conrad Saam: And now to bring some great data out of one of my favorite partners, HubSpot.  HubSpot launched their state of marketing trends reports.  It is 55 pages of awesome and I would thoroughly recommend you read it.  Gyi you’ve had a chance to look over the HubSpot to see of inbound marketing trends.  What jumped out to you?  I’m wondering if we have some overlap.
Gyi Tsakalakis: I’m just going to run through their preview of the major findings and then we’ll dive a little deeper because I know there’s some things on data and benchmarking that we want to go deeper on.  But first one, which we’ve talked about a bunch, short form video content like TikTok and Instagram Reels are the most effective type of social media content.  Interesting, I mean, not a shocker there, lots of eyeballs on this stuff.  I actually saw Law by Mike on TikTok.  We’ve talked about him in the past, but he got picked up by NowThis and a bunch of other media outlets for what to do after getting arrested.  And again, you can’t buy that exposure.  I mean, it’s a lot of awareness, a lot of brand, a lot of PR.  Go check out Law by Mike.
Videos top content marketing media format for the third year in a row.  So we’ve been talking about videos forever.  If you’re not doing some kind of video, you’re missing a big expectation and opportunity.  People want to see what you’re like.  And so that’s anywhere from just talking about how and why you do what you do all the way to — you know, you don’t have to be Law by Mike or Attorney Tom to make this stuff work.  You don’t have to be a dancer.  There are ways to do video content professionally that really ingratiates yourself to people.  Social media number one marketing channel in 2022.  Conrad and I were talking about this one too, because we are search.  We’re old search people.  I know we would still argue that search is higher intent and more efficient.  But fight that, fight another day.  Instagram, YouTube, Facebook, top 3.  83% of marketers believe it’s more effective to create higher quality content less often.  I think we’ve been pushing that agenda for a long time.
Conrad Saam: Well, that was an interesting — that was one of the things that I really noticed.  The question here was should marketers focus on quality content or quantity of content?  And the answers were making the highest quality content possible, even if it means posting less often.  This directly contradicts the short firm video content concept, right?  Where I think one of the biggest misses in legal — and by the way, this is not legal specific, right?  So we’re adapting what they’re talking about generically to the legal environment.  But my take honestly, especially if you are using social as a brand building tool, we’ve talked about dark social in the past.  If you are using social to engage with your community and as a brand building tool, the long firm stuff, it’s really hard to listen to 20 minutes of a lawyer talking about anything, right?  It’s really hard.
Gyi Tsakalakis: Even if you’re their client.
Conrad Saam: Even if you’re their client, like, come on, it’s hard.  I had this question the other day, but knocking out those 60 to 92 video clips on the regular, that is not going in depth, but it is an opportunity to constantly put yourself in front of that audience.  I think that’s where I would take what I’m hearing out of the HubSpot generic marketing trends and talk about like if your objective is building brand and community through social using video, it is a quick and fast game, not the other way around.
Gyi Tsakalakis: Totally, and one more point worth highlighting here on there, how marketers measure the impact of social media.
Conrad Saam: We did look at the same things.  Okay, go ahead.
Gyi Tsakalakis: Yeah, well, this one so 37% talk in sales.
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And you know what, thank goodness because how many times do you have to hear a pitch from a social media consultancy or digital agency that wants to talk about impressions and views and awareness and even engagement which has value?  If you’re going to spend time and money on this stuff, you better be tying it back to sales.
Conrad Saam: Why the fuck is it only 37%, Gyi?
Gyi Tsakalakis: Well, it used to be zero.  It used to be zero.
Conrad Saam: I mean, the interesting thing for me is if the question was how marketers measure the impact of social media and right behind sales is likes, comments coming in at 33%.  I will tell you, and Gyi and I had this conversation, you can buy, manufacture, fake likes and comments as much as you possibly want.  There is nothing more valuable than sitting down with three people who are really interested in what you’re doing, and that is not a volume of likes or comments or any of that crap.  So hey, Gyi, at the risk of foreshadowing, maybe we should talk about how easy it is to fake getting likes and comments on, say, LinkedIn.
Gyi Tsakalakis: Yeah, for sure the buzzword here is engagement pods.  But you can look at some of these influencer types and it’s like clear that they’re all just in this circle of commenting and engagement.  The comments don’t even match what the posts are.  To me, some of the people that actually know that are participating in this, I’m just like, this just makes you look lousy because you got 100 comments and your post was like, hey, this is something that you need to know.  And the comment is really love your content or —
Conrad Saam: Thanks for sharing.
Gyi Tsakalakis: Inspiring.  And it’s like inspiring.  They just said like, good morning.  It just doesn’t even match anyway.  But I think you need to think about that again.  Legal ethics rules.  These dear state bar regulars so far behind on everything.  You guys just say bar regular about engagement positive.  They don’t even know what you’re talking about, but it’s certainly arguable that this is misleading, right?  You’re misleading potential clients that these people are actually authentically engaging with your content.  It’s no different than my opinion paying for fake reviews or paying for blog comment spam, which why would you do that?  But people do.
Conrad Saam: I think the problem with this question is to whom to which the question is being posed.  You’re asking a bunch of marketers what’s important and measuring the impact, and they’re saying likes.  And a percentage of those scumbag marketers are faking the likes, period.  And it’s not just likes, it’s also comments.  There’s so much fakery that’s going on.  It’s like the old SEO link wheels and link buying.  That is happening in social at an alarming rate and I do think the problem here is people aren’t yet savvy to that, right?  When I post something, I get hundreds of comments.  Oh great, then let’s have you come and talk on my show.  Yeah, well, it’s a bunch of horse shit, right?  Sorry.  It’s grumpy.
Gyi Tsakalakis: Totally, email, I think, again, this trends report talks a lot about email.  I still think email is the most sacred place you’ve got in digital marketing.  You get the opt in, you’re in their inbox.  Assuming you’re delivering content, they want to get very very powerful.  In fact, for folks that are listening to this and we’re a little bit confused about our cookie conversation, they break down zero party, first party, second party, third party data, especially as it relates to email and co-marketing and website activity and all this stuff.  So getting people’s inboxes, folks.  What else jumped out at you Conrad?
Conrad Saam: I was fascinated by the comments on content and what’s difficult about content.  You know, what the number one difficulty marketing challenge for content was on social media?  It was creating engaging content and number three was finding ideas for new content.  Now, if you are a law firm, we’ve been talking about this for law firms for a long time.  No one wants to talk about what you do for the most part, and you have to be clever to figure out and we’ve talked about Levinson with his — he talks about food in Chicago.  Like it’s a great example of stuff that people do want to talk about, but there’s nothing to do with the part of the law.
Apparently, legal is not the only one who has this problem, right?  And I’m going to go back to this over and over and over again.  This is where the creative comes into what we do, right?  And you need to be thinking, in many cases, outside your legal box in order to generate content that people care about.  And once you get outside of that box, it’s not that hard.  I think it was the show last time where we’re talking about if you have no other positioning, you’re positioning is your location, right?  So just get really deep into Sheboygan or wherever it might be, right?  And that can be your content.
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And so I found that really so fascinating.  Creating engaging content, finding new ideas for content being the most difficult things for people to be thinking about.  You got to put your creative hat on, right?  I’m kind of excited that there is room here for what’s — I mean, the SEO world and especially the pay-per-click world can be very linear, analytical practices.  And I think there is a lot of room for people to be thinking well outside of the box in legal and doing things differently and having different positionings and having different involvement in the community that is spurred by creativity, and that makes me happy.
Gyi Tsakalakis: Yeah.  Absolutely.  Again, it comes back to what we talked about at the outset with your triathloning.  But, like, you know, I think of Ben Glass with soccer, I think.  You know, I think of Ken with the food.  I mean, there’s a million of these examples.  You know, sharing the stuff and writing about it, doing social posts about who you are, why you do it.  And the HubSpot report gives you some inspiration or else run through these quickly.  But, you know, content that reflects your values, creating interactive polls, and games, like that’s a no-brainer, and this stuff is that you don’t have to be super technical to create a poll.  You know, a lot of these tools are baked in, but instead of being, like, you know, on LinkedIn, productivity poll like blah blah blah, like ask people about stuff that you actually care about.  You know, look, if you’re not funny, you’re not funny unless you have a funny content.  But, covering cultural moments, news stories, stuff that’s relatable, sharing behind the scenes like the educational stuff, go check out what Law by Mike and Attorney Tom and some of these other social media folks are doing.  And again, you know, they’ve been practicing, they’ve been at it for a while, so you might not be great at it right out of the gate.  But, thematically, there’s a lot to be learned from some of those folks.
 
Conrad Saam: So, with all these pieces of data, one of the things that I have found, Gyi, that’s really important is the benchmarking of data, right?  And these data points in isolation is kind of unhelpful, because you don’t know how you performed.  That means you don’t know where your weaknesses are relative to a competition.  And so, for our LHLM listeners, boy, oh boy, do we have a treat for you.  If you are interested in this, we are putting together a benchmarking report of Lunch Hour Legal Marketing listeners as well as Gyi’s clients and Conrad’s clients, and we’re going to look at some of the key metrics and see how you perform.
 
So, for example, I’ll use one at one of my favorite examples that I talk about all the time.  Your phone call answer rate.  Most of you don’t know what that is.  I mean, you know what it is philosophically.  You don’t know what the quantitative number is.  And even if you do know what the quantitative number is, you don’t know if you are in the bottom 20% of the legal industry or the top 20% of the legal industry.  So, if you are interested in benchmarking some key metrics for your firm against the Lunch Hour Legal Marketing crowd, Gyi’s clients and Conrad’s clients, just go to mockingbirdmarketing.com/benchmark and you can sign up right there.
 
Now, I want to be honest and upfront.  This may feel a bit sales pitchy, and we are more than happy to go over the data with you and kind of interpret the data with you.  Ideally, Gyi or Conrad would love you turn into one of our clients, but that is not the real overlying objective.  The objective is for you to be able to measure how you’re performing on some really key numbers and to compare that against your competitive set.  With that, we’re going to move on to a review.  This was a review I got from Josh Hodges.  He is one of — talk about someone who’s doing short firm content really, really well.  Josh Hodges is in TikTok, in the Ohio Market, really, really inspiring.  Just wanted to say the last podcast you did was great.  The local link building piece I think is so important.  Thanks.  Josh Hodges.  Thank you, Josh.  And I do enjoy it chatting with you all the time, and I do find the work that you are doing both amazingly strategic and outstandingly inspiring in terms of what can be done with short-term video content.  So, those of you who don’t know Josh, check him out on TikTok.  He’s The Hometown Lawyer on TikTok.  But, you know what, Gyi, it’s been a while since we’ve had a good old-fashioned review on Apple Podcast.  So, if you would like to head over to Apple Podcast, leave a review for us.  We’d love to hear from you.  As always, you can leave a question or comment here or on YouTube and we’re more than happy to answer them on the show.  But for now, let’s pay some bills.
 
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Gyi Tsakalakis: Welcome back.  You know what time it is.  It’s time for the Legal Trends Report Minute brought to you as by Clio.
 
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Like it or not, remote client communications are here to stay.  In fact, more and more clients are demanding this over in-person office visits.  It’s not surprising that at least 83% of law firms already have technology in place to communicate with clients virtually because that’s what clients want.  When it comes to communication, our data shows that there’s an increasing preference for video calls, email, secure client portals and other remote options because they give clients the utmost flexibility to work with legal professionals.  So, why not give clients what they want?  I mean, this is good for you, too, lawyers.
 
Conrad Saam: It’s good for you.  It’s good for clients.  It’s not good for the environment, but, well, maybe it is, less paper.
 
Gyi Tsakalakis: Maybe.  I mean, paper, driving, flying.
 
Conrad Saam: Yeah.
 
Gyi Tsakalakis: In any event, you should have this option available for folks that want it.
 
Conrad Saam: You said this really well in the past.  Take the mundane stuff and make it not in person.  You can’t not do the in-person steak dinner.  That’s not substitutable, but there’s lots of what you do that is substitutable, right?
 
Gyi Tsakalakis: Not until we’re in The Matrix, which maybe we already are.  In any event for more information on how clients prefer to communicate with legal professionals, download Clio’s legal Trends Report for free at clio.com/trends.  That’s Clio, spelled C-L-I-O.com/trends.  Hopefully, you know how to spell trends.
 
All right.  Finally, we wanted to spend a few minutes talking about the Google search quality rater guidelines update.  So, for folks that aren’t familiar with this, we will have links to at least a couple articles and the actual — you can download the most updated guidelines.  But, Google has search quality raters.  These are people they hire all over the world to review search results and websites and provide feedback to Google about the quality of the results they’re finding, and then they use those search quality rater responses as part of their decision-making about how they’re going to shape search.  And from time to time, they update this.  And so, the SEO people always are jumping up and down because anytime Google releases something that they claim they’re using, at least in some way, to influence search results, SEO folks want to know about it.  My view is SEO or not, there’s a lot of good stuff in there from a, you know, just how to make your website a better user experience for people who come to it.
 
Conrad Saam: Yep.
 
Gyi Tsakalakis: Conrad, what were some of the updates that were made in this last round?
 
Conrad Saam: So, the focus on the update was two acronyms that we’re going to talk about.  YMYL and EAT, neither of which I really love.  But YMYL was basically a concept around your money or your life, and Google — I think this came out like eight or nine months ago where they were talking about things that are related to where you can end up in a — if firms or if companies were appealing to the baser nature of people and almost in a threatening way impacting your money or your life.  And the question was, did it really apply to legal?  And it did when it came to criminal, right?  And Google actually talked about some specific industries where — and illegal was noted in that list of specific industries.  And so, that was going to have an impact on how they chose to rank, or if they even chose to surface some types of content.
 
And the change now has been, what I read their changes here to be very much stepping back on specifically to legal on legal issues and it is much more focused.  While they take law out, they do still reference criminal acts, but I think this is more around criminal acts that may be illegal, right?  They’re trying not to encourage people to do illegal things.  Did you see the matrix where they talked about — not The Matrix the movie, but the matrix that they put out where they’re giving examples.  The example that they gave for YMYL was not car accident lawyer, specifically, but they were talking about news about a car accident.  Would that be something that they would actually choose to publish?  And that fell actually in the maybe category because it did involve people’s health.  So, as I read that, that could be things like those rewrite services that just scour the news or scour the police reports for terrible accidents and then they published the details of the accidents with the hopes that, you know, the individuals involved in that are actually going to call the firm.  Those are services that exist.  I’ve definitely worked with terms of use with those types of services.  But it wasn’t really focused on legal, specifically.  It’s more around, like, are we encouraging poor behavior.
 
Gyi Tsakalakis: It’s interesting.  I interpreted much differently than you.  I think this is right directly pointing at lawyers.  As you mentioned, anytime Google mentions lawyers, law, any of the things, any of the issues that clients deal with whether it’s injuries or personal finance or criminal acts, this is directly pointed at you.
 
(00:30:05)
 
So that being said, like you asked me if I get this is relevant for law firms, like a 100% both are, both your money or life and EAT, which we haven’t got to yet.  Two things that I’ll say about this one is, is like, okay, Dean Conrad, what tactically should I be doing differently and the answer is, is like, I know a lot of you have web pages that have just wrong information, whether you, you had a page created five years ago and maybe you say it is the statute that’s changed or blah, blah, blah, but that you had to review those pages.  So number one, just to make sure it’s accurate.  Thing number two, this isn’t so tactical but maybe it’s just more of like be mindful of this.  Like I still see pages that are just bad form from whether it’s your money, your life or eat, there’s trash and they are ranking.
 
So and Google would I think they would say that these aren’t — the search quality raters aren’t directly influencing algorithms and rankings.  But that being said, take all the stuff with a grain of salt.  I look at this, as more of like, it’s a handbook of how to improve this signaling to the raters, focus on these things. 
So, if you’ve got stuff on your site that’s just patently wrong, fix it, that’s an obvious one.  If you’ve got pages on your site that are really thin, right, like, this whole like five things to do after a car accident, there’s no expertise in that.  There’s no authority in that.  So then you get tactical again, like, okay, Gyi and Conrad, how do you build expertise and authority into your pages?
Conrad Saam: Well, that brings us right into EAT when we talk about authority, right. EAT has been one of those acronyms that’s been thrown around that I have by and large ignored.  EAT stands for Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness, because — I’ve ignored it because we wouldn’t do anything different, right?  We wouldn’t do anything differently for our clients because of that.
The changes that came out of EAT to me were really fascinating.  I’d be curious to your perspective on why they made these changes.  But the fundamental change here was they’ve removed statements about using the expertise of the author which is fascinating because this harkens back to something that existed a long time ago when we had Relic was author but they have removed the statement about the expertise of the author and they’re really just focusing in on the topic, right.
And so a little bit of history and then I’d love to get your perspective on the changes to EAT.  There used to be a thing called Relic author where Google was very specifically calling out the expertise of individuals on any given topic and within the search results you would have authored by who it was.  And this got really gross because you had agencies who will remain nameless, but are big and service illegal industry, who were basically selling that authority, that authorship authority as they were reselling websites from client A to client B, so that’s gross.  
But it’s really focused on the topic.  I was surprised to see that Gyi, because I like, so let’s take this as an example.  Because Gyi and Conrad write a lot about SEO and we’ve been cited frequently in SEO relevant things.  Something that we write about SEO regardless of where we publish it and regardless of what the topic is using that authority of the author should surface better right, that was the theory.  They’ve removed that, why?
Gyi Tsakalakis: Because they’re not good at it.
Conrad Saam: Ah.
Gyi Tsakalakis: And that’s the problem, right.  So that goes to the site.  So remember how all this works, right, they outsource this, the search quality raters all over the world and it’s creating all this noise because someone sitting in a different country, reading a law firm website, like they’re trying to give their best estimation of like, whether this is an expert on this.  But like, you know.
I think the other thing too, that’s interesting in looking at these respected websites distinction, and we’ll put the SEM post article in the show notes, but basically they’re saying, don’t just give a page a good quality rating because it’s on stanford.edu.  Because, you know, you see that and you’re like, oh its Stanford must be right.  And a lot of these universities sites for a variety of reasons have really poor quality content on there.
And so, again big picture philosophical thing.  Google wants to recreate human notions of authority by soaking up the web and understanding it and spitting back results and spitting back answers actually.  And so what do they use?  Well, they can crawl the words on the page, right.  They can un-try a natural language process that and understand what it what that is.  They got links, right.  They have user engagement signals to a certain extent.  But what they would love is to have the collective human hive mind actually providing insight into hey, they’ve got AI now, so they’re like teach the AI what the patterns are for authority.
(00:35:05)
And sadly, oh not sadly, just putting it’s not just part of the process, they’re not very good at it, right, and you see this and so this is the kind of the dichotomy of like this is where they want to go today, you know, you’ll still hear me, say, build some links because even those “low-quality links, no follow links” that’s a big part of how Google is making these decisions and these search quality rater guidelines, they want to get there and they want us to believe, you know, that’s part of the PR machine too, don’t get it, let’s not forget that.  They want to encourage people to create great content is better for everybody, but they’re struggling there.  Anyway, that’s my view, that’s my maybe perhaps cynical Gyi take on it.
Conrad Saam: Cynical Gyi take brought to you and exacerbated by Legal Marketing people who try and fake it.
Gyi Tsakalakis: Right.
Conrad Saam: Okay. 
Gyi Tsakalakis: And yeah.  And again, it’s Google makes liars out of us all the time, because we say get some great content out there, we try to say better than that and then we see trash rank all the time. 
Conrad Saam: All right, attorney thinks new tagline.
Gyi Tsakalakis: It’s a hard time.
Conrad Saam: Google makes Liars out of all of us.
Gyi Tsakalakis: Yeah, yeah, I mean I’m not the first to say it, but I will take it, I will own it.
Conrad Saam: This is a more cynical conversation that I think we’ve had for a while.  Thanks for joining us and don’t forget if you’re interested in getting your data benchmarked against your competitors within your practice area. Mockingbird.Marketing.com/benchmark.
Gyi Tsakalakis: And with that, we would like to thank you once again for listening to this episode of Lunch Hour Legal Marketing.  If you just dropped in, someone shared this link, or you clicked on a tweet or something, please do subscribe.  We love to hear from listeners.  So you can hash tag LHLM.  You can send us emails.  You can comment on our YouTube channel.  We want to hear from you.  We really do appreciate it and it’s one way to get better.  So until next time Conrad and Gyi, Lunch Hour Legal Marketing, we’re out of here.
[Music]
Outro: Thank you for listening to Lunch Hour Legal Marketing.  If you’d like more information about what you learned today, please visit legaltalknetwork.com.  Subscribe via Apple Podcasts and RSS.  Follow Legal Talk Network on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram.
Conrad Saam: Close it out.
Gyi Tsakalakis: Yeah man.  Conrad’s weakness.  
Conrad Saam: See every I try to do, I try.  I step in and –
Gyi Tsakalakis: I know you know what, you shouldn’t have said that because you are trying.
Conrad Saam: I am trying man.
Gyi Tsakalakis: Encourage you to get better.
Conrad Saam: Totally.
Gyi Tsakalakis: Coach you on closing out the show.  So good job.
Conrad Saam: I want my medal. I want my participation medal. 
Gyi Tsakalakis: Let’s just run with what you got.  Let’s run with what you went.  All right. Now let’s be, Conrad you can bawl out, let the grownups take over.  Okay anyway.  Here we go.
(00:37:58) 
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