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Hi Everyone,

I have a client who is lawyer. Her website's rankings were affected by the Nov '21 Google core update and the Dec '21 Local update. Starting in January, though, her site's rankings started to recover a little. She hired us in February and we were able to improve her rankings for the first two months, but they have started dropping again for the past several weeks. The latest decrease has been gradual, but seems to line up with Google expanding their core web vitals to desktops.

I think part of the problem was page speed, something we told her about initially, but she refused to fix the issue. Recently, the page speed issue got worse and she was forced to fix the problem. Her site is much faster now, but still has some core web vitals issues we are trying to get her to fix. I'm looking for other issues, though, so we don't have anything holding her rankings back.

As I was going through the pages of her website, I noticed some of the page which deal with drug-related charges have quite of bit of content about drugs, including doing and selling drugs. There are also pictures of drugs. From a user standpoint, it's all legit. She's talking about charges, cases (publicly available info), etc., but I'm curious if the drug related content might be negatively affecting her rankings.

There are also pages about assaults, criminal sexual conduct, pornography (including child), firearm charges, etc.

What do you all think? Could this content be negatively affecting her rankings?

Thanks.
Kurt
 
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keyserholiday

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The short answer is no. The longer answer is I am seeing the same thing since April with all of the mini algo updates. None of them have been confirmed, but Google is doing something and websites are seeing decreases in traffic.
 
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Hi Kurt,

Of course there is no problem with that. I work for Lawyers in the US and that's typical content.

I would focus more on Content GAP.

What content have competitors that you don't have? Focus on building more topical authority than trying to "delete" or "remove" content about those topics you said.

Let me know how it goes.
 

JoyHawkins

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Due to the nature of the content on criminal lawyer sites, I've heard of tons of them who experience a lot of turbulence with core updates.

I don't think it likely has anything to do with page speed. I'd suggest doing a deep dive into a few of the pages that took the biggest hits and then look at what is now outranking you to get a better picture of what Google wants.
 
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Thank you all for your thoughts. A couple of weeks ago, after we had made some changes to the client's site, she thanked us and said she hoped her rankings would be back up to what they were within a day. I explained that typically that isn't how it works. It usually takes time. I haven't heard back from her and she stopped payment on her service.

Still I'll keep all this in mind in case we have other clients who face similar situations.

Thanks again!!
Kurt
 
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Yeah. I'm not losing too much sleep over it. She was a hot and cold client. Sometimes there were months between contact and then there would all of the sudden be a flurry of 5+ emails a day.

BTW - I watched your interview with BrightLocal, "Local Search Clinic: Google Business Profile Optimization with Joy Hawkins". I enjoyed it. Loved your vid background, too.

Kurt
 
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Due to the nature of the content on criminal lawyer sites, I've heard of tons of them who experience a lot of turbulence with core updates.

I don't think it likely has anything to do with page speed. I'd suggest doing a deep dive into a few of the pages that took the biggest hits and then look at what is now outranking you to get a better picture of what Google wants.

Yeah, how do you do that?
 

JoyHawkins

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