Larry Linson

Jan 9, 2018
Reaction score
I may be way off base here, so I welcome those who would set me straight. I am looking at google SERP results for an attorney client in a specialty area. My attorney client limits her practice to a narrow field, but this area of practice is often an adjunct area of practice for civil litigation attorneys. I have noticed generally in different markets that the specialists like my client lose out in the SERPs to the generalist firms that offer her field of specialty as a "we also do..". This seems counterintuitive to me - I would think Google would prefer specialists.

When the generalist wins the day, it is with a specific interior page. The page often has the name of the specialty in the name of the page, and does often have good content. It seems to me that my client's homepage loses out because it does have less content since it is more general in nature, directing people to specific content pages. When my client ranks in the SERP it is with the homepage, and I notice the same for others like my client who specialize in this area.

I guess I feel like my specialist client is being disadvantaged. In her specialty, she has many pages about specific issues in the specialist. The generalist has generally one big page with all content about the specialty, and I feel like that results in the generalist winning the day. Again it feels like Google is penalizing the specialist who has enough content and expertise that she does not have all specialty content on one page.

What am I missing in helping my client here?

Yan Gilbert

Local Search Expert
LocalU Faculty
Oct 15, 2016
Reaction score
Seems like you have figured out a good portion of the issue.

Try structuring the home page to have more content on each of the sub-specialties, for example a couple of paragraphs under an H2 heading. Link to the internal pages from within the appropriate section of the homepage content as well as from the main menu.

What you didn't mention is that most likely the larger generalist firms will have more backlinks which is giving strength to the overall website.
Similar threads
Thread starter Title Forum Replies Date
harmony Another Google Local Ranking update? Google Algorithm Discussions 11
M Google Maps Rankings are not Stable Google My Business & Google Maps 6
rustybrick Google Local ranking update? Google Algorithm Discussions 12
JoshuaMackens Google Posts & Ranking Local Search 10
djbaxter Google Page Experience Signals for Ranking Apply Only to Mobile Organic SEO 0
djbaxter Page experience: Now a new Google ranking factor Organic SEO 0
djbaxter 4 Google My Business Fields That Impact Ranking (and 3 That Don't) Google My Business & Google Maps 16
A Big Issue with Google Map Rankings For Everyone Local Search 9
djbaxter Google: CWV is not a ranking signal, at least not yet Organic SEO 1
djbaxter Google: Moz Spam Score, Domain Authority Does Not Impact Google Rankings Organic SEO 1
djbaxter SEO myth-busting: What is NOT a Google search ranking factor Organic SEO 3
Ellen Google Virtual Tour Photographer Claims Boost to Rankings Google My Business & Google Maps 3
S Confused. Very low authority websites keep ranking higher in Google Maps Google My Business & Google Maps 15
T Guest Posting To Increase Your Traffic And Google Rankings. Contact Us Messages 1
CraigJMount Google Updated Its Internal Document on Ranking Local Search 8
djbaxter Google reminder: Structured Data Does Not Impact Ranking Organic SEO 0
Jefflam How do you define ranking well in Google Maps? Ranking Puzzles 5
Y Will small change of google business name hurt my google business rankings? Google My Business & Google Maps 3
W Do keywords in Google My Business (GMB) reviews help ranking Local Reviews 3
Jeffrey Google Rankings Tool Local SEO Tools & Software 6
djbaxter Age of domain name or content irrelevant to Google ranking Organic SEO 4
R Free Webinar: Local SEO Guide Google Ranking Factors for 2019 Events 0
djbaxter Google: BBB or Other Trust Building Sites not used for Ranking Organic SEO 12
R Free Webinar: 15 Things You Must Do to Improve Your Google My Business Rank in 2019 Events 2
JoyHawkins Do Custom Google Maps Help Ranking? Local Search 13
NinjaNonsense Choosing Google My Business Categories To Help With Rankings Local Search 2
djbaxter Google Explains Why Singular and Plurals May Rank Differently Organic SEO 1
djbaxter Google Speed Update: If you have a fast site, making it faster won't boost rankings Organic SEO 3
djbaxter Google: Ranking for Featured Snippets Organic SEO 3
djbaxter Google: Structured Data Isn't A Ranking Factor But Can Help Rankings Organic SEO 3
djbaxter Tables may hurt you in today's Google search rankings Organic SEO 0
djbaxter Google: Domain Authority is not a ranking signal Organic SEO 3
A Can anyone rank page 1 on Google without any backlinks Organic SEO 4
Linda Buquet Emulate Location to Street Level to Check Google Local Rankings - Chrome Extension Local SEO Tools & Software 2
L Analysing a google local ranking drop and how to fix it ? Local Search 2
S Will the SSL Deadline by Google in October Really Be A Factor in Rankings? Local Search 18
Z Google Ranks Fake Business Listings Local Search 7
A Which Address to Use for Ranking in Google Places Citations 11
F Google Local Search Ranking Issue- Penalty? Google My Business & Google Maps 4
B Company Ranked all 3 spots on Google Maps Google Duplicates & Merges 6
BWrightTLM Company Ranked all 3 spots on Google Maps Google Duplicates & Merges 6
djbaxter Google Again Says We Don't Use Social Media For Ranking Organic SEO 6
E Re: The REAL Secret to Ranking in Google Local Recycle Bin 0
djbaxter How Google Works: A Google Ranking Engineer's Story Organic SEO 0
I Local ranking factors on Google Partners website? Google My Business & Google Maps 4
djbaxter Google Says AMP Not A Ranking Factor Mobile & Social 0
djbaxter Google Ranking Factors: Results from a Million Search Results Organic SEO 6
glossolalia Strange Google Local Ranking Issue Google My Business & Google Maps 5
JoyHawkins Google just Publicly Stated a 4th Local Ranking Factor Google My Business & Google Maps 14
L Moving Your Office Without Losing your Google Rankings - Joy Hawkins Moving or Name Changes 6

Similar threads

Login / Register

Already a member?   LOG IN
Not a member yet?   REGISTER

Most UpVoted Answers

LocalU Podcasts

  Promoted Posts

New advertising option: A review of your product or service posted by a Sterling Sky employee. This will also be shared on the Sterling Sky & LSF Twitter accounts, our Facebook group, LinkedIn, and both newsletters. More...
Google Product Exert

Top Bottom