MozCon 2024: How New Information Will Shape AI, SEO & Social Strategies for Attorneys

It has been a crazy 10 months since the last MozCon happened in 2023. On top of all of the volatility that has happened in SEO and further use of AI, one of my favorite quotable moments from MozCon 2024 was from Garrett Sussman of iPullRank, “Google Leaks was not on my SEO bingo card,” because who would’ve thought the API calls used in Google’s algorithm would become available to the public eye? I certainly didn’t, but you bet I downloaded those files and saved them onto an external hard drive.

So what did the experts have to say this time around from what we know, what was leaked, and how exactly will any of this apply to family law attorneys? Let’s divulge.

Leveraging AI for Attorneys

AI still continues to lack a human element in writing, but ChatGPT4o and other AI-writing models can be trained to write in your brand voice by uploading content you’ve already written. That doesn’t mean it’s foolproof, but it’s a good start to help create content that doesn’t sound like regurgitated, intellectual mush (essentially boring content that Google or readers don’t care about in the long term).

One of the ways we’ve been utilizing AI to improve our content is by expanding short-form content into long-form content with lists, case studies, examples, and other tidbits. We’ve seen improvement in our organic reach by doing so, but it’s certainly a balance between getting that informational content generated automatically and injecting personalized experiences from our attorneys to showcase expertise.

My biggest takeaway from this conference when it comes to AI is that it must be used wisely and creatively. ChatGPT can create content for you using simple prompts, but generally speaking, these initial prompts are not going to create unique and engaging content for your brand, and it may hallucinate information (create information that sounds accurate but is in fact not).

Collaboration & Transparency in a Fast-Paced Market

Lily Ray’s presentation “Optimize the Forest: Moving Beyond SEO Checklists” resonated with me. Speaking on behalf of search specialists, we tend to get lost in the complexity of the work we do. Though I have a go-to baseline of SEOto tackle, the search landscape is so vast that I must be aware that there are always more trees to monitor.

As Amanda Jordan said in her presentation, “The internet is an entire forest, your website is like a single tree.” Even further to me, when we zoom into a single client’s website, it’s a bit like a forest within itself, too. Many trees need to be tended to like site speed, email deliverability, content, links, and more. Search is essentially at the center of web optimization, and it can be quite the undertaking.

SEO chart

One final thing I took away from Lily’s presentation is that she holds and manages large-scale team meetings to strategize new growth ideas for clients, and a good amount of research is done using Google Discover inside of Google Search Console. She will also occasionally involve her clients in these brainstorming sessions so that she can deliver interesting new ways to help their businesses grow online.

Cardinal Concepts covers a wide spectrum of marketing and consulting services for attorneys, our approach is similar to Lily’s in that our team gets together once weekly to discuss both completed initiatives and ideas that help our clients champion against their competitors. We’re able to track and monitor target keywords so that we keep your rankings up in the top spots for you locally.

The Engagement of Search & Social on Local SEO

Navah Hopkins of Optmyzr covered a combination of topics I constantly find intriguing: search and social. Her piece tied into many other speakers’ points involving providing value to clients in ways that help them build a community online. But what are some examples and benefits of this?

  1. Creating topically relevant and engaging content on social provides search engines with semantic signals of your brand story.
  2. Increased exposure on social can lead to high-quality backlinks that you earn passively and traffic from users who provide even more context to your brand.
  3. Repurposing blogs for social through posts, creating new quotable content from case studies, or asking questions in a strategic manner is a great way to drive engagement from users and recognition for your brand.

Referring to #2 in the list above, what does “earning a link” mean? It essentially means someone linking to your content from their website simply because they like your content. We have a perfect example in our article 6 of Our Favorite Attorneys on TikTok, these are people we don’t know personally and they didn’t pay for us to link to them. They earned a link to their website from our article simply by being consistent, entertaining, and worthy of being flaunted. Social Media (when done right) is a great way to save on costly PR campaigns.

One interesting way that some experts are going about dancing around the PR route is by purchasing brand awareness in ad space for themselves on social media channels with content they already have, or by creating unique and engaging content. Azeem Amhad briefly discussed in his presentation how businesses can be creative in their marketing. Alamo Drafthouse had used the angry voicemail from an upset customer for marketing purposes to showcase the importance of not using your phone during a movie, or you’ll get kicked out. It was so funny, and the locals loved it so much that they made some follow-ups to match themes of popular movies like Star Wars.

Whatever type of creative marketing you choose, this can be a solid way to get more reach in your local community on a more reasonable budget and time constraint.

How Does the Google Leak Affect Attorneys?

At this time it is far too early to determine how the Google API leaks can be used to help attorneys grow specifically. This is because there are 2,596 modules represented in the API documentation with 14,014 attributes, and the whole document looks like the image below – clearly, this is no easy feat to tackle! And experts at MozCon have joked about how “when this gets nailed down, it’ll be the best Christmas gift for SEOs around!” – so expect a better turnaround for solid information around the end of this year.

SEO Google leak

We’re tracking content from Enterprise Level SEO experts in the industry, and we will be creating content later this year to translate how this knowledge can be transferred to local SEO for lawyers. From what Mike King has put together so far, there are a few lies (and how to counteract them) that attorneys should be aware of.

Google’s Lies:

  1. “We Don’t Use Domain Authority”
  • Google has an API called “siteAuthority” for the term “Site Authority”. Though there is no specific understanding of how this is measured at this time, as an SEO services provider we have understood Domain Authority as a score for your website on a scale of 0-100/100. The higher your score is, the better chance you have at ranking over legal competitors. Backlinks can boost your Domain Authority overtime, but be sure you’re not only buying backlinks, build up your local community as well.
  1. “We Don’t Use Clicks for Rankings”
  • In Google’s API leaks, there are bad clicks, good clicks, last longest clicks, unsquashed clicks, and unsquashed last longest clicks are all considered metrics. It’s simply difficult to tell what additional factors are being measured in these API metrics.
  1. “There is no Sandbox”
  • In Mike King’s article, he states “in the PerDocData module, the documentation indicates an attribute called hostAge that is used specifically ‘to sandbox fresh spam in serving time.’” So does this mean that if you are a brand new website it will take longer and be harder to outrank a competitor? But you can create unique content, hopefully in bulk, to help catch you up.
  1. “We Don’t Use Anything from Chrome for Ranking”
  • If that were so, why is there a module containing a measurement for visits to a website from the Chrome browser vs. Bing and others?

We won’t deny that the world of search is in complete chaos, especially now. The expert team at Cardinal Concepts is always staying two steps ahead, so remember to come back to us in a few months when we begin to break down more of what we learn about these leaks and how they apply to attorneys.

Final Thoughts on MozCon 2024

My first year at MozCon was an unforgettable experience. It didn’t feel just like any other conference where you’re wandering around, picking and choosing speakers and who to talk to, and ultimately missing out on tons of valuable info. It is a well-determined marketing expert ecosystem where it is truly built upon pure search education for attendees and making connections with like-minded individuals. I learned a lot of valuable info, made some new friends, and found a conference that lit a spark for me.

If you would like to learn more about how you can strengthen your organic reach, reach out to the experts at Cardinal Concepts.

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