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Does Google Know Lawyers Are The Same As Attorneys?

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#1 mrgoodfox


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Posted 04 November 2012 - 12:37 PM

In U.S., lawyers and attorneys are the same thing. Does Google know that and other examples like that? Different words sometimes have the same meaning. It changes from country to country but I wonder if Google takes that into consideration.

#2 earlpearl


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Posted 04 November 2012 - 01:20 PM

I like to look at questions like this from a local perspective. But overall, google has clearly incorporated synonyms into its algos in a general sense. On a more universal context Bill Slawski (I forget the article) has pointed out that different words have dramatically different meanings in different nations. Google seems to respond accordingly.

Unfortunately I have peripheral experience with local attorneys/lawyers sites rather than the deep in depth work I like to do for the businesses we operate.

There are a number of other considerations even as google does acknowledge the synonym relationship.

For instance I read one survey using google trends that suggested that in different markets/metro areas users search more often on one of the terms rather than the other. I always prefer to rely on local ppc campaigns to gather impressions to analyse the particulars of a local market.

Individual websites could work very hard on one or the other synonym with regard to ranking, thereby creating the appearance in local serps that there is no recognition of the synonym value.

From a web site perspective it would be helpful to know how searchers use those terms within a market. Then I would focus on the optimization site for the particular service.

#3 bobbb


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Posted 04 November 2012 - 03:06 PM

I got this from watching British TV (Rumpole of the Bailey) but it seems that solicitor and attorney are different. You hire a solicitor and the solicitor gets the attorney. Maybe someone from there can shed light on this.

#4 iamlost


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Posted 04 November 2012 - 03:37 PM

Lawyer: a person whose profession is to represent clients in a court of law or to advise or act for clients in other legal matters.

Attorney: from attorney-at-law: a person legally appointed or empowered to act for another. (in USA) a lawyer qualified to represent clients in legal proceedings.

Solicitor: (in England and Wales) a member of that branch of the legal profession whose services consist of advising clients, representing them before the lower courts, and preparing cases for barristers to try in the higher courts.
Barrister: (in England) a lawyer who is a member of one of the Inns of Court and who has the privilege of pleading in the higher courts.

Counsel: the advocate or advocates engaged in the direction of a cause in court.

In practice, in Canada and the US a lawyer is trained as both a solicitor and as a barrister although certification may be a two step process depending on jurisdiction. While most US states use the term 'attorney at law' some use 'attorney and counsellor at law' for lawyer. In Canada lawyers join a Law Society so lawyer is perhaps the more common term.

#5 tam


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Posted 05 November 2012 - 09:53 AM

They don't know/treat bunnies and rabbits are the same... but then are they, or are lawyers and attorneys for that matter? They might technically be the same thing but do people use different terms depending on who they are/what they are searching for? In which case, even if google knows they are synonyms it may treat them differently.

Best option - find your specific target audience (age/location/social status/etc.) and find out what terms they use when searching.

#6 iamlost


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Posted 05 November 2012 - 10:31 AM

How you create your content, your choice of words and synonyms, in titles, descriptions, headings, body, instructs SEs, including Google, how you prefer them treated/associated. Of course they sometimes revert to some default that over rides what you might prefer, however, as most decisions are made on page basis that allows you quite a bit of finetuning and targeting.

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