Notes from The SEO Underground: March 2019

March 25th, 2019 by Charlie Smith   |   Posted in SEO News

“SEO Underground” is your first and fastest stop to find out about breaking news and recent algorithm updates that affect your firm’s online visibility.

There’s lots of news from around the globe this month! We’ll take a closer look at the March Broad Core Update, Florida 2, and some new insights on Google’s preferred structured data markup type.

March Broad Core Update

The most noteworthy SEO news is the March 2019 Core Update. On March 12th, Google released a broad core update to their algorithm. Initially dubbed “Florida 2” by some, this update is not connected to the original Florida update way back in 2003 and in the days since has been updated from “Florida 2” to “March Broad Core Update”.

What Changed With The March Broad Core Update?

Broad core updates don’t target any industries or websites in particular. These types of updates are improvements to Google’s algorithm that help it better understand search queries with the end goal of providing a better user experience.

It’s still too early to tell specifically what has changed, but Google’s advice remains the same: Focus on creating quality content.

Why Was The Update Named Florida 2 Initially?

The “Florida 2” moniker and the original “Florida” update name came from Brett Tabke, who is the owner of WebmasterWorld forum and PubCon conference. Back in the early 2000’s, Tabke named some of the Google Updates — the original Florida update was in November 2003, and happened to take place around the time of his PubCon Conference.

Flash forward to present day: The March 12th update happened recently after another PubCon conference, and thus the name “Florida 2” took root.

Has Your Law Firm Been Negatively Affected By The March Broad Core Update?

If you’ve noticed a dip in your site traffic, take a deep dive into your content and keywords—look for trends and monitor rankings, check for anomalies with bounce rates, conversion rates, exit rates, etc, and come up with a game plan for improving your site by re-working content and providing the best user experienced possible tailored around the keywords for which you want to rank.

In addition to the suggestions we mention above, we recommend that you make sure your site is compliant with Google guidelines and recommendations. If you have concerns that your law firm’s site may not be up to par with Google’s guidelines, contact Gladiator for a comprehensive SEO audit of your firm’s website. 

What Structured Data Markup Type Does Google Prefer? 

In other news, Google’s John Mueller went on record during a Webmaster Hangout to address the question, ““What type of Schema markup does Google prefer?” 

His answer: “Google prefers JSON-LD structured data.”

What Do JSON-LD And Microdata Formats Look Like?

If you’re wondering which one your site has, below is an example of a JSON-LD Markup:

<script type=”application/ld+json”> {   “@context”: “”,   “@type”: “LegalService” } </script>

And here is an example of a MicroData markup.

Microdata Markup Example


If your law firm has been using the Microdata Format, we encourage you to make the switch to JSON-LD structured data. If your firm doesn’t have any structured data markup at all, contact our web design and development team to learn more about implementing structured data on your site.

A Blockbuster Month

It’s already been a busy month for SEO news, and the March Broad Core Update is poised to create waves across all industries. We will be providing more details pertaining to the Broad Core Update as they become available, so stay tuned for our next installment of the SEO Underground. In the meantime, focus on writing quality content that differentiates you from your competitors and provides value to your users.

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