Nary a day goes by without a phone call or email from an SEO company. SEO stands for search engine optimization. SEO companies promise that they can get your law firm site ranked in the top 5 for attorney google searches. To be fair, I use Justia which designs and markets my blog and website. They don’t spam or splog to achieve results.
I’m often asked how I get readers, or how I got my blog to rank high on Google searches. I’m not afraid to share the secret. I’ve been blogging nearly every day for 18 months. I’ve had over 96,000 visitors and over 160,000 page views. I regularly add new material and my posts are linked on other prominent blogs. That’s the big secret. The web is a meritocracy, if the public likes your content it rises to the top. If you don’t produce relevant and popular content, you aren’t going to be prominent.
How do SEO companies work? Basically by tricking Google with phony links.
Links tell Google that a website is important. SEO companies try to manipulate this process with fake links.
For example, this morning I had 5 new comments on my blog. I was exited to see that they all purported to be from a prominent local DWI firm. After all, it’s good to be recognized and read by your peers. However, upon closer inspection these were SEO spam comments.
Here was one of the spam comments-
I was looking to suppress the evidence from a machine that had proven to be faulty and was taken out of service. We had a spirited hearing for 90 minutes, and my suppression motion was denied.
That’s an interesting and insightful thought. I should know. I wrote that. The spam comment bot just copies and pastes my own material in the comments, then links back to the law firm. All in a bid to trick Google.
I won’t name the law firm because they have been more than gracious about this. The attorney contacted me personally and promised to cease this activity. I don’t believe this law firm had any idea what their SEO company was doing.
I do fault the SEO companies. They are rarely straightforward with their clients about how they actually achieve their results. They are long on hype and short on details. They also do little service to the public by inflating their customer’s sites over relevant content.
Whereas, I work everyday to reach an audience SEO companies seek to game the system. I can’t really fault attorneys for hiring SEO firms. After all, the phone book is dead and the internet is the future. If Google puts your site on page 10 no one will know about it. There is a lot of money being invested in web pages and attorneys want a return on the investment.
However, you can’t just buy relevance. Google is already adapting to the SEO link building game. Potential clients and the public are better served with timely relevant content than with SEO gimmicks.