Law Firms & Internet Scams: How to avoid them

Are people making huge profits from the Internet? Sure!

Are search engines the prime mechanism for driving traffic? Sure!

If properly utilized, are search engines one of the most efficient advertising to generate new legal clients? Sure!

Are you or your law firm going to be presented with Internet based advertising propositions that will be a total waste of money or even an outright scam? Sure!

Read this article and hopefully you will be able to prevent these Internet scams.

#1. “I’m from the XYZ legal professional Intergalactic search engine. We’re getting thousands of visitors every day and can guarantee your firm a top position for your location/practice area/keywords at a special discounted rate just for your industry.”

THINK/VERIFY/QUESTION: Established major search engines generate the majority of Web traffic. These include AOL, Ask, Google, MSN & Yahoo. Search engines such as, About, Open Directory, Alta Vista, Lycos, Looksmart, Mamma & Netscape are among the second tier of top search engines. The name and site looks professional, and the offer what sounds like a bargain. However, these are not the key factors to make a cost efficient investment!

First, you should check the PageRank of their home page, they should have at least a PR of 5 otherwise dismiss it. If the 'search engine' does not show up within the first two pages of returned results, again you should dismiss it.

Do not be overly impressed by standings within the sponsored/selected/featured listing section of your search engine. These are all terms for paid-per-click advertisers. They could be paying for top positions here during their solicitation phase to show/impress the unsuspecting. They can terminate them at any time. It is far more productive and much harder to achieve a page one placement in the ‘organic’ listings of the major search engines.

Finally, they may advertise high placement for a specific keyword phrase, but watch out for phrases with little or no competition. For example, they say that "Red Rider Legal Profession Search Engine" will come up on page one results when entered in MSN search, but who would ever use that specific phrase in a search engine?

#2. “Pay us $XXX and we guarantee to get your legal website on page one of Google, MSN, etc!” With exactly which search engines and which of you legal keywords? Will you be in the organic listings or sponsored ads? Do the law sites that they provide service to have a PageRank of a least 5? And what are their standings with the major search engines? After all, they are experts at search engine optimization. These are all things that you should watch out for and verify. The most popular keyword phrases that they should be ranking on page one or two are, URL placement, URL position, SEO, search engine optimization. Make sure to check their integrity.

For over three years we have not dealt with individual site optimization but you can easily see that for our site our rankings are exceptional. As of this writing our standings were as follows, Google: URL position – PAGE ONE., MSN: URL placement – PAGE ONE, URL position – PAGE TWO., AOL – URL placement, URL position –PAGE ONE.

Lastly, many banned techniques will rocket your site to page one, but within a few weeks your site will disappear from most of the major search engines. Yes, it will have been banned for spamming the engines. Remember, it is not “if” your site will be banned, it’s “when!”

Think, verify and question; these basic actions could save you big money and big trouble!



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