Tuesday, May 30, 2006

An Interesting Pseudo-Law Firm SEO Site

I stumbled across a site called casedetails.com, which claims to be by somebody who has an interest in law firm SEO issues. The post, "Is Traditional SEO Dead" raises issues I have not seen on the blogs and sites of people who market themselves as law firm SEO specialists. The post suggests how difficult it can be to launch a new website, due to the evolution of the Internet and how search engines now treat new websites. It ends somewhat optimistically,
Traditional SEO may be dead, but it has been replaced by more traditional marketing ideas like i) offering visitors quality content they can use; ii) building of brand reputation & authority; and iii) the importance of developing an ongoing relationship with site visitors.
Yes, but.... great content of itself doesn't guarantee visitors any more, so with most sites a lot of the marketing and public relations effort needs to occur outside of the realm of search engines, to build interest, traffic and links which will ideally increase the site's importance and credibility as perceived by search engine algorithms. With most sites, that won't be easy.

The site itself reflects how SEO rules can change faster than even SEO professionals can keep up with them. Another post describes how search engines give better treatment to sites where the content appears at a higher location in the html code. This seemed to be true for a while, but no longer appears to be a significant factor. (Still, if you can do it, have your web designer rework your pages for clean code, a minimum of tables, use of CSS, and text instead of graphic links for navigation.) It is worth noting that the content on the casedetails.com website starts at line 186.

A quick note on things not always being what they appear: There's nothing on this site, other than perhaps the site owner's reluctance to identify himself, which shouts out "This guy isn't really a law firm SEO professional." He even critiques some law firm websites. So why am I skeptical? Well, the failure of the owner to clearly identify himself is a factor, as is the failure to provide any business contact information or details. The feedburner links are spammy. And the site owner describes himself as having interest in "hotel reservation/travel directory sites" - which he correctly notes are particularly challenging to place in search engines, but also are more consistent with somebody who is into marketing his own affiliate link-based sites as opposed to other people's websites. (Want to bet that that this is the same guy?)

Don't get me wrong - if I found an SEO who could effectively launch a travel affiliate website and get it to the top three search results on Google for a hot search term such as "New York hotel" or "cheap ticket", while using a long-term strategy and only "white hat" SEO techniques (those which search engines view, and are likely to continue to view, as appropriate and ethical), I would very much consider using that SEO to promote a law firm site. I'm just suggesting that with any SEO, before you hire, check under the hood and kick the tires. And if you hear somebody describe the hard and fast rules of SEO (a mistake this guy does not make), consider the probability that the person either doesn't understand SEO or stopped following search engine developments several years ago.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Aaron, this is Clay from CaseDetails.com. No reason for not posting my full name and mailing address other than that I'm a semi-paranoiac when it comes to online privacy. Yes that's me on AfterNic's DiscussNames site as well... I don't profess to understand everything and will always "keep learning" - two important things in SEO. Thanks for your comments.


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