Thursday, April 05, 2007
Where Did Everybody Go?
Looking at traffic trends on legal websites, there's a relatively consistent downward pattern. Even dominant sites like findlaw.com, nolo.com and lawyers.com are taking a serious hit. So what gives?
In recent months Google has seemed much more likely to produce pages from the Wikipedia in response to legal searches. I suspect that Wikipedia's "authority" ranking is leaching away traffic from legal speciality sites.
This, to me, represents a danger of current search engine algorithms. I will grant that some of their articles are very helpful, and some are suprisingly thorough. But with so much "authority" vested by search engines in the Wikipedia, their mediocre content, "stub" pages, and erroneous content can easily outrank professionally drafted and edited content from true authority sites.