Attorney Complaints About FindLaw's Rip off Lawyer Marketing Services
Complaints made by lawyers about FindLaw lawyer marketing and link development services
SEO Tip: All hyperlinks need an alt tag!
More FindLaw Complaints From The New York Personal Injury Blog, Eric Turkewitz, Attorney
FindLaws Continuing Problems With its Blogs ...FindLaw obviously continues this crap because it thinks it will get SEO juice. These “blogs” are merely ads designed to dump as many SEO friendly terms onto the web, quality be damned.
FindLaw Uses a Dead Child to Advertise Attorney Services ...Demonstrating that, perhaps, there is no sewer deep enough for it to descend into, FindLaw has used the death of a child to promote the services of the lawyers that pay them fees.
FindLaw Steals Blog Name and Destroys Credibility of Attorneys for a Buck ...What are the consequences of FindLaw’s folly in creating such sites? 1) it demeans the lawyers that paid them for listings, who are now associated with the scat-blog; 2) it diminishes the work of the professor-commentators at Writ that they currently use; and 3) it brings down the legal profession as a whole by legitimizing such conduct.
Want to see even more complaints about FindLaw?
Bad Blogs? Rachel M. Zahorsky. ABALaw Journal. 05/01/2010.
New York City-based lawyer Eric Turkewitz’s New York Personal Injury Law Blog shares the name with one sponsored by the Thomson Reuters legal information Web portal. He blasts the legal marketer for using popular law blog titles to promote lawyers in its directory rather than create legitimate forums to analyze and discuss the justice system.
...Marc Randazza, a San Diego lawyer and editor of law blog the Legal Satyricon, also harshly criticizes the "rip-off" blogs in a post titled "Find Law, Are You Really That Douchetastic?" He emphasizes the advice of legal blogger Scott Greenfield: "Anyone can blog, but not everyone should."
Shame Shame Shame FindLaw. Oilman.ca, 08/23/2008
Web Service Contracts That Rip Off Consumers
Canceling service agreements with some popular lawyer marketing and web service providers can result in having your website (legally, even if unethically) stripped of content, images, hyperlinks, metadata, page titles, and even functionality of scripts.
In fairness to the companies that do this, it is in black and white in the contracts people sign (even if it is not in the sales pitches.)
If you signed an agreement that stated the company who created your website has the rights to "creations" or "works" (including flash, banners, content, site features, metadata) ... oops for you.
Avoid Problems by Reading Your Service Contract Before You Cancel It
If you do not own full rights to "creations," on your website, or if you have been "renting" your website, contact us before you cancel a service agreement.
Any service provider that built your website using their own proprietary applications will not be able to turn over to you certain features in working order (i.e., the search box, some forms for mail processing, etc.) You will need to fix these things on your own.
You may also not be able to keep your old page URLs. For example, if your website was created with .asp extensions (i.e., www,domain/page.asp) that chances are pretty good when it is turned back over to you the extensions will be changed to HTML (www.domain/page.html). This means Google and people who bookmarked your site through the old .asp pages will no longer find your site.
You will need to plan an exodus carefully or you could wake up contract-free thinking you are saving thousands in monthly service fees only to find your website no longer works or has disappeared from Google.
- What the heck was FindLaw thinking?
- FindLaw Complaints - Content and Article Publishing
- Paid Link Development - Cautions About Paying for Links
What Lawyers are Really Saying About FindLaw's Attorney Marketing Services
"O'Keefe writes that Google will likely take action against FindLaw and worries that FindLaw's customers, some of whom paid as much as $1,000 per month for promises of higher search engine visibility, may be penalized unless FindLaw gives them a refund."
- Carolyn Elefant. Lawblogwatch.com
"...and most importantly for lawyers, the FindLaw incident teaches that lawyers need to educate themselves when buying Internet ads or paying for SEO, so that they know what they're getting. Any lawyer who knows just a little bit about SEO and rankings would have realized that there's no way that a company could promise a first page rank without doing something shady."
- Carolyn Elefant. Lawblogwatch.com
Search page for post by David Knotts. Dullest.com
"...In a statement, Shaughnessy said, "FindLaw does not sell links to law firms." He said an "unauthorized communication went out to corporate advertising prospects that misrepresented how the product was intended to work and didn't fully and accurately describe it."
"Shaughnessy said FindLaw "immediately cancelled SEM-Corporate" and put tags on some links to eliminate them in search rankings, to comply with Google's guidelines."
Pamela A. MacLean. The National Law Journal
"...Back in October 2007, we reported that Google officially said that selling or buying links can hurt your PageRank and/or rankings in Google. We then saw the sledge hammer hit and sites noticed that their Toolbar PageRank scores dropped drastically. But even with all this publicity and all the official Google documentation, FindLaw.com managed to send out an email marketing blast to sell text links that are marketed to increase a site’s rankings.
"...Steve Matthews was shocked by how “blatantly overt” FindLaw.com was about selling the text links, going as far as sending out:
spammy marketing materials, unsolicited emails, selling links based on PageRank, training lawyers how to show ‘link love’ and apply link text, and just generally having the feel of a total Machiavellian manipulation of the system. Frankly, it was arrogant."
Barry Schwartz. SearchEngineLand.com
“Bloggers are talking about FindLaw’s reported attempt to sell links to lawyer and corporate websites for $1,000 a month.
"...A blogger known as Oilman reports on an e-mail he got from FindLaw that says the links may help increase a website’s visibility and rank on search engines such as Google. That led a blogger at GetLawyerLeads.com to say the offer is a violation of Google’s policy and that such links “will almost certainly be devalued.” The blog post headline asks if FindLaw is "scamming customers." Kevin O’Keefe’s Real Lawyers Have Blogs summarizes other blog posts about the growing controversy."
Debra Cassens. ABA Journal
"...Now, let me tell you why those firms are wasting their money. Unless you are in a completely uncompetitive search market, 3 links and a few articles from one website won’t make a dent in your ranking equation. You need links from lots of websites; in some cases, thousands. Those links need to be from a wide range of authorities (think: government, education, professional associations, libraries, conferences, magazines, journals); and increasingly, those links should be from websites on the same finite subject including blogs and social networking groups."
Steve Matthews. StemLegal.com
"..Several bloggers are talking today about a blog post saying that FindLaw violated Google's guidelines by selling links. That post accused FindLaw of scamming customers. My reaction was: Is this the pot calling the kettle black?
"..The blog post comes from a site called GetLawyerLeads.com. This is a company that creates shell lawyer Web sites and then sells the leads that come in from those sites to lawyers.
"..So the very company that is accusing FindLaw of running a scam is running a shell game of its own. Is this unethical? I am not an expert in ethics but I would refer you to this ABA page on the ethics of online referral services. But I do think that the sites are misleading to consumers, and that fact alone causes me concern."
Robert J. Ambrogi. LegalLine.com