In light of Google's recent "Farmer's Update", farming themes have been running rampant throughout the online marketing community. So I figure, what's one more.
If you've ever spent any time online (or even using email), someone has probably told you that you need links to your website in order to "rank better in google." Next, they probably tried to sell you some links. Sound familiar? What they aren't telling you is that not all links are created equal.
I have always liked to think of links to a website as votes for that website in an unequal democracy. Each link to your web pages casts a vote for that page. However, a vote from gyiswebsiteaboutcats.com is not the same as a vote from law.com. In fact, if you use Google's PageRank as a metric for determining the power of a link-vote, the scale is logarithmic (think Richter scale).
Unfortunately, many legal web marketing services sell links like hay. They will say something like, "get 100+ PR 3+ links to your website for $100." In other words, they are selling links in quantity. Of course, when you push them to tell you where these links will be coming from, there is either no response or we begin to travel down the mysterious rabbit-hole of jargon that many legal SEO service providers will concoct to obfuscate their scam.
Further, some of these "link farmers" will actually groom websites for the purpose of selling links. Not to mention that this is a clear breach of Google's webmaster guidelines, it just doesn't work very well. So, at best, you spent a lot of money for these completely worthless links, and at worse, you spent a lot of money to get "kicked-out" of Google (yes, that can happen).
Instead of building or paying for links like bushels of hay, you should think of ways to attract links to your website like a magnet. And while there are several ways to attract links, there is really no better way than to simply write something that is interesting, useful, and linkable.
Now admittedly, this is often more easily said than done, which is why it actually works. You see, Google's main goal is to organize information on the web based upon relevance to your search query and popularity. And when we say popularity, we mean true popularity, as in other people who have websites (or administrative access to websites), who actually link to your website through a citation or endorsing link.
SEO for attorneys is much more about attracting quality links by developing, publishing, and publicizing valuable pieces of content than it is raking link-hay into bushels.
Author: Gyi Tsakalakis is now taking your questions and socializing at: gchat: gyi.tsakalakis | @gyitsakalakis | LinkedIn | Facebook. Hire me at AttorneySync.
Photo By: (https://www.flickr.com/photos/drb62/459468443/)