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Law Firms: Watch Out for Internet Scams

Are people making huge profits from the Internet? Sure!

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

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

Will your law firm be enticed to participate in Internet based advertising propositions that will be a waste of effort or even a scam? Sure!

After reading this you will be able to avoid 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: Major search engines such as AOL, Ask, Google, MSN & Yahoo generate the majority of Web traffic. Other search engines include About, Open Directory, Alta Vista, Lycos, Looksmart, Mamma & Netscape. The offer you received is guaranteed NOT to come from one of these search engines. The name of the search engine and their site looks and sounds very professional, but these are not factors that are crucial in making a cost effective investment.

First, if you have the Google Toolbar, check the PageRank of their home page. If the PR is not at least 5, pass. Then do a search on your favorite search engine for your keywords, if this ‘search engine’ does not show up within the first two pages of returned results, pass.

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.

They may advertise that the phrase "Red Rider Legal Profession Search Engine" will show up on MSN's page one search results. Realize though, that although this is true the chance of someone searching that specific phrase is slim to none. Look for keyword phrases that have a lot of competition and high placement.

#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.

Even though we have not done individual site optimization for over three years, as an example, www.websitetrafficbuilders.com as of this writing had the following rankings: AOL – URL placement, URL position –PAGE ONE., Google: URL position – PAGE ONE., MSN: URL placement – PAGE ONE, URL position – PAGE TWO.

If you choose to use a quick fix technique that will rocket your site to page one, do not be surprised when your site disappears from the major search engines. It is not a matter of "if" your site will be banned it is "when" it will be banned for spamming the engines.

Think, verify and question; researching will definitely save you some time, money and effort.

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The information provided on this website is not intended to be legal advice, but merely conveys general information related to legal issues commonly encountered. Your access to and use of this website is subject to additional Terms and Conditions.


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