When It Comes to Marketing for Lawyers Google Gets It Right

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The idea of a lawyer paying someone else to blog for him (ghost blogging) bugs the living crap out of me.

I know.  I know.  You are so busy helping the oppressed or the misunderstood all day, you don’t have time to blog about truck accidents or big bags of cocaine seized at the airport.

So you hire FindLaw or a stooge from Craigslist to write a bunch of nonsensical posts about maiming and disfigurement and pretrial diversion and throw them up on your website.

They put in the hashtags and the keywords and you’re good to go.

Well my friends, Google is going to catch you.

There’s this little feature the internet colossus is rolling out called author rank and it will be a bucket of cold water directly on the heads of all you internet phonies.

The premise behind author rank is verification of content creation.  So if you write and post a webpage, Google will assign you a score when it crawls that page.  Each time you write, Google will come along and adjust your score based upon the quality of your body of work. The on-going compilation of this scoring algorithm is your author rank.

Like DNA, luggage and syphilis, author rank is with you forever.  It follows you around the Internet.  If you pump out crap packaged in a bunch of keywords, your rank will be reflective of your craptastic output.

If you write for humans and stay on point, your author rank will be reflective of the reader’s experience.

If you choose not to become a verified author and you leave your content virtually unsigned (in the eyes of Google) it will be penalized.

People with higher author rank will have their content show up with better search placement than people with low author rank or content with no verified author associated.

Yeah, they have a system for verifying author’s identity and linking it with real people.

So if you have Icbal from Timbuktu blog for you and Icbal gets verified as you, he better be Hemingway or you are going to have a crappy author rank.

This should scare the living crap out of some people.

Google is doing everything it can to make the user’s search experience as much like real life human interaction as possible.  If you are a lawyer and you are writing an article about your area of expertise, you better sound like someone who knows what their talking about.  Grammar and context matter.

If your blog is nothing more than one keyword stuffed article after another, your author rank is probably going to suffer.

As someone who writes daily about marketing for lawyers, I’m thrilled with this Google development.  I pump out 500 – 600 words each day of pure gold.  I do it all myself and my prolific output of quality content is a huge competitive advantage for me.

Go ahead.  Rank me.

I’ll take the Pepsi challenge with the hacks who call themselves lawyer marketing experts.

But you shouldn’t risk it.  You should be writing your own, high quality content.  You should be educating your target audience.  You should be developing a relationship with them.

That’s what marketing for lawyers is all about.

Start a relationship with your prospective clients.  Teach them a few things.  Tell them how you feel about the events that shape your world view.  Do it eloquently. Do it with snark.  Be funny.  Be serious.  Be yourself.

Own your author rank and you will attract the visitors you deserve.

And so will the people who continue to game the system.