Wednesday, March 5, 2008

The Power of Blogging - Why Are Legal Blogs Undervalued?

In my previous rant post on Why are Legal Blogs Undervalued? I failed to show a few examples of the power of blogging when it comes to finding information on the internet.

My first example is a Google search for Interwoven express search. It returns two posts from KM Space in the top position. My posts are coming ahead of the Interwoven corporate site.

My second example is a Google search for bad boy guaranty. It returns two posts from my Real Estate Space blog on commercial real estate finance. (Bad boy guaranty is a commercial real estate finance term.)

My third example is a Google search for rule against perpetuities right of first refusal. It returns a post from my Real Estate Space blog in the second position. (The Rule Against Perpetuities is hated among law students.)

Those high search results are not based on any search engine optimization or link-trading. It just comes from writing about topics and joining the conversation about these topics on-line.

Also keep in mind that I do not post as often on Real Estate Space as I do here in KM Space. It also has less than 10% of the readership.

But still, with that small effort, my writings are appearing at the top of Google search results. Do you think your clients are not using a Google search to find information?


  1. These are really powerful examples Doug. However, they depend on the fact that you have written material that other people appreciate and have linked to or referenced. I wonder if many lawyers will understand that (a) they need to carve out a blogging niche in order to have the highest impact and (b) they need to write material that is engaging enough to attract people who are not necessarily in a position to become clients.

  2. Mark -

    I think people get hung up on the word "blog."

    Lawyers are already publishing client alerts. The first step is just to publish them in a slightly different way, using a blogging platform.

    Then you can open it up to comments and start layering on the blog features.

  3. The problem with client alerts is that they don't often have the googlejuice that you have shown a blog can generate.

    You are right that there is no real difference between the two -- they are just alternative publishing mechanisms. The difference in practice is that good bloggers work hard to define a space in which they work and a distinctive 'voice'. People appreciate this and recognise it through links and comments.

    Law firms typically write very similar client briefings and alerts to each other. Nobody appreciates them enough to link to them or to comment on them in their own blogs, so they will not feature highly in Google searches.

    It's not just about the medium -- the message needs to be right as well. I am not sure that many firms understand this.

  4. To take up Mark Gould's point, Doug, the two major downsides to standard law firm publications are the absence of any "individual voice" and the reluctance to really engage in what the true ramifications of the particular item are.

    But if I understand it properly, your point is that, if I'm writing some "official" publication for my firm, it's because I have some knowledge of and interest in the area. So what I can do is take that nub of what I'm saying and present it in a way that really reflects what I think about the issue. If I were to write it as if I were explaining it to a friend or a significant other, my own voice should come through.

    And it's the engagement with that personal voice that should, sooner or later, spark comments, since (ideally) I've written it in a way that some people will agree with and that others will take issue with.

    Really, who feels compelled to respond to bland?


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