As part of an occasional series analyzing the countless pitches lawyers receive for internet marketing, SEO, and related services, I present AttorneysDelivered.com.
Here is the unsolicited marketing offer (yes, spam) I received from AttorneysDelivered.com, a lawyer directory listing website.
The email was as follows:
My name is (removed). My company launched an attorney product/platform that was recently spoke of on LAW.COM/ALM’s official blog and other places so I am just reaching out to see if you are interested.
It is a very inexpensive, PROVEN platform/profile that is serviced and designed to show up high on the search engines for important keywords, generate more customers, build valuable links that point back to your site, etc. . .It does a great deal for the price. . . and as a member of our directory, we will send you any relevant leads we receive.
Here is an example of what your profile page would look like:
Signup Link: https://lawyers.attorneysdelivered.com/signup
Just so you know you aren’t wasting your time, you can see what LAW.COM and ALM.COM have to say about our system:
I am always interested in this offers, since in event that such a site had a legitimate value, I’d gladly be a buyer for many of my sites. But, not surprisingly, most of these offers are scams. And I do get asked by attorneys for help in figuring out who can be trusted.
And, debunking can be fun. So let’s do it!
Analysis of Email Offer
Let’s start by analyzing the pitch and the information contained in this email. The email clearly states that buying a listing on their site will benefit your law firm in generating rankings and traffic to your site. Fair enough, we’ll look into that later.
It also cites law.com as an authoritative recommendation for this service. And, it shows an example of a profile that you will get for your money. Two thoughts on these points:
- I don’t think an anonymous typepad.com blog post is a very good stand-in for an endorsement from law.com, even if it does appear to be owned by the same company.
- I’d recommend they have someone spell check the example listing of their featured law firm profile page. (I’m particularly suspicious of the word “Perferred”) [they did at least fix this --Ed.]
We’re not off to a great start here from a marketing perspective, but maybe this is just nitpicking their email pitch.
So let’s be fair and dig a little deeper into the actual value offer this directory could provide for your law firm.
Analysis of Offer on the Site
From the web site http://www.attorneysdelivered.com/member-benefits.html we learn that benefits of being listed include branding and search engine rankings. Let’s break them down.
Image of google search result copied from AttorneysDelivered site
According the offer, their page will rank well for your brand. The example is on a Google search for “Steven Kazan Law firm”, their page shows up on Google’s first page. See their example image to the right.
This is a seriously weak “benefit” for the following reasons:
- Anyone searching for “Steven Kazan Law firm” presumably wants to find the actual official firm web site. And they will, rightly so, right at the top of the search results. So who cares if there is another page related to the firm further down on the search page?
- This ranking is not a significant accomplishment, as the “competition” for this search phrase is extremely limited. They have a page about the firm, and all the keywords are in the title tag, so it’s basically a freebie.
- The term probably has no search value beyond the specific traffic to the firm’s official site. Are they such a big firm that they are a widely sought brand, and other firms might try to poach traffic from someone looking for their competition? Very unlikely.
So, that’s a bust. Let’s move on to the next benefit of this legal directory listing.
Here is something that could be of clear value: rankings for decent search terms, that could result in traffic to your site, and ultimately more business. The offer gives specific examples of rankings achieved by this site for a client firm for searches for “asbestos lawyer in alemeda ca” and “asbestos lawyer in oakland ca”.
We will stipulate for the moment that these phrases have some significant search traffic that will could translate into valuable clients for a firm. (Many SEO scammers claim results for search phrases that have little real world value). For a real client, I would want to research how many searches are done on these phrases or similar phrases, but we will assume that they are decent, and have some value.
Google Search Result: "asbestos lawyers in alemeda ca"
So how does the benefit offer match reality? My search for asbestos lawyer in alemeda ca resulted in no hits for this firm’s AttorneysDelivered.com profile page as suggested. However, it did find their “lawyer pitch” page. Interesting, and probably fluky because of the specific word order, and prominent placement of their lawyer solicitation page on their site. Actual lawyer profiles are deeper in the site navigation, and may not rank as well.
But even if this particular page stays in the rankings for this one specific phrase, it would not be a typical example of expected results for similar searches.
Google Search Result: "asbestos lawyers in oakland ca"
The next search is for asbestos lawyer in oakland ca. The results are more interesting, and more promising. The AttorneysDelivered page for Steven Kazan is the #3 listing, and the client’s actual site (KazanLaw.com) is the #1 ranked site. There is something going on here. But why is the firm site outranking the AttorneysDelivered page that is supposedly creating this valuable rankings benefit?
A quick analysis of kazanlaw.com shows that it is an old site (registered in 1999), has a bunch of old backlinks, including valuable, trusted links from dmoz.org & the Yahoo directory. AttorneysDelivered.com is less than 1 year old, with a much smaller number of links to it. So from this (very) superficial analysis, it makes sense that the kazanlaw.com site is more highly ranked.
And here’s the real kicker: if you look on the bottom of the home page of kazanlaw.com, you will notice a graphic and link to their AttorneyDelivered profile page. It would appear that the folks behind kazanlaw.com are either partners or benefactors of AttorneysDelivered.com.
This is clearly a case of the tail wagging the dog. A valuable home page link from a well ranked, authoritative law firm site is driving the rankings of their own marketed profile page! And they are trying to sell it as if it’s the reverse.
The Verdict on AttorneysDelivered.com
There is no question that AttorneysDelivered is making a deliberately deceptive pitch here. They are claiming benefits to their listings that does not exist.
It’s always possible that there may be traffic value for a law firm listing on this site, but given the evidence established here, I would not trust the people behind this at all. To be avoided.
UPDATE: Attorney Ben Glass believes attorneysdelivered.com might be violating ethics rules for lawyer advertising. Yet another reason to avoid this offer.
UPDATE2: A week later, I’m still getting this identical spam email, complete with broken embedded links which I didn’t even mention before. But they did at least fix the spelling error on the sample profile page.
Posted by dave
on Wednesday, July 23rd, 2008 at 9:43 pm and is filed under scams
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