I’m getting tired of seeing spam in the comment area of my blog that comes from law firms and attorney search services. So if it comes in again I’m going to write a fresh post about them. I’ve done this a couple of times before but now I’m going to make a policy of it.
While I expect this nonsense from the drug hustlers (findrxonline seems to love spamming me) and the gold sites and others, I don’t see that I can really do much about them except keep the comments moderated and simply reject them.
But law bloggers can do something about the law field spammers. Because unlike the other sites, these folks generally have very little Google juice and should actually care about their reputations. So if a few blogs decide to out the spammers, this could have a pretty big effect on the firms. When their names are Googled by potential clients, the potential clients will see that they are spammers. And it will no doubt cause them to stop.
If it is the crappy search engine optimization companies that they hired that are doing it on their behalf, without their knowledge, then the attorneys will still suffer. Lawyers are responsible for the acts of their agents.
I came up with this little rule about lawyer advertising when it comes to solicitation, but it applies equally well here:
Perhaps, if enough bloggers do this then the lawyers that get busted for this kind of slimy stuff will fire the people responsible. And if enough SEO companies are fired by their clients for having done this in their name, then the tactic will be used less often. I’m not so naive as to think it will stop, but if it gets cut in half that would be a huge victory.
You’ve been warned.
Addendum: The spammers are not just hired by free-standing marketing companies devoted to search engine optimization, but have been hired in the past by attorney search services both large (Martindale-Hubbell) and small (LegalX).
These are some of the blogs that seem committed to outing the malfeasors, in hopes of cleaning up the lawyers’ part of the web so that our collective reputation doesn’t sink further:
- Ron Miller’s Maryland Injury Lawyer Blog (re: Denver Motorcycle Lawyer Comment)
- Mike’s Crime and Federalism (re: Bradley Johnson, Seattle Spam Lawyer)
- South Florida Lawyers (Let’s Meet Jason Diamond, Ticket Attorney!)
- Roy Mura’s Coverage Counsel (Outing Blog Content Spammers, Starting with All States Public Adjusters)
- Nicole Black’s Sui Generis (I’m tired of spam comments. Here are some offenders.)
- Austin Criminal Defense Lawyer Jamie Spencer (Sparta Townson, CEO of Internet Guru Girl)
- There’s spam, and then there’s lawyer spam (Eric @ The Unwashed Advocate)
- I’ll continue adding to this list as I become aware of other posts on the subject. Links to this post:
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Nice post…I admire the fact that you have become a watchdog and really are enforcing poor legal marketing tactics. I have learned a lot reading your blog. I have moved all firm internet marketing in house as a result. Thanks for your insight!
Question: How do you intend to protect against a “spammer” who is doing it to hurt a competitor…i.e. If you intend to call out all spammers….do you have some measures in place to make certain that you are calling out the right offender? I foresee a real problem/advantage that could be undertaken by some Asshat spammer cloaking as a certain law firm in an attempt to hit your radar…and destroy the reputation of a competitor
It seems to be that impersonation is fraud, and that someone would risk their license to practice law by doing that.
So if someone has been impersonated and contacts me, my guess is that Google would easily cough up the data needed to track down the fraudster.
Okay. Let me admit that I nearly hired a “SEO firm” to employ this tactic. I did a little research and saw that the post random comments on forums and blogs that are completely unrelated to the legal field. They said “link building” is important, but from the sample comments I have read, you can tell that the poster never read the post. I had an uneasy feeling about it, so I decided not to hire them. My reputation is worth more than a few clicks.
Thanks for keeping blogging “pure” in a sense.
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Eric your not exactly the brighttest Crayon in the box are you? What if other Law firms read this and decide this is a good way to get other law firms in trouble? Arnt you gonna invite other law firms to take on the services of spammers to get other law firms in trouble by spamming their links on your site?
No they wont. Google will laugh in your face or simply ignore you.
No they wont. Google will laugh in your face or simply ignore you.
I don’t think you meant to write Google, but service provider. Many people who thought they were anonymous have been tracked down with subpoenas. The IP address, for instance, is easy enough to get.
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