Attorneys Need to Stop Posting Accident News on Blogs

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It’s a poor choice when lawyers resort to placing spam “news” on their web sites, usually of some local accident. Yes, we all know you need content to rank high in search, but there are better ways then to spam the internet with accident information.

What is Accident Spam News?

Good question, I think these types of posts qualify:

  • Three Injured in Washington DUI Auto Accident
  • Woman Fatally Injured in Seattle Area Pedestrian Accident
  • I-90 Drunk Driving Accident | Lawyer Bellevue
  • Fall City Motorcycle Accident Kills One | Attorneys, Seattle

They are taking someone’s misfortune and attempting to use that “news” to gain an edge on search rankings. I found these examples in a 30 second search for “Seattle accident lawyer” and they were the top two web sites. I am sure if I searched other cities, then the results would be the same.

Yes, I know this is a popular trend now, but it seems to be a bit troubling. Let’s discuss.

Educate your Readers – Don’t Spam

Blogs are informational resources. They can educate and be used for social commentary. If well written, blogs can inspire ideas. They can create a following and bring in business.

For the past year the trend on some lawyers “blogs” is to post pure crap about unrelated accidents. The goal is SEO rankings. The method to obtain those rankings is uninformative news content.

The post usually breaks down as such:

  1. News Event of some tragic or minor accident
  2. Some Statistic, Geographic Information or Practice Info paragraph
  3. Call to Action saying “Call us if you have been hurt in a similar fashion.”

What Others Think?

Kevin O’Keefe of LexBlog, has nicely summed up the posting of accidents on web sites here and here. Yes, these are old posts and I am chiming in late. However, the topic seems to be coming up more and more lately, especially in twitter, facebook and on more blogs.

I agree, these types of posts need to stop. Since Google seems to be rewarding this behavior, then perhaps public shame or actual Bar Association rules need to be called into action.

Testimonials and Awards are Helpful; These “News” Posts Are Not

I hate Bar rules on advertising, but perhaps we need a review of these types of posts. Right now the Florida Bar regulates testimonials and awards, but at least those are helpful. They let clients know the quality of the lawyer who they are dealing with. In this case, the accidents are completely unrelated to the law firm. Perhaps the Bar Associations should make rules about these news posts instead.

Real World Example: Would you Do this?

Imagine if a lawyer took out an advertisement that listed various unrelated accidents of your family and friends, and then at the end said “call us if you have been hurt similarly”. Imagine if a lawyer stood up at a lunch convention to speak about various unrelated accidents, then said call us if you are injured in these types of cases.

This is a bit over the top and attempting to profit from others misfortune. So why is it fine to post this on your web site, when no one would consider doing it in a speech, brochure or advertisement?

Moreover, does any other industry do something similar?”  Would doctors publish random surgeries of other patients on their blogs?”  Would architects publish random building collapses on their blogs?”  This seems unlikely to happen.

What Blogs Should Do

Blog articles should be more professional. They should be commentary on legal topics. The goal is to offer your potential readers a solid, well-thought out article and analysis.

Yes, this is harder. Yes, this requires thought. Yes, this requires time.

If you educate your readers though, they will want to come back for more. No one is going to want to come back to read on various “accident news”. Even if they did, would you want that type of morbid person as a client?

Final Thoughts

Let us know your thoughts?”  If you have come across some spam posts, feel free to drop them into the comments to shame these lawyers to stop this practice. I am sure we can find a lot.

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