Increase Your Google Ranking with More Inbound Links

The number of "inbound links" is a very important factor for Google and other search engine to decide how high your law firm website should rank, according to the Law Firm And Attorney SEO and Internet Marketing blog.

What we're talking about is links FROM other websites TO your law firm website.  The more the better, as far as search engines are concerned.  This is also referred to as "link popularity."

Here are a few great techniques to use:

1. Blog Commenting

Blog comments can be good for building "link juice" and traffic, but it also helps you expand your social network. If you’re a motorcycle attorney in New England and you come across a blog post or article that you think is relevant or interesting by a motorcycle attorney in California somewhere, comment on it! Not only will you be getting a link back to your site, but you’ll also be expanding your online social network.

Tip: Exercise good taste when using this link building method. Don’t put your practice area as your name and don’t shamelessly self-promote. READ THE BLOG POST and then comment, and add something that is relevant to the discussion and topic. Nobody likes a spammer. Use some of the resources I mentioned in my Ways to Market your Attorney Blog post like Google Blogsearch and Google Alerts to find posts relevant to your practice area(s).

2. Forum and Answer Services Participation

You, as an attorney, offer valuable information that can be relevant to everyone. And this information is trusted. You didn’t spend all of those years in law school and making a name for yourself over the years for nothing, people know that the knowledge you possess is trusted and accurate. So share it!

You might be saying to yourself, why offer advice and information for free? I’m here to get leads and clients, not trade industry secrets.

The Web 2.0 mentality is all about transparency. People (and search engine spiders) notice you taking time out of your busy day to contribute to legal forums and other informative websites. Including a link back to your site in the signature of these sites can’t hurt either. Registering and using answer sites like Yahoo! Answers, Fluther, and others can't hurt.

TIP: Again, be tasteful. Don’t use wording like “for a free consultation, visit”. And again, the forum and answer service links don’t carry a LOT of "link juice," so don’t focus too much time on these thinking it will help you reach #1 next week. The main goal of this is that search engines see you contributing to relevant conversation. Also, deep-linking (linking back to a blog post or library page) is much better than linking back to your home page when using this method.

3. Article Submission

Creating articles and submitting them to article publication sites is a common link building technique. However, two things to keep in mind:

1) Duplicate Content

You can either (a) write an article specifically to submit to these sites, and don’t publish the article on your blog or website or (b) revise the way the article is worded if you decide to include it.

2) Trusted Article Sites

Google has made it known that there are articles sites out there that are not trusted. Stick to sites like JDSupraEzineArticles, GoArticles, and iSnare.

TIP: If you have a website as well as a blog, you can link back to each through this method. And if you don’t…

4. Get a BLOG!

Many debate whether it is better to have a blog on your website or published separately (off-site). Off-site is better for link building and networking purposes.

Bloggers don’t mind linking to other blogs; in fact, they are way more likely to link to another blog than they are to your website. You can also use an off-site blog to drop links to your site pages from time to time. Take the time to build the authority of the off-site blog by

  1. Linking to useful pages and resources
  2. Submitting your blog to the resources I mentioned in Ways to Market your Attorney Blog
  3. You can even install a footer on your off-site blog that links every page to your web site. This is good, because most blogs are multiple pages, resulting in more links to your website. But, content is key, and building the blog’s authority not only improves the link juice coming to your site, but it also gives you another site that has a chance to rank well.
  4. Promoting your blog as actively as you promote your website, and take the time to come up with useful and informative content.
  5. Get a domain name that is relevant to your practice area. Google seems to be putting more and more emphasis on ranking sites with good domain names higher, so see what is available other than your or your law firm’s name.

5. Niche Directory Sites

Relevant niche (law-related) directory sites are still good to list in, if they are trusted and have a decent authority built. Look for directory sites that include content and a few articles, and not one that just links in and out.

TIP: Set up a “links page” for niche directory sites that require reciprocal linking.

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Comments (7) Read through and enter the discussion with the form at the end
gyi tsakalakis - February 25, 2009 1:25 PM

6. Set up reciprocal link relationships with sites blogs/directories/sites that rank highly for the keywords you are targeting.

Always make sure your anchor text is relevant!

Steve Matthews - February 25, 2009 5:07 PM

Sorry Larry, I just can't believe you wrote this. There are so many things in this post that are just plain wrong.

1) Blog comments - look at the source code. Links from blog comments have been no-followed (Google doesn't index or give link juice to...) for almost 3 years.

2) Forum spam for link dropping purposes is just spam. No better way than to muck up a professional's image than to get labelled a spammer.

3) Submit the same article to each service? Can you say 'Google duplicate content penalty'? Unless you're going to write original content, don't bother. Lawyers would be better off writing content for their local online industry newsletter.

4) Blogs for SEO purposes are again, spam. No one hires a professional that spams.

5a) your tip. Check out a few website sub-directories named '/links/' and see how many of them have a greybar for Google pagerank. Google blocks the PageRank visibility on these for a reason.

And believe me, I'm pulling punches here. Some of this is just really bad advice.

Larry Bodine - February 27, 2009 4:16 PM

Thanks for your thoughtful and detailed comments. Obviously you know more about this topic than the Law Firm And Attorney SEO and Internet Marketing blog -- -- which you'll note, I credit as the source of the information.
~Larry Bodine

Brent - January 15, 2010 11:34 AM

Great article. Link farms or irrelevant inbound links don't do anything (worse they can potentially penalize your site). Inbound linking is not the cure all but it will free up your site for better natural search results if you where lacking that piece of the puzzle. We have seen that first hand with many clients escalating from page 3-5 on relevant keyword Google searches to Page 1. Although if you are doing ON SITE things incorrectly, it will hardly correct those issues. I recommend using to see if you need to correct onsite issues and yahoo site explorer (filtering by inbound links excluding your own domain) to see if you are in desperate need of more links. If you display 100 or less. You need some cred. -Brent - August 24, 2010 12:03 PM

True, these techniques to increase inbound links affects SERPs as well. Blog commenting for one is my top choice, it generates some kind of relationship between bloggers as they share ideas and tips. I really agree also that one should take time reading posts to pay respect to the author of the post rather than spamming. Above all, this techniques you just shown are helpful in a way so that Google would know you're human, and not be mistaken as bots or automated programs mostly used for spamming (Google hates that!).

Juicing Recipes - March 10, 2011 10:48 AM

Blog comments are a great way to get the number of "inbound links" up and get you a rank boost. A great way to find blogs to comment on is by using Google footprints.

LSAT Course Instructor - April 27, 2011 7:08 AM

I still do work for my old law firm. They have a blog and a Facebook page, but it is incredibly difficult to get them to understand both the importance of expanding their visibility online and the ease of doing it. I actually started doing some article marketing online for myself to demonstrate to them how easy and potentially lucrative it can be. I should get back to that and follow through so that they can see how this all works. Employing a sustained, consistent campaign of article marketing, blog commenting, and Facebook/Twitter activity can have such a positive effect for a law firm, particularly given that many law firms do not do anything like that.

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