Friday, August 13, 2010

Why Was My Article Denied?

One of the least costly and most effective ways our clients can gain additional exposure is by submitting articles to our network of legal sites. Not only does this drive additional traffic to your profile page, but utilizing the link back can also drive traffic to your own site, as well as that all-elusive SEO value.

While many attorneys use this feature on a regular basis, newer subscribers will often submit articles that they have posted elsewhere. Unfortunately, we don't publish content that's already been posted online. As a rule, content that is not unique will not be published on our network. Every time a new contribution comes through the system, one of our SEO team members will do a quick Google search to ensure the content is unique. If it's found that the article has already been posted and indexed by Google, it will be sent back for a rewrite.

This rule may sound a bit harsh, but it's put in place for the benefit of our clients. Almost 100% of the traffic coming into our network is through organic search. Content that has already been published will not be indexed by search engines a second time on another site. If it does get indexed, it almost always gets dumped into a secondary index, and will only be displayed when a searcher specifically asks to "view omitted results". This means if we "re-publish" content from another site, it just won't get any traffic. Additionally, if any site is found to simply be regurgitating existing content, it can potentially be flagged as search spam and penalized with lower rankings and little traffic.

Now, I have had attorneys tell me, "I don't care if it doesn't get traffic from Google, people will read it when they land on your site from another page and browse around". Not really. If you look at some of the statistics, and these are true for any "informational" type site, visitors tend to view just under 2 pages on average. What this tells you is that they come in and land on an article about something they were searching for, read it, and either 1) decide to contact a lawyer, or 2) move on. If they don't land directly on your page, they are not going to read it.

Another question I get is, "What if I post it to your network, then to my own blog?" Well, there's not a lot we can do about that. Once we deem an article unique and publish it, it stays there. After that, it can be posted in any number of places. Our sites are so well indexed, our version will be displayed in search results in a matter of hours, something that takes most smaller sites weeks to achieve. As a result, our sites "version" of the article will almost always be the one displayed in search results. In this case, it really doesn't matter where else it's published. As a matter of fact, many aggregation sites syndicate our content which really has no impact on our traffic, other than to drive even more links back to us.

This may all seem like a hassle, but the fact is, publishing content to the ExpertHub Network is far more effective than posting it anywhere else online. Having 60+ SEO-optimized sites targeting specific areas of law allows our clients the most effective means of distributing their content and getting more eyeballs at very little or no cost. Having our guidelines in place helps to maintain a level of quality and authority that benefits both our visitors and clients.

Please contact us with any questions you may have or for more information about contributing content to our network.