Why there’s no reason to buy one of those new .lawyer or other legal domain names

May 12th, 2015 | Law Firm Marketing, Legal Marketing in Brief

Coming to your inbox soon will be tempting offers to buy newly available domain names for your website including .lawyer and .law.

Save your shekels.

These “top level domain names”, or TLDs, will be expensive. We’ve asked various search experts about them in recent months and the consensus remains that for all but the largest and best-known firms, firms which have names that in themselves are brands, think Skadden, these aren’t worth the money. You’d only buy them to protect a firm name that is truly a valuable-and-in-need-of-defense piece of IP.  Plus, the expert consensus is that a dot-com is considered more credible than any other TLD.

Finally Google’s guru, Matt Cutts, the industry bomb regarding search, wrote in 2012 that TLDs in themselves won’t affect SEO results.  Cutts post:

March 14, 2012: “I read a post by someone offering new top-level domain (TLDs). They made this claim: ‘Will a new TLD web address automatically be favored by Google over a .com equivalent? Quite simply, yes it will.’

“Sorry, but that’s just not true, and as an engineer in the search quality team at Google, I feel the need to debunk this misconception. Google has a lot of experience in returning relevant web pages, regardless of the top-level domain (TLD). Google will attempt to rank new TLDs appropriately, but I don’t expect a new TLD to get any kind of initial preference over .com, and I wouldn’t bet on that happening in the long-term either. If you want to register an entirely new TLD for other reasons, that’s your choice, but you shouldn’t register a TLD in the mistaken belief that you’ll get some sort of boost in search engine rankings.”

There are no short cuts in website marketing explains Dan Goldstein, head of Page1Solutions, one of the country’s top website designs and marketing firms focused on attorneys, plastic surgeons, cosmetic dentists and ophthalmologists.

“A top level domain name can help a user understand what a web page is about, but Google indexes and ranks pages based on their content,” Goldstein said. “If you want great results on the search engines, you need to put in the time, effort and thought to provide your target audience with unique content that answers their questions and addresses their needs.”

That’s what we tell all of our corporate, transactional and defense law firm clients, and the referral-based personal injury practices for which we write marketing plans– relevant, recent content remains is the key to visibility on the web.  You can’t fool the search engines— at least not for long. Their business model depends on providing the best results possible to search inquiries.  And, that is never going to change.

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