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Search engine optimization using WordPress and the Thesis theme

Much has been written about the best blogging/content management systems for search engine optimization (SEO). For over a year I have been using WordPress and the Thesis theme for various websites, and I’ve found it to be very easy to use for SEO. And you don’t have to sacrifice in terms of style. The Wall Street Journal Law Blog and WSJ Magazine, plus a lot of other top-flight sites, use WordPress. The fact that my sites aren’t any prettier is a reflection of my desire to control my own work, and my lack of skill as a designer. But even for a design-challenged lawyer, I can publish a decent-looking website in a matter of hours. And the Thesis theme is designed from the start for SEO. [Read more…]

Google and the Gulf oil spill at BP’s Deepwater Horizon oil rig

I’ve recently been blogging (with some help) about the Gulf oil spill at BP’s Deepwater Horizon oil rig. When I started the blog, I was struck by the fact that there were no pay-per-click lawyer ads when I used Google News to search for articles. But that changed in a hurry. Within a couple of days the lawyer ads began emerging in an ever escalating war to sign up claimants. When mass tort ad campaigns such as this start, I’m usually either involved in it professionally or I follow the campaigns because I find them interesting and, sometimes, educational. As of the time that I’m writing this post, there are seven law firm ads displayed on Google News when you run a “BP oil spill” or “Gulf oil spill” search. Seven law firms and one almost unnoticeable ad by BP.

Perhaps it’s the technology geek in me, or my interest in Internt marketing, but I enjoyed comparing the ads. The lawyer ads all utilized the top line of the ad well, with large blue letters proclaiming something such as “Gulf Oil Spill Lawsuit” or “BP Oil Spill Lawsuit.” BP’s ad, by comparison, simply said “Spill” on the top line. It’s as if they are ashamed to be associated with it, and don’t want to admit which particular “spill” it is they are talking about. But if BP is too embarrassed to shout out its message in a way that competes with the lawyer ads, why even buy an ad on Google? And if BP, a company which had profits of $6.1 billion in the first quarter of 2010, wants to run an ad on Google, why doesn’t it bid high enough to rank higher than sixth out of eight ads?

Somehow the fact that BP is inept in handling its PR makes me even less confident of its ability and intention to clean up the mess it’s making in the Gulf. I’ve written more at BPOilNews.com about BP’s poor PR, including its waffling and refusal to commit to pay for damages caused by the Gulf oil spill. You can also follow my posts about the Gulf oil spill at Facebook and on Twitter @bpoilnews.

Online video: Big advantage for attorneys who market on the Internet

I’ve written before that attorneys who market over the Internet can gain a huge advantage from the use of well-optimized video.  As I mentioned in a post on the “Easiest way to a First Page Rank on Google“, Forrester Research has performed tests that show a video is 50 times more likely to be found on the first page of Google than a text page.

This has been consistently borne out in my own use of video in online legal marketing.  I’m involved in a project with other lawyers to represent victims of Yamaha Rhino rollovers.  We’ve posted two videos in connection with the project.  According to recent Wordtracker reports, the search term “Yamaha Rhino recall” is by far the most frequently searched term associated with Yamaha Rhinos.  I ran a Google search for “Yamaha Rhino recall” on October 7, 2009, and our two videos appeared in the top five results on Google’s first page.

Here’s a screenshot:

First page of a 10-7-09 Google search for "Yamaha Rhino recall"

First page of a 10-7-09 Google search for "Yamaha Rhino recall"

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Google unveils AdSense for mobile on Wednesday

Mediapost reports that Google will launch AdSense for mobile on Wednesday.  Mobile content developers will be able to insert a small snippet of code into their pages; this will tell Google where to display an ad.  The ad targeting is contextual, similar to targeting that exists for AdSense partners.

A Google spokesperson said Google is also experimenting on ways to allow advertisers to bid for ad placement on specific applications.  Anybody want to buy an ad when an iPhone user Googles the location of the local jail?

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