Backlinks and Lawyers


Dec 12, 2013
hey guys,

I was doing some backlink analysis for a lawfirm, using SEMRush to understand their backlinks, and the backlinks of their competitors. I looked at the nearby firms that ranked better than the firm I was working for.

I saw a few differences, mostly that the other firms had some links that, I can't imagine Google would really want to count - there are hundreds of these lawyer directories out there, and inevitably my competition is in them, and my client is not. Sure, Avvo, findlaw, and some of the others are important, but, there is the larger second tier that shows up in these analysis (always). . .and maybe I'm being too dismissive of these, but, is google counting these? Are these important?

I'm talking about directories like:

It seems like, there is a correlation with the higher ranking sites and these directories, yet, Google has said that these probably don't count much. Is it just a coincidence that these show up - that the higher ranking sites are doing other things in addition to this which causes them to rank higher?

It seems like, for local business clients, I dive into the competitor links of the better ranked guys, and all I see is this stuff.


Aug 10, 2015
Hello there!

I wouldn't dismiss those sites you're seeing in the backlinks of the competitors. Here's why.

By doing a fair amount of serp testing (yes, just like a science experiment) and one of the questions that always comes up is how does the power flow in a link. Which has led to many tests where we have seen that when it comes to tiebreakers, all things being equal - that a relevant link beats a un-related backlink - in your case a link from a site that is related to law to your client's law site - even if the source of the backlink is not a site powerhouse - that link is going to help the target site rank better.

From what many of us have seen, it would not be a coincidence that the competitors that are beating your client have more relevant backlinks.

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