Of Counsel Attorney Question


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We have an interesting situation that we could use your expert opinions on. There is a law firm (firm A) that is going to “of counsel” another lawyer (firm B) who is in their suite and doing marketing with another site w/social, etc. using their exact same address and suite number. They have a different phone and firm name. <o:p></o:p>
Firm A is planning on putting Firm B on their website but we thought google might get them confused. Right now, they are both showing up on google maps with the correct respective listings but we thought once we start marketing firm A and put firm B on the site that it was start to tangle the listings. <o:p></o:p>
So two questions:<o:p></o:p>
1. Can we effectively market the firm A with the same address? Or do we need to suggest that the of counsel lawyer move to maybe another suite number? Or any other options?<o:p></o:p>
2. Can we put the firm B of counsel attorney on the firm A site as an image and don't have the name anywhere in html? Is that ok to do?<o:p></o:p>
Thanks<o:p></o:p>
 
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Linda Buquet

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We have an interesting situation that we could use your expert opinions on. There is a law firm (firm A) that is going to ?of counsel? another lawyer (firm B) who is in their suite and doing marketing with another site w/social, etc.


Hi Erin, I'm not exactly sure what that means when one atty does "of counsel" for another.

One thing I stress in training is 'learn to thing like Google'.

There are 2 problems Google often encounters with attys.

1) A single atty. He makes up different names for different practice areas, different phone #s, different sites and 3 Place pages. It's really just a single practice. But he is gaming the system to try to rank for additional practice areas. This is a violation and can get you suspended.

2) An attorney really only practices out of his main location. To try to rank in surrounding towns he sets up arrangement to make it look like he shares an office with atty 2 in city 2 and atty 3 in city 3. He's in same suite, but has different phone # than them. #2 and 3 are bogus locations, not allowed and can get him suspended.

So when the algo or even a manual reviewer sees your 2nd attorney at the same location with different number and especially if listed on the same web site, how would they know the situation is not #1 or #2.

So I'm not saying you can't do what you are trying to do. If that's the real world situation and it's totally legit - well Google says they WANT businesses to represent themselves as they are in the real world.

Just letting you know that in addition to the danger of merging listings, there is the danger of one being deleted or both being suspended.

Having said all that, there are a lot of attys they do legitimately share offices. It's just that Google has no way to know the true intent and if someone is gaming or legit about the location.

Per your questions.

1) Another suite would help. HOWEVER I would not just make up a suite if there is not really one there.

2) Yes I would put the 2nd in image, no spiderable content on the same page as the main practice. HOWEVER that will make it hard for him to rank. So may need a separate page for his NAP and details. (But talking off top of head. Can't really recommend for sure without doing deeper dive.)
 

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