Legal publishers and research firms such as Chambers and Partners and ALM, venerable legal publishers with decades of experience, have launched many attorney or law firm awards and rankings in recent years.
However, for every respectable ranking or award, there are several more that are nothing more than pay-to-play schemes. This Google spreadsheet by FirmWise, keeps a running list of them. These offers are usually sent to the attorney’s inbox so that they can review and respond.
Real Awards Don’t Cost Money!
In these messages they usually include a note congratulating the lawyer or firm for being chosen to receive the particular honor or winning the award. Usually, there’s little to no information about the people affiliated with these offers or the selection criteria for the award. When scratching the surface, you will find that it costs hundreds of dollars or more to claim the “prize.”
Be weary of attorney link scams.
There is a growing trend of scammers using the names of well-known organizations and people in order to gain credibility. Some titles of their awards appear to be strikingly similar to prestigious legal publications. Others use the names of reputable attorneys practicing in a particular area of law.
It’s not uncommon for these award websites to use the name of a lawyer to prove their validity. I have even seen where they have used the attorneys or firms name on their website without authorization from the lawyer. Nor would the award or ranking website admin respond to a request to remove the attorney profile which was also linked to the attorney’s website.
Do not short-change your SEO efforts by signing up for one of the many spammy attorney ranking and award schemes. Due to the fact that these are paid for ranking schemes I fear in the future that Google and other search engines may devalue the authority of the links provided by the award or ranking site, which could affect the ranking authority of your website. And remember once you sign up for one of these awards, your inbox will be flooded with similar offers.