And I like Google. Why? Two reasons. First, Google is an easy to use search system that makes it easy for me to find all kinds of great information on the Internet. Second, Google is an easy to use system that makes it easy for other people searching the internet to find information on my weblog.
I get about 1,000 hits per day. The vast majority of these hits are people who find my site as a result of a search that they enter into a search engine like Google. For example, I’ve been getting a lot of hits lately to this old post from people who google the phrase ‘administrative assistant day’. Not surprising that people are searching with this phrase since Administrative Assistant’s Day is coming up (and I think it’s funny that people are finding that post, which links to Matt Homann’s post about how he let his secretary fire one of his clients on that special day).
My book review of ‘Crimes Against Logic’ is the #2 search result returned when people google that phrase. Number one is the Amazon link to that book. Hey Amazon’s not stupid. That’s why they are more than happy to let Google crawl their site; unlike Martindale Hubbell, which doesn’t allow Google to index their site (try finding an attorney by entering their name and then the phrase ‘martindale hubbell’. You won’t get a result from Martindale).
Someone recently googled the phrase ‘new orleans dinner reservations’ and found my post about a service called OpenTable, which allows you to book reservations online.
I’ve gotten a fair number of people who googled the phrase ‘how to become a lawyer’ and wind up at this post called ‘Should you become a lawyer’ that I did back in February. If you read that post you’ll notice that I basically linked to a book by Deborah Scheider and Gary Belsky. I hope that I’ve helped them sell more of their books by virtue of my ‘google juice.’
People are getting smarter about looking for information. Sometimes they know that the information that they want is likely to be on blogs. For example, one internet surfer dude recently found my site by googling the phrase ‘lasik blogs’. Was he looking for information by bloggers who had recently had Lasik surgery? If so, by landing on this old post of mine he found the right place.
Even lawyers are using the web to find relevant information. Sometimes they use Google and sometimes they use other search engines. Someone found my blog today through Yahoo by using the phrase ‘voir dire outline’, presumably to find information about how to pick a jury. They were directed to this old post from August of last year where I linked to my friend Bill Dyer’s blog post.
If you want to find out how to prepare for a deposition google the phrase ‘deposition tips’ and you’ll find two posts of mine about this topic. The posts are essentially the same (one was from my old weblog, and the other is a ‘republication’ of that old post). More importantly, these are the top two search results for that phrase.
Wow! That’s kind of mind-boggling isn’t it?
So what’s the moral of the story? By ourselves we’re kind of lost, but together we know a lot. And search engines like Yahoo and Google and other search engines are good at helping us depend on the kindness of strangers. Oh, and one other lesson: people that run sites like Martindale, which don’t let Google index them, are complete idiots.
P.S. If you want a practice optimized for remote work & virtual collaboration, get this 24-page guide.