Sunday, February 10, 2008

More unsolicited advice for Martindale

As part of our continuing coverage of Martindale-Hubbell in its digital form, here is a posting from Kevin O'Keefe of Real Lawyers Have Blogs:

Wow! Watching the election results this evening I caught a commercial for Martindale-Hubbell's Traditional lawyer talking with screen shots of the website.

No question such ads will draw traffic to the website. It will put a lot of wind in the sails of LexisNexis Martindale's salespeople calling on lawyers to retain their listings in Martindale-Hubbell, a requirement to be listed in, Martindale's consumer and small business law website....

Martindale is selling ads at in the form of directory listings and banner ads on directory pages. Martindale is now buying ads so they can get lawyers to buy ads....

Martindale may be better served by getting its directory of all lawyers indexed in Google, lawyer by lawyer, and do so with a search engine optimization wallop that only Martindale could bring. Lawyers would be lined up to pay Martindale for a listing then. But Martindale, as best as any one can tell, does not allow Google to index all the lawyer bio's and firm profiles that Martindale has....

Rather than compete with Google (we've seen a lot of losers) why not leverage your asset in conjunction with Google's strength? Wouldn't Martindale be better off using the latest technology to get their lawyers' profiles fully indexed at Google? Wouldn't that be a win/win for Martindale and its lawyer customers?
With forward-looking scholars announcing boycotts of locked-down academic journals and other walled gardens, that sounds like good advice to me. Closed systems and limited access as a business model is looking increasingly misguided.

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