SEO Snake Oil: .Law, .Lawyer, & .Attorney

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Free: 10 Things the Best Law-Firm Website Designs Have in Common

For seven years, Lawyerist has published an annual list of the best law firm websites. Now, you can find out what they have in common.

Here is what Google’s John Mueller wrote about the .law, .lawyer, and .attorney top-level domains (TLDs) on the official Google Webmaster Central Blog:

Keywords in a TLD do not give any advantage or disadvantage in search.

… understand there’s no magical SEO bonus …

In other words, changing your website’s domain from glover.com to glover.lawyer has zero SEO value.

Despite that, lots of websites have reported that there is a benefit and implied that it’s a major benefit. According to Conrad Saam’s investigation, they are all based on one lawyer’s highly misleading results when he switched from ericblocklaw.com to jacksonville.attorney.

Why misleading? Well, in addition to switching to jacksonville.attorney, the website also got a major redesign (you can still view a copy of the awful original), a thorough SEO optimization overhaul, and an astonishing 200 incoming links. Any website would prosper after such a massive effort. Even terrible.lawyer would shoot to the top.1

The bottom line: if your goal is better search ranking, spend a lot of money on high quality web design, SEO optimization, and linkbuilding. You will almost certainly improve your search ranking (and you might even get some clients as a result). But switching to .law, .lawyer, or .attorney won’t do a thing on its own.


  1. To my surprise, nobody has claimed terrible.lawyer, yet. Yet. 

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  • Excellent points. The redesign and on-page optimizations certainly helped, but it was the 200 backlinks that did the trick.

    That said, there may well be more value in a URL that contains “jacksonville attorney” than “eric block law,” but nowhere near enough to cause the effects described.

    Thanks for pointing out the not-so-obvious to non-marketers!

  • It’s worth considering grabbing the domains to prevent squatting (along with .biz, .net, etc.)