Webspam, in case you’ve never heard of it, is the junk you see in search results when websites successfully cheat their way into higher positions in search results or otherwise violate search engine quality guidelines. If you’ve never seen webspam, here’s a good example of what you might see if you click on a link in the search results that’s spam (click on the image to see it larger).
The article also provides a more specific example of the issue. Unfortunately, while the webspam example provided is a clearly egregious case, there are far more situations that fall somewhere in the gray area of webspam and shallow, valueless content.
In the legal Internet marketing space, webspam content and other forms of shallow valueless content abound. And while these strategies may have some short term benefits for the firms that participate in such strategies, the long term risks to both search visibility and professional reputation are seldom worth it.
It has been stated that 2011 will be the year that law firm websites become publishing platforms. There is no question that effective law firm web strategy requires content publication and publicity. Unfortunately, many firms have resorted to publishing low-quality content for the sake of obtaining more traffic.
It will be interesting to the true impact of Google algorithm updates in 2011 on this type of strategy. Like it or not, these strategies continue to be very effective for a large number of legal professionals. How long this will remain the case is yet to be seen.