Foreward by Attorney Michael Ehline – It is not often that I get world famous authors on the show, but when I do, I hope that are as educated and personable as David Amerland. Dave will be leading a discussion on lawyers and the semantic web in this weeks video hangout here. So if you are in the Googlehood and a member of the Circle of Legal Trust, this will be a real treat. Anyways, here is what Dave has to say:
By David Amerland – Attorneys, like any other business, rely on search to be discovered. There however the similarities end. Attorneys have particular requirements when it comes to finding leads and customers and there are also restrictions on the way they can represent themselves. Authority, Trust and Reputation, once qualities that in the offline world were represented by suits, offices and testimonials, have now become computational attributes in a semantic web presided over by Google’s semantic search.
Semantic search is a game changer. It takes away the guesswork involved from the searcher looking for an attorney and the attorney looking to market himself and works its programming magic to understand the intent of the former’s search query and the quality of the latter with the specific intention of bringing the two together in a perfect match. It may sound easy but as we shall see it’s not.
The critical elements of the semantic web are authority and reputation. Google’s semantic search relies on the building of an index where attorneys and what they do are understood as people and specializations within the law. They are associated with a physical presence and specific expertise. And much the same way a person would judge an attorney by their reputation through his own network of contacts, semantic search weighs them through their presence across the web: publications, citations, articles, news references and interaction and comments in social media networks.
This is a new way of working. It shifts the onus of reputation building from the individual who, at any rate, is going to go about in in an entirely self-serving way to the population of the web at large through what, for lack of a better term, I will call pro bono work. The creation of content that answers questions, sheds light on legal issues and helps create contacts in social networks that can turn into evangelists mirrors, in some regard, the pro bono work that attorneys have frequently undertaken as part of the offline building of their reputation and to better express who they are and what they stand for.
So it’s not really that revolutionary as a concept. It has taken us the better part of the last two decades to go from a world that viewed “online” as cart blanche to do almost anything to a semantic web where activities and identities are entirely visible and where who you are and what you do have now become as important and nuanced as they have always been offline.
The term pro bono, of course is old English (Pro bono public) meaning for the public good. Semantic is an ancient Greek word that relates to the meaning of language or logic. Lawyers, traditionally, have used both language and logic in their practice of the law. These are the exact same instruments they now need to wield in their drive for greater visibility in a semantic web.
Key to this are:
- A strong, clearly defined presence on Google+
- Website content that is extensive and detailed and of high value to the prospective lead.
- Extensive connections and activity in social networks.
- A high citation or co-citation incidence in legal journals and legal cases.
- Total clarity in their connections across the web.
- It takes a little bit of work. But the end results will be totally worth it.
David Amerland Bio
David Amerland is a British journalist and the author of a number of best-selling books on search marketing and social media. He is the author of seven best-selling books including Google Semantic Search. He has been a content provider for the 2012 Frost World Marketing seminar, has delivered keynote speeches to executives as part of the Top Executive Development Program and holds annual training seminars on SEO and Social Media, around the world.
He works with Rutgers University on their regional mini-MBA program and has presented to blue-chip executives on the value of search and social media crisis management techniques in Prague, Shanghai, Singapore, London and Zug. He writes for Forbes, Imassera and HP UK on social business issues, the use of data analysis in marketing and the impact of changes in search for the enterprise.
His blog: http://davidamerland.com attracts over 10,000 unique visitors a month. His writings on SEO, social media and journalism appear on many websites and magazines around the world. He is a leading authority on semantic search and its impact on marketing in the 21st century.
How Creative Choices Affect the Author (Amerland) http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1697177.David_Amerland
Google Semantic Search: Search Engine Optimization (Seo) Techniques That Get Your Company More Traffic, Increase Brand Impact, and Amplify Your Online Presence (Amerland) http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17297718-google-semantic-search
How Google’s Semantic Web Will Change SEO (Erin Everhart) http://mashable.com/2012/03/22/google-semantic-search-seo/