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» Marketing, Professionalism » Avvo Is A Disaster

Avvo Is A Disaster

I’ve been getting quite a bit of traffic coming to my site from Avvo. It isn’t because I’ve finally claimed my profile there, which I haven’t, or because I paid for some advertising there, which I didn’t. To tell you the truth, the visitors that come here from Avvo probably aren’t looking for me at all.

Avvo, which purports to provide “Expert Advice When You Need It Most,” is directing traffic to my site through the profiles of three lawyers whom I’ve never met. Avvo, a company that people apparently use to make the extremely important decision of finding a lawyer and that touts its supposedly unbiased ratings system as being based on a mathematical model and capable of enabling prospective clients to assess a lawyer’s qualifications, can’t seem to figure out that my website isn’t some other lawyers’ website too. It’s actually worse than just that.

Avvo thinks my website belongs to three people whose only connection to me is commenting on this blog. One guy just wrote a post about one of my posts, which resulted in a trackback. When I put up another post discussing his post, he commented on that one. Now, Avvo thinks my website is his website. Personally, I find it somewhat tragic and almost ironic that a marketing behemoth like Avvo would link to my sleepy little blog after getting the website wrong for a lawyer who runs his own attorney marketing center. The other two erroneously-linked profiles are even more bizarre.

One guy, who seems quite fond of marketing guru, cloud lawyer extraordinaire, and public legal advice expert Rachel Rodgers (here too), is only linked to this site because he took the time to stop by and let me know in a comment that my blog and what I wrote were nothing more a joke. He accused me of speaking before reading the rules and examining the evidence. He concluded as follows:

Boom. Lawyered.

I must admit it’s one of my all-time favorite comments; I had no clue that “boom” was the sound that happens when someone gets lawyered, and I’ve been waiting for a good opportunity to use that little gem of a phrase in a pleading ever since. Regardless, you can imagine my surprise when I found out that my blog is actually his website. According to Avvo, at least.

The other guy may dislike me even more, if that’s possible. After one post, he accused me of “[o]bviously not” reading certain police reports, “[going] off half-cocked,” and lacking logic. After another, he accused me of not knowing of what I spoke, making “[b]latantly false statements” that harm me and the bar in general and misinform the general public, and not taking some sort of schooling he thinks I received to heart. For that, he earned the honor of having Avvo direct traffic from his profile to my website. He’s currently suspended from the practice of law for a variety of reasons, but I doubt Avvo’s making him terribly happy by directing prospective clients over here.

As funny as Avvo’s incompetence might be, hiring a lawyer is an incredibly serious decision. Some of the people who end up on Avvo may be desperately looking for help in life or death matters. For most criminal defendants, regardless of the stakes, choosing the right lawyer is one of the most important decisions they will ever make.

Before all of this, I thought it was ridiculous to try to convince people that skilled professionals can give adequate answers to important and often complex legal questions through an online Q&A forum. I thought it was even crazier to try to convince people they can find the right lawyer based on some silly math-based rating system. Now that I’m seeing a little farther down the rabbit hole that is Avvo, the situation appears even more dire. How can someone seriously seek legal answers and consider lawyer ratings from a website that can’t even figure out the right websites for the people about whom it is supposed to be providing “expert” advice?

If Avvo is the future, then we’re all doomed.

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15 Responses to "Avvo Is A Disaster"

  1. […] Avvo was content to link other people’s profiles to me and ask me to claim other people’s profiles, but now it seems they’ve stepped up their […]

  2. […] Attorney General Tom Horne does not work for Brown & Little, P.L.C. When I complained about you guys linking other lawyers’ profiles to our site, you said you fixed it. I thought […]

  3. Josh King says:

    Matt, Avvo uses a mix of automated and manual methods to add websites to attorney profiles (as we did with yours). While these systems work quite well, they are not perfect. On occasion unclaimed attorney profiles end up with website links that go to the profiles of other attorneys in their firm, broken pages or, rarely, other sites entirely. We correct these problems whenever we discover them or they are brought to our attention.

    So thank you for flagging this issue. We’ve removed the offending links.

    1. shg says:

      I don’t recall Matt saying the links were offending. Why is it always “blame the links?” And Josh, if you’re going to screw up and have links from one attorney go to another, can you at least link Matt’s website to some really good lawyers rather than losers? Would that be too much to ask?

  4. Andrew (the other one) says:

    The best part is that Joan Bundy has endorsed you on Avvo.

    1. Matt Brown says:

      I appreciate the thought, just not the medium.

  5. Losers.

    I am a 10 on Avvo.

    And the first time someone calls to hire me after viewing my Avvo profile, I’m going to ask them if they know that I’m a 10, as compared to my loser friends, who are not a 10.

    Love, Mr. Perfect on Avvo.

    1. Matt Brown says:

      I’m of a mind to quit approving comments from you and “perfect 10” Greenfield, but it’s probably just Avvo envy.

      1. shg says:

        Tannebaum’s not a real “10.” He’s just a 3 standing on a pile of money.

  6. Avvo is a bit goofy, but my sense about it is a bit milder than “disaster”. Every search engine/clearinghouse has its faults, though Avvo’s are some pretty strange ones.

    I know that there are in my state some really great, preeminent attorneys whom I “outrank” on Avvo but not even remotely in real life. But MarHub is gamed out as well.

  7. Oh no. Avvo is fantastic. Consider what happened to me this fall.

    In September, I measured a 6.7 according to Avvo. I wrote about feelings of Avvo inadequacy on my blog. Next thing you know, a young lady from their esteemed service posted a comment and offered to help me with things.

    Now, I’m a 7.2. That’s .5 growth in just a few months. My wife is thrilled, and I feel much more confident.

    1. Matt Brown says:

      I think you’re the most hilarious person I know.

      1. shg says:

        I think he’s in the top five. If he grows another .5, he’s got the potential to make the top 2. And his wife will be really thrilled.

        1. Matt Brown says:

          He should really talk it over with her beforehand. I hear some ladies get a little nervous when a guy’s in the upper 7s or higher.

          1. Andrew (the other one) says:

            It’s amazing how much extra information was conveyed with the addition of the phrase “I hear”…

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