By Kevin O'Keefe

Law firms may be learning SEO for new MSN search

The Search Engine Journal reports we may soon be seeing the long anticipated revised MSN search engine:

CBS MarketWatch reports that Microsoft will unveil a new look to its MSN Search service next month. The new MSN Search has been highly anticipated to challenge Google and Yahoo dominance..

In Sydney, Australia, Gates told reporters, “The format of the site will change and so will the quality of what you get.” Calling the state of Web search sometimes “terrible,” the world’s richest man said Microsoft has been doing linguistic research for more than a decade that “actually lets us parse and understand documents,” ZDNet Australia reported.

MarketWatch also reports that Gates said search technology must be upgraded so that searches incorporate understanding and context. Later this year, he added, the company will launch “what’s entirely our own back-end driving the search.”

No doubt MSN’s changed search engine is going to have an effect on the way lawyers and law firms market on the Internet. Not only consumers, but also businesses and their in house counsel, are doing research on law firms and their lawyers by going to to search engines. Some attorneys have ‘learned’ to achieve fairly good search results in Google. That’s fine as Google dominates search right now. But if MSN makes some inroads, lawyers will need to learn how to achieve high results over there. I’m sure that’s got a lot of law firm marketing directors, trying to keep up with this crazy thing we call search engine optimization already, real excited.

Here’s my take for now. One, Gates does a better job marketing than delivering. (Hell, I have now criticized the most influential guy in my town – but we have never been invited over for dinner or cocktails before) So expect MSN to have a new look first and then big changes later. Microsoft moves fast but it was only earlier this year they were recruiting heavily for people to join their MSN search team.

Two, relevant (helpful & non-promotional) content will still be king on an updated MSN and the more often the content is added the more often a site will be visited by the search engines caching Web sites. So law and lawyer blogs serving up fresh and helpful content are likely to do very well on an updated MSN.

Kevin O'Keefe
About the Author

Trial lawyer turned legal tech entrepreneur, I am the founder and CEO of LexBlog, a legal blog community of over 30,000 blog publishers, worldwide. LexBlog’s publishing platform is used on a subscription basis by over 18,000 legal professionals, including the largest law firm in each India, China and the United States.

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