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Martindale-Hubbell ‘Legal Articles’ data base lacking, blogs far superior

LexisNexis Martindale-Hubbell (LNMH) offers its customers the ability to publish articles in a LNMH ‘Legal Articles’ data base. LNMH presumably charges law firms to publish articles or packages the ability to do so in the sales of its directory services. At least LNMH, per a recent press release, touts the ability to so publish in deals it signs with major law firms.

Though well intentioned, the LNMH articles data base is a very lacking both in the way it works and the value, if any, it provides law firms and the lawyers who publish content in it. Blogs are far superior for publishing such articles for a number of reasons. Looks to be just another example of the dualopoly (LNMH and West-Thomson-FindLaw) under delivering for leading law firms and not harnessing the latest marketing technology.

Why LNMH Legal Articles is lacking

  • Articles are virtually impossible to find via the search engines.
  • LNMH had Google and the other search engines index all of the articles as ‘Legal Articles,’ as opposed to the title or topic of the article.
  • LNMH did nothing to optimize the content for search engines.
  • Lengthy and clumsy registration is required to access articles. Registration to get content is annoying at best. When the subject of registration came up during a New York City marketing program with lawyers and corporate heads last week they laughed at how silly it was and said they would just choose to go elsewhere for content.
  • Registration is designed to capture user info (opt-in, not opt-out), presumably to email offers from LNMH and third parties LNMH sends offers on behalf of (practically spam in my opinion).
  • Registration is two pages long, the second page includes two sections relating to newsletter offers.
  • Many articles do not include links to the lawyer’s or law firm’s profile or Web site.
  • Many Articles are dated as of entry date into the database but were written much earlier, even years before.
  • Many Articles are often links to downloadable PDF’s, making them clumsy to use, not fully searchable and impossible for the search engines to reach.

Blogs are far superior

  • Search engine optimized
  • Indexed for Google and other search engines by title and subject
  • No registration to impede users
  • Full search across all content – no pdf’s
  • Law firm and individual lawyers may input content themselves
  • Easy navigation, accompanying article itself, to related content published by lawyer or practice group
  • Author’s name always linked to bio on firm site
  • Probably cost less

Internet users go to the search engines for everything. LNMH is stuck in a time warp believing because it has quality content, whether lawyer bios or articles in this case, that it can make people come to LNMH as opposed to Google and the other search engines.

Legal marketing professionals paying LNMH, in some cases, six figures per year, need to start demanding more.

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