In a recent attempt to make a dent a proactive ORM campaign, I got the legal slap and had to remove a website I was using to exploit what one law firm was doing to saturate search results with negative content about a particular college that I may or may not have graduated from.
I’ve moved the content to this page since it was so good, but removed their name to cover our butts. So let me tell you exactly what these law firms are now doing to help them capture potential class action participants. They use a technique that involves harming the reputation of the company they are suing, and here’s the steps they take in many of the cases.
The Law Firm Class Action Suit Online Marketing Strategy
Step 1: Submit the Victim to RipoffReport.com
This powerful, search engine-optimized website has been called the “business killer” and has influenced the search-assist box in the major search engines with adding a keyword to end of every 3rd or 4th query (mostly “scam” or “ripoff”). Check out how many times University of Phoenix has been attacked.
Step 2: Create a WordPress Blog and Slap On Some Mean Things
I’m almost done with my next eBook, entitled SEO in a Day that shows the power of this content management system (normally used for blogging) with the blogosphere and search engines. WordPress isn’t the “end all” SEO platform, but it’s perfect for SMB’s and any non-retail website. The fact is, anyone can create a blog.
Step 3: Create and Promote a Twitter Profile
Twitter is nofollowing links now, which doesn’t help the search engines quite as much, but it does help drive traffic and people who do use Twitter could potentially link to a site from their blog or other social profile if convinced to so via a “Tweet”. Look how one negative Twitter campaign spread like a horrible virus. See for yourself.
Step 4: Create and Promote a Facebook Page
You don’t really think students or alumni would craft such a page do you? Look at how this baby took off. I can almost feel the poison consuming the veins of the 47,000 graduates who may be affected by the relentless efforts of one law firm.
Step 5: Create, Tag, Optimize and Syndicate Video
Video is new the web, all other online media are passe as compared to the power of video. Get one or two compelling interviews and you’ve increased your page visit time and increased your ranking in the search engines. Not to mention the integration of Universal Search results.
Step 6: The Final Blow, Public Relations
For under $5,000, you can reach out to a PR person who has friend who has a friend that works at a major TV station. Bundle up everything from Step 1-5 and throw it over your shoulder on your way to the newsroom, then splatter it all over the camera to get the fire started with all the different seeds that were planted online.
There are dozens of other social media and viral marketing channels law firms may also be using. As I track them (like the hawk that I am), I will be reporting them here, so link to this page and come back every now and then to learn how to identify the tricks used by attorneys and law offices to win class action and other lawsuits.
- Wikipedia.org Update