Let’s say you’re a personal injury attorney in Chicago. Your company is hiring Big Time Web Consultant to help you get found online. Maybe they will build you a website/blog. They optimize your website/blog for keywords that they say are relevant to your practice. Example: “Chicago personal injury attorney.”
You use “Chicago Personal Injury Lawyer” in your title tag (one of the factors Google uses to rank your site).
Then another Chicago personal injury law firm called Big Time Web Consultant. Big Time Web Consultant will sell you a website/blog. They optimize the website/blog for the same keywords.
You use “Chicago personal damage law” in your competitor’s title tag!
Now you see, I’m not suggesting that mere keyword overlap poses a major conflict of interest. What I’m saying is that they create a problem for you by targeting the same title tag keywords, creating anchor text links for that keyword, and focusing the bulk of their SEO efforts on competing keywords.
I mean, you wouldn’t represent the same party on two sides of a lawsuit, would you?
I imagine if you are the winning bidder they will “help” you the most. That just doesn’t seem that fair. The problem is that most law firms have no idea this is going on.
Unfortunately, this situation is more the rule than the exception. I can think of at least 3 major law firm web providers that use this “bidding war” approach. Also, and I’m just guessing here, I’d say these three players represent over 80% of online law firms (and that’s conservative).
Find an Internet Marketing Business Attorney who has some form of “exclusive partnership” or “non-compete” agreement.