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Legal tech: Is cross-linking to your website a good idea?

By Peter LaSorsa Each week, I get several requests from people I don’t know asking me to put a link of their website on my website and in return they will do the same. They usually contact me via email and state that this cross-link will help both of our websites. The general answer to that statement is: wrong. There are instances where cross-links help your website with rankings and many more instances where the cross-link will hurt your website rankings. Website rankings are very important in that if your website does not show up on the first page of a search, chances are your website won’t be viewed by the searcher. Search engines like Google and Yahoo use secret algorithms to determine the ranking of websites that are displayed based on a given search. Basically, the search engine is trying to return the most relevant website for any given search term or set of terms. Even though the exact formula utilized is unknown, both search engines rely on the content of the website, how often it is updated and how many other websites which are relevant have links to your website. Having another website which the search engines rank high link to your website is a positive -- however the opposite is also true.  So if your website shows up ninth on a return for search terms “Chicago personal injury lawyer”, linking to a website that shows up 20th for search terms "New York personal injury lawyer” will not help your ranking. In fact, it may lower it. Additionally, if you have a company with no relevance to Chicago or injuries or lawyers and they link to your website, the search engines may punish your website. The main point is to make sure those companies or other attorneys who wish to engage in a cross-link relationship with you are as good or better than your website is in the rankings. One-way to ensure they are -- do a search and see how they come up. For example if a personal injury lawyer in New York wants to link to your site, search New York personal injury lawyer and see how high the website comes up. Remember sometimes less is more and quality is more important than quantity, especially when is comes to cross-links. Peter LaSorsa can be reached at  Pete also publishes a blog at
Posted on July 29, 2010 by Chris Bonjean
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