Irwin Mitchell penalised by Google for SEO tactics

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  • This is just classic:

    “We are aware of the situation and are working closely with our digital agency to deal with it.” why on earth didn't they know of the 'situation' before! A lot of agencies will try sailing close to 'black hat' techniques (naughty dark arts for you legal bods) to get to #1 on SERP's (search engine results page for you legal bods), but at some point they are making a rod for their own back as these will have to be cleaned up.

    The agency will and should be fired, the head of the department at hired the agency will also have to look deeply into the mirror and answer why they didn't keep a closer eye on this. This will be costing the a fortune, if it lasts over a month it will be well over 1m in revenue.

    I have a funny feeling that the head of the department will be pointing the finger of blame at someone else to take the blame.

    Nice news for the other PI firms out there, bet S&G have seen a rise in their rankings, traffic and cases.

    IC

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  • "It works, until it doesn't work."

    If you want more details about how something like this happens, check out Alex Graves' post: Irwin Mitchell Suffer Google Whiplash As Google Penalty Knocks Them Out of Index http://www.davidnaylor.co.uk/irwin-mitchell-suffer-google-whiplash-google-penalty-knocks-index.html

    This sort of stuff is rampant in the online legal marketing sector in the U.S. too. However, in the last two years, Google has been slowly sniffing a lot of it out. Of course, now the same "digital people" are charging their clients to "fix" the very issues that they have often created.

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  • Ian Clifton, a few typos in your post, should read them a bit closer. As for us 'Legal Bods', some of us do know a bit about marketing and even digital.

    However regarding the Irwin Mitchell issue; you are right the agency should be fired, Irwin Mitchell should have been able to trust them to do legitimate practices, in addition, this issue should have been raised in the pitch, 'who shoulders the burden if a penalty is given by Google?' should have been written in to the contract.

    The internal team should also be held to task, someone didn't know what the agency were doing. Where does the duck stop? Probably the head of BD should ask themselves that question, I doubt that will be the case, probably some poor marketing exec will get the chop, while the head of BD washer their hands of the mess.

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  • Come on Jess we all make mistakes, presume 'duck' you mean 'buck', don't worry I won't ask you to spell dyslexia.

    Agree with your comments though.

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  • All seems a bit unedifying. Competitive advantage by fair means or foul.
    Not a good look but I suppose it is only a PI firm adopting a more sophisticated approach to its ambulance chasing.

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  • Agree with all these comments - seems like a use of black hat techniques!

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  • I wonder whether they will blame their current online agency Forward3D or their previous agency (who have been making a right noise in legal futures recently) Stickeyes.

    The likely hood it was probably half due to bad tactics of the previous agency and the poor management of the new to spot the sins of the past. I am sure they'll blame each other however it does just show how closely you need to keep an eye on the marketing agency that can promise you the earth in Google rankings

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  • From the comments the presumption appears to be that the external agency were acting outside of their instructions. It is reasonable to assume those within IM know exactly what they were doing. If the agency were doing as they were told then where does the blame stop. Sometimes boundaries need to be imposed. Outside of PI law IM are just another company who are unable to get everything they want just because of who they are.

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  • When will the IT ambulance chasing service be resumed? I looked at the solicitors from hell website and there was an Irwin Mitchell PI injury post on there. Is this the issue?

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  • Anonymous | 31-Jan-2014 7:59 pm

    Good point, however the first thing the agency Forward3D should have looked at was the back link profile and started to clean this up, you can guarantee that they will blame Stickeyeys as it's in their interest, rather that taking the bull by the horns and admitting they were to blame. Let's be fair the 'blame' game is pointless at this stage it's just hard work to fix and hope it's sooner than later as this will be costing IM between £500k and £1m a week.

    I don't think we on the outside will ever get to know what the truth is, who did or didn't do what, and IM won't be giving away anything they learn, although one hell of an expensive lesson.

    The people I feel sorry for are the marketing people working in the digital team, I don't think they will have known what the agency were up to.

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  • Anonymous 1st Feb 7:48 pm

    The IT ambulance chasing service be resumed in about two months if they are lucky, that is a about £5m, classic!

    I would love to be a fly on the wall listening to people explain away this, head of ecomms and BD director will be on the coals, who will the partners take it out on?

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