Houston Criminal Defense Lawyer**[see first comment] Mark Bennett pokes some good natured fun at me about a recent post and lists some of the phrases where he covets high Google SERPs:

Austin criminal defense lawyer Jamie Spencer talks about “how to rank high on Google’s natural results.”

I have heard — and it makes sense — that a page that uses the phrase “Houston criminal defense lawyer” or “Houston criminal defense attorney” will rank higher on Google than a page by a Houston lawyer that talks about criminal defense trial lawyering without those words strung together in that order, even though it’s not usually necessary for a Houston lawyer practicing criminal defense to use the words “Houston criminal defense” in a post about the subject.

I’d like Defending People to pop up at the top of a Google search for “Houston criminal defense lawyer” or “Houston criminal attorney,” but blatantly inserting those phrases into a post has always seemed a bit obnoxious. Your thoughts?

[Do I need to reiterate? He’s poking fun at me.]

And what’s his ranking on the phrases he listed? 

Houston criminal defense lawyer: #9. Houston criminal defense attorney: #26. Houston lawyer practicing criminal defense: #11. Houston criminal defense: #18. Houston criminal attorney: #9.

Not bad. Several of those are already on the first page of the results. Some aren’t. But numero uno is always best right? If it ain’t obvious, yes I’m handing out some link love – but, Mark writes a great blog, and recently his RSS feed changed requiring that you reup your subscription – so I’m only trying to help him out , aight? Let’s check back in 6 months and do an update on those numbers, shall we?

On a related note, Dave Matson of High Steppin’ Searches left a comment on that same post:

Certainly it’s pretty difficult to rank well without quality content, but the measure of that is links.

Having a quality blog means other quality blogs and sites with credibility link to you. Authority bestows authority.

Being widely blogrolled is a huge benefit to your rankings. And that wouldn’t be the case if you didn’t write things that people think are worth linking to.

Of course, being on the LexBlog network of blogrolls doesn’t hurt, either.

I agree. When folks call me to ask me about LexBlog, “being added to the blogroll” is one of the benefits I list. And no, I don’t get any kickbacks from Kevin for tooting their horn – I actually like talking about blogging, perhaps because it was one more way to postpone actually doing it.

But ‘just’ being added to the blogroll won’t get you anywhere really – not in the long run. As Dave says, you’ve got to write stuff folks think is worth posting about. Google ranks that higher than anything else. In fact, out in SEO land speculation is that they recently changed the algorithm to lower the value of blogroll links.

Having something you actually wrote cut and pasted and then commented on will do you a lot more good. And, that takes us back to rule #1: content, content, content.

Defending People is all about content. Mark ranks as high as he does now based entirely on that. The others in front of him, for now, have SEO folks getting backlinks from other sites, but that won’t defeat good content in the long run.

On a completely side note, if I don’t want to start ranking ‘high’ in the Google SERPs for stuff like Austin SEO, and Texas search engine optimization, I need to get back to substantive defense blogging. It’s fine to take a sabbatical, and start blogging about blogging, but at some point, I’ve got to remember why I started this whole thing in the first place.

With that in mind, I’m about to pen a post I’ve been thinking ages about. So without further ado, here’s a self link to:

My Own Personal Shoplifting Experience.

Enough about ‘blawgs’. Back to criminal defense. If I use the word Google in my next 50 posts, somebody just shoot me. Even I’m tired of the topic by now.