If you are the webmaster of your law firm, at some point you will probably be asked to allow a law office to allow them to link to your website from theirs. In return, they will have another attorney link to you.

They’re not asking for money or anything and they say that this doesn’t violate Google rules. It may sound like a fair deal, but you are sensing that something is not right. What should you do?

You should Pass

Here is what they are doing. They are trying to build the other attorney’s site up by getting him some good links. You don’t know anything about him. He could be an okay guy, just getting started. He could be a guy who couldn’t find a good client with a telescope. The deal is you don’t know.

If it’s good

Google puts a lot of stock in the company you keep. For example, the New York Times is a well-known site of high regard. They are considered an authoritative site. If the New York Times has linked to you, Google will put stock in that. They will assume that the New York Times has tied themselves to you, then you must be a bit of an authoritative site as well. You are given some room because of the company you keep.

When it’s not

The same is true when the site linking to you is not so good. As I said, you do not know. Maybe the site is just new. Maybe the site is under penalty from Google. It could be that the site is a spammy site that is being watched and of poor reputation. They just connected directly to you. They have built a bridge so to speak to the site that you have worked so hard to ensure is legit, SEO optimized, and healthy. You have allowed them to put a door on your site that could draw your clients to visit their spam site. Your clients are left wondering if they are wrong about you! Also, do not be surprised if tons of these bad link pushers start contacting you. They seem to come from everywhere.

Do the work

The only time I ever do it is if we’re able to vet and there are actually some other SEO companies that I’ve caught asleep at the wheel. We’ve been able to kind of play the game a little bit and kind of get some really good links and not have to really risk our clients at all. That’s me kind of being a savvy marketer and understanding that most people that do this don’t know what they’re doing. That’s what I do for my clients. I got one guy in Boston to link to our client, he is a personal injury in Boston. One personal injury attorney in Boston. I got my client’s competitor to link to my client with the anchor text basically saying this is the best Boston personal injury attorney. I’m pretty proud of that one. I’ve done a few different times because this SEO company just wasn’t paying attention, so it’s pretty cool.