Posted on August 20, 2008 in altlaw, findlaw, IP by Brian RoweComments Off

This week FindLaw’s page rank was knocked from Page Rank 7 to Page Rank 5 that is two orders of magnitude.  Theoretically this a punishment for Findlaw abusing page rank and selling links from high ranked pages for large sums of money.  This has been standard policy of Google for sometime.  Google wants page rank to be a measure of authority not cash.

Although this sounds like a big hit to find law it does not appear to be affecting there search results.

the reduction (PR7 to PR5) is for the visible PageRank displayed in the Google Toolbar. Does it effect the actual rankings? As of today, in Canada, when you search for ‘find lawyer‘, I’m getting FindLaw as the No. 1 result. I repeated the search over the phone with a US client, and FindLaw was No. 2. If Google had hit FindLaw with a true penalty, those results wouldn’t be happening. – Steven Mathews.

I received similar results for “case law” keyword searches FindLaw kept coming up as the top result.  I admit it is nice to see Alt Law at rank 6 and FindLaw at rank 5, but it appears to mean nothing in actual search results.  If Google is going to take action they should take action that affects actual search results.

FindLaw Selling PageRank by Steve Matthews

Shame Shame FindLaw

Remove your Links from FindLaw


PS The absence of a link to FindLaw in this post was entirely intentional.

Posted on October 25, 2007 in altlaw, findlaw, Westlaw, wikipedia by Brian RoweComments Off

Several years ago FindLaw was the best free website for legal research. This is the Findlaw I fondly miss:


Look at the great features on the front page search for case, Supreme Court case, Laws and Code.

Now look at the FindLaw of today:

Since Westlaw purchased Findlaw it has been striped of utility and litterd with obtrusive advertising. WestLaw has even locked some of FindLaw’s content behind logins. That is just what we need, our privacy striped away when viewing law. FindLaw has become an advertising service with limited functionality and atrocious usability.

What is worse is that FindLaw has a page rank of 8! WT%. For a long time FindLaw was the only public resourse for online codes and caselaw. Many wikipedia entries still link to findlaw cases that have been transformed from pages of useful text to pages full of ads and pop-ups. Here is one example from the wikipedia entry for International Shoe Co. v. Washington

This is not the quality of external link Wikipedia is known for. Legal contributors to Wikipedia should serious consider other options before linking to FindLaw. The best alternative for case law right now is A free service from Columbia Law School’s Program on Law and Technology, and the Silicon Flatirons Program at the University of Colorado Law School.

Has Westlaw learned nothing from Google? In purchasing Findlaw, WestLaw had an opportunity to provide an amazing service to the public, free accessible case law and code, but they have blown it, with too many ads and too little useful information.

Vote against Findlaw online, remove your links and send a message about quality online. FFIP will be removing Findlaw from our links page.