FindLaw CEO Scott Kinney called me today to discuss my survey last week showing the deterioration of FindLaw’s index of law-related Web sites. Kinney said that, as of Friday, the links were verified through a new content-management system and should now be 100 percent accurate.
A quick check showed there may still be some problems. Checking a link through a program verifies that the link works, but not that the content of the linked site remains valid. For example, the very first link I clicked after hanging up with Kinney, on the Communications Law index, was to SimonHelm.com. Yes, the link works, but it leads to a page that is blank except for the note, “Under (re)construction.”
Needless to say, fixing the bad links does not address the issue of adding links for more-recent Web sites. Kinney said that he expects that FindLaw’s new content-management system will facilitate addition of newer sites. He noted, however that FindLaw’s index is a free service, which limits the resources the company can devote to keeping the index up to date. He said that the company has devoted greater resources to building its corporate counsel center and its pages for non-lawyers. “Our greatest penetration into any segment of the legal community is with corporate counsel,” he said.
Kinney said that the links guide is a lightly used feature of FindLaw, accounting for less than 1 percent of page views.
Kinney confirmed that, later this year, FindLaw will unveil changes designed to improve its search capabilities and navigational structure. “We’re very committed to making sure our users can find what they need to find as quickly and easily as possible,” he said.