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 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.

  • Anonymous

    Wow! That’s good to know. If the Findlaw guide is a lightly used feature, then I don’t see any point in advertising in that section.

    But what really caught my attention was the statement that because Findlaw’s index is a free service, this limits the resources the company can devote to keeping it up to date. Wait a minute. Isn’t the entire Findlaw portal a free service? If the same rationale applies, I guess we’ll be seeing the rest of the site wither away just like the Findlaw index.

    Nothing more humorous than a CEO denigrating his company’s own product. Makes it tough for the sales staff.

  • Anonymous

    With Google, what’s the point of the FindLaw Guide?

    Any lawyer or company that is thinking about spending money on advertising in FindLaw should simply donate the money to charity. At least they will be able to write off the donation.