Here is something strange about lawyer listings on I noticed that my listing included something called a “Visibility Ranking,” which is supposedly based on “the total number of weekly profile views.” Mine said that I was #1 out of 17 lawyers in my town of Rockport, Mass., and that I was #204,221 out of 886,124 total lawyers overall. Then I looked at the other lawyers in Rockport and found that each and every one of them had the exact same Visibility Ranking — each was #1 out of 17 and each was #204,221 out of 886,124.

Then I went on to check other lawyers I know in various locations around the country. Guess what? Many of them also had identical Visibility Rankings, no matter where they were. For example, Ernie Svenson is #1,156 out of 4,235 lawyers in New Orleans, while Evan Schaeffer also happens to be #1,156 out of 6,234 lawyers in St. Louis, Mo. Both also happen to share the same overall rank as me and my colleagues in Rockport — 204,221 out of 886,124. I found a number of other lawyers who all had the same overall ranking of 204,221.

Bottom line: I don’t know what this ranking is all about, but it appears to be entirely meaningless for a significant number of lawyers.

  • Bob,

    Wow! I’m honored to be tied in ranking with Evan in St. Louis and with you, Ernie and Evan in the overall ratings.

    Probably another example of why it’s good to test out new features before you launch them.

    Or maybe we really do have equivalent rankings.

    Dennis Kennedy

  • Bob – The “visibility rankings” are intended to give users an idea as to what others are looking at (much like Most Popular article lists that WSJ and other sites publish). As a result, people in the long tail who have very low numbers of profile views end up with the same visibility ranking (we don’t differentiate when there are ties). In the case of Rockport, you and each one of the lawyers you looked up did have the same number of profile views. Similarly, across the country, all the attorneys with the visibility ranking #204,221 had the same number of views. With respect to Mr. Svenson and Mr. Schaeffer specifically, we checked the stats and they were both actually #1,156 in their respective cities — it was simply pure coincidence that they had the same number of views. We always welcome feedback and will evaluate yours as well as any other comments we receive from other individuals. In the meantime, more details on how this all currently works can be found on my post on this at;=219&ct;=15.