If you received an email about a “Google Crackdown” expected in the coming months, this article will explain what it is and what you need to do. The TLDR; version is that the “crackdown” is a fiction fabricated by ethically challenged spammers, and you need not do anything because there is nothing to it.
Internet marketing con artists see small law firms as easy prey. There are myriad methods that they use to trick attorneys into engaging them in conversations. Most of them are fear based. One tool favored by the denizens of the internet underworld is the warning of an ominous action by Google that endangers their site.
Unethical marketing solicitors have recently used the following language when referring to an amorphous event that they can’t describe (because it doesn’t exist):
- The “Google Crackdown” on websites;
- The “Google Update”;
- The “Google Purge”;
- The new Google Penalty.
If you receive a message from an internet marketer warning of such a thing, you can safely ignore it. When there is a real impending update that can affect law firm websites, we will warn attorneys loudly and publicly.
If you’re a LawLytics customer, we will always take preemptive action against any known change in how Google operates. For example, in 2017 we warned our members early on about a Google Chrome update that would affect websites that lacked security certificates. Then, before the Google Chrome update was released, we made security certificates a standard feature for all new LawLytics websites, and offered to add security certificates to all of our existing customers’ websites, for free. All of our customers were warned and prepared well in advance. We did this without raising our prices, and without causing our customers any added stress, work or ongoing obligation.
When you are a LawLytics customer, we will preemptively warn you whenever there is something to be concerned about. Furthermore, we will take preemptive measures when needed.
One of the benefits of being a LawLytics customer is that you can ignore the onslaught of nefarious actors who bombard most law firms with fear-based and confusing messaging. There is a real opportunity cost to entertaining such messages. If you do entertain them, your best outcome is that you waste your time researching before realizing the con.
Con-artists trick their victims by spinning narratives that parallel truth, yet distort truth it to their advantage. This is why attorneys often fall for internet marketing scams. The scam artists know that attorneys are busy doing things that are more important than myth-busting the wolves at their door. They know that attorneys will often prefer to spend money, rather than time, on a perceived threat. And so they let the wolf in.
There are a number of ways to spot con-artists when they send you emails. As a general rule (with some narrow potential exceptions for solo-consultants who don’t advertise and get their business from word of mouth only*), reputable businesses will not solicit you through a Gmail address. Using a Gmail address (which is free and disposable) is one tell-tale sign that the business may be shady or fly-by-night. Most established and ethical businesses will email you from their business domain. For example, when you get a message from us, it will always come from an @lawlytics.com account or have an @lawlytics.com account as the reply-to address.
Several of our customers have recently brought to our attention that they are receiving unsolicited emails from a variety of Gmail addresses warning specifically about an upcoming “Google Crackdown.” It may sound applicable because various media outlets are referring to a new ad policy that Google is starting to implement using their Chrome Browser in response to 3rd-party ad blockers that erode Google’s revenue. Some media outlets have referred to this as a “crackdown” on ads by Google. If you’re a LawLytics customer, Google’s new ads policies does not affect your LawLytics powered law firm website.
In conclusion, if you’re a LawLytics customer and you get a message warning you about something that Google is about to do, you can safely ignore it and thereby spare yourself the overwhelming odds that engaging with the purveyor of the email will lead you to waste your time, your money or both.
* Small businesses that get their customers by word of mouth, by nature, will not be sending emails to random attorneys.