Avvo now hiding your info?

I was disappointed to hear on a legal listserve about two weeks ago the whispers of a plan by Avvo to remove contact information from profiles unless the lawyer was paying.  I thought perhaps it was a misunderstanding, as it seems that a directory devoid of…. directory information, makes it universally less useful.  But now that Internet Brands has acquired Avvo, and Mark is no longer behind the helm….

Just got a notification from Avvo Internet Brands that confirms their new product called Premium:

Our new offering, Avvo Premium, now includes the following features:

  • Display your contact information in search results and on your profile
  • Remove competitors’ ads from your profile
  • Have your profile prioritized in search results
  • See your contacts from calls, emails, and website visit
  • Select your best client reviews and promote them at the top of your page
  • Summarize your practice with a personal summary at the top of your profile

Of course, that contact information was always a part of the free profile and didn’t require Premium.  Apparently no more.

With this pivot, Avvo is essentially shifting from being a useful directory where consumers can find the best lawyer for their specific situation to functioning solely as an advertising platform. They have every right to do this, but from a user experience standpoint it would be a disservice to remove essential information from highly qualified attorneys solely because they’re not actively advertising with Avvo. With Google’s focus on user experience – I wonder how this removal of key information may impact Avvo’s performance in the SERPs – will be interesting to monitor over time.

2 Responses to “Avvo now hiding your info?”

  1. I was sad to hear about Mark leaving AVVO but I don’t blame him. I would have done the same – maybe sooner. He created something that worked and filled a niche unlike many other legal sites. Unfortunately, as with most bought out services, the new owners make changes and the product eventually goes away.

  2. Danny Sullivan once wrote: “Google Doesn’t Owe You A Living, So Don’t Depend On It.” I think the same thing applies to AVVO. It was nice while it lasted. But Internet Brands is only guilty of following the law of the jungle: monetize everything. I think their latest move will pave the way for other attorney directories and related ventures. But it is inevitable those new ventures will similarly find a way to monetize. Many attorneys are lucky about one recent development with AVVO – the decision to shut down their legal services. I was always of the opinion that half the attorney population would end up employed by AVVO in 15-minute increments. We are better off now that AVVO Legal Services has pulled the plug.

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