If you haven't heard of AVVO yet, Avvo.com is the nation's fastest growing attorney rating service. Despite being only a few years old, it's already approaching Martindale-Hubbell in the number of lawyers rated and number of unique visitors to their website. Avvo's mission statement says it best, "At Avvo, our mission is to help people navigate the complex and confusing legal industry. Choosing a lawyer is an incredibly important decision—yet most people have no idea how to go about doing it, and resources to guide them are scarce."
Avvo has written a complex algorithm which rates virtually every lawyer in the United States based upon a variety of factors including experience, education, reputation and whether the lawyer has faced disciplinary action from their state bar association. Unlike each State Bar's website which typically only tells you whether the attorney's license is in good standing or not, Avvo assigns a numerical value based upon 0-10 and red flags any attorney who has faced Bar discipline in the past, making it extremely easy to understand. Ease of use was one of Avvo's top priorities when developing the website.
Consumers searching online, using legal keywords such as estate planning or elder law, frequently see the Avvo.com website on page one. Consequently, claiming your profile on Avvo, updating it, and working to boost your rating are all important aspects of your online marketing efforts.
Kyle's rating recently jumped from "Excellent" to "Superb", or a perfect 10.0 on the 10-point scale. We don't know all of the factors built into Avvo's complex rating algorithm, (you can learn more about their rating system here: http://www.avvo.com/support/avvo_rating) but we do know that Avvo considers information it gleans from your own profile (which you can edit), your website and your blog.
I know there is a lot of controversy about Avvo, and some lawyers vehemently oppose their system. But that does not change the fact that Avvo does a great job of landing on page one for Google searches and consumers are finding -- and using -- their platform.
Stephen Fairly of the Rainmaker Institute wrote a more extensive overview of Avvo, both pros and cons, as well as a good list of ways to use Avvo in your online marketing. Read his blog posting on the topic here: http://www.therainmakerblog.com/2010/05/articles/law-firm-marketing-1/using-avvo-to-market-your-law-firm-on-the-internet/