How not to improve your mediation web site's search engine ranking: a blogger speaks her mind

Improving the page rank of your mediation web siteI get emails all the time from mediators, lawyers, and other professionals asking for link exchanges from this blog. It’s nice that they perceive me as an authoritative source for ADR and negotiation and that an outbound link from counts for something. Unfortunately all too often these folks are missing the point.

I got an email the other day from a web designer writing on behalf of the client the web designer had just built a site for. The designer wanted my help in improving the web site’s search rank and to that end asked me to add the client’s static, non-blog web site to my — and this is what blew me away — my blogroll. My blogroll! You know, the place on my web site where I list the blogs I’m reading — blogs where I routinely find great content and informative articles about issues that affect me and my work. Blogs that are written by creative, intelligent, inspiring people, many of whom I have gotten to know and also happen to like and respect a great deal. Blogs that are listed here because they may be of interest to the people I really care about — my readers.

I wanted to ask, “What part of blogroll don’t you understand?”

So, as a public service message, here’s a blogger’s friendly advice to mediators and others who want to improve their site’s rank with the help of blogs:

  1. Don’t expect a blogger to link to your static site. Don’t even bother to ask — not unless you have great content there that will be of interest to the blogger and her readers — like well-crafted articles you’ve written, cool online tools and games you’ve created, productivity tips you’ve invented, or training and teaching materials you want to share. In my case, I may be willing (but no guarantees) to publish a post about your site and link to that terrific content. But please don’t expect me to add a link to your site from my sidebar. My blog is not here to provide free advertising for your business.
  2. Don’t ask a blogger to add a static site to a blogroll. A blogroll is a list of links to other blogs. By definition, it’s for blogs only. It’s that simple. In addition, see above #1.
  3. To really improve your site’s page rank with the help of a blog, exercise a little self-help. Either forget about regular web sites and launch a blog yourself in place of a static web site, or add a blog to your existing site. Reach out to other bloggers, build relationships with them, create good content that will keep readers returning (very important) and that bloggers will be delighted to link to, and the visitors to your site — along with the improved visibility on search engines — will come.

In fact, if you’ve got an ADR blog, tell me about it. I can add it to the World Directory of ADR Blogs at

11 responses to “How not to improve your mediation web site's search engine ranking: a blogger speaks her mind

  1. Thanks for this useful post. In fact, thanks for all your great postings.

  2. Diane Levin

    Catherine, your kind comment has made my day. Thank you so much for letting me know that you find my posts helpful!

    By the way, I have just corrected an oversight on my part and added Peacemakers Trust Reporting on Conflict blog to my blogroll.

  3. You might be interested in this tip for converting your blog roll into a stream of recent posts from your favourite blogs.

    Don’t worry about it being an MT trick, it will work with WP, too.

  4. Diane Levin

    Cool! Thanks, Michael.

    Although FYI there’s a much easier way to do basically the same thing without messing with all that crazy Blogger code. You can create a widget for your blog that displays the feeds you enjoy using Grazr. In fact, you can see one in action at the World Directory of ADR Blogs Reading Room.

  5. Pingback: The folly of sham link exchanges for ADR and legal bloggers | Mediator Tech

  6. I agree with Diane’s analysis. It is by giving (such as great content and promoting others work) that one can receive. I receive emails as well from web consultants expecting me to promote their sites. It does not work.

  7. Diane Levin

    Justin, what a pleasure to hear from you! Thanks for your comment — you’ve made an excellent point about giving and receiving.

  8. Hi Diane

    Thanks for your comments! I continue to enjoy seeing your posts. They’re informative and what is often not found in our field, they are usually fun! Fresh air! Yours is my favourite ADR blog. A fair few of your postings find their way into Peacemakers Trust “Reporting on Conflict’.

    Catherine Morris
    Peacemakers Trust

  9. Diane Levin

    Catherine, you just made my day! Thank you so very much for your kind comments. Since I subscribe to the RSS feed for “Reporting on Conflict”, I’d noticed that you’d picked up a number of my posts, and I want you to know how grateful I am to you for that. I’m glad you think my blog is not merely informative but fun, too — that’s what I strive for, and it makes me happy to know that I’m hitting the right notes for at least one of my readers! Thanks again, Catherine!

  10. And thanks for putting us on your blogroll!

  11. Glad to do it, Catherine!