Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Monday, October 15, 2021

legal tender
Despite the dribs-and-drabs pace, I’m overall fairly satisfied with my Google AdSense revenue generation hereabouts.

But after seeing the ridiculous dollar amounts some law firms are paying for choice keyword bids, I’m thinking I ought to start up a “Legal” category on my blog.

“Christmas recipes,” for instance, was going for 54 cents per click the other day. “Britney Spears” cost 36 cents, and “Britney Spears nude” only 21 cents.

But “Oakland personal injury lawyer” cost $58.03. “Asbestos attorney” cost $51.68. And “mesothelioma attorney Texas” — mesothelioma is a kind of cancer caused by inhaling asbestos — cost $65.21.

I’ve come across comment-board rumors of folks lucking into such a mega-clickthru; I think the publisher nets something between $10-$20 from it. I wouldn’t mind experiencing that kind of single-click payout just once — or twice!

Is this really shyster territory? To the extent that these lawyers shoot for quantity over quality, yes:

Ted Frank, the director of the Legal Center for the Public Interest at the American Enterprise Institute, said the fact that some personal injury lawyers were willing to pay $60 a click was telling, particularly given that relatively few of those clicks would bring in actual business.

“These lawyers don’t really litigate cases — they settle cases,” Mr. Frank said. “And they need a big inventory of cases. The only job of the attorney is to come up with the clients.”

“There is nothing wrong with what Google is doing,” he added. “There is nothing wrong with advertising for clients. It’s just fascinating that clients are worth so much.”…

The market for Google search terms says something, then, about the market for plaintiffs’ lawyers. For reasons that baffle economists, personal injury lawyers all charge roughly the same amount for their services, typically a third to 40 percent of any recovery.

“What explains this puzzle?” asked Alex Tabarrok, who teaches economics at George Mason University. “No one knows.” It may be, he said, that offering to work for less might be thought to signal that you are a bad lawyer.

In any event, Mr. Frank said, the high prices on Google are a direct consequence of this economic anomaly.

“Instead of competing on price,” he said of plaintiffs’ lawyers, “they compete on Google.”

Like I said, too bad I’m not writing about legal matters, like How Appealing. Of course, I did just publish this very post, laden with legalese… So, let’s see some action!

by Costa Tsiokos, Mon 10/15/2007 11:45:34 PM
Category: Advert./Mktg., Business, Internet
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