Murthy vs The Goliaths: The Power Of Search At Work
In the good old days, online was the
place where David could beat Goliath. It was the forum where success was
decided not just by market cap or the size of your advertising budget,
but by nimble strategies and just plain chutzpah. It was the place where
the little guy could triumph and slam one in the face of the corporate
behemoths. But those days are over, right?
Not quite, at least not in the legal field.
As part of a client project, I was using Hitwise to determine who the
category leader was in law firms. Who was grabbing the biggest slice of
the potential 100 million visitor per month pie? After sorting through
record search sites like Intelius, people finders like US Search and
directory sites like lawyers.com, I started looking for those huge firms
that you would expect to find on top. Here are the usual suspects:
Baker & McKenzie - 3246
attorneys, 69 offices around the world
Jones Day – 1822 Attorneys, 29 offices around the world
Skadden – 1822 Attorneys, 22 offices around the world
Latham & Watkins – 1627 Attorneys, 22 offices around the world
(the information on the firms comes from the Internet Legal Research
Group and the firm’s own sites)
And the winner was….
The Law Office of Sheela Murthy.
Murthy.com is the official online home for a small immigration law firm
based in Owings Mill, Maryland. Just 9 attorneys, in an office that’s
probably smaller than the executive washroom at Baker and McKenzie. Yet,
Ms. Murthy is kicking the big guys butts around the online block. And
we’re not talking a slight edge in traffic. According to Hitwise’s
market share report, Murthy.com captures 10 times the market share of
these 4 huge firms combined.
I must admit, I was a little skeptical at first. So I tried some quick
checks on Alexa. Sure enough, the small firm from Owings Mill was
decimating the big guys when it came to generating internet traffic.
Frankly, I’m at a bit of a loss to explain this. The only explanation
must be that the big guys don’t really care. This is surprising,
considering that well over a million people searched for some kind of
lawyer on the Yahoo! network in May. And even more people searched for
an attorney. That’s just on Yahoo! Google’s numbers would easily double
this. That’s a minimum of 5 million potential clients up for grab every
month, and the 4 largest firms in the U.S. haven’t even optimized their
title tags. You guessed it. Just the name of the firm shows in every
As search marketers, we often assume that the whole world knows about
the power of search. Sometimes, it takes a blatant example like this to
make us realize that a large part of the world is still waking up to the
new reality of online marketing. And as long as the giants are sleeping,
there’s still the opportunity for the Sheela Murthy’s of the world to
eat their lunch.
Come on, admit it. Aren’t you going to be just a little bit sorry when
those days are gone?
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