Years ago, when the internet was young, two websites took the initiative to create lists of the best estate planning websites online. I constantly referred to Jason Havens’ Legal Research for Estate Planners and Dennis Kennedy’s (and later, Dennis Toman’s) Estateplanninglinks.com to help build my knowledge of estate planning.
In honor of their efforts, I hereby introduce this site’s new “Favorite Estate Planning Sites” page, with the goal of slowly building a strong and reliable reference point for anyone who might be interested. Doing this would also probably meet the spirit of a site named “estateplanninginfoblog”. I have always appreciated Havens’, Kennedy’s and Toman’s efforts, and I am excited with the prospect of providing this kind of information not only for consumers, but also to law students and perhaps other attorneys as well.
But What Will This Do To My “Page Rank”?
So I don’t think I’m revealing any secrets when I say that many people blog or create a website to market their business, and to some extent, themselves. The goal is to build interest in the site, and then hopefully, readers will enjoy it, eventually call for services and then become a client.
But none of this works if you don’t have anyone reading or stopping by. So if you are using this strategy, you begin to look at statistics such as “page rank” to see if your site is effectively reaching enough people. Essentially, the more links your site gets from high ranking sites, the higher your site’s “page rank”.
However, in regards to providing links to other sites, others have given me the following advice from time to time:
- Linking to other sites just gives people an excuse to leave your site.
- Don’t link to too many other websites, especially those with a lower rank, or your own “page rank” will drop.
- You are operating a website, not a charity – don’t link to others without them linking back.
I disagree with these nuggets of wisdom.
If I provide a link to another site, and this causes you to leave my site, then more power to you.
If I link to a bunch of other sites with lower ranks to the point where my page rank drops, then so be it.
If I link to others and they don’t link back to me, it truly does not matter.
What really matters is whether or not you are finding the information you need, you understand it, and it is helpful to you. In other words, if this site somehow contributes to your knowledge, then is it truly relevant whether this site or the linked sites are ranked 756,286th or 3,421,563rd or whatever?
You will find that most estate planning attorneys share these viewpoints, and their sites reflect this as well. If another site has done an excellent job at explaining some concept, it will certainly get attention through quotes or cites here or elsewhere.
Bottom Line: Enjoy this site only if you think it contains quality work. If it does, the stats will take care of themselves. If it doesn’t, I have to do better.
My Qualifications for Linking to Another Site
Subject to changes in the future, the sites I select for the new “Favorite Links” page:
- Involve estate planning or closely related topics
- Contain valuable and free information
- Have been viewed and enjoyed by me personally
I hope you enjoy this new feature. Please check by often for further developments (and don’t be shy about making suggestions as well).