On “skyscraper pages” and Google
by Jamison Koehler on March 28, 2019
Tyler tells me to be patient.
Tyler has the facts on his fingertips: He tells me about “skyscraper” pages. These are the pages that are so comprehensive, so authoritative, that they stand out above everything else on the Internet skyline. Google, Yahoo! and Bing have no choice but to feature them prominently.
I take this as a challenge.
I know I should start with a page on an area of interest to potential clients. This could lead to more business. I decide instead to begin with an area of particular interest to me: Hearsay and hearsay exceptions in D.C. I love the rules of evidence. If ever I had the opportunity to teach law, evidence would be my first choice.
I write up what I believe is a great page. It defines the rules of hearsay as applied in D.C. After summarizing each of the major exceptions, it points the reader to another page with more detail on each exception. It concludes with answers to frequently asked questions: Can a photograph be hearsay? Can hearsay be used to impeach? Is a receipt hearsay?
I post the page. Then I wait. It’s like throwing a party. You hope somebody comes.
It takes the search engines a while to find the page at all. It is at least a week before I find it. Even then, it is not listed until the third page of Google. Nobody ever searches that far. This is when Tyler counsels me to be patient.
So I stop checking. I do other things. I forget about it.
Over a month later, I think about it again. My wife happens to be in my study when I check: If you google “hearsay d.c.,” you will find my page #1 on the first page of Google.
I celebrate. My wife feigns interest: “That’s nice, dear,” she says. I don’t recall. She may also have patted me on the head.