Like many SEO news sites, Search Engine Roundtable began as a blog by a website designer. The site is owned by RustyBrick, Inc who also offer Web development services. Although the site contains links to RustyBrick’s services website, the connection between the two sites is not very noticeable and the company has managed to develop Search Engine Roundtable as a stand-alone entity. They don’t use the site to push their development services and they maintain editorial independence and resist the urge to interlace news items with RustyBrick promotions.

The format of the site is similar to Search Engine Watch and Search Engine Land in that the left-hand two thirds of the screen is occupied by the opening lines of news stories and the right-hand third is used for features and advertising. The top story of recent days is displayed stretched across the first two columns of the screen and may not be from the current date. Below that top story, the latest headlines are displayed in two columns.  This section contains the five most recent stories posted on the site. Each has a title, the date and time it was posted and the author’s name followed by 4 or 5 lines of the story. Clicking on the title takes you to a separate page occupied by that story which is followed by a comments section.

Following on from the most recent news items, the next most recent news stories appear in a list as links. Each of these links shows the title followed by the date and time of posting. A link to “More Stories” brings in a longer list of news items, which enables you to cycle through the entire archive of the site in reverse chronological order (latest first).

Search Engine Roundtable focuses more on stories only related to search engines than its main rivals – who also bring in general Web marketing topics. This gives the site more room for news on the Bing and Yahoo search engines. A menu below the main banner of the site enables the reader to filter stories by search engine, the categories being “Google,” “Bing,” “Yahoo,” “SEO,” followed by “Other Search Topics” and “More,” which each have a large number of sub-menu options.

The tone of Search Engine Roundtable articles is much less technical that other SEO news sites. You will have no problem understanding these news items if you are a non-technical operator of a law firm website. The technical team of a large law firm might find the level of this site a little too light. There are no guides or detailed technical analysis on this site. Corporate lawyers may find the industry and corporate news items included on this site of interest. One of the sub-menu items under the “Other Search Topics” heading is “Legal Search Issues.” This section displays only the news items registered on the site that cover legal issues currently faced by search engines, such as nation legislation that impacts on the industry. However, you won’t find any specific advice for developing a website specifically for a law firm.

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