Very Interesting: Avvo Shifts Focus to Q&A

Filed in Directories, Featured, Social Media by Matt McGee on September 20, 2011 4 Comments

avvo-logoNot two hours ago, I was on the phone doing an SEO consultation call with a doctor to whom I suggested checking out Avvo as a good industry-based place to be listed/seen. Avvo has long been considered a trusted industry directory site for lawyers and it recently expanded to include doctors, too. Now, it’s changing again: Avvo’s new focus is on expert Q&A.

To be clear: Avvo is not getting rid of its doctor and lawyer directories. It’s just shifting emphasis to the site’s existing Q&A area. The home page used to heavily promote the directory/search aspect with two large “Find a Doctor” and “Find a Lawyer” sections. There was a much smaller “Ask a Question” content block below those.

Now, the home page focuses very heavily on the Q&A aspect, with a big “Find Questions” search box, plus recent Q&As below. The old “Find a Lawyer” and “Find a Doctor” are still there, but pushed over into the right sidebar.


In his blog post, Avvo CEO Mark Britton says the site is already getting 50,000 questions and answers every month and the Q&A forum has a 90% response rate — that’s awfully impressive.

What’s In It for Doctors and Lawyers?

There’s obvious benefit for Joe Q. Public to have access to free information and advice from recognized professionals. But what about the doctors and lawyers, some of whom have already answered thousands of questions on Avvo?

Britton gives out this stat:

…professionals that answer questions on Avvo receive 7 times the number of contacts from prospective patients or clients than those that do not participate in Q&A.

That’s also impressive, though “contacts” do not necessarily become clients/patients.

In any case, my advice to the doctor whom I spoke with this morning still stands. But I think I’ll be expanding my advice for Dr. Bailey and any other doctors/lawyers who might be reading to say this:

Check out Avvo’s Q&A site and, if you have time, look for questions that you can answer. This seems worth trying and testing, at minimum.

Comments (4)

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  1. Hey Matt,

    I just wanted to point out that Avvo is limiting health care provider participation to M.D. only at this point. They do have plans to incorporate other health care providers into their website at a later date, and have an email form to fill out to be notified when that happens.

    So, if you’re not an MD I would suggest using the time you saved to do something creative, like say… applying to be an editor with dmoz in your specific niche. 😉

  2. I’m still not sure what to make of Avvo. The quality of content on the site is not great. I have seen lawyers answer a question with “I don’t practice in your state” or “if this were in my area of specialization, x would mean y.” I think Avvo is passable for people trying to check out their attorney or doctor, though the rating system (the number out of 10) is open to abuse. For example, an attorney I know is rated 10. But part of that rating has to do with the number of attorneys who endorse you. This attorney has attorneys working for him that endorse him as an attorney.
    I think that time (or with Avvo Pro, money) is much better spent on a blog or a website or both.

  3. Mike says:

    I think that’s a smart direction to go for Avvo, no doubt about it.

    Avvo is a good option to help attorneys improve their online visibility. True most of the people who go on that site are looking for free legal advice but it can still be a decent way for lawyers (especially ones with poor visibility online) to be found by consumers and potentially generate new cases.

    In response to Michael Reiter, can the rating system be gamed a bit? Absolutely, just like pretty much any ratings or review site out there but that doesn’t make it completely bad. Why not have your peers endorse you especially if it will help your rating? You may want to try that to improve your own rating on Avvo. I have absolutely no affiliation with Avvo fyi, just making a point.

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