Asbestos Keywords Pay Top Dollar

Updated April 12, 2004

What's the highest paying search word on the Internet? Well if you guessed mesothelioma, you would be correct.

According to a report in The Wall Street Journal, mesothelioma is the top paying keyword on Internet search engines commanding as much as $90 per click. The word is the name for a rare type of cancer caused primarily by inhaling of asbestos particles. The businesses paying the large amounts per click are law firms looking for new clients.

Instead of ambulance chasing, lawyers are now chasing after web surfers hoping to sign up new clients for class-action lawsuits. Law firms can bid for keywords on Google or Yahoo's Overture Services, which sells text listings on Yahoo and MSN.

Paying top dollar for leads is what the search engines hope for and a new mesothelioma victim can lead to a big payday for lawyers. A typical award in a mesothelioma settlement is $1 million according to WSJ, and attorneys get 40 percent. For cases that go to trial, the mean award in 2001 was $6 million, triple the amount two years earlier, according to a study by think tank Rand Corp. Over roughly two decades of asbestos litigation through 2002, Rand says, mesothelioma cases represented about 4 percent of asbestos-related cases but 20 percent of all cash paid out in asbestos-related claims.

The Web is another source for generating new clients for laywers in addition to TV and newspaper ads which can also be expensive. Legal firms dealing with asbestos litigation are reporting that 20-25% of new clients were found online.

For more information about mesothelioma, click here.

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