In my last post I talked about researching online advertising companies that you might be considering doing business with. I’d like to expand just a bit on this point and point out that it’s important to evaluate the evaluators.
I intercepted a ridiculous spam email from an eLocal rep to one of my clients that had the following paragraph near the bottom:
The Top 10 Local Search Company Award is given to the best companies offering local search optimization services. This year’s winners stand out among an increasing number of high-quality companies and prove to be the leaders with outstanding contribution to the local search realm. eLocal is proud to say that we are in the top 10 of promotionmworld.com
First of all, if you’re going to link to something in a sales letter, don’t typo the link (note the “m” in the second link). Anyway, we expect that from these people. You can read more on eLocal’s lack of professionalism here.
More importantly, let’s think about who promotionworld.com is. How credible is their opinion of a site? I didn’t know but I decided to compare their review of eLocal to the Better Business Bureau to see if they were in agreement. The BBB gives eLocal a rating of D. I’ll let you decide who is more credible in this match up…
Promotion World states that it selects the top 10 for their list based on the following:
“The Top 10 Local Search Company Awards are based on the offered services, package diversity, customer support, new products and services, feedback, website popularity, and overall performance of the selected companies.”
Then I decided to test the “customer support” and “feedback” aspects by seeing what the popular opinion was for eLocal. I performed a simple search in Google for “eLocal scam” to see what would come back. It looks like there’s no shortage of disparaging comments out there from people that have either been clients of eLocal or even employees of eLocal.
By now my conclusion is starting to form, and it’s not good news for Promotion World. The moral of this story is to evaluate the evaluators. Many sites that provide rankings of companies within a category will allow those companies to buy their way into the rankings. Make sure you corroborate the information you find on a company with at least a few other sources because while there are reputable resources out there, there’s no shortage of shady sites that care only about lining their pockets and not at all about helping you stay protected.
To be clear, I have no idea if there is a pay-for-play scenario here. eLocal may not have even done anything to be ranked here…I honestly have no insight into that situation. This post is meant only to illustrate the larger problem, not necessarily to single out eLocal and/or Promotion World.