Back in June, I told you the story I had with and other SEOs had with the Most Dependable awards being given to SEOs and Web Design companies, amongst others.
In short, a company named Goldline Research calls you, telling you that they create an "editorial" page in a popular magazine, like Entrepreneur magazine and others. The page will highlight your company as the most dependable in your niche and region.
The catch? If you are selected, you need to pay a fee. After going through the contracts myself, I noticed the fee was $3,500. I was a bit skeptical about it, but when I spoke to Goldline about that fee, they were honest and told me that it was to cover the costs of printing, research and so on. They said the content was editorial and these magazines would not let them buy an ad if they abused the editorial part.
In any event, I personally decided not to enroll my company. Why? It just felt off for me.
Yesterday, we were told by Miguel Salcido of eVisibility, an SEO company I respect, that they fell for it. Miguel told us and updated the HighRankings Forum thread, saying he just received a bill from Goldline Research for the amount of $5,500! He had no idea he was going to receive a bill for it and was shocked to see it. In fact, he was embarrassed they fell for it. He said:
We were blown away and VERY angry as we never expected the invoice. They never mentioned it to us at all, I confirmed that for the 5th time with our CEO.
I feel so bad for Miguel and company. Miguel added:
We are embarrassed that we were involved in this. We were genuinely excited about it and felt that it was legitimate.
So, please, if this helps one other company learn that there is a fee behind this award, then I am happy. I won't argue that $3,500 or $5,500 might be money well spent for advertising in a popular magazine. But you should know you are spending money and what this is all about.
Forum discussion at HighRankings Forum.