It is not every day you see SEM companies featured in Wall Street Journal articles but a few weeks ago, they ran a story named Small Businesses Search in Vain for Web-Ad Help.
It isn't good.
It calls out two very large SEM companies named ReachLocal and Yodle as not delivering on their promises to their customers.
Here is a quote:
The Federal Trade Commission has received about 60 complaints involving ReachLocal since 2009 - roughly half of them filed within the past two years - and more than 180 complaints about Yodle over the same period, including more than 100 filed since 2012, according to data reviewed by the Journal following a Freedom of Information Act request.
The complaints, which were mostly from small-business owners, ranged from unfulfilled promises of new clients and better search-engine results to unwanted sales calls, exaggerated online traffic reports and overbilling. Some owners say the firms posted errors on their business websites - including faulty contact information - while others complained that the companies' newly refurbished sites promoted services they didn't provide. An FTC spokesman says the agency doesn't comment on specific cases. ReachLocal and Yodle declined to comment on specific complaints.
Of course, since these are big players, they make the whole industry just look that much worse.
I am sure they do provide good results for many of their clients but there are many who are not happy.
It is a pretty revealing article about the risks and rewards of running an SEM shop. I am sure many of you can relate on a smaller scale.
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