More threads by Linda Buquet

Linda Buquet

Local Search Expert
Jun 28, 2012
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Interesting... from Marketing Land


<a href="">In 2014, Google Aims To Train 20,000 Third-Party Sales Reps To Sell Local</a>

When small businesses see Google as the “Wild Wild West” of confusing marketing opportunities, Google itself sees working with third-party companies as crucial to cutting through that confusion and fueling its growth. The company provided training to 13,000 third-party sales reps last year and aims to train 20,000 this year.

The figure came during a talk by Kristin Coit, Google’s head of directories and web hosting partnerships for Google in North America. She was speaking at LSA 2014, the annual conference of the Local Search Association.

“We understand small businesses don’t want to do it alone,” Coit said, talking about small businesses trying to figure out Google. ”There are millions of small business that want that help, that need that help.”

A few choice comments from Danny Sullivan's live blog coverage.

"Google wants to reach 10s of thousands of sales reps. "We really want to scale."

"FYI, ReachLocal and Yodle are Google partners who recently got slammed in a WSJ article for complaints"

Here is a link to the full WSJ article:

<a href="">Small Businesses Search in Vain for Web-Ad Help -</a>

Promises to Lure Customers on Search Engines Don't Pan Out

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.

Both pieces of news juxtaposed together are very interesting:

On the one hand Google hungrily wants feet on the street sales people, but they don't want them to be google employees.

Meanwhile WSJ reviews the status of two of the better known high flying adwords resellers and references a slew of their problems and issues.

Meanwhile for a close inside look at RL, one of their ex employees wrote about them on a 7 month old post on Screenwerk by Greg Sterling. The particular thread has generated a LOT of comments. The ex employee's comments are here: What’s Wrong at ReachLocal?

I had experience with both Yodle and RL and would parrot the deep negatives. I wouldn't wish them upon an SMB. After the one Yodle experience one sizable SMB simply refuses to touch adwords or any other web marketing. It was an ugly experience.
This isn't good.

I can't blame Google for steering SMBs toward AdWords; that's what keeps the lights on at Mountain View.

What bothers me is that Google is encouraging more third-party resellers. There will be a significant markup, and because of high churn and too many accounts, those resellers won't do a good job.

It's as Dave was saying about RL and Yodle. A good PPC campaign takes time, and up-front struggling.

Most businesses that work with resellers compete with businesses that are much more sophisticated at PPC than they are. They don't know what they're up against. Google is pushing these businesses into a meat-grinder.
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I'm surprised that communities like this don't raise an angry voice about these issues.

The RL's and Yodle's often end up alienating smb's and turn them off to any outside assistance. That could be you. The smb's were already burned once and don't trust anything that smacks of any kind of web/googlish seo/local/maps/ppc type of assistance.

The smb's are harder to get in front of and harder to sell with real assistance. Plus their budgets were ripped off.

Its further interesting to me that Google announces a PR campaign to train a LOT of salespeople. Google hungrily wants those sales to smb's but it doesn't want its own sales force, and distances itself from the abuses that an RL or a Yodle place on the smb's.

Having seen a total of 3 campaigns w/ RL/Yodle they clearly aren't good for smb's, waste money, include tons of misdirection and some outright lies, and basically leave a terrible taste in the mouths of the smbs.

I found the comments in Greg Sterling's blog to be most interesting. It was a revealing look inside these two businesses. It confirmed my own suspicions on some of the efforts in connection with the reselling campaigns.

Really Google should look to clean these types of actions up if they want smb advertising money.

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