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Is Google Soliciting YOUR Clients to Yellowbook?

 3:55 pm on Jul 13, 2011 (gmt 0)

I joined this forum just so I can vent my frustrations about this atrocity with hopes I'm not alone with my sentiment...

I just learned that Google is sending direct emails to the Client accounts under our MCC. They are blatantly offering $100 vouchers to give clients incentive to move to Yellowbook for PPC management.

As a small business that only manages a few clients, I am blown away by the fact that Google is trying to steal our hard earned business by soliciting our customers for Yellowbook. Yes, some of our Client Adwords accounts are temporary dormant, but that doesn't mean we're not still working with them or actively trying to get them back on Google. To try sending them away from us is a disgrace.

I guess Google believes they can do whatever the heck they want. Partnership with Google? What Partnership? Adwords Certified Company? What does that even mean anymore?

Google's actions are absolutely disgraceful. See for yourself, and you tell me if this email makes us feel like a "Valued" Partner:

Hello from Google!

For a limited time, Yellowbook will set up a new AdWords account just for you and build your online advertising campaigns at no charge.* And even better, you get a $100 Google AdWords credit to get started. This is a great opportunity for you to have Yellowbook professionally manage your AdWords campaigns.

Professionally managed AdWords campaigns created and built by Yellowbook
Pay only if you exhaust your $100 credit and choose to continue with Yellowbook*
No up-front costs and cancel at anytime
Offer expires July 31, 2011

Just call Yellowbook at 866-306-9060 or visit [webreach....] yellowbook com/tryus to take advantage of this offer right away. Hurry because this offer expires July 31, 2011!

Note: If you prefer managing your AdWords account on your own, you can redeem your $100 credit in your existing AdWords account instead.


Your Google AdWords Team

Anyone else have any thoughts about this?



 7:09 pm on Jul 22, 2011 (gmt 0)

for me, there is only one consequence: break up the company into at least two independent businesses - namely search and advertising

That makes a lot of sense from an antitrust perspective, but from a business perspective -- how does the search-only company support itself? There's not actually any money in search alone. Well... OK, maybe a tiny trickle from white-label site search, but not much.

Maybe it would make more sense to split them into two search+ads companies and make them compete against each other. Then nobody would have a majority share of either market.

The problem with that is that whichever one gets the domain google.com will win. So maybe you take it away from both and install a redirect script to split the type-in traffic down the middle.

Or maybe there's just no simple solution. It's a complex problem. We need to find some way to solve it though. Monopoly leads to stagnation.


 7:47 pm on Jul 22, 2011 (gmt 0)

Even the Yellowbook and Phone Company has a section for Website Services... Not the new Google.

why support the niche you are trying to erase


 8:00 pm on Jul 22, 2011 (gmt 0)

I've been thinking about LG's comments earlier regarding the crap coding that goes into these 'free' websites and that coding shows an interesting side of Google that all you guys who still believe Google does not evil need to think about.

While Google ... through their minions are turning out all this crap code ... another part of Google is telling webmasters that having good code will soon be a ranking factor. So Google obviously doesn't want these 'free' sites to have any chance of rank organically ... it just wants all that lovely Adwords cash it can get from the suckers who fall for the 'free' website con.

And how long will it be before we start seeing Google asking for money for inclusion in Google Places?


 8:46 pm on Jul 22, 2011 (gmt 0)

They have a full "Guide" to getting online at: [texasgetonline.com...]

In the second chapter, they reference 2-3 domain names that are still available, how long do you think that will last?

They even link to the SEOBook keyword tool, which is surprising, as critical of Google as Aaron Wall is. Then it gets right into using "Google Boost"...

Google Boost (www.google.com/boost), a paid add-on to Google Places, provides a quick and easy way to advertise your business on Google and Google Maps so your Places listing or website appears when
local customers search Google for the products and services you offer.

In reality, there is a lot of basic tips and info in the guide that's a good refresher for many questions I often read in here. Phone number and Address in the footer of every page. Trust signals, etc.


 8:25 am on Jul 23, 2011 (gmt 0)

I'm not really worried about these quasi-free websites putting web designers out of business, because the ones I have seen are So Ugly that it will be a great pitch to upgrade the poor owner to a decent site.


 11:38 pm on Jul 23, 2011 (gmt 0)

Right, and that's not the kind of business I'd want anyway. You'd have to bust your hump to create enough of those cheapo pages just to make rent every month.


 11:35 am on Jul 26, 2011 (gmt 0)

why support the niche you are trying to erase

YPs & Newspapers have a local sales force that have a preexisting relationships with businesses. This is what the search engines don't have - a sales based culture.


 10:31 pm on Jul 27, 2011 (gmt 0)

I feel a little better about the situation. Google researched the issue and discovered that the email sent to our client was sent to one of their old accounts that is no longer attached to our MCC. However, our client's current account is still attached to our MCC and is linked to a Google Checkout account and other Google services that share the same primary email as their non-attached account. Due to this, it appears as if the email was a direct solicitation when it wasn't.

Bottom line - Google definitely is soliciting client accounts on behalf of Yellow Book, and confirmed to me that this was part of a "very small test market campaign". However, at least they are not directly soliciting client accounts that are directly linked to a MCC.


 5:38 pm on Jul 28, 2011 (gmt 0)

I called Google yesterday after getting an email regarding Engage as I was curious about it. I mentioned this thread. He said that as an agency, I should think about joining Google Engage. He basically said that I could represent myself as being an Adwords partner by doing so. I guess that's what Yellowbook is doing, they just happened to send an email to a client of yours. Although I don't like the way they made themselves pass off as Google itself. I guess time to use similar soliciting tactics as this business is starting to become more cut-throat it seems.


 7:38 pm on Jul 28, 2011 (gmt 0)

Yea, someone called me about Engage. Didn't pass the "what's in it for me" test.


 8:58 pm on Jul 28, 2011 (gmt 0)

Didn't pass the "what's in it for me" test.

You can provide starter $75 coupons for new clients you manage.


 10:44 pm on Jul 28, 2011 (gmt 0)

There are $100 AdWords coupons everywhere you look. I'm building a tree fort out of mine.


 3:00 pm on Jul 29, 2011 (gmt 0)

That seems to be the only advantage all right but I'll look more into it. Deciding if I should spend a day at conference about it in a few weeks. Don't feel like driving 4.5 hours both ways. A plane would mean an hour in the air and an hour in a taxi to get to where it is. The train schedule means I'd be there an hour late.

The other advantage is that someone at Google can set up the campaign. All free from what I understood and provides support for 30 days. Not sure that I trust someone else to set up my client's campaign. He did say I've have full control and nothing would go live until I'm satisfied.


 3:36 pm on Aug 1, 2011 (gmt 0)

YPs & Newspapers have a local sales force that have a preexisting relationships with businesses. This is what the search engines don't have - a sales based culture.

It wouldn't surprise me if we see a similar pattern as what we have seen with local/places pages where Google scrapped/used review content from sites like yelp, yb and other review sites and now that they think they have enough reviews from Google members they cut out the original sites from displaying on places pages.

The next logical step would be to build their own sales force and once that's in place they will no longer allow YPs and Newspapers to offer AdWords. It will be just like with places, "hey we are going to use you as long as it helps us at which point you're out of luck."

I see Google scaling it's AdWords support services pretty fast right now so scaling a sales force is not a stretch for them in my mind.


 3:57 pm on Aug 1, 2011 (gmt 0)

It's been said that Google removed third party reviews and citations from Places due to threats from Yelp! etc. to launch an FTC investigation. I don't know that it's relevant to use that move as fuel for this fire.


 4:23 pm on Aug 1, 2011 (gmt 0)

Google dropping third party reviews from places would make sense if Yelp! did threaten. I hadn't read that anywhere.


 7:25 pm on Aug 7, 2011 (gmt 0)

Since when has the posting of emails been allowed in WebmasterWorld?

I thought it was a total no-no to do so.


 1:44 pm on Aug 8, 2011 (gmt 0)

Since it slipped through.


 1:49 pm on Aug 8, 2011 (gmt 0)

Since it slipped through.

That's no excuse though.. esp as it is a "Featured Home Page Discussion"


Email excerpts of ANY type or length are not allowed on WebmasterWorld. There are no exceptions to this rule.



 2:56 pm on Aug 8, 2011 (gmt 0)

Admins decide ..case by case ..apparently they are aware of this thread..and if so ..have decided.. ( IMO discussions of "policy" are better suited to community [webmasterworld.com...] with references to "anomalous" threads..lot of things happen nowadays which are / were precluded by current TOS ) ..that way we don't go severely OT..and derail threads..

The irony of my having done so to post that is not lost on me ..nor that I posted it :)


 3:59 pm on Aug 8, 2011 (gmt 0)

Not my playground, not my argument.


 4:08 pm on Aug 8, 2011 (gmt 0)

Admins decide ..case by case ..apparently they are aware of this thread..and if so ..have decided..

The owner of this site wrote the TOS, and the thread where it stated "There are no exceptions to this rule."

It has all becomes clear now, as to why I stopped posting.


 8:06 pm on Aug 8, 2011 (gmt 0)

Ok, LW. Good luck to you.


 12:01 am on Aug 9, 2011 (gmt 0)

Not my problem, netmeg.


 1:34 pm on Aug 20, 2011 (gmt 0)

mhansen, web design and SEO listings dropped from the Place Pages around a year ago. I can see SEO <location> Places now but not Web Design <location>.


 2:22 pm on Aug 20, 2011 (gmt 0)

@ Anallawalla -

Thanks for the confirm. Still nothing to do with maps or the 7-pack on my end though, regardless of how I try to find them. In fact, the ONLY way to get a map listing or local listing package, is to go directly to Google Maps, and search within that segment of Google.

Just to be clear... I DO see a small mix of local listings of companies who have optimized for "City web design" or "web design city" etc... but the 7-pack, map push-pins, and the map itself are not on the result pages like they are with most other business queries.



 3:22 pm on Nov 7, 2011 (gmt 0)

I just signed up with webmaster today and was a little upset to see all the negative things said about Yellowbook and Google's partnership. Especially from many uneducated people.

To answer all of the questions as to whether or not this was even from google...Yes it was! I am an employee of Yellowbook, and I'm probably going to get my head bit off for even saying so! If your not sure what a google adwords certified company is, you probably don't even have a right commenting on this discussion. Not only is Yellowbook a Google Certified Company, but we are the ONLY company to receive an award from Google based off of our SEO and SEM practices, and we did this 2 years in a row! I also believe we are right on track to receive the next award! Something I am very proud to say we as a company have accomplished.

Now if someone could please explain to me why Google cannot solicite to customers they have lost in an effort to gain their business back!? From a business aspect, if you were going to have someone go out and solicite to an unsatisfied customer (which they were if they left) wouldn't you send out your best salesperson!? To google, that is what we are! We have the most and the best and we run their campaigns the right way. For every honest SEO and SEM business there are 10 times that many dishonest SEO/ SEM business out there! Should it be Google's job to filter the good from the bad?

You people are giving Google far too much credit, they are a business that strives to be number 1 and they get insulted for doing so! Obviously they know what they are doing condidering the unmatched internet presence that no one has yet been able to touch.


 7:52 pm on Nov 7, 2011 (gmt 0)

>> To answer all of the questions as to whether or not this was even from google...Yes it was!

Thanks. That clears that up.

What you say makes perfect sense: you send your best salesman when trying to get someone back. I just wasn't aware that Google did that and recommended someone. In fact, doesn't it say on their page of certified individuals that they cannot and won't recommend anyone?

I'm not the OP but I do understand where he's coming from and what he's mad about. Why don't they send similar messages endorsing Lucid or Dan76 (the OP) to manage their account.

I've talked to my rep to try to get them to do this. I even asked him to talk to his superiors that I wrote a book that could be given to advertisers to help them. After all, it would be good for both the advertisers and Google. But he either couldn't or wasn't willing.

I have nothing against Yellowbook. I wasn't even aware of you guys until this post. You also seem to be doing things right from what you say. I agree with you about Google bashing but that seems to be what people like to do to companies reaching the top just like we used to do with Microsoft.

It's just that Dan is frustrated, and me too to some degree, that Google is endorsing a company when that is not their mandate which is to provide the means to advertise on their search engine. It's a bit like Ford saying buy your gas only at Shell.

You say you have to best at your company. Good for you. But you are not the only one with the best of the best. So why won't Google endorse Dan or myself and others? That's what he's complaining about.

By the way, welcome to WW. Hope you stick around and give your insights.


 2:34 pm on Nov 8, 2011 (gmt 0)

if guys figure it all out, let me know, i've got one particular client i want them to steal from me. :-)


 3:15 am on Nov 9, 2011 (gmt 0)

Difficult client Rhino? Just fire them. I've done that once. Would rather lose the money than put up with the headache and stress.

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