Usually I don’t like to waste my time with writing about the haphazard practices of others, but at this point the business world needs to know the truth about the organization.
Right now, you probably are doing research on whether or not “Yodle is Worth It”, or perhaps you were cold called and you want to find some “Yodle Reviews” on this company’s reputation and what exactly you may or may not be receiving from them.
Well, it’s all here.
What are you getting with Yodle? Well, as a business owner who’s not privvy to the internet search world, you are getting nothing. That’s right. A steaming plate of nothing. You’ll get some fancy terms, pushy sales calls and a statement they are “Certified with Google” or are “From Google”. The sound of this makes me laugh as I type this. They are “Certified and From Google”. By that token, then anyone that has something on the net about him or her is “from Google”.
And really this isn’t some flame war, this is core proof of me being on the phone for hours whilst trying to help clients actually get results out of there online marketing efforts. So without any further hesitation, let’s see some more scenario’s on why Yodle is Not Worth It, and most likely you will want to throw yourself off that proverbial mountain while you try to yodel for help.
If you are a victim of their “local business marketing service” through a cold call. You can expect the following:
– You give them suggestions on what important domains you may be interested in for your business. Basically to build your business on. Without hesitation you think you can put your trust in them, however after discussing your business with you, they register all associated and pertinent domain names to your business in your area IN THEIR NAME. That’s right, if you don’t read the fine print, you’ll notice that they don’t put you on the domain registration at all.
How awful is that?
Basically, you never really own the domain. You give them bread and water, and a house to stay in, and when you run out of bread they basically seize your crops and kick you out of your own house.
Here’s an excerpt from a contract recently from Yodle that includes some very fast talked and overlooked details.
Below is a contract from Outrank/Yodle that most people overlook, so please take a moment now to look at it:
Terms and Conditions
1.0 Acknowledgment And Acceptance Of Agt.
1.1 The Outrank.com Advertising Service (the “Service”) is provided to you (“you” or “User”) under the terms and conditions of this Advertising Service Agreement (the “Agreement”), which may be updated by Outrank.com from time to time without notice to you.
1.2 BY PURCHASING A LISTING ON THE SERVICE, YOU REPRESENT AND WARRANT THAT YOU ARE 18 YEARS OF AGE OR OLDER, THAT YOU WILL PROVIDE TRUE, ACCURATE, CURRENT, AND COMPLETE INFORMATION IN YOUR REGISTRATION FOR THE SERVICE, AND THAT YOU AGREE TO BE BOUND BY THIS AGREEMENT.
2.0 Description Of The Service.
2.1 Outrank.com Advertising Service is a fee-based service provided by Outrank.com to serve the needs of businesses. Business owners who sign up for the Service can receive placement on one of the websites operated by Outrank.com.
2.2 As an example of how the service works, Outrank.com owns the domain and operates a website at http://www.bestdallasplumber.
2.3 Outrank.com will perform Search Engine Optimization on the Website so that your information appears in as many places as possible on the Internet, including Google Local, Yahoo Local, Microsoft Live Local, Google Organic, Yahoo Organic, Microsoft Live Organic, and many more. When multiple businesses are being listed on the same page, we will work hard to have yours listed as close as possible to the top.
2.4 All listings submitted to the Service must meet the following minimum criteria:
• The listing must be for a business based in the United States.
• The listing must be in the English language with the official business name visible to any visitor to that site.
• The listing must not contain any content, products, services, or other information that in Outrank.com’s sole determination may be sexually suggestive or illegal to sell under any applicable law, statute, ordinance, or regulation, that may infringe or violate anyone’s rights, or that Outrank.com believes, in its sole discretion, is inflammatory, offensive, or otherwise inconsistent with the spirit of the Service.
These criteria are minimum requirements only, and Outrank.com, in its sole discretion, may consider other criteria before accepting the submission.
2.4 Outrank.com reserves the right to decide whether, where, and how a listing appears on the Website.
2.5 As part of your service, you may receive the temporary use of telephone numbers that are used to track the
progress of your listing throughout the Internet. Outrank.com shall control these numbers and may replace or change the numbers without notice.
2.6 NOTHING IN THIS AGREEMENT OBLIGATES OUTRANK.COM TO ACCEPT YOUR LISTING. OUTRANK.COM RESERVES THE SOLE RIGHT AND OWNERSHIP TO THE WEBSITE, THE DOMAIN AT WHICH THE WEBSITE MAY BE FOUND, AND THE TELEPHONE NUMBERS LISTED ON THE WEBSITE. UPON TERMINATION OF THIS AGREEMENT, YOUR LISTING WILL BE REMOVED FROM THE WEBSITE AND REPLACED WITH THE LISTING OF A NEW CUSTOMER. IN ADDITION, ANY PHONE NUMBERS ON THE WEBSITE WILL BE RE-ROUTED TO THE NEW CUSTOMER.
3.0 Payment Terms.
3.1 In order for Outrank.com to consider your listing, you must submit a valid credit card or checking account number, or provide other payment information acceptable to Outrank.com in its sole discretion. Unless you prepay several months, you agree that your credit card or checking account will be charged the current monthly fee specified when you ordered the Service on the date that you submit your listing and will continue to be charged the current monthly fee on that date on each subsequent month during the term of this Agreement. Outrank.com may change its fees upon notice to you.
3.2 In the event that you prepay for several months of service, we will consider the prepayment to be earned by us evenly each month we render services to you.
3.3 In the event that your credit card expires, you hereby give us permission to submit the credit card charge with a later expiration date.
4.0 Term And Termination.
4.1 This Agreement shall begin on the date you agree to the Service and continue on a month to month basis thereafter at rates applicable at the time, unless notice of termination is provided in accordance with Section 4.2 below.
4.2 Either party, in its sole and absolute discretion, may terminate this Agreement upon 30 days’ prior notice in the manner described in Section 9 regarding notice. If you terminate this Agreement effective prior to the end of a month, your cancellation of the Service will not take effect until the end of that month and you will not receive a refund for the partial month.
4.3 Notwithstanding the foregoing, Outrank.com may, but has no duty to, immediately terminate this Agreement and remove the listing from the Service for any reason, including if you have provided false information as part of your submission, are engaged in fraudulent or illegal activities or the sale of illegal or harmful goods or services, are engaged in activities or sales that may damage the rights of Outrank.com or others, or have otherwise breached the terms of this Agreement. Any termination under this Section 4.3 shall take effect immediately without any opportunity to cure. For the month in which termination of this Agreement occurs, your credit card will be charged the full amount of the then current monthly fee without any pro-ration of any kind.
4.4 The provisions of Section 5, 6, 8, 9, 10, 11, and 12 shall survive any termination of the Agreement.
5.0 Privacy And Communications.
By placing a listing through the Service, you agree to receive communications essential to your use of the Service–for example, an email about a change in Service pricing. For other, non-essential communications related to the Service, including promotional messages, you will have the choice to opt-out upon receipt of the first non-essential communication. You may exercise this choice from instructions provided within the first non-essential communication. In order to learn more about the needs of its customers and to combat spam, Outrank.com monitors and records all communications between You and people who see your listing on the Service. You hereby consent to such monitoring and recording, specifically including the recording of calls between You and people who called you after seeing your listing on the Service.
You agree to indemnify, defend, and hold harmless Outrank.com and its parent, subsidiaries, affiliates, officers, directors, shareholders, employees, and agents, from any claim or demand, including reasonable attorneys’ fees, made by any third party due to or arising out of your use of or listing in the Service, the acceptance or rejection of your listing, any alleged violation of this Agreement, any alleged violation of any rights of others, or any action or failure to act by You. Outrank.com reserves the right, at its own expense, to assume the exclusive defense and control of any matter subject to indemnification by You, which shall not excuse your indemnity obligations.
Outrank.com guarantees that within 60 days of returning your Business Profile Form, your information will appear in a High Position on the search engines for the keyword comprised of your city name and type of business (such as “Austin Plumbing”). “High Position” means on the front page in at least one of the following: (a) Google organic, (b) Google local, (c) Yahoo organic, (d) Yahoo
local, (e) MSN organic, or (f) MSN local. Outrank.com also guarantees that if you ever fail to maintain a High Position, Outrank.com will achieve a High Position for you within 60 days of dropping out of High Position. In the event we fail to meet either of these guarantees, you will not be billed again until you receive a High Position. Outrank.com will continue rendering services under these Terms & Conditions even while you are not being billed.
8.0 Disclaimer Of Warranties And Liabilities.
THE SERVICE IS PROVIDED ON AN “AS IS” AND “AS AVAILABLE” BASIS WITHOUT WARRANTIES OF ANY KIND, EITHER EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY OR FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. NEITHER THIS AGREEMENT NOR ANY DOCUMENTATION FURNISHED UNDER IT IS INTENDED TO EXPRESS OR IMPLY ANY WARRANTY THAT THE SERVICE WILL BE UNINTERRUPTED, TIMELY OR ERROR-FREE. OUTRANK.COM AND ITS PARENT, SUBSIDIARIES, AFFILIATES, OFFICERS, DIRECTORS, SHAREHOLDERS, EMPLOYEES, AND AGENTS, SHALL NOT BE LIABLE, UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES OR LEGAL THEORIES WHATSOEVER, FOR ANY LOSS OF BUSINESS, PROFITS, OR GOODWILL, LOSS OF USE OR DATA, INTERRUPTION OF BUSINESS, OR FOR ANY INDIRECT, SPECIAL, INCIDENTAL, OR CONSEQUENTIAL OR EXEMPLARY DAMAGES OF ANY CHARACTER, EVEN IF OUTRANK.COM IS AWARE OF THE RISK OF SUCH DAMAGES, THAT RESULT IN ANY WAY FROM YOUR USE OF OR INABILITY TO USE THIS SERVICE OR THE CONTINUATION OF YOUR LISTING IN THE SERVICE. OUTRANK.COM’S LIABILITY TO YOU SHALL NOT, FOR ANY REASON, EXCEED THE AMOUNT ACTUALLY PAID BY YOU TO OUTRANK.COM UNDER THIS AGREEMENT. SOME JURISDICTIONS DO NOT ALLOW THE EXCLUSION OF CERTAIN WARRANTIES OR LIABILITIES, SO SOME OF THE ABOVE EXCLUSIONS MAY NOT APPLY TO YOU.
9.0 Force Majeure.
No party to this Agreement shall be liable to the other for any delay or failure in performance under the Agreement resulting directly or indirectly from acts of nature or causes beyond its reasonable control.
Any notices or communications under the Agreement shall be by electronic mail or in other form of writing and shall be deemed delivered upon receipt to the party to whom such communication is directed, at the addresses specified below. If to Outrank.com, such notices shall be addressed to cs@Outrank.com, or to such other address as Outrank.com may provide to you. If to you, such notices shall be addressed to the electronic mailing address or other mailing address provided by you. It is your obligation to keep your contact information with Outrank.com current.
11.0 Entire Agreement.
This Agreement constitutes the entire agreement between the parties with respect to the Service and supersedes all previous proposals, both oral and written, representations, writings and all other communications between the parties.
The Agreement and the relationship between you and Outrank.com shall be governed by the laws of the state of Texas without regard to its conflict of law provisions. You and Outrank.com agree to submit to the personal and exclusive jurisdiction of the State and Federal Courts located in Austin, Texas. Outrank.com’s failure to exercise or enforce any right or provision of the Agreement shall not constitute a waiver of such right or provision. If any provision of the Agreement is found by a court of competent jurisdiction to be invalid, the parties nevertheless agree that the court should endeavor to give effect to the parties’ intentions as reflected in the provision, and agree that the other provisions of the Agreement remain in full force and effect. You agree that regardless of any statute or law to the contrary, any claim or cause of action arising out of or related to use of the Service, to the Agreement, or to your listing must be filed within one (1) year after such claim or cause of action arose or be forever barred. Any and all press releases and other public announcements related to the inclusion of your listing in the Service, including the method and timing of such announcements, must be approved in advance by Outrank.com in writing. Outrank.com reserves the right to withhold approval of any public announcement in its sole discretion. If this Agreement is accepted electronically (e.g., you type your name in the Signature box and return the Agreement by e-mail), this creates an electronic signature that has the same legal force and effect as a handwritten signature on a written contract under any applicable law or regulation, and is equally binding, and this Agreement is an electronic contract that sets out the legally binding terms of the Service.
That’s it. Well, basically part of it. You actually are better off being married to the mob. At least you are offered “protection”.
Now this is where the serious issues come together. Let’s point some of them out.
– Yodle’s sales team is not forthcoming. They don’t give you these details in honesty and are pushy and drop the price according to attitude (Goes to show you how they perceive their own work!). You are basically renting a home. So at any given time, you can get the old eviction notice.
– They don’t allow you to make any changes to “the site you don’t own”. Unlike an apartment you rent, where you can actually decorate it how you see fit, Yodle can put together a lackluster design , and stuff it with however they see fit. Any and all changes are forced to be done by them for a fee. Again is this worth it? … I don’t think so.
– Again, you are helping them, not yourself. You don’t own any of the url branding, and really can wind up giving your site to your competition.
– No local search engine client exclusivity. Meaning that if they want to work with your competition that is 2 blocks away, and give them the same service. They basically will. And in my mind, that is cannibalizing your earlier clients chance of maximizing their potential with you, especially when they pop and drop lackluster websites with similar and confusing content.
– They actually never build you out a online profile. The best online search marketers work hard to build your online profiles. This means backlinks, mentions and social awareness. Every single last site that a client was sitting on for more than a year had ZERO LINKS. That’s right…ZERO. So they were basically working on domain name and age. That’s why many of my clients never seen the results they were promised. Because they don’t work for you, they work for themselves.
– Yodle’s “phone tracking numbers” are recycled and many times can again be changed on you or ultimately ripped away once service is terminated. I wish many good luck for those that worked hard promoting their businesses on these issued numbers. They aren’t the phone company, so based on their underhanded positioning they sit at I will utmost guarantee based on the above contract that they will not offer you the opportunity to “transfer your Yodle phone number.”.
So why do people do business with this company then?
Well, because they don’t know any better and it sounds like a bargain and their continually negotiated phone rates. However hopefully the hard working business owner is here reading this, and deciding to take action with a real online marketing plan that he can call his own.
That’s it for now my friends, please feel free to post your experiences with Yodle below, as I am only one of many.