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  1. #1
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    A Directory's Approach to Doing Business: Pay us or we delete your free listings!

    I wanted to share this email thread with you all to see what you thought. If you want to know what directory I had this conversation with, just PM me.

    We contacted them via email and asked if they could update a listing on their site that had the wrong information on it. It was for a retired State Farm insurance agent who had another agent take over his office.

    Directory (reply):
    It wouldn't really be the same listing since it's a different agent, now would it? Don't you keep login records of all the listings you add to our directory? With at least 1,500 state farm businesses (a quick scan, might be a lot more) YOU have added and none of them having been upgraded to some sort paid version, I'm inclined to remove them all.
    We do not manage/update the listings, but am open to working out a deal with you. To keep all current businesses listed by your company, allow future listings to be added by your company, and assist you with making updates or providing login information so you can update them, what is the price per listing per month you would pay? Another option would be to upgrade all current and future listings with the True Web Link option ($15 one-time fee for each listing).

    Imprezzio: My apologies

    Directory: Does this mean I should delete all listings (1,500+) added by Imprezzio Marketing to the *** Directory?

    Imprezzio: Of course not

    Directory: I need a response in regards to my suggestions. As in, you are looking into it and will have a reply by...

    Imprezzio (this is where I, Joy, jumped in): I am a little taken aback by your approach here to my coworker Marnie. Your site advertises the ability to add a free listing -***. You even advertise it being free in your statement "The *** business directory has been offering free business listings since 2003." Why would you want to delete the listings we have provided? They are real businesses. You clearly state on your website that upgrading to a paid listing is an option, but not required. Can you please clarify why these listings should be deleted?

    Directory: I'm frequently being asked to update or delete a listing that your company has added, either directly by your company since you do not keep login records or from the actual owner of the listing. You charge $99/month to provide "SEO" (directory submissions) for insurance companies, but rely on me to update and maintain those listings. *** has never been intended to be a source for SEO/marketing companies to dump numerous listings into its directory, especially when those companies are unable to log back in and update the information.
    You are essentially asking me to something for you for free, when in actuality you are getting paid to do such service and cannot provide it. I believe we can work something out. I've offered a couple of solutions, and would be glad to hear any that you have to offer.

    Imprezzio (me): I just wanted to clarify that we don't charge $99/month to submit clients to directories. I'm not sure where that came from, but it's incorrect. We do try and make sure our clients don't have incorrect data about them on the internet so if we see an incorrect listing, we try and fix it. If we were the ones to originally submit the wrong data then we can absolutely update it ourselves and login. I'm sorry to bother you - I didn't realize it was requiring so much effort on your part. I will make sure our employees stop bothering you.

    Directory: How about the insurance agents themselves? Will you ask them to stop requesting updates for the listings your company has added?

    Imprezzio (me): Yes, I will make sure they don't do this. I honestly wasn't even aware that they were. If you receive any more from insurance agents that are clients of ours, please reach out to me and let me know. We definitely don't want them causing you a ton of manual work.

    Directory: And how are you going to go about contacting these 1,500+ people? And what about those that are no longer clients of yours but still have a listing with ***? It would be much easier to just remove all of these listings.

    Imprezzio (me): I'm really trying to be agreeable and reasonable. I completely understand your frustration and will do my best to help. I don't see how deleting a bunch of listings for legit businesses who added them for free via your website when you promote this ability is fair or reasonable. If you want, I have our employees stop submitting listings to your site. I don't really see what benefit that would give you but if it's your preference, I'm fine with that.

    Directory:
    That would be great, the listings will be removed shortly.

    Imprezzio (me): I really don't understand why you are removing them. Your website says listings can be added for free. I don't understand why you would promote that if this is how you operate your business. The businesses on there have done nothing wrong. Please do not remove them.

    Directory:
    It's free for business owners to submit their listing. Not a free for all buffet for so called "SEO" firms to dump a bunch of listings. Nearly all the email addresses you've used to create these listings are junk and created for the sole purpose of adding listings to directories. If I wanted to contact these State Farm agents via email to offer them a way to verify their listing, I wouldn't be able to.

    You still can make an offer on what it's worth to you to keep these listings and to add future listings. I've made suggestions, but haven't heard a response to them yet. You are using my service to sell your service.
    Joy Hawkins
    Owner of Sterling Sky
    Author of The Expert's Guide to Local SEO [, a 260+ page training manual that is updated monthly and contains advanced tips and tactics for Local SEO that actually work and drive results.

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  3. #2
    Member Since
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    Re: A Directory's Approach to Doing Business: Pay us or we delete your free listings!

    Wow Joy, that's just wrong! Thanks so much for sharing.

    FYI all. Joy shared this with me yesterday and asked if she could post and I asked her to post but to please remove the name. So the post was anonymized at my request.

    If anyone wants to know which directory, just Google "business directory has been offering free business listings since 2003". "Free business listings" is on the home page title tag and there is a whole page devoted to free business listings.

    Discuss but please don't mention the name due to potential legal concerns.

    Thanks again Joy!
    Linda Buquet .:. Forum Founder, Google Local Specialist

    If you benefit from advice here... Please pay the community back by sharing on social OR helping someone else at the forum. Thank you!

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    Note: Due to mulitple RSI injuries, pardon short replies. Typos? Blame it on "Dragon".

  4. #3
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    Re: A Directory's Approach to Doing Business: Pay us or we delete your free listings!

    Wow! That's about all I can say. I will certainly PM you. I definitely want to know what company represents itself in that way.

    Linda - you must've posted at the same time. Again, wow!
    Last edited by Scott Rawlins; 11-12-2013 at 08:53 AM. Reason: adding content
    Scott Rawlins - Find Local Company in Atlanta GA
    Follow Me on G+

  5. #4
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    Re: A Directory's Approach to Doing Business: Pay us or we delete your free listings!

    If the directory really wanted to help business owners they would make it easy for them to update their listing themselves.

    I bet they approach business owners as well to pay them for edits.
    Benjamin Beck
    Founder of LocalStampede.com

  6. #5
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    Re: A Directory's Approach to Doing Business: Pay us or we delete your free listings!

    It's a PR4 directory which seems to be pretty much "submit and you're listed", meaning no quality control. The "niche" is non-specific, i.e., any business.

    The reality is that these days those links are almost certainly not providing any SEO benefits to your clients anyway. The owner may well be doing you and your clients a favor by removing them.

    I highly doubt that it's providing any significant traffic for your clients.

    And with that attitude, his directory will be dead within a few months anyway.

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