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  1. #1
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    Yodle - yay or nay?

    Wondering if any of you have dealt with yodle before - i have a new client (dentist) who is using them and i am a bit concerned for a few reasons:
    1) yodle has build them a landing page BUT the content is the same on at least 10 of yodle's other dentist client sites - changing only location and company name
    2)They use a tracking number for the main phone number...i know that is not only bad for google search but i wonder if client ever leaves yodle if they lose that number as well
    3) yodle uses a domain name: locationkeyword.org for website URL. Client also has another website companyname.com that they use...the yodle page is ranking for a few keywords but the companyname.com is not ranking at all...if they leave yodle i'm assuming they lose the .org domain as well
    4) current citations that are out there show different website URL's an different phone numbers

    Thought would be appreciated - thanks

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  3. #2
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    Re: Yodle - yay or nay?

    Before I even read your post - when I just saw Yodle in the subject, I was going to warn you about tracking #s. That's really all I know about them is they use tracking #s that can mess up citations, COULD cause duplicates to pop up and COULD dislodge the main site's ranking.

    But if on top of that they are just churning out duplicate content that's not good.

    But yes you are right they own the domain and # so if the Dentist stops paying they'll shut off the faucet.
    Linda Buquet .:. Forum Founder, Google Local Specialist

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  4. #3
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    Re: Yodle - yay or nay?

    Hi Shonda,

    My name is Radley Moss, Director of Corporate Communications at Yodle. Thanks for your post. I wanted to respond to all of your points, which will hopefully allay your concerns.

    1) There is a methodology to the website content we select for all our small business customers. During the setup process, we discuss our client’s business goals, unique selling points, service categories and locations that best identify their business, and use this information as a basis for inserting content on their website. We stack our clients’ websites with keyword rich content that has been proven to work for organic search. This process has been thoroughly tested – based on data we’ve gathered from our 30,000+ customers – and shows the best results for conversion.

    2) Tracking numbers that Yodle provides do not negatively impact online rankings. Ranking online is dependent on a lot of factors. Having a tracking number is also very important because it allows both our customers and Yodle to monitor the ROI from the online marketing campaign.

    3) We don’t offer .org websites to our clients. We recommend to all our clients that they use an SEO friendly domain for their Yodle-created websites for which we provide the URL. We also provide our customers with an option to maintain their website at a minimal fee if they decide they no longer want to use Yodle for paid search advertising or SEO.

    4) I’m not sure what citations you saw but Yodle algorithmically pushes our clients’ information to a network of directories to ensure consistency. This automated approach means that it’s very unlikely that there will be any inconsistencies in citations.

    Please don’t hesitate to contact me at rmoss@yodle.com or 212-542-5449 if you have any questions or would like to discuss anything else. I also thought that you may be interested in seeing this video testimonial from one of our dental clients - Video Testimonial - Sensible Dental/Bluebonnet Dental | Yodle.

    Best,

    Radley

  5. #4
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    Re: Yodle - yay or nay?

    So it's confirmed that Yodle uses local tracking numbers? That could definitely hurt local rankings like Linda said, by creating inconsistent NAP information and ultimately leading to duplicate page problems. I think if they were doing what Yext does and simply create citations, I would say give it a try, but the tracking numbers are a no-go for me. I always tell clients to never use tracking numbers for local. I've had new clients sign on with me who've had tracking numbers in the past and it's pretty terrible trying to get rid of 3+ duplicates because there are so many wrong phone number variations.

    Also like Linda said, if you ever cancel with them they own the numbers. Then you have all these tracking numbers out there that won't lead to your phone ringing... I'd be careful about that.
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  6. #5
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    Re: Yodle - yay or nay?

    Quote Originally Posted by RadleyMoss View Post
    Hi Shonda,


    3) We don’t offer .org websites to our clients.

    Radley
    Radley - thanks for the reply...regarding the domain name, the website you provided my client is www.locationkw.org I'm confused by your statement that you don't offer .org websites to your clients. The other thing i was concerned about is that when i put their website content into copyscape, approx 15 other dentists websites with exact same copy came up and only kw, location, business name was changed. I have always heard this is considered duplicate content and would not be considered favorable by the search engines. I'm curious what your thoughts on that are.

    Shonda

  7. #6
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    Re: Yodle - yay or nay?

    They also use mirror sites with nofollow in the robots.txt. I won't even comment on this, but would be interested in Radley's take on how that could possibly be of benefit.

  8. #7
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    Re: Yodle - yay or nay?

    All,

    Thank you for your additional comments and questions. Here’s my feedback.

    EsR – Yes, we do use local tracking numbers. Per my initial response, our data shows that local tracking numbers do not negatively impact rankings provided they are used consistently across the web. Our “Yodle Organic” offering respects NAP consistency across the web to achieve rankings and drive results for our customers.

    Shonda – I am checking on the domain that your client received. Regarding the website copy, the item that you brought up has not negatively impacted client performance and we have practices in place to ensure that doesn’t happen. Per my initial response, we stack our clients’ websites with keyword rich content that has been proven to work for organic search. Our 35 strong product performance team, a team of data scientists and analysts, is constantly monitoring client performance. They review data from our 30,000+ customers to make sure that we’re always implementing practices that provide them with the best possible chance of generating results from their online marketing programs with Yodle.

    Phil – Yodle does not use mirror sites for any our SEO clients. We specifically build customers’ websites with SEO practices top of mind. We recommend to our customers that are only working with us specifically on paid search advertising campaigns to also use Yodle-created websites. However, we do successfully use mirrored sites for our paid search advertising clients when they request we do that.

    Thank you again for your input.

    Best,

    Radley

  9. #8
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    Re: Yodle - yay or nay?

    One of my clients is having a very bad time with Yodle.

    While disputing the charge on their credit card Yodle sent them "proof of service" which consisted of pages showing they had positioned my clients site for #1 and #2 spots under 3 different keyword phrases.

    Sounds good til I plugged those keywords into Google's keyword planner. The total monthly traffic for ALL 3 keywords combined was...ZERO!!!!
    Who wants to pay monthly for ZERO traffic?

    Based on that and much more I've seen I would say a very loud NAY to Yodle.

  10. #9
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    Re: Yodle - yay or nay?

    My opinion is that Yodle is only appropriate in very small markets with no competition where the only thing you need to do to rank is have a website that can be crawled. Other then that they are a complete waste and will never rank well in a competitive market.

  11. #10
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    Re: Yodle - yay or nay?

    I've had two clients use Yodle for search marketing. As part of their "bundle", Yodle also included local search ranking management.

    In one case, Yodle virtually hijacked the client's Places page & account (which I had originally set up) and included the URL to the (crappy) Yodle generated site. Yet from my dash, it still showed the client's "real" URL. I still haven't figured out how they did that.

    The other client (whom I did not provide local organic service to) just sat on the back pages of Google (Maps) with virtually no movement. I checked periodically out of curiosity. As far as I could tell, Yodle secured a couple of citations and that was it.

    After a few months both clients cancelled Yodle and came back to me for both local organic and paid. Just recently the first client's hijacked Places (now G+) page came under my management again. And their local rankings are almost at the same place as before Yodle messed around.

    From my observation, Yodle primarily focuses on SEM which they charge a large fee (or keyword markup, not sure) and use a very "cookie cutter" approach to campaign management. The SEO is almost like a sideline for them. And their performance here is in the same ballpark as 29 Prime, eLocal and other scam artists that give SEO a bad name (and depress our fees ).

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