Friday, January 30, 2009

Cash4Gold, Cockeyed Blog, and Me!

I thought I was going to take a Friday off at the end of the month for a little break before an adventurous couple of months. Next week I am teaching a Search Engine Optimization course at Nova Southeastern University. The following week I am presenting at SMX Santa Clara. March will bring me a second son! And… Pubcon Austin!!! Woohoo.

I get back from fishing this morning (did nail 3 dolphin before the cold front swept in) and see all these tweets and emails about my name in a Cockeyed Blog post. Matt Cutts brought it to the world’s attention with a little Tweet. It is only going to get bigger after Cash4Gold’s Superbowl commercial (remember when Godaddy was not a household name).

I had the opportunity to work for Cash4Gold for about 11 months. It was a great engagement. I really learned a lot about working with a company that had exponential growth. That had a great management team and it was always both fun and challenging work with them on a day to day basis. I am no longer a vendor for Cash4Gold, they have moved on to a company that can better service their needs.

One of the projects I was working on for them was a Reputation Management campaign. They get a bad rep. Cash4Gold does not give the highest payout for gold, but they are the most reliable company to work with for this type of transaction. The sheer volume is amazing but lends itself to a proportional number of complaints. There are also devious competitors utilizing tactics that would make porn and Viagra marketers cringe. At one point competitors were using the title “Official Cash4Gold Site” in the PPC ads before the trademark was registered. (Seriously!)

Cash4Gold made a concerted effort to make client satisfaction goal number one. They reached out to unsatisfied customers and tried to rectify the problems. They joined the RipoffReport Advocacy program and went through rigorous work with them to meet their quality standards and customer service standards (sorry, there was no bribe).

I personally reached out to the Cockeyed Blog to see if there was something we could do for him to have him take down the post or massage it a little to reduce it’s rank on the branded search. I never heard back, so I assumed that was the end of it. Well that changed this morning. My emails about this subject have been made public. I still stand behind them. I did not hide behind an alias. I offered to discuss it on the phone to find a solution. I even offered donating to a charity in the Blog’s name. That ranking is pretty powerful and I tried a stand up approach. I completely respect the Cockeyed Blog’s reasoning for not taking it down, so we move on.

There are plenty of “Not So Nice” ways to do reputation management. There are tons of blackhat tactics… I am long removed from anything like that. (Although one of my original claims to fame was being personally named on Inktomi’s leaked Blackhat list.) I have a strong reputation in the Industry and would still pursue a personal approach any day to resolving a lackluster situation.

If you are interested in any Search Engine Optimization services where you get to work directly with the expert, please send me an email and we can open a dialog! jlaratro@tandem-interactive.com.

Best Wishes for Cash4Gold and their Superbowl Commercial. I hope it is a hit guys!

3 comments:

Mike_C said...

Hi, good honest answer. I agree, you weren't hiding anything. I think a lot of the hype is due to the negative rep Cash4Gold has due to some of the exposure of their processes.

Best of luck.

dogfood said...

It's admirable how honest and open you are being about this whole situation. SEO people tend to be pretty shady. It's nice to see an SEO guy with some integrity.

Cheers!

Unbiased Blog Commentator said...

Seems more like Cockeyed is getting paid by a Cash4Gold competitor to put negative posts. Or the crooked competitors fooled them. Just doesn't make sense that they come up as the first link when search some other competitors.