This is Sean from Inspectopia.com (formerly InspectionZone.com). I wanted to jump in, say hello, and clarify some questions and concerns.
Kevin, if there remains an unresolved issue, please sign-in to Inspectopia.com and you’ll be given Pauline’s phone and email contact information. She is my new sales and customer support manager. Previously, I was the sales and customer support manager and let’s be honest, I was at best inconsistent and - at worst - a complete tool.
Originally my home inspector directory was InspectionZone.com. In 2008, InspectionZone.com was indeed banned by Google. So were 14 out of 15 of my other websites. It was painful. My wife and I had a horse farm at the time that I poured my heart and soul into and the Google ban reduced my income by 75%. We fought for a year to keep the farm but eventually we had no choice but to sell the entire farm back to the bank through a Deed in Lieu. There were (and are) plenty of other families throughout the country going through similar emotional and financial trauma so I’ll spare everyone the rest of my torch song.
I tried in vain throughout 2008 to get the ban lifted. No such luck. From 2009 to 2010, I continued to adapt and develop my websites. Traffic from other sources grew substantially. Inspectopia.com, however, was slow to develop organic traffic referrals. I should note, though, that prices for Inspectopia.com premier listings are a fraction of what InspectionZone.com used to be. My prices rise and fall with traffic volume because they are calculated in real-time. In 2008, inspectors would regularly pay several hundred dollars for 3 month placements. Today, it is typically +/- $70 for 6 months.
Suddenly, in March 2010, Google lifted the ban on all 15 previously banned websites. I was pretty amazed. All of the other websites in my network tripled in traffic. Except Inspectopia.com.
I’m hoping you folks don’t entirely give up on me! InspectionZone.com was just the 2nd directory I developed and it proved to be very effective for home inspectors.
Right now, I’m thinking that the best plan would be to transition back to InspectionZone.com from Inspectopia.com. I’m planning to do that soon. I’m hopeful that in doing so my website will be able to reclaim the authority it worked hard to develop.
I’d like to clarify some technical issues raised in this thread as well:***Safe Haven Inspections 2006 clickthroughs 996
Safe Haven Inspections 2007 clickthroughs 497
Safe Haven Inspections 2008 clickthroughs 238
Safe Haven Inspections 2009 clickthroughs 10
*** The 2008 statistic was dropped by the Google ban, but also at play here is my transition to Listing Profile pages. Prior to the transition, a listing entry - when clicked - would direct the user to your website. After the transition, it would direct the user to your profile on my website. They still retained the ability to visit your website, but the profile listing (with advertising copy, photos and specialty information fully manageable by the inspector) allowed the user to more easily review multiple inspectors and contact multiple inspectors through a singular website interface. As a result, clickthroughs are significantly reduced. However, the lead conversion has significantly increased. Today I’m delivering hundreds of inspection client leads each month to inspectors nationwide. I’d like to increase that by an order of magnitude in 2011. On another note. You can put free ads on his website, which the last time I checked were the same as his “paid ads.” And who knows, seeing he has a contact number now, maybe things have changed. Let us know Ron.
Premier listings own a specific position (#1, #2) for all city results on a countywide basis. So for example someone who is the Premier #1 listing for Seminole County would be #1 in Orlando and all other cities and towns within that county. A free listing isn’t guaranteed placement. Furthermore, the inquiry alert email that someone mentioned is a Premier listing benefit. Free listings also receive this alert; it contains the “Shop Around” lead’s needs/goals and other qualifying information but contact information is omitted unless you’re a Premier listing owner and the lead is located within your service area. If the lead itself looks promising to the free listing owner then the inspector with a free listing may opt to upgrade and gain access to the contact information immediately. With that said, if someone visits your free listing and then submits the contact form on your listing profile then you receive the complete contact information without having to upgrade. I experimented with various lead distribution processes until I settled on this one, which I think best balances fairness and transparency to inspectors while encouraging those who are seeing potential ROI to invest in some Premier advertising.
**Hummm I still get emails (asking for money) with his name on them every few days.
**Yes, I send out a once weekly sales email. I used to send out 2 emails a week but I dialed it down permanently. I realize that some find any sales emails at all annoying, so folks can sign-in and disable sales emails permanently through their My Account page.
In closing, I want to reassure everyone that I’m really working hard to build a quality resource. I know it used to perform much better for you back in the Halcyon era of 2005 through 2007. Eventually I will work my way back into your good graces. Here are some promises: I do not plan to ever sell any of my websites. I have never ever never ever sold or given anyone’s contact information to mailing lists and I never will. Like many of you I’ve worked my arse off for well over 10 years now and I’m not at all interested in any sort of get rich quick schemes. I know I can’t make everyone happy, but I promise to try! Inspectopia.com’s lack of growth has frustrated me given that every other one of my websites has literally exploded over the past 3 years. At this point, it’s become an obsessive goal of mine to turn it around.
I’m going to try and check in here from time to time to make sure I can answer any questions or concerns. I know I’m impossible to reach by email or phone, but if you have an Inspectopia.com account then you can contact Pauline and she’ll work hard to address your concerns.