Goldline Research and INC Magazine SEO Competition

About a week ago I was sitting at my desk doing what I normally do when I received a very interesting call. Now this part is not the abnormality as I receive interesting calls all day long. Everything from individuals who want to sell outdated Nokia cell phones manufactured in 1995 to people brushing their teeth and flossing while they inquire about our services. I will leave that for an entirely different blog post.
As I pick up my phone on this Wednesday afternoon I am greeted by a very nice caller from an organization called Goldline Research. They proceed to tell me how they are working on a research study on the top SEO firms in the U.S which will be published in a fall issue of Inc. magazine. Of course my ears perk up and my toes get tingly, who’s wouldn’t? She began to explain the initial process and the steps to get started. We went to their website filled out an in-depth questionnaire on all aspects of Brick Marketing. My initial assumption is that Inc. magazine hired this firm to conduct an extensive analysis on some of the most compelling SEO firms through a series of checks and balances. I thought to myself this would be fantastic for our growing company! I quickly marched into the president’s office, Nick Stamoulis and threw my hands in the air with excitement proceeded to tell him the good news and we laughed and conversed about this new amazing turning point potential for Brick Marketing and proceeded to go about our day.
About a week later we got on a conference call with Goldline Research as I was able to sit in and be a fly on the wall. We were speaking with who we thought was an “Inc. editor” who we later found out was a senior level editor for Goldline Research, sounds like my uncles position as a waste management engineer aka he drives a garbage truck, titles don’t really mean anything. Our president than began to reveal confidential company information such as operations, success stories, clients, employees etc. The senior level editor than began to explain to us how an independent board will review our credentials and how they would then compile a list of 40 SEO firms and select the top 10 but in order to move forward if we were chosen we would have to agree to a lump sum of $5,500 dollars. Whoa! This is when my forehead hit the windshield.
Who determines this sum of $5,500? Does an SEO firm that has triple the employees pay more? Does one with fewer employees pay less? Why on earth is anybody even paying? Shouldn’t this list be made of a quality outcomes generated from actual client results and happiness with doing business with a firm? Shouldn’t this important information be presented from the beginning of this process? If we knew that this was the case we would have never even made it to their website from the beginning. Is this list simply for bragging rights or to pay for the ad space because there is clearly no relationship between Inc. magazine and Goldline Research?
My nose has been twitching since our conference call because something stinks about this whole thing! We are not about to end up as a guinea pig or better yet someone else’s commission check just to have something pretty to hang on our wall in the office. It’s bad enough that times are tough and business is scarce and we all have to work hard to stay afloat but this to me is just bad business.
Is there anybody out there that has encountered this organization? How do you feel about the process of paying if selected as a top 10 SEO firm? All Search Engine Optimization firms be weary when receiving a phone call from a company called Goldline Research.


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