• Report: #427685

Complaint Review: LocalAdLink, Local Ad Link, Local Ad Link MLM Scam

  • Submitted: Mon, February 23, 2009
  • Updated: Tue, June 09, 2009

  • Reported By:Atlanta Georgia
LocalAdLink, Local Ad Link, Local Ad Link MLM Scam
17815 Sky Park Circle Irvine, California U.S.A.

LocalAdLink, Local Ad Link, Local Ad Link MLM Scam Local Ad Link is an MLM with services that have little to no value for its clients Irvine California

*Consumer Comment: CPC is Astronomical - 4 - 5 Times Higher Than Google Adwords

*Consumer Comment: LocalAdLink delivers little traffic, making it expensive and ineffective

*Consumer Suggestion: Did you forget

*Consumer Comment: Misrepresenting LocalAdLink

*Consumer Comment: LocalAdLink does not have the traffic it claims

*UPDATE Employee: Local Ad Link Is A Scam Local Ad Link Scam Local Ad Link MLM Scam Local Ad Link Network Marketing Scam

*Consumer Comment: Why Is It That Those Who Work for Google Are So Scared That They Lie

*Consumer Comment: Applause to 'Justice Not Served' . . .

*UPDATE Employee: Sounds more like you're afraid of competition !

*UPDATE Employee: LocalAdLink Problems

*UPDATE Employee: Clearly an incredulous situation, but a scam? I doubt it.

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*NOTICE..!! this ripoff has nothing to do with Google search engine - many rip-off businesses use the Google name to fool consumers.

Local Ad Link Great Program or Complete Rip Off?

Recently, I was exposed to the LocalAdlink.com business opportunity. After evaluating this company, its comp structure, and marketing practices, I am concerned about the black eye their bogus program will put on the face of the internet marketing industry in particular, Google.

First off, from what I understand, LocalAdLink claims to have a secret sauce in the form of advertising packages that utilize Google Adwords. Reselling and managing Google Adwords account is no secret. Companies and individuals have been doing this successfully for years and often it is outsourced to professionals who optimize Adwords campaigns I am one such professional. Observing the methods that LocalAdLink uses shows me that they are novices at best when it comes to managing Adwords Ads. I'll get to those specific practices later in this post.

Local Ad Link intimates that they have some sort of secret window in to Google sponsored links. The fact is they are buying clicks just like anyone else the difference is they have no idea how to by clicks or build a good strategy.

Here's one of the many reasons why: they are selling advertising packages that claim to be targeted to specific zip codes. Google is in fact set up to do geo targeted campaigns, however, the accuracy of geo targeted campaigns varies based on the size of the geo targeted area. For example, when it comes to targeting a whole country, Google can get a 99.9% accuracy. At the state level, it's about 85% accurate. At the zip code level it's only 50% accurate. That means that 50% of geo targeted clicks at the zip code level are WASTED clicks. This translates to a low value, off target strategy complete hype.

Here's an example of how ridiculous this strategy is:

I searched on Google for Corona CA Signs and found a page with a LocalAdLink ad in the sponsored pay per click links.

Note, the search term I used in Google is Corona ca signs indicating that I am searching for signs in Corona California. So far so good LocalAdLink has a client, Vital Signs was represented at the top for this search term, however, the ad copy is not optimized to increase Quality Scores. This is a minor flaw compared to what is found when you actually click on the link and see the landing page for Vital Signs.

The Local Ad Link displays a client that is only 569 miles away from Corona! So much for zip code targeting! But, anyone who knows Adwords already knows this. It is obvious that Vital Signs will receive zero value from a search for signs by someone in Corona CA. Ask yourself how valuable that click is. This is not an uncommon scenario with Local Ad Links ads - it's their standard - completely off target and total waste of the one chance their service has to produce any value.

This still is not the worst of it. The ads are only shown intermittently and rotated with other competitors if shown at all.

Still worse, Local Ad Link not only wastes the very few clicks it gets for its clients on out of the area results that are far from targeted, but they pay their representatives 50% of the client spend. On top of that, they still have to turn a profit AND pay Google their Pay Per Click fees.

Put this in perspective. Professional (reputable) pay per click management firms like Jumpfly and many others charge a client a 15% management fee for REAL Adwords optimization.

Here is a post from another victim of LocalAdLink:

I signed up for Boomj local adlink advertsing. I signed the $99 permonth ad. I calculated out my cost per click and it was $16.50 per click instead of googles $2.38 per click. I used Google analytics to monitor whats going on.
I get the same amount of clicks from organic sites. or even my free yellow pages.com ad.

Google said I has 10 clicks in 10 days and only 2 of the clicks were new visitors. So I paid $16.50 per click. Wow! what a deal. This is definently a scam. Go with google adwords. this works. I have over 80% new visitors compared to my local adlink ad at only 20% NEW VISITORS.

Is anyone catching on? This is the most blatant advertising scam I've seen in a long time. From what I've heard, Local Ad Link actually tells prospective MLM prospects that they are better off going through them than going straight to Google. Then, they hype up their zip code marketing "strategy". Sadly, it is painfully obvious to anyone who understands Adwords that there is no strategy whatsoever behind the hype.

In the end, Local Ad Link can only be a scam. They have to buy their clicks from Google like everyone else. The only difference is that they mark up the resale amount higher than anyone and then they put the ads in all the wrong places with the worst strategy in the history of Novice Google Adwords advertising - putting a black eye on Google and REAL professionals who actually study strategies that work.

Translation it's all hype and there is little to no value for the client. In the end, all their service accomplishes is to deliver a highly insincere version of what Google can really do for a business. I wonder how long Google will allow itself to be abused or how long it will take for people to catch on to this scam. Either way, scams unravel at some point. If you are caught up in the ether and hype of Local Ad Link's MLM, just go shop around for Pay Per Click management companies - they are everywhere charging 80% less and actually implementing a real strategy.

Justice not served
Atlanta, Georgia

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 02/23/2009 05:18 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/LocalAdLink-Local-Ad-Link-Local-Ad-Link-MLM-Scam/Irvine-California-92614/LocalAdLink-Local-Ad-Link-Local-Ad-Link-MLM-Scam-Local-Ad-Link-is-an-MLM-with-services-t-427685. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

Ripoff Report has an exclusive license to this report. It may not be copied without the written permission of Ripoff Report.

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#1 Consumer Comment

CPC is Astronomical - 4 - 5 Times Higher Than Google Adwords

AUTHOR: AdSalesPro - (U.S.A.)

The cost per click to a clients actual website is astronomical....


Any ads that actually show up on the search engine do not go to the clients end website but to the localadlink directory to boost their overall numbers....

The searcher must now wade through the top fold of the page which focuses on localadlink to find a business profile that matches the search. Part of the profile includes a link to the end users website.

Probability of an actual visit to a website is very very small. They DO NOT AND WILL NOT give you the stats of actual visits to your website. They only give you the stats of visits to your profile page. They DO NOT AND WILL NOT give you individual stats to show where each visit came from as well.

I'm not only a BrandBuilder but also have 2 premium ads running (well sometimes they run..lol) and I know how to read my analytics and my logs from my website. I could spend less than $2 per month on google adwords to generate the same number of actual visits to my website. I prepaid for a year so I'm kinda stuck but lesson learned...gotta warn others....
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#2 Consumer Comment

LocalAdLink delivers little traffic, making it expensive and ineffective

AUTHOR: Larry - (U.S.A.)

The way LocalAdLink works is it pays Google AdWords for placement of geotargeted ads. Google is what does the geotargeting. LocalAdLink has no special technology to do this.

The LocalAdLink ads do name the advertiser, but the link goes to LocalAdLink. Any traffic the advertiser receives comes from LocalAdLink, not Google or the sites within the Google AdWords Content Network where the ad might appear.

LocalAdLink.com has traffic in the hundreds of thousands of visitors per month. Compete estimates LocalAdLink had 357,777 visitors in April 2009. This is a small fraction of the millions of visitors each day that LocalAdLinks claims. That also means LocalAdLinks traffic dropped in April compared with March. See http://siteanalytics.compete.com/localadlink.com/

When you consider there are 14 million businesses listed on LocalAdLink, that means each listed business will average ONE VISITOR every 39 MONTHS. At $50 to $200/month that is expensive advertising for no results.

Being in Beta does is not an excuse for making gross exaggerations about LocalAdLink effectiveness. June 1st was at least the 3rd "official launch" of LocalAdLink. What is it doing different today than what it did last week or last month?

Tmsmas wrote:
> 93% of our other traffic comes from partnering websites such as myspace, hgtv, photography.com, mlb, nfl, craigslist, cnn, new york times and the list goes on and on

LocalAdLink's claims of partnerships with these Web sites is rather disingenuous. The LocalAdLink claim of "partnerships" is simply Google AdWords' Content Network. LocalAdLink has no special relationship with these Web sites. They are simply buying ads on Google AdWords Content Network.

From checking LocalAdLink ads on Google, it is apparent that LocalAdLink is not budgeting enough money for the ads to appear consistently. They appear sometimes, but often not. That means Google AdWords is rationing the publication of the ads so the daily ad budget limitation set by LocalAdLink is not exceeded.

For local businesses wondering how to drive business to their Web site, use Google Maps. It is free. It is real. And you will get more traffic than LocalAdLink can deliver. Go to:
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#3 Consumer Suggestion

Did you forget

AUTHOR: Dishman79 - (U.S.A.)

You must of forgotten you just didnt want to mention that LAL is in beta and for the last couple of months they have been changing there system around maybe thats why there advertisers have been recieving credits tio there account because of the low cost per click. I like how you use half truths the lie about a company. I on the other hand advertise on LAL for my buisness and before the the sytem changes recieved a cost per click ratio under a dollar. So get your facts straight before you knock a company thats trying to help people make money and save advertisers
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#4 Consumer Comment

Misrepresenting LocalAdLink

AUTHOR: Tmsmas - (U.S.A.)

You are 100% wrong in your thoughts of Localadlink. One thing is you are misrepresenting the company and what we do, If you have done your due dilegence you would know we are NOT a SEO company nor do we promote ourself as an SEO company, I myself and several thousand others are having great success because we are properly promoting the company and what we do, my advertisers are seeing results daily and getting new customers and love the ability to manage their own ad. I NEVER promote Google or any other search engine because we are bigger then that - Google is only 7% of our referals. I guarantee if you take the 16 minutes to watch a video you will understand what LocalAdLink really is and even possible stop misrepresenting the company. It is people that have the same beliefs of this being an SEO that give us the bad name. So I invite you to watch www.mylocaladlink.com/video before making any other comments.

In short:the strategy was never to sell this as appearing on the front page of search engines, When the search terms are functioning the search engines are only 7% of our traffic, 93% of our other traffic comes from partnering websites such as myspace, hgtv, photography.com, mlb, nfl, craigslist, cnn, new york times and the list goes on and on, I personally don't even promote the search engine side of this, it's irrelevent, these business are getting a total online presence through our three types of technology, push - geo target - and contextual text, not to mention what is coming with the i-supply platform (ex. gardens.com) and text advertising, they are getting what can be used as a website with the ability to have unlimited pictures, videos, coupons, business details, driving directions, reviews, self managed ad with no contract that can be completely edited and updated when ever and whereever they chose with no additional fees for as little as the cost of a cup a coffee a day, this is uncomparable and you can not find this type of advertising anywhere on the web for this price, Hands down the best opportunity for both you and your advertisiers when presented properly. Remember they only expect what you tell them. Promote it like it is ment to be and you will be very sucessful, Showing on the front page of google is a bonus.
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#5 Consumer Comment

LocalAdLink does not have the traffic it claims

AUTHOR: Larry - (U.S.A.)

I have engaged in search engine optimization for over 10 years. The other week a client asked me to review LocalAdLink.

I found that LocalAdLink grossly inflated the claims of traffic it will generate for advertisers. Its sales literature claims, "It comes to $49, $99 or $199 a month to be seen by millions of people a day."

The problem is that the site has only hundreds of thousands of visitors a MONTH, not million of visitors every day.

Today I found LocalAdLinks real March 2009 numbers at

LocalAdLink had only 435,870 visitors in March. That means it takes over two months for the site to have 1 million visitors. That is nowhere near the millions of visitors a day that the hype claims.

435,870 visitors spread across the nation means there are very few visitors for the 14 million businesses listed on LocalAdLink.

Therefore, LocalAdLink misrepresents its ability to deliver traffic. Those who buy ads on LocalAdLink will have very little traffic for the money. $50/month is expensive for ineffective advertising.

You can read my Blog post about LocalAdLink at
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#6 UPDATE Employee

Local Ad Link Is A Scam Local Ad Link Scam Local Ad Link MLM Scam Local Ad Link Network Marketing Scam

AUTHOR: Sara - (U.S.A.)

Local Ad Link charged me twice for my ads, and then refused to send me a refund for the amount they overcharged me.

I contacted Local Ad Link immediately when I saw the charge on my online bank statement. In fact, I contacted them the same day the charge was placed on my account.

Local Ad Link's excuse for not sending me the refund was that they said I did not notify them within 72 hours of the charge being made. Of course, I could not have contacted within that time frame because I didn't know they made the error!

Local Ad Link then denied me access to my ads so I could not change them - even though they told me I would be able to make revisions to the ads at anytime.

Local Ad Link overcharged me and didn't deliver the product they advertised. If that's not a ripoff, I don't know what is.
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#7 Consumer Comment

Why Is It That Those Who Work for Google Are So Scared That They Lie

AUTHOR: Hnizzel - (U.S.A.)

This Guy Who Wrote This Report Obviously Know Nothing. They Don't Pay Google A Dime. To get to the top of google is not by just paying, but continuous activity. Corona, Ca Signs...are you kidding me. Who taught you how to search. People out there don't be fooled. This Guy Obviously is a competitor, and was stripped one of his clients by a rep fron LAL. He's Bitter and This Is What is Said. Look Up Walmart, see how many bad reports are writen, but oops..the company issuccessful and people still shop there. O...I forgot...it's a SCAM!!!
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#8 Consumer Comment

Applause to 'Justice Not Served' . . .

AUTHOR: Pplsusan - (U.S.A.)

I applaud 'Justice Not Served' for coming forward w this information. I, too, signed up as a BB and despite my own due diligence efforts, the questions re the value & benefits of this service are only being raised now. I, for one, got caught up in the halo effect of the founder, Bob McNulty, and the "mission" of genuinely helping small businesses in this economy.
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#9 UPDATE Employee

Sounds more like you're afraid of competition !

AUTHOR: Pioneer1 - (U.S.A.)

Geo specific targeting is already working for our customers. We use alot of other search engines aside from google, as well. The sign co. you refer to has an office in Corona, Ca. as well as other cities. I can understand why you would try and make false accusations about our company. You cannot match the advertising strength of our campaign. Instead of using this sight in an abusive manner, spend time finding a new career! nickford16@yahoo.com
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#10 UPDATE Employee

LocalAdLink Problems

AUTHOR: Johnn - (U.S.A.)

Important Updates From Tech Department


We are aware that some of you are experiencing problems with 1) ads showing in the directory and or the ad network and 2) getting a white screen when attempting to login. This is a temporary problem as we are currently in the process of migrating from Beta 1.0 to Beta 2.0. This is a migration of all our software (localadlink.com and the ad server) to a new set of servers. We are conducting this "live migration" to keep from taking the entire system offline during the overall migration process.

We expect this migration to be done by 1am on Monday night.

We expect to have some of the errors occur in different regions of the country while the live migration takes place. We apologize for this frustration and are striving to make our systems completely stable. These upgrades to our system will give us the ability to sustain the incredible growth that LocalAdLink is experiencing. The current system IS allowing ad sales and we will continue to accept orders normally. We are processing hundreds of new ad sales each day. We appreciate your patience in this matter.

More detailed updates on the progress of our migration will be released as they occur.

Thank you,

LocalAdLink Tech

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#11 UPDATE Employee

Clearly an incredulous situation, but a scam? I doubt it.

AUTHOR: IRonic2bme - (U.S.A.)

I have been a LocalAdLink independent Account Executive since 11/08 and an advertiser on the network since 12/08. The following quotes are information LocalAdLink provides in their collateral. I've also included what I have experienced in parentheses.

"LocalAdLink uses geo-targeting technology to determine the physical location of a website visitor and delivers different content to that visitor based on his or her location."
(Corporate videos state that our technology geo-targets web visitors to partner sites based on their IP address and displays member's ads that have chosen that zip code to be viewed in. The reality is while using the platform you do view ads that are clearly not local businesses and are not targeting the zip code where your IP address is located along with targeted ads.)

www.LocalAdLink.com is the main hub of our system. This website is an online local search directory that is an easy to use resource for people looking for local information
(The home page of the site has customer's listings are rotated through 3 at a time while 15 to 20 non-paying filler listings are used as fill ads. Businesses routinely do not show up on the site even when the business' specific name is entered.)

Your listing can be seen on some of the most popular websites, search engines, and social networks in America. Some of these include Google, Yahoo, MSN, AOL, Ask.com, Earthlink, YouTube, GMAIL, About.com, Napster, PGA.com, Redbook. Hollywood.com, Monster.com, MySpace, Linkedin, Friendster, Bebo, Hi5, Orkut, MiGente, and Boomj. We are partnered with over 190 of these websites.
(Not including the search engines, I have only witnessed our customers ads on 5 of these sites and when customers have requested, the company refuses to provide a list of sites that are partners. 3 of the 5 sites that I have seen our customers ad on are controlled by our parent company Beyond Commerce. What is being leaked to the water cooler crowd is when ad volume has been reached the larger partners will turn their channels on to the platform.)

LocalAdLink has a data base of over 14 million business nationwide.
( The insinuation has been in all corporate collateral and training videos that we have 14 million customers. Not so. The system was initially loaded with listings that can be viewed as what we call Claim Your Listing ads. These are ads that are not paid for and fill site space. One of our customer's biggest complaints is seeing free ads displayed and paying customer's are not.)

As for search engine optimization and ad words? LocalAdLink does not profess to have optimization or ad words as features of the platform. Any claim to the contrary is without merit and simply untrue. The company vehemently instructs the sales people not to state optimization or ad words as features. Customers finding their ads showing up as Sponsored Links on several search engine and portals as does happen with higher frequency is a benefit of the platform but not a feature.

Whether or not LocalAdLink purchases ad words as you have stated is unknown and irrelevant to me. Optimization is not a component of the LocalAdLink's offering. Research into the parent company Beyond Commerce reveals that LocalAdLink is the sales arm of a much larger conversation that circumvents the need or requirement of ad words or optimization for the platform to be successful.

The root problem you have experienced is the disproportional number of untrained and ill equipped sales people as a product of the multi-level-market sales force structure. I am not proud to say that I have heard one of the company's MLM'ers at the top of the heap state to a room full of his minions that they can make a few sales on the way home from their regular job and make a few thousand dollar a month in residual income. Real sales talent knows that a sales cycle is much more than stopping by the dry cleaners on the way home from work and, Oh by the way Bob, I'm now selling this product that will wash your car while you're driving it home to work, and please press hard, there's 3 copies. I believe in the entrepreneurial spirit and home based businesses. I have been in business for myself for 3 decades. But an ill equipped, non-professional sales force being trained by professional MLM recruiters selling a product more technical than soap, prune juice, vitamins or facial cream, has very ominous possibilities.

The platform is still beta and we are being told that HQ is like a beehive with activity reminiscent of the movie Brazil. The problems with the platform are a product of a beta offering taken to market probably to early through a channel of untrained sales neophytes who will say and do anything to coerce customers to sign.

Issues are being systematically addressed and there is still a ways to go before the platform is stable. Again, the product is beta.

Now the good news. If Bob McNulty can do what he says is being done through the Beyond Commerce companies (see http://www.beyondcommerce.com/ ) this conversation is academic because it really is be the biggest e-commerce platform on the web.

So shame on the salesperson for not knowing their product. Shame on LocalAdLink for taking a product to market prior to proper testing. And shame on you for not doing your research or homework.

But a scam? I doubt it.
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