On Tuesday 6/13/17, a representative of EZLynx, Sara Button, made a vindictive attack on the GMB (Google My Business) of Denton SEO Experts stating “Questionable marketing tactics and posting (since removed) incorrect information on his website about businesses that did not solicit his help. No thank you.”
I want to address three things
- False allegation of posting incorrect information without any proof.
- Insinuation that marketing tactics are questionable by someone who has no experience in Direct sales
- The Cyber Bullying of maliciously attacking a GMB profile.
False Allegation Of Posting Incorrect Information Without Any Proof
The information posted was an Adwords Advisory Report produced using SpyFu. The report was run on EZLynx.com and its Adwords competitors agentmethods.com, appliedsystems.com, decisionresearch.com, quotit.com, vertafore.com.
What is Spyfu and were do they get their data for these reports?
Before going further about the report that Sara Button claims has incorrect information lets look at what SpyFu is. This comes directly from Wikipedia.
“SpyFu , originally GoogSpy, is a search analytics company based out of Scottsdale, AZ. Started in April 2005, SpyFu shows the keywords that websites buy on Google Adwords as well as the keywords that websites are showing up for within search results. The service also gives cost per click and search volume statistics on keywords and uses that data to approximate what websites are spending on advertising. Historical advertising budgets offered by SpyFu also help advertisers project what an advertising campaign will cost in the future. The main value proposition is to see or to “spy on” the keywords that competitors use and improve SEM and SEO strategies based on those. SpyFu’s data was also used in the Washington Post during the 2008 Presidential election to disclose various keywords that candidates were advertising on. SpyFu can also uncover emerging or niche markets. SpyFu has been mentioned in The 4-Hour Work Week, Oreilly’s Complete Web Monitoring, and SEO Warrior.
SpyFu’s data is obtained via web scraping, based on technology developed by Velocityscape, a company that makes web scraping software. The accuracy of its data, especially advertising budgets, was found to be somewhat dependent on the size of the website in question. SpyFu refreshes its data on a monthly basis, and as such is used as a guide to what’s happening with larger trends in SEM/SEO rather than as a real time tracking engine.
Now that we know what SpyFu is and how they obtain their data, what is this unsolicited report with incorrect information that I allegedly posted?
As I mentioned above, the report run was an Adwords Advisory Report produced using SpyFu. The report was run on EZLynx.com and its Adwords competitors agentmethods.com, appliedsystems.com, decisionresearch.com, quotit.com, vertafore.com. The report looks at the ads from EZLynx.com and its competitors that SpyFu has seen running and recorded. Looking at this historical data, SpyFu profitable keywords used by EZLynx.com competitors that EZLynx.comis not bidding on. The report recommends that EZLynx.com consider those keywords and even provides screenshots of the Ads their competitors were showing in response to those keywords. There are even links to the original scraping where the ad appeared to back up the claim that the competitors ran an ad on that keyword.
In the second part of the report, SpyFu looks to see if EZLynx.com has any ads showing up on keywords that their competitors found through historical evidence to not be profitable. In the part of this report, SpyFu found ads from EZLynx.com showing on keywords that Historically did not perform well for their competitors and recommended those keywords as Best Negative Match Opportunities.
Here is one of the ads SpyFu found triggering on a search phrase that the competitors (used in this report) found to not be good.
Why would anyone want to display an ad for a product to “Easily Manager Your Agency” in response to the search phrase “medical billing software demo”? It appears that some of the keywords in EZLynx adwords campaign are set to broad match. If you click on the image above it will take you to the archived page where SpyFu saved a copy of the ad. Note that it is showing all the way at the bottom of the page. Because it is a broad match. I doubt anyone looking for “medical billing software demo” would have any interest in software to Easily Manage Your Agency.
There were many other ads found to be triggered on poorly matched keywords, see the report and examine the evidence. I did EZLyzx a big favor producing this report for them but obviously they are to inexperienced in PPC management to understand and appreciate it.
Here is the full Adwords Advisory Report
So Where Is The Incorrect Information?
I am still trying to figure out what Sara Button meant by “Incorrect Information”. Did SpyFu not estimate the correct competitors? Those are chosen based off of similarities in the keywords that were found to be bid on. Was SpyFu incorrect on some of Keyword suggestions or Negative Match opportunities? That is possible, when SpyFu considers other websites to be competitors it is base on similarities in keywords bid on and that doesn’t always guarantee that the businesses are actual competitors in the physical sense, but they do compete on those keywords. I am curious, would someone looking for “medical billing software demo” be a potential buyer for Software to easily manage their insurance agency.
I doubt it.
In fact, a recent audit of over 2000 adwords accounts found over 90% of adwords budgets were wasted on bad keywords. These generally creep into the account through overlooking a broad match setting. In any case, this unsolicited report found what appears to be some keyword drainage in the Adwords campaign of EZLink.com. If that is incorrect data please provide some analytics proving great conversion on those keywords that the report recommended avoiding.
Insinuation that marketing tactics are questionable by someone who has no experience in Direct sales.
What is there to question. I have a list of 390 sites in Texas that are spending an estimated 1k to 20k per month on Adwords according to SpyFu‘s data. Statistics show that there is a good possibility many of those are missing profitable keywords and/or have their ads showing up on keywords that are not profitable.
I run the report, post it to my blog, then notify the owners of the site of the reports location. There is nothing illegal or unethical about running an unsolicited report. And there certainly is no violation of trademark by mentioning the trademark’d name of a company when running a report on that company. That is protected under “nominative fair use“.
The Cyber Bullying of maliciously attacking a GMB profile.
On 6/12 I posted the Adwords Advisory report run on EZLynx and its Adwords competitors agentmethods.com, appliedsystems.com, decisionresearch.com, quotit.com, vertafore.com. My posting of that report and referencing the trademark company name, EZLynx, is nominative fair use, I had already confirmed this with an Intellectual Property Attorney.
Lets look at the test for nominative fair use.
The nominative fair use test essentially states that one party may use or refer to the trademark of another if:
- The product or service cannot be readily identified without using the trademark (e.g. trademark is descriptive of a person, place, or product attribute).
- The user only uses as much of the mark as is necessary for the identification (e.g. the words but not the font or symbol).
- The user does nothing to suggest sponsorship or endorsement by the trademark holder. This applies even if the nominative use is commercial, and the same test applies for metatags.
My Post “EZLynx Adwords Advisory Report” passes the nominative fair use test just like my IP Attorney confirmed.
Despite this, after denying Sara Buttons request to delete the page, I get a threatening letter from EZLynx of Trademark infringement saying I was using their Trademark to advertise my website. No, my use of their trademark’d word, EZLynx, is “nominative fair use”.
I am sure if they understood the nature of the post and report they would not have done that. I suspect that Sara Button went to her legal department and just said I was infringing on their trademark, using it to advertise my website. Again, not so, I ran a report based on publicly available data on EZLynx. The mention of EZLynx in that report is “nominative fair use”.
I consider the email I received from EZLynx was designed to intimidate and harass me on a matter I am protected under law from. My posting of Adwords Advisory reports and mentioning the name of the business I ran them for is protected under “nominative fair use”. This was further escalated by Sara Button going onto the GMB profile of Denton SEO Experts and writing a negative review with false information she has failed to prove.
If you look at the report, starting on page 14, you will see a list of ads that show on search phrases that SpyFu found to not be profitable for the competitors used in the report. Just looking at the search term and the ad shown in response to it you can see it is a bad match and probably the result of sloppy keyword management. This leaves you to wonder is EZLynx and their Social Media front woman, Sara Button, simply attacking me because I exposed a problem in their adwords campaign management, a service they provide to others.
If I was EZLynx, I would be more concerned about Reps of my company slandering other people on their GMB profiles and keyword drainage in my adwords account than drumming up some bogus trademark violation that is clearly non existent.