Have You Seen Any Fake Home Advisor Painting Sites??? - Paint Talk - Professional Painting Contractors Forum
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Old 02-10-2016, 06:18 PM   #1
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Default Have You Seen Any Fake Home Advisor Painting Sites???

First of all... Hello. Long time reader but first time poster. I run a small residential repaint business up here in New England. Been around for a long time, have a nice niche market that keeps us fairly busy. Have had a website for several years and have always done fairly well SEO wise too. Have always paid attention to my sites ranking too and where the competition stands in comparison.

Lately I've noticed a few new websites popping up in the first 3 pages of results for "house painter city, state". Sites looked strangely similar to me, both in layout and content. Like I said I've been around for a while, but I had never heard of these painters, yet they all had a local number, local address, FB page, twitter page. Out of curiosity I tried calling. No one ever answered the line and no v-mail option was available. Strange, right?

So I went ahead and submitted a contact us form to one of them. Low and behold in no time I started getting 6,7,8 phone calls from painters saying they got my info from Home Advisor. To make a long story short... seems Home Advisor is trying to saturate the organic google results with not only their website but fake local company sites too. I find this so shady. Am I off-base? It's hard enough ranking on the first page organic results with legit companies and now we have to fend off the fake HA sites too?!?! Forget the misrepresentation to searchers looking for a painter.... Coincidently, HA contacted me to start advertising with them. Let's just say Mr. Sales Guy got quite the earful.
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Old 02-10-2016, 08:59 PM   #2
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Wow, no one has an opinion on this? I've seen so many questions on SEO and ranking and HA that I thought someone on this forum would find it interesting at least that a nationwide lead generation site is using underhanded tactics to gain even more real estate on google organic results.
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Old 02-10-2016, 10:25 PM   #3
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Its all shady!! So home advisor charges in my area $350 to join them, then charges by the lead they give you, say $50-100. So in your example, you submitted a "lead" and they just charged 6-8 painters for that opportunity which turned out not solid. I can't seem to get behind anything lead generation. Are there any sites that charge the consumer for wanting to kick tires? I would be more interested in this than anything I have to pay for, it would somewhat eliminate tire kickers and crap leads.
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Old 02-11-2016, 04:04 AM   #4
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[QUOTE=papapaint;1120506]Wow, no one has an opinion on this? I've seen so many questions on SEO and ranking and HA that I thought someone on this forum would find it interesting at least that a nationwide lead generation site is using underhanded tactics to gain even more real estate on google organic results.[/QUOTE]

no news there
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Old 02-11-2016, 11:36 AM   #5
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Creating dummy websites to look like local paint contractors? In the 15+ years I've had a webste I've never seen it. May just be new to the northeast i guess.
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Old 02-11-2016, 11:22 PM   #6
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They do it all over.. from Florida to Kentucky, to Indiana, California and New York. The websites have a company name that does not exist and the contact information leads directly to Home Advisor. They can spend three times as much as any individual company on SEO/Google PPC because they sell those incoming leads to multiple contractors.

That's a truly scumbag maneuver and Google should ban them for manipulating the system.. hahahahaha.. like that would ever happen.
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Old 02-12-2016, 06:58 PM   #7
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I have not seen the fake ones, although I have never called one either, but we do have sevaral paint companies with websites that seem to cover all of NE Massachusetts. I have never seen any of them in my neck of the woods. I had a moving company that called me once to do some work on some damage that its movers did in the next town over. I was unable to do the work because I was too busy. She asked me about some painters she found online, which I had never heard of before. I gave her the name of some local painters, which she wound up using.
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Old 02-12-2016, 11:36 PM   #8
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I dont understand why people pay them. It most work for some people/companies
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Old 02-12-2016, 11:38 PM   #9
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I got a lead the other day from a "fake site". Customer went to lowes, asked for advice to repair her tub. The clerk looked me up on porch, gave her my company name. She went home, Googled my company, and filled out a contact form on my own authentic website.

I don't advertise with porch.
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Old 02-13-2016, 01:06 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by driftweed View Post
I got a lead the other day from a "fake site". Customer went to lowes, asked for advice to repair her tub. The clerk looked me up on porch, gave her my company name. She went home, Googled my company, and filled out a contact form on my own authentic website.

I don't advertise with porch.
Porch isn't a fake site.. or at least in the context of this thread. The fake sites will have a Google pay-per-click ad saying "Indiana's Top Paint Company". The potential customer goes to that page and it says "Welcome to ABC Painters.. click here to fill out a contact form". The page will look like a legit company and will have absolutely no mention of Home Advisor.

The contact form goes right to HA and they immediately sell it to however many contractors. Four painters at what.. $20 per lead? They don't care if anyone sells the lead. They made their money through deceptive practices. Meanwhile legit painters are trying to do their own Google pay-per-click and wondering why it costs $20 per click to be on the front page.
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Old 02-13-2016, 01:14 PM   #11
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Well I know the porch page is completely unsolicited from either side. They never asked me, I never asked them.
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Old 02-13-2016, 11:08 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PressurePros View Post
Porch isn't a fake site.. or at least in the context of this thread. The fake sites will have a Google pay-per-click ad saying "Indiana's Top Paint Company". The potential customer goes to that page and it says "Welcome to ABC Painters.. click here to fill out a contact form". The page will look like a legit company and will have absolutely no mention of Home Advisor.

The contact form goes right to HA and they immediately sell it to however many contractors. Four painters at what.. $20 per lead? They don't care if anyone sells the lead. They made their money through deceptive practices. Meanwhile legit painters are trying to do their own Google pay-per-click and wondering why it costs $20 per click to be on the front page.
I wonder if this is what the Five Star Painting website is all about. It is always at the top of searches when I check to see how my site is doing. I have never seen it around my area. And, did a search for a city in Indiana and one Florida and it was at the top for both searches.
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Old 02-14-2016, 12:23 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Pete the Painter View Post
I wonder if this is what the Five Star Painting website is all about. It is always at the top of searches when I check to see how my site is doing. I have never seen it around my area. And, did a search for a city in Indiana and one Florida and it was at the top for both searches.
I think Five Star is a franchise. Usually the sites are not that elaborate (with samples of work, Facebook page and logo'd trucks).
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Old 02-14-2016, 07:34 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PressurePros View Post
Porch isn't a fake site.. or at least in the context of this thread. The fake sites will have a Google pay-per-click ad saying "Indiana's Top Paint Company". The potential customer goes to that page and it says "Welcome to ABC Painters.. click here to fill out a contact form". The page will look like a legit company and will have absolutely no mention of Home Advisor.

The contact form goes right to HA and they immediately sell it to however many contractors. Four painters at what.. $20 per lead? They don't care if anyone sells the lead. They made their money through deceptive practices. Meanwhile legit painters are trying to do their own Google pay-per-click and wondering why it costs $20 per click to be on the front page.


The dummy sites I'm talking about are not Google Adwords sites. They are fake Home Advisor sites getting picked up on the organic search engine results that are made to look like local area companies.
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Old 02-14-2016, 07:55 AM   #15
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Well I know the porch page is completely unsolicited from either side. They never asked me, I never asked them.
Porch.com is a contractor directory that is affiliated with Lowes. In your situation Porch has picked up info from various online sources and created a profile page for you. You, as the company owner, have the option of going onto your Porch profile page and enhancing it with pics of work and more descriptive info about your company. (You can advertise to be listed higher) Sounds great right? That's what I thought too. Until I went on the profile page and noticed that the phone number listed under my company name was not my actual phone number. When you called the number listed as mine it would actually ring on my company line. But I wasn't about the allow a different tel. # to be associated with me so I called Porch and told them to either change to my own number or remove the profile. They changed the number.

I just checked on the profile page again today. Now no tel# is associated with me. It's a "Request Quote" call to action button. When you (as a potential customer) try to request a quote a little checked box pops us that says "compare quotes by connecting with more painters in city, state". So if someone wants to contact MY COMPANY through porch their info will be forwarded to several painters that advertise with Porch.... I don't think so... They'll be getting a call to remove my profile on tuesday...
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Old 02-14-2016, 08:31 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by Pete the Painter View Post
I wonder if this is what the Five Star Painting website is all about. It is always at the top of searches when I check to see how my site is doing. I have never seen it around my area. And, did a search for a city in Indiana and one Florida and it was at the top for both searches.
Google beverly, ma house painter. You'll obviously get homeadvisor.com on the top of organic results. But within the first 5 pages of results you'll also see a bunch of dummy Home Advisor pages made to look like local companies...

1. http://beantownpainters.com/beverly-...nt-contractors
2. http://bernsteinpainting.com/painting-beverly-ma
3. http://carloe.net/painting-beverly-01915
4. http://www.paintingbeverlyma.com/exterior-painting
5. https://www.aqualityassured.com/exte...ing-beverly-ma
6. http://www.paintersbeverlyma.com/exterior-painting
7. http://usapaintingpros.com/beverly-e...-in-beverly-ma
8. http://bluetowercontracting.com/beve...-in-beverly-ma
9. https://www.nexhit.com/ma-house-painting-beverly

There are about 10 organic results per page on google. So, first five pages have 50 organic results total. 10 of these 50 organic results or 20% (I'm including the actual Home Advisor site too) go to Home Advisor.... Unbelievable....

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Old 02-14-2016, 09:12 AM   #17
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Wow, that's ridiculous! I went to the blue tower one and they have a contact form for contractors looking to get leads sent to them too. You'd think Google would catch on to them eventually but if they're completely separate domains without a tie to home advisor I don't know if they could do anything about it, or if they even care enough to.

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Old 02-14-2016, 04:08 PM   #18
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Wow, that's ridiculous! I went to the blue tower one and they have a contact form for contractors looking to get leads sent to them too. You'd think Google would catch on to them eventually but if they're completely separate domains without a tie to home advisor I don't know if they could do anything about it, or if they even care enough to.

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Isn't that some sh-t? It gets better. If you sign up with them as a contractor to get leads, they will run a PPC campaign with YOUR business name and THEIR phone number. Then, they will sell you the lead as "direct" which is much more expensive.
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Old 02-14-2016, 06:47 PM   #19
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And the only one who could change the way things are run won't, not went they're profiting as much as they are. The only way we will be able to fight this in the long run is to stop giving em our money, and educating as many others as possible about how the small businesses are being choked out. Our customers should know that they pay more going through a service like these, versus contacting the contractors directly. These services take %'s like GC's, but without the risk or responsibility. It's sickening to think they're screwing their advertisers as well as their subscribers, while getting rich in the process.
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Old 02-14-2016, 07:10 PM   #20
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And the only one who could change the way things are run won't, not went they're profiting as much as they are. The only way we will be able to fight this in the long run is to stop giving em our money, and educating as many others as possible about how the small businesses are being choked out. Our customers should know that they pay more going through a service like these, versus contacting the contractors directly. These services take %'s like GC's, but without the risk or responsibility. It's sickening to think they're screwing their advertisers as well as their subscribers, while getting rich in the process.
I've been saying the same for a long time. We can kill these leeches if we just stop feeding the bastards.
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