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Google Impersonators



In May 2009 it came to our attention at Whatswhat.ie that a UK company was targeting companies on our directory inferring they were Google.  The problem is that this company is tricking Irish businesses into thinking they are being called by Google so the call must therefore be bona fide and they handing over credit card details..

Their main sales spiel is:-

  • We can get you on the first page of Google in the top 10 organic/natural listings and guarantee that you stay there
  • We can guarantee you stay on the first page of Google somewhere
  • We’re only selling these spots to one type of company in your area
  • Google have allocated us one space in the organic/natural listings and we are the only reseller that can do this
  • Blah blah blah

Basically what they are selling is Google Adwords for a fixed price per month.  We’ve been told prices that range from €90 to €250 so far.

Google Adwords do NOT get you on the natural/organic listings in Google – on any page.  They get you in the sponsored listings and not always guaranteed the top 3 or first page.

With Google Adwords you will show in the sponsored listings on the right hand side and very top randomly.  The traditional figure quoted is 75% of users will click on organic and 25% on paid/sponsored link. (courtesy of Webmentor.ie)

Now I am not an Adwords expert at all but from what I have learnt from my own Google Ad Words campaigns, companies really need to ask the following questions of anyone providing this service:-

  • What are the exact AdWords phrases being used?
  • How much does each phrase cost – what is your bid?
  • What were the views on Google.ie over the last 30 days for these AdWords?
  • What is the limit you will set on the account daily?
  • What is the limit you will set on the account monthly?

I am sure there are lots more questions that can be asked and there are plenty of Google Accredited agencies in Ireland that can do your Google Adwords campaign for you. You can even set up your own Google AdWords account and monitor it yourself.

We have over 66,800 companies listed on Whatswhat.ie and believe they have contacted 1,000’s to date.  This company is called Matchmaker Marketing based out of Cheshire in the UK.  They also operate under the following aliases – Zenith Marketing, Apex Media, Storm Media and Sphere Marketing…to name a few.  They have an ongoing vigorous campaign targeting Irish companies and I have heard from over 300 companies about them to date.

Google gave me their statement to add:-

“Google has set up an authorised reseller programme in the UK and Ireland to ensure small businesses can get the best help and advice on their online marketing activity (listed here). We would urge businesses to research agencies online before working with them to ensure you get the best from your marketing spend.”

We are not saying Matchmaker Marketing is not a legitimate company and they cannot offer a legitimate service.  They are no longer Google accredited for selling AdWords – hence the company name changes recently.  They are not ‘Google affiliated’ or a ‘Google reseller’.  Unfortunately they are not saying that when they ring Joe Bloggs the Plumber who thinks he’s been called by Google because they picked him out of the hat for his area to make sure he gets onto the first page of Google!!

I’d welcome any information anyone has on these companies and also please let me know if you have been contacted.



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The Author:

Sian Phillips is the Managing Editor of TweakYourBiz.com and a Moderator on Bizsugar.com. Sian is also the accountant for her clients Henparty.ie, (Dragons Den winner 2009), Clearwave.ie and Comserv.ie. With over 20 years’ worth of experience in business and accounting Sian provides help to the SME sector. The other half of Sian’s day is spent workIing in the Social Media space; writing blog posts and conducting interviews for TweakYourBiz.com, plus writing for clients globally about Social Business and Accounting. She is a qualified Accountant with an Honours Diploma in Journalism too. http://www.tweakyourbiz.com

Add Your Comment

  • http://twitter.com/PreciousRings Eoin McDonnell

    Sian,
    It is great you are bringing this issue to the attention of those who are not aware. We at Precious have been contacted by Matchmaker on a number of occasions, in the most recent they claimed to be Google. What rang alarm bells for me was their reluctance to put any of their claims and sales pitch into an email, and their urgency to take credit card details ‘right now’. My recommendation would be to ask around before deciding on an agency.

  • http://twitter.com/aileen456 aileen456

    ‘target consumer inertia.’ I know what you mean, when we all had to introduce the PRSA thing to our employees, the banks all rang and gave us the easy option ‘ill call in a give you a plaque and say you complied with the regulations in return for your employees names and contacts’
    or something to that effect. Customer inertia won out there alright!

  • Anonymous

    One of the features of PRSAs is that you can move provider pretty easily. There can’t be a transfer charge if you want to move your existing fund elsewhere.

    The employer/employees could be paying up to 5% of each and every contribution made. If they are not getting a good service for that charge then they should look at reducing this cost.

    Pension/PRSA Planning is about funding for your retirement NOT the bank employees retirement.

  • http://www.sortmybooks.com Anne Hannan

    Great post Gerard. When I was getting my mortgage a couple of years ago I followed your advice and was able to quote prices that I had found online for things like mortgage term insurance and house insurance to the Bank’s financial advisor. Eventually she admitted defeat and said ‘I can’t come near those prices’. Shopping around is critical.

  • Anonymous

    Hi Anne,

    Good for you. If enough people did what you did, it would force the banks to reconsider what they are offering and drive prices lower.

    Unfortunately, that is not the case as the majority will take the easy option, even though it costs them more money. It all about ‘information’, the more you have the more ‘cash rich’ you become.

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    Nice post..thanks,nWhen the pensioned employee retires, she or he can ask for the entire npension in one lump sum or can take the pension as an annuity, which is an series of payments that lasts for a specified period of time. If the nretiree lives long enough, she or he will receive more money than the nemployer originally withheld.

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