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What is a Home Inspection?
Google Adwords and how you can totally screw over other home inspectors  XML
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Nathan
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Joined: 06/17/2014 09:32 PM EDT
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Location: Carmel, IN
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It's about time we had a conversation in the home inspection industry about Google Adwords, because it's becoming a dirty game. One that I believe to be truly unethical, but maybe I'm old school. This post isn't a ruling or a regulation, but rather a starting point for a conversation. A conversation about what we can do, what we should do, and if we shouldn't do it who would regulate such a thing even if we could all agree?

I suppose in some regards, this is a conversation about who we are as an industry.

So let's get started on how to totally screw over your competition! See the attached photo. This is an example of what is called "Dynamic Keyword Insertion", and it's an advanced AdWord strategy. In the case of this example, someone searched "Cheap Airfare" and the link above the site that paid for the placement dynamically changes to exactly the words (the Google user) searched for...MAGIC!

Well, not exactly magic. It's a feature in Google Adwords that you have to know what to do with and decide to press. So it's not magic and it isn't automatic, but it is really cool and even appropriate for a lot of things. This "Cheap Airfare" ad is a prime example. It is something you can turn off once it's on and it is something that users of Google Adwords generally know they are doing.

Now let's put in in terms of home inspection marketing online:

A client goes to the internet and searches for your company. Let's say your company is "Dynamic Home Inspections". The first link that comes up says "Dynamic Home Inspections" right in it...so the client clicks and books a home inspection. Except it wasn't your company - it was one of your competitors not only targeting your company's name for search results but also then making their site appear to be your company's site.

I believe that most inspectors would take issue with this and find it unethical. Here's how I know: Out of the half a dozen inspectors we have found doing this, all but one were unaware they were doing it and all but one immediately ceased doing it. The only one that didn't cease immediately was out of line in ways you would have to believe were substance abuse driven, and even he eventually turned off this feature that was impersonating his competition.

So how does it happen?

A lot of inspectors hire Google Adwords managers. Their goal is to spend adwords money, spend it fast, and spend it well. To them, options like Dynamic Keyword Insertion make a lot of sense. In their minds, taking inspections from a local competitor even under what is at best a misrepresentation is par for the course. In the Adwords management business, they do it to each other even worse. The difference is they're kids playing on the internet that might live thousands of miles away from each other. The Inspectors on the other hand are more like two dudes that have known each other well for a decade and go to all the same conferences and know each other's families on occasion.

Okay so inspectors don't think this is right to market this way, but should it really offend?

That's the question and it's a big one. Google allows it, google has the capability, in other industries they do it to each other all day long like minions fighting over bananas.



Here's my take: I think it is deceptive and is absolutely actionable at times. I think it should be deemed unethical to do anything that would impersonate another company or deceive a consumer into thinking that you are someone you aren't and I think the associations should be the ones to make such a rule and enforce it too.

But that's just me. What say you?


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This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 02/12/2019 06:05 PM EST


P. Nathan Thornberry
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Michael Wayne Altizer
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Joined: 02/12/2019 06:19 PM EST
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Interesting. Thanks.
asaphi
Maverick
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Joined: 06/18/2014 09:54 PM EDT
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Location: Oshawa, Ontario
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I use this tactic in a different way. I do not ever use it to steal another companies business but I have a very famous tv personality in my direct market. I use the name in my background seo stuff but not using dynamic keywords that would put that name to the forefront. It may have drawbacks and attach my business to his also, but I do get top rankings regularly in maps. Which i believe is where most will click from with easy access to phone number and websites as a clickable link.
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Jim Van Loosen
Certified Master Inspector, Certified Indoor Air Consultant, Infrared Certified, CEO, Professional Speaker, CEO and Founder at Canadian Home Inspectors Training Centre
ASAP Home Inspections and Environmental Testing
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jim@asaphi.ca
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Michael Wayne Altizer
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Joined: 02/12/2019 06:19 PM EST
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I don't know if we are talking about the same thing or not. I am not too good with this internet age. Let's take Google Maps as an example:

I haven't posted anything for several months and I always show up #1, in my area.
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Nathan
King
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Joined: 06/17/2014 09:32 PM EDT
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Now imagine you search your own company name and above the map in the ads portion you see an ad that has your company name in it.

P. Nathan Thornberry
www.Nathan.tv
The #1 Vendor in Real Estate & Home Inspection
www.RWSwarranty.com
www.InspectorServicesGroup.com
www.RecallChek.com
www.InspectorLab.com
www.InspectionSuperConference.com

Find a Certified Inspection Expert exclusively at www.InspectionCentral.net
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homeprori
Rolling Stone
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Joined: 06/18/2014 10:10 PM EDT
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How do we find out if our name (HomePro) is being used in our competitors SEO?

Hank Richter
HomePro Inspections of RI
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Nathan
King
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Joined: 06/17/2014 09:32 PM EDT
Messages: 5182
Location: Carmel, IN
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homeprori wrote:How do we find out if our name (HomePro) is being used in our competitors SEO?


Pretty much have to do a search and hope to catch it at the right time and before its budget runs out that day. It sucks!

P. Nathan Thornberry
www.Nathan.tv
The #1 Vendor in Real Estate & Home Inspection
www.RWSwarranty.com
www.InspectorServicesGroup.com
www.RecallChek.com
www.InspectorLab.com
www.InspectionSuperConference.com

Find a Certified Inspection Expert exclusively at www.InspectionCentral.net
[Email] [WWW]
alicetaylor
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Joined: 02/21/2019 03:05 AM EST
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thanks your post
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