Beware The "Hit List" Ranking

Author: John Honovich, Published on Apr 21, 2017

The hit list.

Kirschenbaum's recent newsletter complained about a 'hit list', bemoaning how a company took aim at ADT.

Alas, that's the Google racket. When someone searches for a term (like 'ADT'), Google will gladly sell numerous ads for anyone, including competitors, above the company's own website. Indeed, the company will then have to pay to prevent their competitors from being listed higher than them (which, e.g., ADT does).

But perhaps even a bigger scam comes in the rankings that this 'hit list' uses:

What are these rankings based on? What money is behind this?

*** *** ****.

************'******* ********** ********** ***** * '*** ****', ********* *** * ******* **** *** ** ***.

****, ****'* *** ****** ******. **** ******* ******** *** * term (****'***'), ****** **** ****** **** ******** *** *** ******, ********* competitors, ***** *** *******'* *** *******. ******, *** ******* **** then **** ** *** ** ******* ***** *********** **** ***** listed ****** **** **** (*****, *.*., *** ****).

*** ******* **** * ****** **** ***** ** *** ******** that **** '*** ****' ****:

**** *** ***** ******** ***** **? **** ***** ** ****** this?

[***************]

Best **** ******** ********

***** ** * **** ********** **** ******** *********** **** ** *** ****** ** *** ******** *** *** backing ** ******* *******'* ******.

**** * **** ** ***** '*** ***********' *********:

****** *** **** ***** *** ******* ******* ** * ****** 8.4.

Terrible **** *******

*** ********* **** ******* ****** ** ***** ******* ******* ******* *** ********. **** **** **** ** ****** users **** ******* ******* * * *** ** **. **** picking **** *** **** *** *****, **** *** ****** ********:

  • "** *** *** **** *******.... * **** ** ******** ** CONTRACT ** **** ** * **** **** ** ** **** WASTED ** *** ***** **** *** ******* ********** ******** *******."
  • "* *** ******* ******* *** * ***** *** ****** *** equipment ****** ******* **’* *****. **** * ********* ** ******* they *** ********** ******** ** ******* **** ** ********* ***** service."
  • "* **** **** ******** **** ******* *** **** *** ***** to **** ******** ** *******."
  • "**** *** **** ***** ** ** *** *** … ********* business *****."
  • "***** ****** ***. ...**** *** **** * *****"
  • "** *** *** ******* *******……**** **** ********* ** ***** *********. I **** ** ********** *** ******** ******* ** ******* ** file * ********* ********* ***** *********."
  • "****** *****. **** ***** ** ****** *** * ******** **********."
  • "*** ***** ***** ******* ****. **** ****!"

Money **** **********

**** ** ********* ** **** '**** ****' ** ******* **** by ********** ***, **************, ******* ******* ** ********* ********.

'**** ****' ***** ****** *** ******* ***** *** ********* ** by ******:

** ** *** **** *** ************* **** ********* **** ********* position, ****, ** *****…*** ** ***** **** ;)

****** ****! ****'* *** *****, **** ** *** '*********' *** they ********* ***** *** ******* ******** **********.

Variances ** **********

**** ********* ***** ********* ******** *** ******** / ********** ** promote ***** *********, ********* **** **** ******* ***** **** ***** and *** ***** ** *** ********* ******* ******* / ********* over.******'* ********* ********* *** **** ******, ******* ** ***** ****, *** **** numbers ** ********* ***** ****. (****: **** **** *** *********** in ********* ********).

** *** ***** / ******** ****, ***** *** ********* ********, but *** ***** ******** ******** ****** ** *** **** ***** much **** ****.

$300 ********* ******* *** **************

**************'* ********* ********* * ******** $*** *** **** *** *******, ** ***** below:

*** "**** ****" #* ***** *******,**********, **** $***:

*** *** #* ***** *******,*********, **** $***** ********* ********.

*** ***** *** ********* ********* ** "**** ****" *** ******, most ******* *** ********* ******** ** ****.

Irony / ****** ****

*** *** ********* ******* ******* ******* ** "**** ****" ** that ************** ** ******** ** ********* ***** *********. ** ******, the ***** **, ******* ************** ** ****** $*** ** ***** like "**** ****" *** *********, ** ***** ************** * **** or **** ** ****** *** *** *** ********* ****. *** the ***** ****** *** "**** ****" *** ****** ** ************** so *** ******* ****** "**** ****" *** *** *** $***.

*** ********* **** ******** ** "**** ****", **** **:

"* **** **** ******** **** ******* *** **** *** ***** to **** ******** ** *******."

**** *** ***** ********* ** *** **** **** ** ** the ********* ******** ***** **** **** ********* ***** ***** ****** tactics.

Hit ****

*** *** ************ '*** ****', ***** ******'* ******* **** ****** advertisements.

*** *** *** ****** **** ************** ** ***** ** *** competitors, ***** ** * **** ******* ***** *** ********* ******* of ********* ******** ******* *************** *** ********.

Comments (30)

I just Googled "ADT" and "ADT" came up first including a large overview box of the right of the search results. Protect America shows up at the bottom of that box in the "people also searched for" area

Do you have some form of ad blocker?

Because this is how it looks to me (and I am pretty sure people in general):

ADT is first above, but only because it pays for an ad, than ProtectAmerica, Simplisafe and Slomin. In 5th place, is ADT's organic ranking / listing. Note, it won't always be in this order, it depends on whose running ads, what they are bidding, their click through rates, etc., but this is a fairly normal listing.

Do you have some form of ad blocker?

Because this is how it looks to me (and I am pretty sure people in general):

Yes, you're right John - I'm running Chrome with Adblock

Just tested it on IE and it's same as your screen

I got Protect America right at the top:

Dirty little tricks.

Seen the price war (fighting for the best spot in Google search result list) all the time. It does surprise me a little that Kirschenbaum can point this out, not really a IT nor internet savvy guy by any means. LOL.

I'm curious about the $$ throw to Google from company like Simplysafe. I mentioned somewhere that Simplysafe could drop half million a month for online ad. Sounds about right?

Any guesses?

I mentioned somewhere that Simplysafe could drop half million a month for online ad. Sounds about right?

As we covered here, Simplisafe is doing over $100 million in annual revenue, so $6 million in online advertising seems like a fairly reasonable amount for a direct sales consumer electronics company like them.

One example of a high spend advertising, searching for 'home security' returns 4 Simplisafe options as the top sponsored / paid listings:

I read that report multiple times. Excellent article but have to admit that I had doubt on those numbers initially. Bumping into few more guys who attend the Barnes conference, and also well connected in monitoring central space, helps confirming everything. Agree that it sounds like a highly profitable business model.

Do Kirschenbaum's Newsletters go to your email address? I was getting them routinely, but no longer. I signed up for his newsletter on his website but, still, the newsletters are not coming in. Now, if I want to read the latest Kirschenbaum Articles, I have to go to his website.

They cracked down. When I tried to subscribe again he emailed me and said nope, no email for you!

The Kirschenbaum newsletter sign up form is here. Try that and if it still does not come, could be going to spam.

I tried that sign up form at least twice in the past few months and still nothing. I've not received any response like "no email for you"....like that Seinfeld episode. So, maybe I'll call them and ask if I've been put on some "type of list." BTW, I purchased contracts from them in the past.

Seems like you would qualify for sure then. He told me (basically this is what we ended on after multiple emails back and forth) since I was an end user it was a no go.

#3, I'll email the two of you (i.e., Ken K) to help facilitate getting you on the list.

Thanks John. I use his contracts and found his newsletter informative. Not sure why they stopped sending them to me.

You may want to reach out to Ken to have him manually subscribe you. Also, check your SPAM filters. I had an issue previously and he was able to rectify it.

Avigilon apparently advertises on single word "avigilon" searches, though most other surveillence mfrs I checked don't.

I noticed that as well. My guess is the longer sales cycle and indirect buying for surveillance products makes it less attractive for online marketing.

For example, ProtectAmerica is trying to sell consumers ASAP, either online or via a phone call right then and there. This makes it more attractive / financially sensible to pay to get people now.

But why pay for an ad on a page when you are guaranteed the top result anyway - because your domain name matches the search term and no one else is buying ads for that keyword?

You aren't guaranteed the top result. From what I've come to understand about Google's search results ranking, it takes a few things in to consideration. Just as an example: I uploaded an app to Google's Play Store. I searched for the exact name of the app and it was about 60 or so apps down the list. Apps with names completely unrelated and nearly 0 installs came in above mine. It took installing it on numerous devices and rating the app to get it moved up the list. I'm sure they use a similar method in their web search results.

You aren't guaranteed the top result.

This is technically true. But as a practical matter, having a non-English word trademarked domain name and a legit site behind it, virtually guarantees it.

Unless Kanye West starts selling them on his site ;)

Are you familiar with how Google's AdWords works? I'm not, but I believe that you can specify multiple names in the ad campaign so could it be possible they added their own name in the list of search phrases for one ad campaign? I am still trying to learn how AdWorks works. When I ran a campaign and searched for my business name it came up in the ad box but my website wasn't in the top 5 search results. But that's probably because I desperately need SEO help. :D

I'm familiar with how Google AdWords works. You can bid on any number of words and phrases including your brand name or that of your competitors and (hint hint) the manufacturers you represent. One thing to keep in mind is don't bid on manufactures like Honeywell by themselves since they do things outside of our space. Also, keep in mind you'll want to either add what's referred to as negative keywords (ie Honeywell security jobs) or on an exact match basis to limit a wasted ad spend. Also, if anyone on this string is looking into bidding on competitor keywords be sure to put it in a separate ad campaign since generally speaking you won't get a high click through rate and your quality score will be lowered. Also, you are correct Brian, the organic results has to do with your SEO efforts however it shouldn't to tough based on the name of your security company. Be sure to add the name of your security company into your title tag on your home page as well as within your meta-description. Hope I'm not further confusing you by this but whoever built your Website should be able to help with this.

Thanks for the tips. Unfortunately I am the one who set up my website. Nothing more than a WordPress page with a theme. It's quite basic but was setup quickly to have a presence on the Web if people were to search in my area. I'm going to reach out to a couple people who can help with this.

You're welcome Brian. What is your Website? I happy to give some friendly advice. Since it is built in Wordpress you'll be able to do some basic SEO without having to require working with a company like mine to help.

VigilantTech.com. Thanks in advance!

Protect America will have to try harder in Australia. FWIW, adt.com.au is taken by a squatter.

Try googling yourself - crazy how accurate it is!

Grr...my image isn't showing up.

Protect America, mentioned here, is sued by Alarm.com

#2, yes, though to clarify that is for patent infringement of technology, not for any marketing practices that are being discussed in this article.

Login to read this IPVM report.
Why do I need to log in?
IPVM conducts unique testing and research funded by member's payments enabling us to offer the most independent, accurate and in-depth information.

Related Reports

Securadyne CEO: IPVM 'Entertaining For An Ignorant Few' on Apr 16, 2019
Securadyne's CEO Carey Boethel is unhappy with IPVM's report - Failed Integrator Rollup, Securadyne Sells to Guard Giant Allied. Indeed, he...
Alarm.com Favorability Results 2019 on Apr 15, 2019
The once dot com startup has evolved to become a core provider for home security and is now expanding into commercial. In their first entry in...
ISC West 2019 Report on Apr 12, 2019
The IPVM team has finished at the Sands looking at what companies are offering and how they are changing their positioning. See below for 50+...
UK Installer CCTV Aware - Flat Pricing, No Salespeople on Apr 10, 2019
This is a different kind of company. They do flat pricing, they do not have any salespeople and 50% of their sales are sold and booked...
The Hanwha Techwin Million Dollar ISC West Booth on Apr 05, 2019
One million dollars for 2 and 3/4 days. That is what Hanwha will pay for its ISC West 2019 exhibition. While the event is free for most...
Airship VMS Profile on Apr 03, 2019
Airship has been developing VMS software for over 10 years, however, with no outside investment, and minimal marketing, the company is not well...
Casino Security Consultant Carl Lindgren Interview on Mar 26, 2019
For more than 20 years, Carl Lindgren worked as a casino surveillance pro, while being active (and sometimes outspoken) on various online video...
Large Hospital Security End User Interview on Mar 21, 2019
This large single-state healthcare system consists of many hospitals, and hundreds of health parks, private practices, urgent care facilities, and...
Genetec Security Center 5.8 Tested on Mar 19, 2019
Genetec has released Version 5.8. This comes after a wait of more than a year that caused frustrations for many Genetec partners. Our previous...
Hikvision Favorability Results 2019 on Mar 18, 2019
Hikvision favorability results declined significantly in IPVM's 2019 study of 200+ integrators. While in 2017 Hikvision's favorability was...

Most Recent Industry Reports

H.265 Usage Statistics on Apr 19, 2019
H.265 has been available in IP cameras for more than 5 years and, in the past few years, the number of manufacturers supporting this codec has...
ACRE Acquires RS2, Explains Acquisition Strategy on Apr 19, 2019
ACRE continues to buy, now acquiring RS2, just 5 months after buying Open Options. One is a small access control manufacturer from Texas, the...
Access Control Course Spring 2019 - Last Chance on Apr 19, 2019
Register for the Spring Access Control Course. IPVM offers the most comprehensive access control course in the industry. Unlike manufacturer...
Riser vs Plenum Cabling Explained on Apr 18, 2019
You could be spending twice as much for cable as you need. The difference between 'plenum' rated cable and 'riser' rated cable is subtle, but the...
Verint Victimized By Ransomware on Apr 18, 2019
Verint, which is best known in the physical security industry for video surveillance but has built a sizeable cybersecurity business as well, was...
Milestone Drops IFSEC on Apr 18, 2019
Milestone has dropped out of Europe's largest annual security trade show (IFSEC 2019), telling IPVM that they "have found that IFSEC in EMEA no...
The Fastest Growing Video Surveillance Sales Organization Ever - Verkada on Apr 17, 2019
Verkada has the fastest growing video surveillance sales organization ever. In less than 2 years, they already have more salespeople in the US...
Door Operators Access Control Tutorial on Apr 17, 2019
Doors equipped with door operators, specialty devices that automate opening and closing, tend to be quite complex. The mechanisms needed to...
Securadyne CEO: IPVM 'Entertaining For An Ignorant Few' on Apr 16, 2019
Securadyne's CEO Carey Boethel is unhappy with IPVM's report - Failed Integrator Rollup, Securadyne Sells to Guard Giant Allied. Indeed, he...
Dahua Repositionable IR Multi-Imager Camera Tested on Apr 16, 2019
Dahua has released their first repositionable multi-imager camera, the Multi-Flex 4x2MP, claiming integrated IR, true WDR, and flexible...

The world's leading video surveillance information source, IPVM provides the best reporting, testing and training for 10,000+ members globally. Dedicated to independent and objective information, we uniquely refuse any and all advertisements, sponsorship and consulting from manufacturers.

About | FAQ | Contact