Bruce Clay Inc.’s Statement on Local Paid Inclusion
Late Monday, we announced the service “Local Paid Inclusion,” which we said gives local merchants higher rankings in the Places and local search results in Google, Yahoo! and Bing. We believed that the service offering was finalized between our backend partner and the aforementioned search engines.
So far, we have determined that it is not a released program, made even more complicated by statements of confidentiality agreements that put the kibosh on further discussion. Bruce Clay, Inc. has ceased to engage in Local Paid Inclusion while we dig into confusing and contradicting statements.
We announced what we believed to be a legitimate program where Bruce Clay, Inc. was going to be one of several distributors of this service. Our understanding of this service was that it impacted the sequence of entries within the Places or local results in search engines. And within that separate area of the results, this service would validate local profiles, assuring those entries would naturally result in appearing higher in the local results.
There was misinterpretation of the information surrounding this service; mainly that it would impact the organic search results, instead of only the local results. We take responsibility for an unclear message being announced in an untimely manner, where specifics of the program were not disclosed and the messaging was jumbled.
Bruce Clay, Inc. also takes responsibility for the early promotion of the service Local Paid Inclusion without taking the extra steps to verify these contracts existed as we understood them. For that, we apologize.
We believed at the time that the offering was valid and acted accordingly. We did not collect money at this time, choosing to only set up a notification contact list dubbed “pre-registration” for when the program formally released.
Bruce Clay, Inc. has always been committed to ethical search engine marketing practices that work alongside the values of the search engines: to serve the end user and provide exposure to businesses. This program seemed to be a solid way for local merchants to validate themselves online and to have their companies be found.
At this time, it’s our highest priority to be as clear as possible on this issue with the business and search communities. Bruce Clay, Inc. is prepared to openly discuss this matter as best we can with media and community to be as transparent as possible.
We will make every effort to answer looming questions as soon as we know more, but please understand that we are forced to work within confidentiality agreements, and may be unable to talk specifics.
We are currently working to better understand all of the contractual agreements in place, if any, with those search engines regarding this service.
We also need to thank the various social communities and search marketers for their passion regarding this matter; the voices were heard loud and clear, showing there’s no lack of diligent, inquisitive and knowledgeable marketers and business people in our community.
In the meantime, Bruce Clay, Inc. has withdrawn Local Paid Inclusion pending our further research into this matter. And the site LocalPaidInclusion.com has been taken down while this issue is resolved.
Comments are welcomed on this matter below.