“In Google and other search engines, it’s too easy to find “scam reports” and other negative drivel bashing just about every legitimate direct selling company, as well as the industry on a whole. For many people, this is their first impression of our industry, or a specific company they’re researching. So why don’t we do something about it?” ~ Navid Safabakhsh, Direct Selling Reputation – How to Improve It
I thought I’d seen it all when it comes to cutthroat, dirty, and just downright bad marketing, but this is a new low. A new travel MLM, Surge 365, is launching March 2nd and doing the usual round of prelaunch press releases, but with a nasty twist: they’re deliberately doing negative SEO against their competitors in their press releases.
Here’s their launch announcement:
And then, they did it again, the next day:
It’s fine for them to list their competitors — but the LINKS to the competitors are sent to negative sites — an iffy BBB page and a negative review for Paycation and a perennial MLM hater for the WorldVentures link. The sole purpose of this is to raise the negative sites in the search results for searches on those brands, aka “negative SEO”.
Besides being incredibly unethical, that’s a direct violation of the terms of service of press release sites like PRLog and PRZen, where the press releases were submitted:
Fair competition is one thing. But deliberately harming the reputation of a legitimate direct selling company is NOT OK (unless, of course, they deserve it because they’ve brought it on themselves, as Surge 365 has done). The industry as a whole has enough challenges with reputation without this kind of thing exacerbating the problem.
“Leaders do not have to go bad talk each other, or drag down another company. Instead they focus on what is important to creating leaders on their teams, and they do it!” — Troy Dooly
This is exactly the kind of thing Troy Dooly got onto WakeUpNow reps about last year, only this time, it’s coming from corporate and their marketing firm, not just over-zealous reps.
The other thing is that this is just plain short-sighted. That link to the MLM hater just adds authority to his site, which means that next year, when he decides to make Surge 365 his target, it has just that much authority.
Surge 365 and SVH Digital need to stop this. Besides the legal risk they’re creating for themselves, it’s simply bad for industry, and bad for their business when these dirty tactics get exposed. Would you want to do business with either one of these companies? I certainly wouldn’t. Network marketing is built on trust, and they’ve already broken it.