Thursday, December 15, 2005

Redzee: An Unwise Investment

Our office got a call today from a Redzee sales rep. He was looking to sign up one of our clients for their pay-per-click advertising service. Needless to say, we didn't. You see, Redzee is a relatively new meta-search engine. I?m not sure if they're using their own results or pulling from somewhere else, but the site thumbnails are from Alexa. In any case, this is not the kind of place that we're looking to advertise and I'll explain why.

Now, according to the sales rep, the company has aspirations to become the number one second-tier engine (the best of the worst, one might say). Based on my visit to their site, they're going to have a heard time of it. For one, the site doesn't work right in Firefox. It gives three errors every time you do a new search. Nice. At least they aren't plotting to unseat Google...

Anyway it seems that their business strategy is simple: Generate some traffic through advertising (on DirecTV says the sales rep) while pushing hard on the sales side. That way they can lock in the profits without all the waiting for a genuine user base to materialize. Not surprisingly, you pay upfront for your clicks.

A quick look at Alexa brings up a few red flags. First, we find that 17% of their traffic goes to the admin part of the site. Either they have A LOT of advertisers, or very little of anything else. I think it's safe to assume that an even greater portion of the rest of their traffic consists of advertisers doing searches on their own terms, or people like me checking things out. That doesn't leave a lot of room for eager buyers that might make your advertising worthwhile.

Funny aside: Redzee's thumbnail image on Alexa does not include their logo. This is probably because it's flash and takes forever to load?

The second red flag was the reviews: Several very positive reviews (obviously made by Redzee folks) are accompanied by some very bad ones. I won't get into details (the world of reviews is a sketchy place) but I was not impressed with what I found.

So, here's what really counts: I will not be advertising on Redzee any time soon (not even for my personal sites). If and when they become an established presence in the search engine marketplace, I may reevaluate that decision. Right now I think they have things backwards (money first, value later) and that's just not the way things work if you're looking to establish credibility and build a lasting business. This feels much more quick-buckish.

To back me up on this, I direct you to a well known source for search engine marketing info: SEOmoz investigates Redzee.


At 9:50 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

RedZee is nothing but bogus. If you have purchased key phrases in their "top 3" ppc program, every single hit that comes from either their search engine or their spybar is a bounce.

I'll say this again because it is very important:

Every single hit that comes from either their search engine or their spybar is a bounce.

Excluding my own testing, in every single case where an IP address has entered my sites from the redzee search engine - either directly from their search engine or from browsers that have the redzee spybar installed, which appends redzee "top 3" ppc results to the top of the Google, MSN or Yahoo organic listings - that IP address goes no further than the landing page. In some cases, the IP bounces out before the entire landing page is requested from the server.

I have tested and confirmed this through exhaustive manual analysis of my raw log files. There is absolutely no doubt that the redzee "top 3" is a scam.

I have severed my relationship with redzee in total disgust.

At 5:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've just renewed with them for 10,000 clicks for $500. And I changed the landing URL because I wanted to see the traffic coming in. Well the traffic comes in alright, but they don't go anywhere. Every single time. It is evidently a scam, and I've just sent my rep an email asking to be refunded. Will let you know how that goes.


Post a Comment

<< Home