This is perhaps the most important post I have written, it’s my hope that Amway and the IBOAI is reading.
It’s been my opinion that a major component of Amway’s struggles for growth, particularly in english speaking markets, has been the Internet and Amway’s misguided decision some years ago to effectively leave Internet discussion about Amway to the critics (read Amway and the Internet – A History Part I). In my view, neither Amway nor any of the major leadership’s truly understand the magnitude of the effect that a relatively small number of internet critics have had on the Amway business.
Now I’ve got data to back it up, and it is far worse than even I imagined.
Last week Google introduced a new keyword tool for advertiser’s that provides them with statistics about “keywords” and how often people are searching on particular topics. You can find out how often people search for a particular term. I have done this for Amway and Quixtar keywords and the results are stunning. Combined with information from compete.com about Google’s share of the search engine market, and what folk then click on, the information is shocking.
More than once ever 2 seconds, someone in the world googles “Amway“.
In more exact terms, the keywords “Amway” or “Quixtar” are googled on average 1,069,000 times a month. Compete.com estimates that google has 68.7% of the search engine market.
This means “Amway” or “Quixtar” are searched for –
- 1,556,400 times a month
- 51,868 times a day
- 2,161 times an hour
- 36 times a minute
- more than once every 2 seconds
Normally this should be a cause for celebration. A company should be delighted that people are searching for information about them. It’s an enormous opportunity. Or it should be,
In the case of Amway, it’s a disaster.
A cursory look at google’s search results for Amway shows why. Keep in mind that 68% of search users do not go past the first page of results and 92% don’t go past page 3. So what do they find on page one? Here’s what I get (note that it will vary for different people and different locations)
- Wikipedia article on Amway – while much much better than it was, this article still highlights criticism of Amway with virtually no reporting on the many positives.
- Amway official website
- Amway India official website
- Amway Malaysia, Brunei, Singapore official website
- Skeptic’s dictionary article on Amway – an old article heavily critical of the Amway business opportunity
- Dave Touretsky’s Amway/Alticor/Quixtar Sucks – a “free speech” advocate’s website, heavily critical of Amway and full of extremely outdated information, including “mirrors” of other negative websites
- Amway Australia official website
- Welcome to Amway: The Continuing Story – another old website extremely critical of Amway
- The Peril’s of Amway – very old website extremely critical of Amway
- Youtube – Amway Neighbour – a video making fun of Amway stereotypes.
Of the first 1 links, there are 4 corporate sites and 6 sites critical of the Amway business. Page 2 gets even worse, with 3 corporate sites and 7 critics sites. It’s not until page 3 you come across any non-corporate website with something positive to say, and that’s this site, The Truth About Amway. If you happen to be one of the few who goes further, it doesn’t get any better.
Google’s search results for Quixtar are much the same. If you do what most internet users do, which is use the internet to research something, your perspective of Amway and Quixtar is overwhelmingly going to be a negative one.
More than one person every two seconds is doing this.
In the US and Canada alone there are over 328,000 english searches every month for Amway or Quixtar. This doesn’t include searches for things like “Amway business” (nearly 3,000) or other possible terms. 328,000 searches on google equates to 48, searches across the major search engines like Yahoo, Live etc.
That’s 16,000 a day just in North America
Compete.com, through a number of mechanisms including ISP log files, toolbar data and research panels, also estimates what people in the english-speaking world actually click on from these results. Total number of “Amway” searches in the english speaking world is 44,000/mth or over 14,000/day. According to Compete.com, here’s the top 1 sites visited by “Amway” researchers the last 3 months –
- 6.3% amway.com – Official site
- 13.3% wikipedia.org – Critical of Amway
- 4.9% cmu.edu – Touretsky’s anti-amway site
- 4.6% skepdic.com – anti-amway article (see above)
- 2.7% apollowebworks.com – anti-amway website (see above9
- 2.3% yahoo.com – I’ve been unable to identify this site, probably an adclick
- 1.6% webkinz.com – probably an adclick
- 1.2% amway.com.au – Amway Australia
- 1% msn.com – the Dateline NBC article critical of Quixtar
- <1% quixtar.com – official site
Well over a quarter of all searches end up at a critical site. The results are similar for Quixtar (though Quixtar itself takes top place and other sites like Amquix move into the rankings.
So in North America alone, a minimum of a million searchers a year are getting a bad impression of Amway just because they did some internet research. Note that because of the way people surf the web, after visiting Alticor/Amway/Quixtar sucks, they’re clicking on the links on his site that only go to other critical sites (Touretsky refused a request from me to link to The Truth About Amway). The researchers thus continually get the “Amway – bad” idea reinforced. Now, obviously there’s going to be some overlap, with folk searching more than once (like me!) but this data also doesn’t include the more than a hundred thousand global monthly searches for things like “Britt World Wide” or “Network TwentyOne. It also ignores the fact that most people who click on amway.com probably also click on other links as well.
Does anyone believe this is not having a drastic effect on our business?
Still don’t believe me? Scott Larsen, who runs one of the better known critics websites, linked to by virtually all the other websites, regularly publishes correspondence he has received. A couple of years ago I went through every email he published over a 6 month period. Well over a third of them were people researching the business or brand new IBOs who decided to not join or quit because of what they read on his website. They hadn’t even had a “bad” experience – they quit because of what they read on Amquix.
A study by Forrestor research showed that people don’t trust obvious blogs so much, they do trust what they read on self-styled “consumer opinion sites” like Amquix and Pyramid Scheme alert. Wikipedia is considered authoritive by many people, and university hosted websites like Touretsky’s anti-amway site also have an appearance of officialdom.
Thousands of people a day are visting these sites, thousands of people a day are believing them
Still don’t believe me? Here’s a graph from compete.com with estimates of the traffic visiting The Truth About Amway with traffic visiting critics sites Amquix.info and Webraw.com (Quixtarblog). I can confirm from my own logs that the data for TTAA is roughly correct, I average around 700-1000 visits a day. The critics are getting at least ten times the traffic.
This year Amway is spending tens of millions of dollars on traditional advertising – television advertisements, newspaper ads, sponsorships. Millions of people are seeing these ads, and then doing what a sensible person would do – getting online to do more research. Hundreds of thousands of people this year will probablybe shown the Amway business opportunity this year in North America alone. Most of them will do what a sensible person would do – get online to do more research.
For Amway, it’s millions of dollars potentially wasted.
For Amway IBOs, it’s a disaster.
Drastic action is needed – NOW
(continued in The Internet War Against Amway Part II)
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