I rarely have the time or inclination to dig deep in a local, small business vertical, but today I was given an opportunity to do so. Our Director of Business Development, Karen Blackburn, asked me to take a look at one of these chiropractor content mills, Chiromatrix.
They offer different levels of service, ranging from under $100 and up. From what I can tell, setup is $395 and average monthly price is $195. That may vary based on locale and on discounts.
If I had to sum up this entire experience in two words, they would be ‘Duplicate Content’. It appears to me that almost $2400 a year (at $195 a month) buys you very little with this organization. In that price you get:
hosting for a website - This is typically $20 a month or less elsewhere. They really can’t say you’re getting a website for that price, because their $395 setup should have paid for that and any domain purchasing costs. There is no way a template site like that should cost any more than that. Value $20/mo
duplicated content - All the content (articles) on the site is duplicated (they have it on thousands of sites), so I don’t see how they can ethically resell it to people as if it’s helpful to their site. Likewise, all of their social media marketing is the same so it’s of no value. Value $0
Let’s get one thing straight, duplicate content is, at the very least, worthless. A chiropractor could care less about ‘content’, he wants customers. 10,000 Facebook updates with no engagement is useless.
So, at the least, you’re getting a terrible price from a company like that. This service should cost $240/yr, not $2400.
Chiromatrix, and Sites Like Them
I caution all of you on your involvement with Chiromatrix, or similar sites. They are duplicate content masters and while that is at the very least, a waste of money for anyone, it’s potentially deadly on Google and Facebook. First, most of these sites only rank well due to the law of averages. In a large town, there are many chiropractors. Many of them who do any SEO use Chiromatrix. In local search, local businesses rank higher than non-locals, therefore, one of the top spots will be probably be held by a Chiromatrix website. If you are local and do any SEO at all, you will outrank these sites.
What is Duplicate Content?
If a chiropractor uses a site like this, he ranks well so he gets traffic from Google. He probably gets a decent number of incoming customers that way, and that’s the point of SEO. However, because Chiromatrix puts the same content on his page (the ‘helpful’ articles on any Chiromatrix customers website) that they put on every other chiropractor’s pages, they have what Google calls duplicate content.
See this search: “Trigger points are painful nodules in muscular tissue, commonly found in the upper back,” <— first line of one of the articles on a Chiromatrix chiropractor’s homepage
Note the number of results returned… That’s alot of duplicate content!
Google has been cracking down on this. They remove sites every day for ‘gaming the system’ like this. It’s SEO cheating, plain and simple. The point of SEO is not to get all search traffic, but to categorize your site correctly so that Google can show your site to people who are searching for sites like yours.
The best SEO is honest SEO, ranking well because it delivers value. Chiromatrix is a content mill.
The Danger of Duplicate Content
I don’t tell you all of this to convince chiropractors to come over to Mariposa. I tell you this so folks who search for Chiromatrix will save their money and hopefully avoid the biggest penalty, removal from Google’s index.
I found one chiropracter who had to get a new domain to get his practice listed back in Google’s index after using Chiromatrix. The question isn’t if they’ll delist you for spammy, duplicate content, it’s when.
Social Media Duplicate Content
Along the same lines, I’d also encourage chiropractors to stop paying for social media marketing from content mills, because it’s useless and will tank their ranking on Facebook. Their useless marketing is bad enough, but because it’s duplicated and has NO engagement, it does permanent harm to rankings on Facebook.
What Chiromatrix is doing lowers their Edgerank on Facebook and getting that score back up is difficult at best. It will take them months of hard work to get their posts back in their fans’ Newsfeeds. When your EdgeRank score is low, Facebook hides your posts from your Fans’ Newsfeeds. Facebook effectively silences these pages, and with the updates that they are sending out being exactly the same for every doctor, you can understand why Facebook does this.
It makes me so angry to see these companies take advantage of small businesses. They should have just sold him the website and been done with it.
By combining their web templates with marketing and SEO, done poorly, this customer gets accustomed to a certain level of foot traffic from his marketing spend, then when Google delists him, he’s all of a sudden missing thousands of dollars of revenue and still has to pay someone like me thousands more to help him get his business back in Google’s index (to recoup that lost revenue).
It’s a shame, really. This type of marketing help can end a small business. We don’t do cookie cutter marketing.
October 20, 2017 . .
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