Entrepreneur Disrupts Sites like Angie From Stealing leads, This Startup Did This!
Online classifieds like Yelp and Angie (formerly Angie’s List) helped contractors reach new clients. Today, they’re more likely to steal them.
Google’s search ranking algorithm typically favors websites with more pages. Classifieds can therefore use their networks of contractor service pages to climb the ranks, monopolizing search results. As they funnel leads away from personal contractor webpages, contractors have to buy their lead-generation packages or lose access to their local markets.
Greg created his startup, ServiceBookie, in 2021 to help home maintenance contractors reach customers online without joining services like Yelp or Angie. He marketed his service by creating two Facebook groups now boasting thousands of members. In under two years, his business is on track to make $250,000 in ARR and is expanding into new markets like house cleaning and pet services.
Read Full Story – by Peter Upton – BootStrappers.com
As an internet entrepreneur Greg was always slightly before his time. He created a homework help hotline long before they were commonplace but couldn’t persuade schools to refer his business. “Getting contracts with schools was such a pain back then,” he says.
The Yelp Mafia
At first, online classifieds and review sites like Yelp were handy for contractors like Greg. They made it easy to rank at the top of Google search results for a low price.
Greg says once venture capital entered the online classified space, the easy days ended. As classifieds looked for more ways to earn money, they increased the number of leads contractors had to pay for. Greg argues many of these new leads aren’t truly leads.
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Here is a sample of how Thumbtack uses a small painting business name “Draven Painting” to bring in customers, but then converts it to multiple leads for other painters when customer fill out form.