SEO WAR

This is a search result page






Stories

Merchant Cash Advance SEO War Still Raging

October 9, 2014
Article by:

best merchant cash advance companies?The top ten merchant cash advance companies ranked on a review website must have earned their placements due to actual reviews, right? Not so, say rival online marketers who’ve claimed sites such as topcreditcardprocessors.com are really just part of an elaborate paid lead generation scam.

Mark Jackson, a blogger and marketer, had alleged that a website known as TopSEOs.com had been using deceptive practices for years. Three weeks ago a former employee of TopSEOs.com emailed Jackson to offer damning information that his suspicions had been right. That included a list of 15 other websites related to TopSEOs.com that were running similar review schemes. All are apparently owned by an individual named Jeev Trika.

While I don’t know Trika or if the allegations are true, I do know from what Jackson wrote is that he forwarded the email chain and the website list to Google’s director of web spam, Matt Cutts. That included topcreditcardprocessors.com

In recent years, Google has taken aggressive action to de-rank and de-list sites engaged in bad behavior from their search index. One example of bad behavior is a site that provides a poor user experience. Deceiving users into believing that businesses had been reviewed and ranked accordingly is deceptive if the true model is just about who pays the most to get ranked the best.

In New York State, fake reviews can be a criminal offense. Just ask the 19 companies that were ensnared in a deceptive review sting last year, causing them to be hit with $350,000 in penalties.

In addition to credit card processors, topcreditcardprocessors.com also ranked merchant cash advance companies. What’s rough is that all of the websites Jackson submitted to Cutts have been de-listed from Google’s search index, indicating that Google likely concluded those domains violated their Terms of Service.

deceptiveJackson pointed out that Trika, the mastermind behind it all, was already taking measures to get back up and running in Google’s search index by moving from TopSEOs.com to TopSEOsGlobal.com. Similarly, topcreditcardprocessors.com has already moved their content to topcreditcardprocessorsglobal.com. All their first page search rankings have been lost for now so that probably means fewer leads for many companies over the next few weeks.

Of course there are a few similar websites to topcreditcardprocessors.com that purport to review merchant cash advance companies. The risk if they’re shut down is not just a loss of leads but a potential loss of trust by search engines for anyone that paid to appear on them. Google treats sites participating in link manipulation schemes unfavorably and has expanded the scope of how these schemes are defined a lot in the last twelve months.

Unless you’ve been in a coma, Google’s Penguin algorithm specifically targets websites engaged in link schemes. It’s uncertain if paid links on review sites like these would be covered under Penguin, but Penguin’s 3rd major run is expected to roll out any day now.

Google’s director of web spam has a good sense of humor when it comes to Penguin jokes, but Cutts is known to be absolutely ruthless when he discovers actual terms of service violators in their index. Back in December, Cutts articulated that he wanted to break their spirits. As quoted on Search Engine Land, he said:

if you really want to stop spam, it is a little bit mean, but what you want to do, is sort of break their spirits. There are lots of Google algorithms specifically designed to frustrate spammers. Some of the things we do is give people a hint their site will drop and then a week or two later, their site actually does drop. So they get a little bit more frustrated.

Just emailing Cutts evidence of manipulation is enough to put offending sites out of business or at least out of reach from Google searchers. That is what Mark Jackson appears to have accomplished by forwarding an email chain referencing TopSEOs.com and other sites.

A screenshot of the home page of what is now topcreditcardprocessorsglobal.com below:
top credit card processors

Review sites might be one way companies are generating leads online now, but check out some of my historical coverage regarding the war for Internet leads in this space:

Six Signs Alternative Lending is Rigged: Do Lending Club and OnDeck have a helping hand?

Google Penguin 2.1 takes swing at the MCA industry

Your merchant cash advance press release may be hurting you

Is Google your only web strategy?

The other 93% [of leads]

The SEO war continues

The SEO War for Merchant Cash Advance: The first story on this topic

The SEO War Continues

April 4, 2012
Article by:

In the last few weeks, Google dropped a nuclear bomb on the SEO battlefield. Some of you may have noticed but no one really wants to talk about it. Who would want to publicize the fact that their website has plummeted from page 1 to page 25 after investing tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars a year to rank on page 1 for a hot keyword? To be the one holding the bag when the bubble bursts has obvious economical consequences but can also be emotionally damaging. So what happened?

In March, Google de-indexed and banned some of the major subscription-based blog networks and effectively wiped out thousands of backlinks for companies throughout the world. Many in the MCA space have secretly been using these networks to compliment their SEO strategy or worse, be the focal point of it. Blog networks such as BuildMyRank (which has been completely shut down) allowed their subscribers to submit up to ten articles per day. These articles are usually a minimum of 150 words and contain at least 1 link pointing to the subscriber’s website. At the rate of 10 articles per day, a company could build at least 300 highly contextual backlinks per month and easily jump in search results over the competition.

We could write 5 articles today with no problem but task us with 300 and we’ll run out of content after 20 and be mentally exhausted after 50. The quality of the content would likely suffer and there would eventually be a point where it was even too cumbersome to produce gibberish. Some of you may think the article you’re reading now is gibberish. 😉

And so the subscription fees were compounded by the cost of hiring writers internally or outsourcing the work. But when everyone in the industry was doing the same thing, the stakes were upped and MCA companies were forced to use new methods. One blog network subscription turned into four and paying for links and issuing PRWeb press releases became the cost of staying competitive, rather than being the recipe to rank the highest. The subscriptions, the labor, the link purchases, online releases, and other costs to stay visible on the Internet have become increasingly material line items on P&Ls in effort to get to Page 1.

But being listed on page 1 doesn’t guarantee clicks or conversions. In fact, if you’re not in the top 3 for a particular keyword there’s a good chance you won’t experience any clicks at all. According to a study performed by Slingshot SEO, humans just don’t like clicking anything but what’s on top.

While some of the MCA companies that relied heavily on the defunct blog networks have practically disappeared from the search results altogether, those that used them in moderation have fallen out of the top 3. Going from position 1 on page 1 to position 5 on page 1 can be practically the same as going out of business.

merchant cash advance marketingInternet marketing became exponentially popular in the MCA space just in the last twelve months mainly due to the seemingly low cost and reported success by online lead generation companies. For small to mid-sized ISOs, spending $100 on a website with Godaddy and trying to get the site ranked organically just seems so much easier and cost effective than surrendering to the expenses of hiring telemarketers, renting office space, running mailer campaigns, billboards, radio/tv ads, hiring multiple salespeople, and buying leads.

But diversifying your marketing strategy is key. Buy quality leads, mix it up with mailers or calls, or go door to door. Just don’t put all your eggs in one basket. As many companies learned in the last few weeks and more will learn in the ones upcoming as all the SEO penalties finally set in, Google runs the show. They can change their algorithm at any time and there’s nothing anyone can do about it. If you’re going to spend a million dollars for a Times Square billboard, make sure there’s no clause that allows them to move it to the middle of the Pacific Ocean. If you hadn’t figured out why your website is generating less leads lately, we’re sorry to be the bearer of bad news. Your billboard was lost at sea.

Read related article: The SEO War for Merchant Cash Advance

– deBanked
https://debanked.com

The SEO War for ‘Merchant Cash Advance’

February 12, 2012
Article by:

Let’s admit it, we’re all at war. If you’ve uttered the terms Panda, PageRank, Backlinks, or Organic in the last few months, you know what we’re talking about. We didn’t choose this fight, Google forced it upon us. And so after a long day of phone calls and handshakes about affordable working capital, we return to our homes at night and search the web. Not for information of course, but to find out where our company website pops up when we Google the phrase: Merchant Cash Advance or other relevant terms. Today we ask, is the fighting worth it?

In 2007, back when the industry hadn’t put much thought into the Internet, the #1 search result for Merchant Cash Advance was the blog by David Goldin, the CEO of Amerimerchant. It made sense because it was a self proclaimed “online resource dedicated to the merchant cash advance industry.” There, small business owners and competitors could read about the trials and tribulations of an industry on the verge of explosive growth. It was interesting, it was informative, and best of all, he ranked first without trying.

Nowadays, it’s all commercial. Merchant Cash Advance companies with fat advertising budgets are spending thousands to rank for their favorite keywords, with Merchant Cash Advance still high on that list. The friendly information resource has been replaced by a website that not only crushed the competition in search positioning but seems to publicly brag about it too.

Everyone else is apparently forever dwarfed and dominated. What a great message for your prospects.

As we write this article, the top 10 Google search results for Merchant Cash Advance are:
1. Merchant Cash in Advance
2. YellowStone Capital
3. Entrust Cash Advance
4. Merchants Capital Access
5. Merchant Resources International
6. American Finance Solutions
7. Nations Advance
8. Bankcard Funding
9. Rapid Capital Funding
10. Paramount Merchant Funding

Do keep in mind that your results may differ slightly depending on your region. Google geographically targets searchers to bring them the most relevant matches.

How much is the #1 spot worth? The market priced it at $75,000 three months ago when MerchantCashinAdvance.com was sold in an online auction for that amount (saved in pdf). So which powerful Merchant Cash Advance company unloaded their precious website? None. The owner of the site was actually an SEO guru looking to make a quick buck. He studied the industry a bit and then within two months ranked a site at the top of Google.

75k might even be considered a steal, as we were actually approached to purchase that website ourselves in August 2011. The exchange was a bit contentious, with them being unwilling to accept less than $200,000 and us making an insulting offer of $100. Perhaps it was jealousy or perhaps it was because we didn’t realize how a Merchant Cash Advance website could be worth so much, but the discussion quickly degraded into name calling and we never spoke again.

How many small businesses are searching for Merchant Cash Advance anyway? According to Google, there are 14,800 searches for it a month. We assume that at least 75% of those are from the companies offering it. You probably Google the phrases several times a day yourself. Admit it!

The real money is in the long tail keywords, since merchants are more likely to personalize their search. Being first for merchant loan for bad credit might be more potent than Merchant Cash Advance. It’s tough to say since deBanked doesn’t really rank for either of those. Then again, we’re an information destination, much like David Goldin’s Blog was/is.

We’re not SEO experts, but we do quite alright with Google ourselves. Without giving away all of them, this is our current placement for just the following keywords:

  • Merchant Cash Advance directory: 1, 2
  • Largest Merchant Cash Advance companies: 1
  • Merchant Cash Advance UCC: 1, 2, 3
  • Merchant Cash Advance statistics: 1
  • Merchant Cash Advance stats: 1, 2
  • Merchant Cash Advance default: 1, 2
  • Merchant Cash Advance UCCs: 2, 3, 4, 5
  • Merchant Cash Advance laws: 2
  • Merchant Cash Advance forums: 2
  • Merchant Cash Advance articles: 3
  • Merchant Processing: 3
  • Merchant Cash Advance Jobs: 8
  • Sell your mom for cash: 1 (don’t ask)

MerchantCashinAdvance.com was no different and they claimed to be #1 for over 300 business lending related keywords. A spreadsheet of the analysis they put up during the auction can be found here.

With nothing more than an organic search presence, they claimed to have had the following results:

Month of July for 2011: Received 647 calls & 148 online business lending applications: Funded 81 deals, $26,000.00 profit.

Month of August for 2011: Received 731 calls & 234 online business lending applications: Funded 113 deals, $29,500.00 profit.

Month of September 2011: Received 1026 calls & 276 online business lending applications: Funded 147 deals, $41,750.00 profit.

If that’s the case, then $75,000 was a bargain. That no doubt led to the auction of a similar site just a month later. MerchantCashAdvances.org is currently ranking 51st for Merchant Cash Advance. They claimed to earn $12,500 annually in ad revenue and $200,000 in commissions. The starting bid was $10,000 and although there were many inquiries, it didn’t sell.

That doesn’t mean it wasn’t worth the price. Most Merchant Cash Advance companies are secretly or not-so-secretly investing thousands into SEO campaigns. Black hat SEO is rampant and even the most reputable companies have engaged in it at some point. The underwriting room is the one they show their clients. The sales floor is the one they show their new recruits. But ask where the internet marketing room is, and they’ll claim it doesn’t exist. But it does of course. They’re usually small quarters with no windows that are filled with computers armed with software like ScrapeBox, Article Marketing Robot (AMR), XRumer, and a list of working proxies.

Even the white hats are building backlinks manually and creating endless articles for use on their own company blogs or for services like BuildMyRank. One moderately sized Merchant Cash Advance company in New York City has just as many SEO employees as they do sales representatives. For some, this is just the beginning. It’s not unusual to spend $10,000 – $20,000 a month on pay-per-click campaigns.

The Internet has become a place where the person with the most to spend wins. Because of competition, a paid Google campaign for Merchant Cash Advance keywords can cost $20 per click! We did a phone call with Google and were told that less than 10% of clickthroughs convert into a sale or completed form. If only 1 out of every 10 visitors calls or inquires through the site, that amounts to $200 for a single lead. If only 1 out of every 5 of those leads turn into a closed deal, the acquisition cost is effectively $1,000. That number is awful especially considering commissions and factor rates have been rapidly declining over the last year. And merchants wonder why this financing is more expensive than a bank loan…

It also explains why the practice of closing costs and service fees have survived internal industry scrutiny. Some resellers would be operating in the red without them. Organic traffic is in essence free, that is if you don’t consider the salary or fees you pay your SEO team. Hopefully they don’t overdo it and place your site in the Google sandbox. Until then, the rewards outweigh the risks and every day the industry pushes the envelope a little further in the quest to rank on page 1.

If you can earn $200,000 a year from a website or sell one for $75,000 after two months of work, then there is plenty of room for growth. If the industry was saturated, it wouldn’t be that easy. If your mother is getting into the Merchant Cash Advance business, make sure she knows how to market her website. It’s a war out there.

– deBanked
https://debanked.com

Lawsuit Alleging Google Ad Abuse is Latest Iteration of the Search War

May 20, 2021
Article by:

google searchGoogle parent company Alphabet reported a record profit in Q1 2021 of $18 billion, up 162% from 2020. The firm attributes the success to a 32% surge in Covid related advertising sales.

A recent lawsuit from ten US States filed in a district court in Texas would argue that it’s not just a covid based bump in ad sales. According to the WSJ, in response to the lawsuit, Google accidentally confirmed what prosecutors suspected: they run a secret program called “Project Bernanke” that uses proprietary data to win bids on the firm’s ad exchange, netting hundreds of millions of dollars over the years. It amounts to a digital ad monopoly, which has already pushed Google’s parent company, Alphabet, to new highs.

Google’s ad exchange works like a stock exchange for marketing, as enterprises buy and sell placements and seconds of attention within the Google advertising universe. Firms bid on purchasing slots for ads in browsers and videos, and the auctions happen lightning fast in real-time. The lawsuit from ten states through the Taxes district court alleges Google used insider information on what they knew firms were willing to pay, to drive the prices as high as they would go.

Google is both on the buy and sell-side of its transactions and admitted in the papers WSJ saw that the data they mined to inform bids in Project Bernanke was not disclosed to publishers. The papers were quickly redacted and sealed by a judge days after WSJ found the details. The documents also mention “Jedi Blue,” a sweetheart deal between Google and Facebook. Instead of competing with Google ads, Facebook agreed to bid on and automatically win a fixed percentage of Google ad auctions. The deal originated back in 2018 when Facebook announced it was joining a competitor advertising program called “open bidding.” The states’ lawsuit alleges the firms must have made a side deal then, and the leaders of the internet ad market colluded; it’s why a bipartisan coalition of ten states is pushing back.

deBanked has tracked Google’s relationship with funders who use the search engine for marketing their products. After reducing the effetiveness of SEO and forcing most businesses into buying ad space out of necessity, the new lawsuit alleges Google rigged the game for themselves. The House always wins.

Back in 2012, deBanked’s Sean Murray first evaluated the SEO landscape. Google punished blogs that were printing out backlinks by the hundreds, nose-diving the competitive market for SEO rankings.

In 2014, Google’s “penguin algorithm” inflicted further pain.

In 2017, Google outright blocked merchant cash advance as an advertising keyword.

“You Can’t Stay Static”: Paul Teitelman and the Building of an SEO Firm

June 30, 2019
Article by:

seo

Paul Teitelman SEO ConsultantHow does someone become an SEO expert? How does someone found a successful  SEO consultancy firm? For Paul Teitelman, his road to SEO mastery and independence started by admitting he knew nothing about the industry.

Beginning in the late noughties, following his graduation in Marketing Management from Dalhousie University, Teitelman went to an Interactive Advertising Bureau job fair, pitched himself to his soon-to-be boss, and replied, “No! But I’m your man. I’ll learn it all,” when asked if he knew anything about SEO.

Thus began his tenure at Search Engine People, one of Canada’s first Search Engine Marketing companies. Here he entered as a Link Ninja and learned the trade by implementing SEO campaigns for both Fortune 100 and 500 companies as well as for local businesses. From this, he advanced to a managerial position, in which he led teams of SEO specialists who were responsible for ensuring clients would appear at the top of Google search pages. And then, in 2011, Teitelman left Search Engine People to make his own way, becoming the CEO and founder of his self-titled, Toronto-based SEO consultancy firm.

How did the move to independence pan out? Well, as of June 2019 he has hired his 25th employee, his team is kept busy servicing the needs of clients, and he experiments with pioneering SEO strategies and theories within his own blog network. Claiming that his firm offers “the best of both worlds” as a result of him having worked on both ends of the SEO spectrum, Teitelman explains that clients benefit from his offering of the transparency, promptness, and directness that are inherent with small firms; and that he reaps the reward of an agency price tag, a perk that comes with producing consistently successful SEO work.

“YOU CAN’T STAY STATIC”

seoWhen asked about how others could follow in his footsteps, he said, regardless of the industry, whether you’re an SEO expert or broker, that “you can’t stay static.” Emphasizing the necessity of having foresight when you leave your old job, Teitelman notes that entrepreneurs need to stay ahead of the curve of trends, be that an update to Google’s search result algorithm or a niche opening in the alternative finance market. As well as this, Teitelman highlighted the importance of being secure in that knowledge that when you leave to make it independently you will have a list of clients to take with you, who’ll keep you from leaving yourself high and dry.

And much like how the merchant cash advance scene in Canada has seen an increase in both interest and product knowledge amongst customers over recent years, as has SEO. Subject to myth-making and conjecture as a result of its technical lingo and specialized nature, SEO has long been the victim of misunderstanding according to Teitelman, who says those who are curious about the service “shouldn’t believe everything they read on the internet.”

Going on to say that “the more education customers get, the more exciting the industry becomes,” it’s clear that Teitelman is looking forward to the future of SEO. Time will tell if his offer back in 2008 will be matched by interested industries, curious about the possibilities that SEO promises and willing to “learn it all.”


Paul Teitelman is also speaking on a sales and marketing strategies panel at deBanked CONNECT Toronto on July 25th alongside Smarter Loans President Vlad Sherbatov and SharpShooter Funding Managing Partner Paul Pitcher.

Who Needs The Merchant Cash Advance Keyword Anyway?

May 31, 2022
Article by:

Google MapsAlmost five years since Google banned its search engine from displaying ads when queries contain the phrase “cash advance,” the loss of business attributed to that has probably been nil to the small business finance space.

According to Google, despite there being between 100,000 to 1 million searches for “cash advance” each month on average, only 1,000 to 10,000 searches per month are specifically for “merchant cash advance.”

People are ~10x more likely to search for business line of credit, business loan, working capital, or business credit card, according to Google’s estimates.

This is somewhat in line with findings from the Federal Reserve, whose recent study determined that 7x more business owners seek out a loan or line of credit than they do a merchant cash advance.

But putting that aside, the ban on paid advertising for all things cash advance has had an upside for some lucky companies. Without ads, Google has inadvertently (or maybe intentionally) elevated funding providers that are local to the searcher to the top of the organic results. That means listings on Google Maps that contain keywords matching the search queries are reaping the benefits of being prominently placed at the top of the page and are potentially capturing all the clicks along with it. The end result is an old-fashioned SEO war to win what few searches there are.

Compare that to a search for sba loan where paid advertising is fair game. In the era of PPP and EIDL, it’s perhaps no surprise that there are between 100,000 to 1 million searches per month for that keyword on average. Many of those searchers will probably not be eligible for an SBA loan so perhaps the next best fit would be equipment leasing or invoice factoring, two queries that are on par with merchant cash advance in average monthly searches, meaning volume is relatively low.

But how does low search volume turn into the large volume of funding originated? Well, another factor has changed since Google implemented the cash advance advertising restriction in 2017, and that is that Google is not as relevant as it used to be. Business owners are more likely to discover a potential capital source from social media or a fintech platform they already have a relationship with than ever before. According to a recent study, 25% of people claimed they had actually used either Alexa, Siri, or another voice assistant to find information about financial services, signaling a major departure from how traditional searching used to be conducted.

All of which means that the paid advertising restriction on a niche keyword on Google is unlikely to make any kind of difference in the big picture. Odds are you might not have known this restriction even existed. Bing, on the other hand, has no qualms with cash advances and allows paid advertising on it.

The Google Battle for Lending & SMB Finance Keywords Revisited

August 29, 2018
Article by:

When it comes to Google’s organic search for major keywords, companies like Nerdwallet and Fundera still dominate. A few players, however, have gained or lost significant ground since last year.

The Small Business Administration relinquished its place on the first page for words like “business loan” and “business line of credit” while PayPal and Credit Karma have begun to make major appearances as their activity in these markets increases.

Take a look:

Keywords Fundera Fundera PayPal PayPal Credit Karma Credit Karma Kabbage Kabbage OnDeck OnDeck
Date 9/14/17 8/29/18 9/14/17 8/29/18 9/14/17 8/29/18 9/14/17 8/29/18 9/14/17 8/29/18
business loan 1 1 2 3 4 5
merchant cash advance 3 2 2 4
working capital 8 9
commercial loan 3 1 5
small business loans 2 1 3 5 4
business line of credit 2 2 5 3 3
fast business loan 4 5 1 4
business loan with bad credit 7 5

Keywords Lending Club Lending Club Nerdwallet Nerdwallet National Funding National Funding Traditional Banks Traditional Banks SBA.gov SBA.gov
Date 9/14/17 8/29/18 9/14/17 8/29/18 9/14/17 8/29/18 9/14/17 8/29/18 9/14/17 8/29/18
business loan 9 6 3 7,8 5 4,7 6
merchant cash advance 4 1 8 9
working capital 4
commercial loan 2,7 3,8,9,10
small business loans 9 3 7,8 5 7 1 2
business line of credit 11 1,4 1 6,7,8,9,10 4,6,7,9,10 5
fast business loan 2 3 5,6 8
business loan with bad credit 1,4 1 2 2 3

As mentioned in previous posts, this is not a scientific analysis. Keywords are measured using a wiped browser on my own computer.

The value of a Page-1 ranking too, is not as valuable as it once was, due to the heavy placement of paid ads above the search results. Ads, however, are not a factor for the keyword “merchant cash advance” since Google banned all advertising for that search term last Fall. Originally it was theorized that the ban was accidental, but ten months later it is still in place.

No such ban exists on Bing.

Read my previous analyses on the industry’s search war over the years:

September 2017 The Google Battle for Lending and SMB Finance Keywords

December 2015 Google Serves Low Blow to Merchant Cash Advance Seekers

March 2015 Google Culls Online Lenders – Pay or Else?

October 2014 Merchant Cash Advance SEO War Still Raging

August 2014 Six Signs Alternative Lending is Rigged: Do Lending Club and OnDeck have a helping hand?

October 2013 Google Penguin 2.1 takes swing at the MCA industry

August 2013 Your merchant cash advance press release may be hurting you

December 2012 Is Google your only web strategy?

July 2012 The other 93% [of leads]

April 2012 The SEO war continues

February 2012 The SEO War for Merchant Cash Advance: The first story on this topic

The Google Battle for Lending and SMB Finance Keywords

September 14, 2017
Article by:

The online lending battle is at least in part being fought online. Below is a chart of organic page 1 rankings in Google for some of the industry’s biggest players, banks, and the SBA. (Hat tip to Fundera and NerdWallet):

Keywords OnDeck Kabbage Fundera Lending Club NerdWallet National Funding Traditional Banks SBA.gov
business loan 1 9 3 5 4,7 6
merchant cash advance 2 3 4 8
working capital 9 4
commercial loan 3 2,7
small business loans 2 3 5 7 1
business line of credit 3 2 11 1,4 6,7,8,9,10 5
fast business loan 1 4 2 5,6
business loan with bad credit 7 1 2 3

Source: Market Samurai

The Top 10 Google Search Results for Merchant Cash Advance in February 2012 compared to now:

February 2012 September 2017
MerchantCashinAdvance.com Wikipedia
Yellowstone Capital OnDeck
Entrust Cash Advance Fundera
Merchants Capital Access NerdWallet
Merchant Resources International Businessloans.com
American Finance Solutions Bond Street
Nations Advance Capify
Bankcard Funding National Funding
Rapid Capital Funding CNN
Paramount Merchant Funding CAN Capital

The top result in 2012 is a great example of how much easier it was to game Google’s system back then. After achieving rank #1 for MCA and 300 other related keywords, MerchantCashInAdvance.com, which was just a lead generation site, sold for $75,000 in December 2011. The site was later clobbered by Google Penguin for black hat SEO and banished from visibility.

A major shift has obviously taken place over the last 5 and a half years. Is the search results game rigged to advance Google’s own interests? Three years ago I put forth my theory on that.

One thing that’s different between then and now is that Google now has 4 paid links above the organic search results as opposed to 3 and the paid links blend in more with the organic results. With the organic results pushed further down the page, they’re not as visible as they were five years ago.

Read my previous analyses on the industry’s search war over the years:

December 2015 Google Serves Low Blow to Merchant Cash Advance Seekers

March 2015 Google Culls Online Lenders – Pay or Else?

October 2014 Merchant Cash Advance SEO War Still Raging

August 2014 Six Signs Alternative Lending is Rigged: Do Lending Club and OnDeck have a helping hand?

October 2013 Google Penguin 2.1 takes swing at the MCA industry

August 2013 Your merchant cash advance press release may be hurting you

December 2012 Is Google your only web strategy?

July 2012 The other 93% [of leads]

April 2012 The SEO war continues

February 2012 The SEO War for Merchant Cash Advance: The first story on this topic

Vox Funding

Lendini

CAN Capital

Avanza Capital

Cashyew

Fox Business Funding

Redstone Advance

Percent

Legacy Capital Group

Splash Advance

Forward Financing

Yardline

Wynwood Capital Group

Unique Funding Solutions

Legend Funding

Merchant Financing Leads

CounselorLibrary

IOU Financial

One Percent Ventures

Central Diligence Group

CapFront

Global Funding Experts

ROC Funding Group

Spartan Capital

Velocity Capital Group

Meridian Leads

Monetaria