Hosting-review.com is a site that has been on my back burner for some time. Since the very beginning of this site I have watched Hosting-review.com like the many others claiming to be review sites. After all their site is mentioned in the video that started the traffic for this site. It’s not hard to notice this review site as they appear every time I do a search for “hosting review” on Google, they appear in the ads at the top of the results. Hosting-reviews.com is a review site that uses Google Adsense to bring in traffic to get people to sign up for one of the top 10 hosts that appears on Hosting-review.com. When Endurance International Group (Owner of Ipage.com, Justhost.com, Bluehost.com, and Fatcow.com among 40 or more hosts) in mid-2011 started FTC compliance Hosting-review.com was among the first to apply. FTC compliance meaning that review sites had to disclose they earn money by referring people to hosts.
What would lead me to writing this post was back in August 2012 Khuram of Zyma.com contacted me to give coupons to the people who follow this blog. Which lead to a re-review of his site and no I did not provide coupon codes.
Upon review I found that zyma.com had gotten a “Editors’ Pick 2012” award from Hosting-review.com.
Khuram was not exactly happy to see a third post about Zyma.com. But he wanted to prove to me that things had changed. One of the points of getting change was to tell me how exactly Zyma.com had appeared on Hosting-review.com. Despite giving me information how Hosting-review.com was involved, Khuram wanted me to write a business plan as opposed to addressing the points I laid out for earning redemption.
By September when I had started work on this post my work load had increased to a point that this post any many others were saved as drafts waiting for me to get some free time. While January is not exactly a free time for me I have managed to irk out a few days to try and get a few posts done as well as work on a personal site of mine. Not to mention I have a bit too much caffeine running through my system to go to sleep right now.
But two parts of that email have been in the back of mind since September 2012:
The first part was the explanation of why Zyma.com appears on Hosting-review.com:
“To answer your question about hosting-review.com. They contacted us mid 2011 and were interested in posting our website on their review website. We did not pay them nor provide them with any free hosting. They came to us and decided to post a review about us our service on their own accord.
You can even verify this by contacting the owner of the hosting-review website Dave Price. As a result of speaking to us, they decided to give us an editors pick award and also decided to join our affiliates scheme and place our website on their Editors Pick page.” ~ Khuram – Zyma.com
The second is the email that came from opiemarketing.com (a marketing company) of Hosting-review.com.
—– Sent: 19/09/2011 16:12 From: firstname.lastname@example.org——
I think we have some possibilities for your company, and I have a few questions for you.
Are you available for a call at any of the following times to discuss?:
Wednesday Sept 21st at 2:30pm EST
Wednesday Sept 21st at 4:30pm EST
Thursday Sept 22nd at 9:30am EST
Please let me know what time works best for you and a good number to call you at.
I look forward to the discussion.
Hosting-review.com / Opiemarketing.com
I have to say after seeing that email I have a lot more questions than I ever thought I would have. The first of which is what other possibilities is Opiemarketing.com offering to other markets other than hosting. There is not a lot I can say about Opiemarketing.com, other than there is a link to Hosting-review.com. SEO wise they don’t have the best traffic stats, for that matter I could register a domain right now and have roughly the same amount of stats in 72 hour period of time. But hosting-review.com clearly has traffic stats that can’t be ignored. A good part of their traffic may very well be related to Google Adsense. But other than this letter from Khuram there are not a whole lot of links to both sites. One particular link I found was both Opiemarketing.com and Hosting-review.com both are hosted on HostPapa.com (yeah hosting-review.com is one of those rare review sites to host with someone in the top 10). Yet they have the same dns to a domain called OMGHP.COM, which happens to belong to the same person as Opiemarketing.com. That alone makes me confident enough to say that both Hosting-review.com belongs to Opiemarketing.com.
I am not exactly sure at what point Hosting-review.com decided to add the marketing strategy of Hostingsthatsuck.com and Alreadyhosting.com. These two sites have a top list, much like Hosting-review.com. But the general strategy is based off of getting their so called reviews in the top of search engine results. Meaning as opposed to just promoting hosts that pay out $100 plus per sign up they can also promote hosts that pay literal peanuts like Zyma.com. A simple example of what hostingsthatsucks.com does is try and get top search engine results for “*host name* sucks”, and than try to convince whom ever came in via search engine results that they did all the work on looking for negative reviews. Alreadyhosting.com tries to get in the top of “*host name* review(s)”. Both sites realized the restrictions of a so called top 10 list in that their options were limited on whom to promote. Apparently Hosting-review.com sees the same thing?
Hosting-review.com, is advertising zyma.com? Or using Zyma.com to migrate traffic to the Hosting-review.com” top 10 list”?
There is another possible reason for Hosting-review.com giving Zyma.com an award. Case in point webhostingstuff.com. Webhostingstuff.com relies on people who pay for “advertising” which somehow appear on the top list (or the whacked out version they have today). Webhostingstuff.com did not have reviews for only 25 hosts, they had thousands. Which gave them the benefit of often being at the top of a review search results any time someone looked up a host. Which leads to the whole reason Webhostingstuff.com deleted my positive feedback, they wanted people to skip signing up with my company and go with one of the hosts that paid for “advertising” that somehow appeared in the top spot. Nothing does better than a host having nothing but negative feedback to get possible customers to sign up with the top payers in advertising.
But before I explain why this may work against zyma.com. There is a reason I bring up that Zyma.com pays peanuts, because it will never appear in the top 10 list at Hosting-review.com. All you have to do is look at the payout for each site that appears on the top 10 list for Hosting-review.com:
- HostPapa.com –$40 – $200 per sale
- Ipage.com – EIG – $100 – $125
- Hostgator.com – $100
- 1and1.com – $90
- Justhost.com – EIG – $100
- Godaddy.com – Up to $500 per sale
- Yahoo.com – $40
- Bluehost.com – EIG – $90
- Arvixe.com – $75 – $135
- Fatcow.com – EIG – $100
EIG = Hosting company belongs to Endurance International Group
All commission information but Arvixe.com came from CJ.com (Commission Junction), Arvixe.com is not a CJ.com member.
Hosting-review.com makes £8.59 ($13.57) if a Zyma.com customer signed up under the affiliate link buys nothing but a annual hosting package. It’s easy to see why Hosting-review.com is not willing to put Zyma.com on the top 10 for 40% of £1.79 per month. But Zyma.com does not have to be in the top 10 (or whatever number) with Hosting-review.com, to still be able to earn a commission from people who are trying to find out if Zyma.com is a good host or not. Just slap on a “Editors’ Pick 2012” and those that bother to click on that link/award on Zyma.com which takes them to Hosting-review.com where you can see three links to “Top 10 Lists”.
This is where you get to the business philosophy of Webhostingstuff.com with a twist.
Instead of deleting the reviews of a possible competing host that is not being show cased, you get the non-show cased host to place a reward on their site. If you’re a up and coming host, you can see the desirability of a “Editors’ Choice 2012” award.. Placing this award on the site can have the effect of rerouting traffic. Meaning losing a customer to a host on the “top 10 lists”. However in this case Zyma.com did not put the award on the front page of their site. Its located on perhaps one of the least visited pages of a site, the about page.
Hosting-review.com did not bother to vet Zyma.com.
Let’s say that the scenario I have put together is not correct. Something I will probable explore in my next post on Hosting-review.com are those hosts that don’t appear on the top 10 lists.
Maybe Hosting-review.com really feels that Zyma.com deserves a “Editors’ Choice 2012” award. Shouldn’t that mean Hosting-review.com should do some back ground research on that company? Back in 2011 and in to the early part of 2012 Zyma.com had some serious down time. The first outage seemed to be October 1 – October 14, 2011. Mere weeks after Hosting-review.com contacted Zyma.com about “possibilities”.
Never mind other review sites and other promoters ended up validating the down time around January – February 2012. Hostingsthatsuck.com validated after Zyma.com terminated their hosting account. Many promoted just for free hosting, which saw their accounts shut down at the same time. To show how happy these former promoters were they rose in revolt telling everyone to avoid Zyma.com by sharing the emails that were sent to them in regards to down time. Regardless Hosting-review.com has no customer reviews for Zyma.com.
From my own perspective it seemed based on the server names changing (panda, tiger, and cobra servers) and what I really feel was insanely low pricing I think it is safe to say that the server was probable overloaded. Currently the price is £1.79 a month (£21.48 a year/ $33.85) versus the original price of £4.95 a year.