Top hosting companies? Don’t believe the hype…

Does this sound familiar:  You’re not happy with your current web hosting company and you decide it’s time to LOOK FOR A NEW HOST…

You start by researching “web host reviews”…

You find the coveted “Top 10 Recommended” hosting companies….

Jackpot! NOW you’ve got the facts. Your search is over.

Or is it?? Perhaps you’ve noticed… THERE’S SOMETHING FISHY GOING ON:

The plot thickens. Have you noticed all of these review sites are promoting and recommending the exact same hosting companies??

“Duh. Well that makes sense,” you say. “If everybody is recommending the same hosting companies, that means those really are the best web hosts!”

UNFORTUNATELY, NO.

The reason the same hosting companies always make it to the “top” of the reviews is because THEY PAY TO GET LISTED — one way or another:

a) The hosting company pays the reviewer BIG BUCKS for affiliate commissions ($100 per referred hosting client is not uncommon.) Or…

b) The hosting company pays the reviewer BIG BUCKS for a slot in their “top 10” list (example: $2,000/mo for the #1 spot, $1,500 for the #2 spot, $1,000 for the #3 spot, and so on.)

HIGH QUALITY HOSTING — OR HIGH PAYOUTS?

Hosting reviews seldom base their “rating” on quality of service (although many claim to).

Instead, most of them rate a webhost based on the *size* of the affiliate commission. The web hosts paying the highest commissions usually get the top spots.

It’s a well-known fact: hosting companies that use Commission Junction to run their affiliate programs offer among the highest affiliate payouts in the hosting industry.

Thus “clever” PPC (pay per click) affiliate marketers decided: Why not create a hosting review site and list the highest paying companies at TOP and ”recommend” them? Ka-ching!

THE ART-AND-SCIENCE OF MAKING MONEY WITH “REVIEWS”

Hey, there’s nothing wrong with making money — just be honest about it, ok?

In the United States and elsewhere publications are required by law to disclose that an advertisement, which could be mistaken as an editorial, MUST BE CLEARLY IDENTIFIED AS AN “ADVERTISEMENT”.

That law doesn’t apply to the Internet — and some unscrupulous Internet marketers know it; they exploit it.

Seldom do they mention that a particular hosting company was ranked as “#1” simply because that host offers the biggest commissions.

In fact, if reviews sites disclosed that their entire rating system is essentially for sale, then few people would take them seriously…

WANT TO BE THE #1-RATED HOST? NO PROBLEM. JUST PAY UP.

Recently I exchanged emails with W3CENTRIC, based out of Singapore. They own several high-profile “reviews” websites — including HostAZ.com and WebHostingStuff.com. They informed me that for a paltry $600 I could be included in their Top 10 List:

Imagine that. For just $600 and nothing else, I can be a TOP 10 WEB HOST and get the respect of millions. What a deal! Hey… they even accept PayPal:

WOW! But wait! Why settle for #9 when I can be #1. NUMERO UNO… Yeah, baby! I’m the #1 WEB HOST now. Get-outta-my-way, chumps!

THE DARK SIDE OF “HOSTING REVIEWS” WEBSITES

The absolute worst offender, in my opinion, is WEBHOSTINGSTUFF.COM. Not only do they have their own “TOP TEN” list — they also accept reviews about other web hosting companies… NEGATIVE REVIEWS, that is.

What am I talking about? It’s simple: Over the past months, I’ve watched how WebHostingStuff.com has systematically deleted POSITIVE reviews of specific web hosting companies and retained the NEGATIVE reviews.

In fact, WebHostingStuff.com deleted MY review of my favorite web hosting company. No explanations. Nothing. It just vanished. DELETED. But the “negative” reviews remained. Hmmmm…

And I’m not the only one — I’ve heard from dozens of others who have told me the same thing: Over a period of months the “postive” reviews regarding “non-Top-10” hosts mysteriously disappear…. the negative reviews remain. Sick.

WHAT CAN YOU DO ABOUT THIS PROBLEM??

First if you’re in the U.S., contact your Attorney’s General Office and the Better Business Bureau — in that order. Your A.G.’s office is your first and best bet.

Let them know you’re fed up with misleading “reviews” websites and you demand that they be held to the same laws and principles as print mediums. They should be required to disclose that their reviews are, in fact, ADVERTISEMENTS — because that’s EXACTLY what they are.

Secondly, do you research and use your brain. It stands to reason that if the typical “TOP 10” webhost can afford to pay their affiliates 60-80% of every dollar that comes in, then you’re getting cheap, sub-quality server architecture and third-rate outsourced support.

ARE YOU SERIOUS ABOUT YOUR WEBSITE? IF SO, STOP. THINK.

You see, you can run a hosting company ONE of two ways. You can either:

1) Spend your money on AFFILIATES — invest in cheap servers and make a lot of money, or…

2) Spend your money on your CUSTOMERS — invest in cutting-edge servers, first-class support and make a respectable amount of money.

It really depends on your ETHICS — doesn’t it?

So the next time you’re looking for “the best” web hosting company and you stumble across a “reviews” site, STOP AND THINK: What’s their true objective? Are they providing you with impartial, unprejudiced facts? Or are they simply selling you a bill of goods, deceptively packaged in a “Top-10” list bought and paid for in the Twilight Zone?