Hostmetro.com – Less than a year to top host at Hosting-review.com

Hostmetro.com is as I type this post being show cased as number 7 on Hosting-review.com’s so called top 10 list. Until this year I had never heard of Hostmetro.com, after all there are thousands of hosts I have never heard of. Earlier this month I was cleaning out a screen shot folder to get rid of the many files I will never use (never mind I should be focusing on packing for my move).Where I found a screen shot I took of a so called review site that show cased hostmetro.com earlier. Never mind what should have caught my attention was a host I never heard of on the top 10 for hosting-review.com. After all I know all the hosts that find themselves on these kinds of lists. This so called review site thought it was cleaver posting spam on the Facebook page for this site, in hopes of milking it for traffic. Per usual I took a screen shot of the spam banned the person who posted it. At best this review site is worth a screen shot.

hostmetro spam

But a direct link would probable not be a good idea as their traffic score is no better than a newly bought domain. But they had me wondering who was Hostmetro.com, and why were they on the hosting-review.com’s top 10 list? The question you may be asking is why even bother doing a post on hostmetro.com. Truth be told, this is more about hosting-review.com and the big lie I caught them at.

Hostmetro.com was picked by hosting-review.com as a top host because?

Now before I go over the whole relationship between Hostmetro.com and hosting-review.com I would like to make it clear what the connection is. Hostmetro.com like all of the hosts that appear on hosting-review.com’s top 10 sites have an affiliate program.  Which pay out roughly in the $100 range per sale. With the exception of arvixe.com all of these hosts including Hostmetro.com have cj.com (commission Junction) affiliate programs as well as their own in house programs.

Once again I don’t have a problem with affiliate programs, even that of Hostmetro.com. In short its just a form of advertising. In fact, I am an affiliate of many of the programs covered under cj.com. At best I have an issue with the bulk of a customer’s payment going to an affiliate and not their service. Yet that does not make affiliate programs evil. The only reason hosting review sites like Hosting-review.com show case companies like hostmetro.com is because of the high payout.

Hostmetro.com has an affiliate program. 

Hostmetro.com has 2 affiliate programs. The first is directly through Hostmetro.com the payout is $65 per referral. The second one has far more appeal because a third party (cj.com) is involved and the payout is $100.  In addition Hostmetro.com goes further to say on cj.com:

Our affiliate program offers $100 for each hosting account referral. There is no minimum hosting account purchase or term. If you can send more than 15 referrals each month we can increase your commission rate to reward you for being a high performing affiliate. We will also provide you with a dedicated affiliate representative to make sure all your needs are being met. ”

Normally most hosting affiliate programs offer a higher payout per amount of sales, but Hostmetro.com wants you to contact them to arrange a higher payout. Something I was not aware that cj.com had capability for negotiations. But as far as why a third party is a good thing in the case of an affiliate program, they get paid when the affiliate does.

Hostmetro.com does not have FTC compliance in their affiliate agreement

Hostmetro.com does not have a FTC compliance clause like many companies such as hosts with EIG (Endurance International Group). Several companies sent out FTC compliance emails in 2011 like this one:

http://hosting-reviews-exposed.com/ftc-compliance/webhostinghub.html

The reason I bring up the affiliate program is to get a clear understanding of why hosting-review.com would show case Hostmetro.com. Which is they are in this to make money. Despite giving a editor’s choice award to zyma.com (who happen to get 8/10 on user feedback with no customer feedback), they would not show case the host in their top 10. I have two theories behind that 1. The payout was not that high. 2. They gave zyma.com an award to leech their traffic.

http://hosting-reviews-exposed.com/hosting-reviews/hosting-review-com.html

But Hostmetro.com is different from zyma.com, as they have a high payout.

How old is Hostmetro.com? Hosting-review.com hints at 3 – 5 years. Time for Archive.org!!!

If you read what Hosting-review.com has to say about Hostmetro.com you would think the host was at least 5 years old:

HostMetro is an established, reliable web host based in Schaumburg, Illinois. The management and ownership team boasts a combined total of some 50 years in the website hosting industry; the support staff (all US-based) and server technicians have, on average, 5 years experience in web hosting support. This experience is a benefit to all customers – this is a company with deep roots and stability.

So in effect I think it is safe to say they have around 10 employees. . But to be honest, Hosting-review.com never out and out states that the age of Hostmetro.com. There are other things to look at like Facebook, Twitter, and the Better Business Bureau to get a better grasp of how old Hostmetro.com might be.

According to Twitter.com the first tweet was on February 4, 2013.

Facebook.com shows they joined on June 20, 2012. However they have no activity on their Facebook page.

Oddly they have 2,638 followers on Twitter (I am following them), and only 30 likes on Facebook.

According to the Better Business Bureau:

http://www.bbb.org/chicago/business-reviews/internet-web-hosting/hostmetrocom-in-schaumburg-il-88584516

Business started 07/19/2012

BBB file started 12/28/2012

As I have stated many times before the BBB does not actually confirm the age of a company. The start date is something that the BBB asks, and they don’t bother to check any records to confirm this data. But I think based off everything I have seen that it is safe to say that was an honest answer. So as of today, Hostmetro.com is not even a year old.

Hosting-review.com has reviews for Hostmetro.com all the way back to 2011.

So the BBB has a start date of July 2012, heck even Archive.org has this for hostmetro.com on March 2011 (a simple domain parking page). But when was the first customer review?

The first review was a negative one by someone calling themselves Robert, on May 10, 2011.  However I don’t believe there was a Robert. Nor do I believe most of if any of those reviews existed before last month.

http://web.archive.org/web/20110307233037/http://hostmetro.com/

So how is it that Hosting-review.com has reviews (62 to be exact) all the way back to May 10, 2011?

Not to mention Archive.org has no history of any of those reviews prior to this month.

http://web.archive.org/liveweb/http://www.hosting-review.com/hosting-directory/customer_reviews/hostmetro

But there is another host on hosting-review.com added not too long ago – Arvixe.com

Arvixe.com has been around for a while, a lot longer than Hostmetro.com January 15, 2013 they had a total of 6 reviews from July 29, 2011 to September 16, 2011

http://web.archive.org/web/20130115160256/http://www.hosting-review.com/hosting-directory/customer_reviews/arvixe

Then back in March 2013 they somehow managed to go from 6 to 46 reviews and miraculously Arvixe.com is 7th host on the top 10 list at hosting-review.com. Not to mention the reviews change, as the earliest they had any reviews was August 4, 2011. It appears the first 2 negative reviews were deleted. Plus where there were no reviews after September 16, 2011 on January 15, 2015 there were now 42 reviews that had been added in.

http://web.archive.org/web/20130328181208/http://www.hosting-review.com/hosting-directory/customer_reviews/arvixe

I think it is safe to say most if not all of the reviews at hosting-review.com are fake.

But here is the weird part.

http://web.archive.org/web/20130403012235/http://www.hosting-review.com/hosting-directory/customer_reviews/ipage

Ipage.com, Justhost.com, 1and1.com, godaddy.com, Bluehost.com, and Fatcow.com don’t have any reviews after early April 2012. Over a year and 6 out 10 major hosting companies don’t have any reviews. That is unheard of for my site and I get less traffic than Hosting-review.com. The only site I have no covered is 1and1.com and I even get positive and negatives on this host. So Hosting-review.com should be drowning in reviews from these companies both good and bad.

Somewhere after April 25, 2013 Hosting-review.com decided to add Hostmetro.com to their system along with the fake reviews.

Hosting-review.com as I said before is in this to make money, and if they have to throw ethics out the door to do it, well fabricating fake reviews for Hostmetro.com and Arivixe.com is a small price to pay when the truth does not matter.

Hostmetro.com an award winning host

Now this might have been the end of the post, and I would not bother going any further with Hostmetro.com. Yet like some hosts they decided to show case so called awards that had some pretty noticeable flaws. Either Hostmetro.com did not bother to validate the awards they received, or they hoped people would just be impressed by the sheer volume of awards. Looking through the awards I found the following problems:

  • No significant traffic (which was the bulk of the sites)
  • Don’t have links to proof of the award
  • Incomplete sites that were offering awards
  • No customer reviews
  • Certification or registered with a company, not an award
  • Non-active award site
  • 4 award sites are owned by the same group, and feature Hostmetro.com as number 1
  • An award from 2003, despite a business start date from 2012

http://www.hostmetro.com/awards.html

What is perceived as an award by hostmetro.com would be for starters:

Webhostingstuff.com (award 2), did not start monitoring uptime for hostmetro.com until May 2013. June 5, 2013 is when they supposable agreed to webhostingstuff.com’s code of ethics. Never mind this is what WHS equate as ethics:

http://hosting-reviews-exposed.com/webhostingstuff-com/webhostingstuff-com-a-rigged-contest.html

IMG_0469 IMG_0471

Web-hosting-top.com (Award 12) does nothing more than add hostmetro.com to their system to give an “attendance” award.  There is no direct link to web-hosting-top.com’s page on hostmetro.com, where there are no customer reviews.

Cnet.com (Awards (15 and 20) provided certification, not awards.

Webhostinggeeks.com (award 16) – award graphic simply says verified firm and “learned from reviews” (no idea what that means) they did not have any reviews until June 19 where they got 2, and another one on June 20, 2013.

While most of the awards for hostmetro.com are vague some are nonexistent these awards stick out.

Hostsguides.com, ratemyhost.com, hostingguides.com, and webhostingrevealed.com (awards (5 ,8, 14, 17.21, and 23) are all owned by the same individual / group. Plus Hostsguides.com may have fake reviews, and like hosting-review.com lies about the age of the company:

HostMetro has quietly and confidently been providing some of the best web hosting services in the industry since 2003.

Tevin — October 25, 2012 “HostMetro has quietly and confidently been providing some of the best web hosting services in the industry since 2003.

But never mind that, despite being owned by the same person/group their top 10 lists are not in the same order with each site, there is one host that is number 1. Which begs the questions does Hostmetro.com own these fake top 10 review sites?

ratemyhost.com - Domain Dossier - owner and registrar information, whois and DNS records hostsguides.com - Domain Dossier - owner and registrar information, whois and DNS records (1)

hostsguides.com - Domain Dossier - owner and registrar information, whois and DNS records (2) hostsguides.com - Domain Dossier - owner and registrar information, whois and DNS records

Top-10-hosts.com (award 19) – Looking at this domain you would expect to find at least 10 hosts listed, but there is only one host – Hostmetro.com. I would not be surprised if this is owned by someone with in hostmetro.com. The domain creation date was December 18, 2012.

Cheap-webhosting.guide.com (Award 25) is not actually an active website and has a godaddy.com launch page.

The last award (26) which I think is for 100best.com has no link, and is an award for 2003 which is impossible considering hostmetor.com was not around back then. Archive.org proves that Hostmetro.com had nothing more than a coming soon page back in 2003:

http://web.archive.org/web/20031231063304/http://www.hostmetro.com/

Hostmetro.com is another host that I will be following, and proof that Hosting-review.com is not to be trusted as unbiased review site.

Hosting-review.com – Opiemarketing.com Advertising Possibilities

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.

Before that Hosting-review.com was one of the first to have a terms of use that states “Your use of www.hosting-review.com (“Hosting-Review”) shall be entirely at your own risk. “ in addition “We do not warrant the accuracy or completeness of information contained in external sites, and the inclusion of any information, material, content, or links on Hosting-Review should not be construed as an express nor an implied endorsement of any third-party products or services.”. Somehow a top 10 list and providing such awards as “Editors’ Pick” are not endorsements by Hosting-review.com.

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.

http://hosting-reviews-exposed.com/unlimited-hosting/zyma-same-old-tricks.html

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: dave@opiemarketing.com——
Hi Khuram,

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.

Best regards,

Dave

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.

da682431-1a58-42ab-b072-eebf140dce31c13a8f85-5c04-4578-9b75-2e76d4cb10d2965cfff6-e56c-4ec0-a5c2-321362c6c95a

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-zyma-pageHosting-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.

Hosting-review.com has since the beginning of this site been in my sights, and I will continue to monitor.

Webhostingstuff.com – January 2011 top 25 list

Webhostingstuff.com has 5 new hosts for this month.  1 of which I have been seeing on hosting-review.com, myhosting.com.  To be on a top review site such as this means their not exactly a small host.  A special review coming soon for hosting-review.com.  1 of these hosts has not even been online for a year.  Two of these hosts have not had any new reviews in almost three years.  The last host has a 40% approval rating in support.

I know in the past that I have slacked on getting reviews out in a timely manner, but so far it seems like I am on schedule to complete January’s review before the end of the month.  I plan to tackle a few more hosting review sites before February 2011.

Here is the video summary of this blog article. I do apologizes in advance as I am trying to make these in 20 minutes so not exactly my best work.  But I hope it gets the point across.  Especially since I use Webhostingstuff’s own “Facts” against them.

Webhostingstuff.com a surface review of January 2011 top 25

Only 1 new host in the 1 – 10 spot, that may very well be in the same league as Siteground.com and Hostgator.co,

Webhostingstuff top 1 – 10 most popular hosting companies

Myhosting.com – Number 4 of WHS’s top 25

Despite their claim of “Your trusted webhost since 1997”, their domain was registered 1998.  What is one year right?

But there is the reviews with on this top 25 list that should make anyone skeptical of being a top host.

Overall their weakest points is customer service and technical support.

Webhostingstuff top 11 – 210 most popular hosting companies

Everity.com – Number 15 of WHS’s top 25

The affilate program is one aspect I plan to look at with this host.  You might say that they have 12 5 star reviews, but when was the last time they got a review?  April 2008!  Before that it was December 2007.

Also otakuplayground.com is hosted by mddhosting.com now

mamigon.com is hosted at Godaddy

Webhostingstuff top 21 – 25 most popular hosting companies

Ampheon.co.uk – Number 22 of WHS’s top 25

Another United Kingdom focused site that found its way on WHS which focuses on United States.  I say that because the bulk of hosts that appear on this top 25 list offer service mainly for $ / USD (United States Dollar). First look I had to scan over to find where the hosting was, turns out this is not a site thats main focus is hosting.  The claim is “Internet Business Development Specialists Since 1994.  The whois info says 2000, and the waybackmachine says they have a back up no later then 2001.

http://web.archive.org/web/*/ampheon.co.uk

Despite the funky claim of being older then what the whois states, the last time it had a review was February 2008.  On the bright side maximsglobal.com is still with Ampheon.co.uk.

10looniehost.ca – Number 24 of WHS’s top 25

Having zero reviews has me asking is this a new site or a site that has not really taken off.  10looniehost.ca has an Alexa score of 11,757,464.  Which is pretty bad even though the domain was created on July 3, 2010.  I am suspecting that the domain was recently used this month.  On the below graphic you will notice two things.

  1. Zero reviews
  2. A traffic popularity of 13,597 of 14,289 hosts listed on WHS.

Bounceweb.com – Number 25 of WHS’s top 25

Despite looking at this site various times in the last 24 hours The sales chat remains offline.  There is a claim of hosting 57,000 sites, even though a customer may own 1,000 or more sites.  After all they offer an unlimited plan which hosts unlimited domains.

Perhaps a review of their “awards” will tell me more.

http://www.bounceweb.com/web-hosting-awards.html

The webhostingstuff.com tell me that this host has a failing overall grade in technical support.  The last 6 months is a two star / 40% approval rating.

Here is hoping I can finish reviewing 5 new hosts with webhostingstuff before the end of this month.