mindshark.ca – in re-review Part 3: You look for pros, hacks look for you

Mindshark.ca claims to be a top expert. After all this is on their front page “Home to the latest and greatest Internet Marketing Strategies in North America”.

I am going to boldly say no, they don’t know as much as they claim. From the facts in my last post, I think it is safe to say mindshark.ca knows less than me. If you need proof that I know more than they do just search Google.com for “mindshark.ca”. Yet while knowing more than they do, I would not trust my skills to keep a roof over my head. I realize its harder to prove lack of qualifications, so this is the point where I ask you to take my word for it I am a SEO noob.

I would go so far as to say they create an illusion to match their own propaganda. This week I got to look at a pamphlet where they tell you 15 things to beware of with other SEO companies. I don’t have time to go through their full list to tell you how they can be graded.  But I can tell you they failed one point and that is “3. Vague & Immeasurable Services”.

Every award every testimonial lacks any tractable data. Clearly there should be domains to look at to see how they are doing. What I have seen and confirm belongs to a testimonial was what was left by a troll for Mindshark.ca, and the Alexa score was over 16 million. Nothing not even Mindshark.ca’s site can measure up to this site. Any reputable SEO company should have traffic stats that would make hosting-reviews-exposed.com look pathetic.


Why is a Seo organization like mindshark.ca being reviewed on a site that is about fake hosting review sites?

The key word here is spam. mindshark.ca harvested my email in a way I had never encountered before.  They came through this site’s contact form, and the moment I replied to them, they considered me opted in. After they started spamming me, I contacted them and told them to remove me from their list or face a complaint to netfirms (which they are no longer with), and a post on this blog. I made it clear I had not opted in. I got a happy email from Zamir of Mindshark.ca where I was told I was removed………… And that I had opted in.

Ok so either I am lying or mindshark.ca is lying…..

Here is the email mindshark.ca sent me.

Janice Jacobsen [email protected] via p3slh102.shr.phx3.secureserver.net 
to me 

To: Webmaster

Janice Jacobsen
[email protected]

I’ve helped hundreds of companies increase their traffic and I’d love
to show you what my service can do for you. I don’t promise the world,
I’m straight forward and to the point … I deliver rankings. My rates
are completely affordable and I don’t want to oversell you either, I
start small and have my clients begging for more. I won’t take on your
site unless I know I can deliver rankings. Reply to this e-mail if you
have the slightest interest … you’ll never see rankings the same way

Sent from (ip address):
Date/Time: July 21, 2010 8:33 am
Coming from (referer):
Using (user agent): Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 5.1; en-US;
rv: Gecko/20100713 Firefox/3.6.7 GTB7.

How do I know it was Mindshark.ca?

Because they were the only people I asked who they were. At this point I was a bit naïve and probable should not have replied to the email: But this had been my third month, and I had not had a lot of emails coming in at the time. I made sure to respond to everyone.  A few weeks after I replied I got this email from Mindshark.ca:

Where Mindshark.ca said my comment was: “your website is?” Which was In July 2010 not August.  Out of 20 people that contacted me on my forum between July and August that was the only one I asked who their website was. Which can see there were other people that were contacted through a gmail account or non-mindshark.ca account.

But this is another key in the puzzle because Zamir admitted in his email to me that Mindshark.ca was going through a third party to get emails. But I  think this was the point they were starting up. After all mindshark.ca started their social media in September 2010. I had a few pieces of their spam come in before I finale had enough in April of last year and made the demands of removing my email.


Why would I be interested in Mindshark.ca’s services?

My own traffic score beats Mindshark.ca and all of what I do is organic. Not to mention I have friends with a proven track record when it comes to SEO, yeah they are not cheap though generally my weak skills seems to egg them on to help for free just because sometimes I frustrate them. But still even if the price is high and I get what I was expecting, why try some one that harvested my email? Besides I get a friend discount, and I would be sad if they picked someone else to do their graphic work.  So why try an unknown like mindshark.ca?

Then there is the spam I was sent by mindshark.ca, something about my competition out doing me or something.  I have competition? Never mind this is not a highly profitable niche (I.e. exposing fake hosting review sites). Last month I made $123, which by no means covers the operational costs for this site. Seriously hosting-reviews-exposed.com is a money pit, and this site is nearing in its 5th year. I have even had people offering to buy it off me (Well this is a keyword rich site). Obviously there is something more than money that motivates me to keep this site going.  The only posts that make money are the ones for items like the Kindle Fire, Kindle Touch, and the iPad 3. Next week will be the last of my off topic product reviews, as I should have my personal site up so that will kill the profitability of this site.

Part of my proof that mindshark.ca is not a professional company is how they find customers. Mindshark.ca got my email by going through my contact form waiting for an email from me to hit their in box. With other people Mindshark.ca was harvesting contact details through social media. Not just email accounts, but cell phone numbers and other details. I get contacting a company and soliciting your business. I have done that myself. But what I don’t do is throw the contact information into a mailing list, especially when the other side tells me they are not interested.

What started this latest string of posts on mindshark.ca was someone had their email accessible to everyone for the purpose of bringing in new clients with places like LinkedIn. Like anyone that has a website like *domain removed upon owners request*, the idea of getting more traffic was appealing. He started get emails glorifying the company and than ones with warning of the dangers of the other companies:


But my friend here decided to not stay on the designated route and went off trail. He decided to see what search engines had to say. How do I know mindshark.ca does not want possible customers to go elsewhere. Because one of the emails from my new friend that inspired me to do these posts. Like this one I posted from Zamir.  That last email from Zamir of Mindshark.ca to my friend who decided to see if Mindshark.ca could to repair the situation. I dare say it was desperate.

Google penguin reshuffled rankings recently , however you will see that site moved off fairly soon.

They are also being legally served as we speak.

We recently were rated #1 SEO Company


None of the negative comments are from any real clients.   As you can see our BBB rating is A.     The internet allows anyone to post anything unfortunately.   We get things moved off very fast, but when google makes a change things can pop back up temporarily.

Feel free to check our case studies and testimonials to see how effective we are.  We also have over 300 SEO firms who outsource all their work to us.


My thoughts on this last emai from Zamir of Mindshark.ca:

  • Google Penguin was implemented April 24, 2012, not sure how that was recently
  • Hosting-reviews-exposed.com has had til this week had two results on the first page for the results on “mindshark.ca” among others. Now its four results right under Mindshark.ca’s own site. Tomorrow it should five right under Mindshark.ca including this post.
  • As for being legally served, I have not told a single lie and I am at the top of their search engine results because I know more about SEO than they do.
  • As for prweb.com, in short this is a company that is practically selling links on to their page rank 7 site. They assure me they are only in this for companies to post their press relations and nothing else. They did not issue Mindshark.ca an award.  Topreviewstoday.net did, and now the link to that award does not work.
  • As for negative comments, most of those are coming from people that have been spammed and had their emails harvested via social media and like mine was from my contact form.
  • BBB record amazingly for a company that deals with thousands Mindshark.ca has a clean record. Anyone with thousands of customers is going to have a few complaints after all there is that old motto “You can’t please all the people all of the time”.
  • According to video by Mindshark.ca, Mindshark.ca has methods for dealing with those comments that anyone can post.
  • Exactly how long is it supposed to take for Mindshark.ca to remove hosting-reviews-exposed.com, apparently fast is longer than 72 hours. Over 1.3 years Hosting-reviews-exposed.com has appeared under the search engine results for mindshak..ca consistently since the day of the first post on Google.com
  • If 300 seo companies outsource to Mindshark.ca, why does Zamir have to handle spam and sales inquiries? After all Mindshark.ca has 450 – 500 SEO experts.

I am planning on this being the last post unless Zamir from Mindshark.ca wants to push the subject.

Mindshark.ca – in re-review Part 2: Proof is in the details

Mindshark.ca is one of those companies that rely on people to look no further than what they post.  Which is why Mindshark.ca claims:

Home to the latest and greatest Internet Marketing Strategies in North America, Mindshark Marketing gives you access to state-of-the-art service solutions. Hands down, Mindshark Marketing knows more about Internet Marketing and Search Engine Optimization than anyone else—it’s part of our DNA— and we live and breathe it each and every day with a passion. We are a confident, direct and engaging Service Company which delivers honest, independent Internet Marketing consulting and solutions for businesses of all size—with no hidden agenda. This is Integrity Selling— the Mindshark promise.

Or better yet when my friend saw behind the scenes what Mindshark.ca said next:

Feel free to check our case studies and testimonials to see how effective we are. 

The big problem with those testimonials is there are no websites. I think I figure out who two of them might be.

Don Lavigne Healthsoft Solutions


Alexa Score of 9,808,327


Haroon Mirza Director of Business Development Cognovision Inc


Alexa score of 3,058,355

They have really high Alexa scores that must be good right? Actually lower is good. Really low is even better.

Mindshark.ca and Alexa

For those that do not understand what Alexa is, they keep track of websites and where they rank in traffic. Each site has a number with them.  That number indicated who has the most traffic, and that number is 1.  I think the highest I have seen is 18 – 20 million.  No data is assigned to those with no traffic at all. Practically buying a domain puts you it in the 18 – 20 million area range, perhaps because someone decided to look at the place holder.

But who is number 1, is it Mindshark.ca?

Google.com has rank 1

But let’s look at a few other sites.

Yahoo.com is 4
Amazon.com is 10
Hostgator.com is 55
Aol.com is 66
Godaddy.com is 89
Webhostingtalk.com is 1,050
Hosting-reviews-exposed.com is 129,240 (Last night it was 130,691)

So what is Mindshark.ca’s Alexa score?

Yes Hosting-reviews-exposed.com is almost 5 times lower than Mindshark.ca.

Last year when I did my post Mindshark.ca’s rank was  387,496 I forget what mine was and I did not post it, but I had stated Mindshark.ca’s was double mine. I think mine was at 180,000 defiantly my score has improved since then. By February 12, 2012 their score was at  809,927.

But there are more sites to look at, like those people saying such good things about Mindshark.ca  in the comments for hosting-reviews-exposed.com.

http://betterlivingcanada.ca/ Their score is 16,014,054, it was 4,201,186 in February of this year (back then I stated they should ask for their money back).  But this was the only site to posted out of the 6 people claiming to be happy customers of mindshark.ca. Two of those commenters had ips in a very close range. What they did not seem to realize is Mindshark.ca’s trolling was only aiding this site’s position on the term “mindshark.ca” by adding comments and reasons for me and others to add more content.

All this trolling from Mindshark.ca has me asking how old are they really?

For me they can’t be any older than their domain. After all what kind of online service company was online before their domain, unless of course they were on another domain.  No one has offered me another domain mindshark.ca operated under.

As you can see Mindshark.ca was not even a year old when I did my first post. But these are the claims:

Mindshark.ca troll 1We have been using Mindshark SEO and blogging services for 2 years now with quite a bit of success.
Mindshark.ca troll 2 We have also used their services for several years.
Mindshark.ca troll 3 We have been using Mindshark for 3 years, not 2 so i can definately confirm that they have been around for several years.

But here is a fact of when Mindshark.ca registed the following:

  • Twiter September 23, 2010
  • Facebook September 9, 2010
  • YouTube Dec 16, 2010
  • BBB September 23, 2010
  • Registered Domain February 2, 2010

As I mentioned before the Better Business Bureau does not check start dates or ask for any paper work to confirm it. They ask for it over the phone. For a SEO company I think it is safe to say that Mindshark.ca officially started in September 2010 based on the registration  of Social Media.

So what killed the Mindshark.ca trolling?

To be honest I am a really losing focus on all of the numbers so I am going to use what a friend of mine posted In short one of those SEO expert friends of mine did not take kindly to the insults I got so they decided to pick mindshark.ca apart piece by piece. I redacted 30% of it. Ultimately what she said ended all further trolling by Mindshark.ca.

Linda’s comment February 12, 2012 on http://hosting-reviews-exposed.com/spammer/mindshark-ca.html

Based on what you said, your own knowledge of SEO is so bad that you don’t realize that every time you comment on someone’s blog (whether it’s this one or anybody else’s) and the only thing you’re doing is giving that blog a boost in the SERPS. Google LOVES multiple, relevant, legitimate comments.

Say whatever you want, but you can’t ignore public facts.

1) Mindshark.ca has a piss-poor Alexa score. 809,927 Global rank. That means that 809,926 sites rank better than Mindshark.ca

2) Low-quality backlinks (only 1 .edu backlink) and no .gov backlinks. LOL

3) Referring domains/backlinks: Mindshark.ca has 3,706 referring domains, but only one-third of these backklinks (1,273) are on unique domains…. and of those domains, only 654 of these are unique IPs.

Proof: http://www.majesticseo.com/reports/site-explorer/summary/www.mindshark.ca

4) Mindshark.ca has a PageRank of 3 — again, a total joke for a self-proclaimed SEO firm like Mindshark.ca. If you want PR3, all it takes is a few PR5 links and a couple PR7 links combined with good quality content. If you’re hiring a SEO firm and that firm/site has less than PR5, RUN — don’t walk — away from that SEO company.

5) Mindshark.ca has only 224 indexed pages in Google — again, a total joke for a self-proclaimed SEO “professional”.

6) Mindshark.ca’s Domain Authority? 57. — again a joke. I have automated blogs with PR5 and 20K indexed pages which do better than Mindshark.ca, SEO-wise.

7) Total organic keywords for Mindshark.ca? 11 — again a joke. Here’s the proof: http://www.semrush.com/info/mindshark.ca

8) When I Google “Mindshark.ca”, this site (hosting-reviews-exposed.com) comes up on the same page. Whether I am logged into Google or not. WHY would anyone want to hire Mindshark.ca if they can’t even populate the first page of the search results with non-negative results? Even the most mediocre SEO firms are capable of this.

9) Worse of all: Mindshark.ca has a history of using comment spam. Doubt me? Go through their backlinks. Comment spamming is the absolute WORST SEO offense. It’s amateurish. It’s stupid. It’s harmful to your website…. Yet Mindshark.ca is comment spamming other blogs. What a joke.

If Mindshark.ca is capable of doing what they claim they can do, then why haven’t they done it for themselves? One would think that a site that claims to have “4000+ Clients” and hundreds of resellers could do a lot better… A LOT better.

Bottomline: Mindshark.ca is an apparent fraud based solely on current PUBLIC facts and evidence. If you think otherwise and/or you are a client of Mindshark.ca, either you’ve been sold a bill of goods by Mindshark.ca — or you work for Mindshark.ca and you’re trying to perform some ill-directed damage control.

So what about the BBB and that Award that Zamir of Mindshark posted?

As I stated before all the awards have no domain behind them, I think I found 2, and then there is the single one shared on this blog. All of them have an Alexa score in the millions. Which can be obtain without any SEO expertise at all.

This site has demonstrated how a many review sites are just a front for affiliates. But I can’t begin to figure out how Mindshark.ca won an award.  Because based off everything I have posted this is a company to avoid.

As for the BBB, at best I can figure is that Mindshark.ca customers may not know what to look for. But even without complaints the BBB is not the number one source for figuring out if a company is good or bad. For that matter their site is really decades behind where they should be. Plus they have an interest in collecting memberships. Plus there is crap like this: http://bbbthetruth.com/abc-news/. However claims of a large customer base, while having zero complaints is a warning sign up its own. I have yet to meet any company with a large costumer base that has yet to run into someone that just can not be pleased.

However Mindshark.ca has 5 complaints at ripoffreport.com.

Next post will cover Mindsharks.ca’s harvesting and spamming.

Mindshark.ca – in re-review Part 1: Did 450 SEO experts hide my thoughts?

Mindshark.ca finds its way on hosting-reviews-exposed.com because of someone whose email had been harvested by Mindshark.ca. More about Mindshark.ca and their email harvesting in an upcoming post. I think yesterday this blog experienced one of its finer moments , a moment that I am very proud of and that was the point where someone did not take mindshark.ca’s or my word (really I mean me to) in regards to what the truth was and actually kicked the tires. By kick the tires I mean check the search engine results for “Mindshark.ca”, to see if I was able to outdo them in a game of SEO. After all they are an SEO company, and I am someone that literally was poke with a stick to know what I know about seo (true story).  So if anyone that should have control of their site’s search engine stats it would be a SEO company right? Mindshark.ca is also a reputation management company with 450 SEO experts, so I will not show up on the first 10 page or even 100 pages of search engine results for just the term “Mindshark.ca” right?

Here is the First Post: http://hosting-reviews-exposed.com/spammer/mindshark-ca.html

Here is the Second Post: http://hosting-reviews-exposed.com/scams-to-avoid/mindshark-ca-%E2%80%93-seo-marketing-experts-or-spammers-part-2.html

And what most might not know is I was supposed to do a third.

 It has been a year and four months since I wrote my two posts on Mindshark.ca, I should not be anywhere to be found on Bing, Google, and Yahoo right?


On Bing, Hosting-reviews-exposed.com is on the first page 2nd and 3rd result right under mindshark.ca’s own site.

On Google, Hosting-reviews-exposed.com is on the first page 2nd and 3rd result right under mindshark.ca’s own site.

On Yahoo Hosting-Reviews-exposed.com is on the first page as the 8th and 9th result when searching for Mindshark.ca

Honestly its been a while since I checked to see where I was on Google with Mindshark.ca though over the last year it has always been the same spot, and until last night I had no idea where I was with Bing and Yahoo.

You might also notice Ripoffreport.com is on the first page for Bing and Google results as well.

Why does it matter where Hosting-reviews-exposed.com is on Mindshark.ca’s search engine results?

If I can’t make it clear enough, I am no SEO expert. Seriously I am bumbling my way through the internet any one that was serious about this sites traffic would have had it well beyond the Alexa score it sits at today:


Seriously part of that whole ADD problem I suffer is I have trouble concentrating.  Most of that SEO knowledge I have was a result of being bullied by friends.  Never mind a friend still comes in and puts in most of the keywords missing in my blog.  I even gets emails from other friends in the industry after I do a posts where I am asked “why oh why did you pick that as the title, its not seo friendly”.

Not to mention while I compose this post it is raining outside, and it is hard for me to stay inside and finish this as rainy days are rare in the Sonoran Desert.  I do enjoy being outside in the rain. But we were not talking about the weather here right? Not to mention is there a new episode of Futurama on tonight?  Oh and I get to find out what happened to Perry on Phineas & Ferb this Friday ……… No really I forgot what we were talking about. Oh yes we were talking about Mindshark.ca, and someone kicked the tires (they checked what Google said about Mindshark.ca).

But I think the bigger deal is, if I can get on the top page of Mindshark.ca’s search engine results, anyone can.

This is what the confident from yesterday had to say to Mindshark.ca

After reading the conversation you had with Benjamin and all the reviews I’ve read about your company, I’ve changed my mind about hiring you. Internet Reputation is one of your specialties, so why is it you can’t do it for yourselves???

Its  a good thing I don’t do what I normally do when reading email. Which is leaning back while balancing on one wheel. Its no wonder I go through a lot of office chairs. But I am sure what I would read next would have had me fall out of my chair.

Mindshark.ca’s response

Google penguin reshuffled rankings recently , however you will see that site moved off fairly soon.

They are also being legally served as we speak.

We recently were rated #1 SEO Company http://www.prweb.com/releases/2012Mindshark_Rated/08_Top_SEO_Company/prweb9814756.htm

None of the negative comments are from any real clients.   As you can see our BBB rating is A.     The internet allows anyone to post anything unfortunately.   We get things moved off very fast, but when google makes a change things can pop back up temporarily.

Feel free to check our case studies and testimonials to see how effective we are.  We also have over 300 SEO firms who outsource all their work to us.


First off can’t  Mindshark.ca just have a Google sea lion chase off the Google Penguin? Or perhaps throw Google Penguin a Google Krill?  What the heck is a Google Penguin?


Ok perhaps I don’t get the whole gist of this (because it seems a little boring), but it seems it is for getting rid of crap in search engines. But I can assure Mindshark.ca, this site has always been in the same spot for search engine results for Google, after all Yahoo and Bing back me up here. I know this because every time a Mindshark.ca troll posted on my blog (person either claiming to be a satisfied customer  that gives me a domain with an seo score as bad as freshly bought domain or not willing to provide one) I checked in some cases posted the Alexa score. On those trolls, that is the next post.

Mindshark.ca is legally serving me or Google?

If it’s me, perhaps Mindshark.ca can contact that anonymous person and they can unite against me?


Than I can pretend to be like one of those super heroes with a league of super villains.  Ok I kid, which brings me back to this whole point, Mindshark.ca has 450 SEO experts. This should be something that Mindshark.ca could use in their testimonial “we were able to handle a guy who gets distracted by rocks, imagine what we could do for you”. But if I am going to be served what about Ripoffreport.com?

But as for the internet allowing anyone to post anything, I know this great site and they helped a girl who had nude photos of herself that were posted online and she wanted to hide them, and that company told her she could go online and sound like an expert to get rid of the ……. Oh wait that was Mindshark.ca.

As for the BBB, that will be in Part 2 as well as the reviews, which I would like to point out don’t have any sites attached on the ones speaking kudos for Mindshark.ca. I also plan to cover Mindshark.ca’s seo from last year to this year. As for PRweb and all this stuff mindshark.ca mailed my friend, that will be Part 3 unless of course I get distracted.

As always Mindshark.ca is welcome to post their own thoughts.

4 years and counting, reviewing hosting review sites

I can honestly say when I first started in the hosting industry I never thought about doing anything with hosting review sites. But not everyone who shared control of the hosting sites with me, was not thinking of how to monopolizing on hosting review sites.  I had a business partner that wanted to start a fake review site, where our hosts would appear on top. An idea he got from Featureprice. There are other hosts that practice this today such as siteground. He did not have the conscience I have, one that can cause loss of sleep.  Despite winning the argument of staying out of the review industry, I lost the war to stay out of the cheap hosting industry.  That and several other factors would lead to me selling my controlling shares. Being  against starting a fake review site had caused a rift between me and my business partner for a few years.  Up to the point webhostingstuff.com decided to delete our positive feed back.   The rift quickly dissolved when he found I was making this site, and then he wanted to know what he could do to help me with it.

A short re-introduction of the history of reviewing hosting review sites

My start in the hosting industry was about 15 years ago, when I was introduced to the guy that would later be my business partner in the hosting industry. At that time I had been hired because I was pretty good with data bases, and later I would transition over to graphics.  At the time we both worked for a so called “I can make you rich if you buy my book” guy, or in short a guru.  Even before that my business partner had ideas of running a hosting company.  By the time we had gotten out of the “give me money so I can tell you how I got rich” industry we had partnered with someone else that would ultimately lock us out of our first hosting operation, this host would ultimately die 2 weeks after we were locked out.   Which set us back 8 months in getting another host started up.  Ultimately this host would take off and it still is active to this day.  Despite some other failed business relationships one with a tech who did not believe in virus protection.  Details given in one of my early posts.

By the time webhostignstuff.com came into the picture we had 2 hosts running, a third in production.  This was the point where they decided to delete the positive hosting review feedback of one of my companies.  My company was not the first, nor was it the last.  The big difference is those other hosts did not have someone like me.  I am not saying I am special, far from it. It’s the whole thinking outside the dimensions of a box and not just out of the box. Simple put I am really weird.

The reason webhostingstuff.com deleted my positive feed back was because they were using the negative hosting reviews for my site to encourage others to buy from their top 25, and the same for any host that was not paying for a spot in the top 25. After all its not profitable for people to come to their site and find out that people were happy with the service my company provided or the company they were looking into.   That and the less new customers that flow in from webhostingstuff.com to those that paid for top 1 – 25 positioning will be less likely to pay for a spot, or in the case of Michael Lows hosting review site hostaz.com, people would be less likely to sign up for the hosts that are set up with affiliate links.  Despite saying they don’t delete feed back, they do.  They even give reasons for deleting it such as you closed your account and got a refund.  Never mind the reasons for closing your account may very well justify you creating a hosting review.

Seeing (a) positive review(s) would not give the possible customer a reason to review the so called top 25 list. At the same time people who paid for the top 25 have had their negative hosting review(s) deleted.  Something I witnessed with Infinite Networks.   When I first reviewed them they had 6 reviews with a 2 out of 5 star rating.  Then they had 4 reviews so it was 3 out of 5 stars.


This site started as a way to vent my anger in my scant free time.  After launching the one page site and the video, I contacted many of the hosts that appeared in these so called hosting review sites.  None of them responded back to me. By the end of December 2007 my anger had long cooled down, and I thought this site would go no where.

I of coarse debated on advertising my hosting company on the site, but it seemed like a conflict of interest.  In many ways I think this would work to my advantage as many smaller hosts would point people to my site.

Right before the 4th quarter of 2009 several factors lead to me deciding it was time to get out of the hosting business among them  was zero vacations/weekends and  long hours.  Not to mention I had wanted to finish up school for a career in biology.  I was not too thrilled dealing with a cheap hosting industry as the less a customer paid the more they expected.  They were more likely to put in support tickets.  On top of that others in our company infrastructure wanted to do what EIG (Endurance International Group) was doing (several hosting companies while using the control panel as a advertising platform), and already had two more companies planned for release in early 2010.

By the end I sold my shares for 60 – 70% of their value, in hopes of getting out as fast as possible (a decision I would regret later as that was a lot of money). I had to sign a non-disclosure agreements and non-compete clause (ncc) agreements.

In early 2010 after finalizing the sales Google contacted me to put AdSense on the site.  Also someone in Singapore was trying to buy the site off of me (Which so happens to be where Michael Low is from).

I thought it was a bit odd, here is a site that for two and half years I did nothing with, it was tied to two videos on YouTube.   One with no sound which is the most popular, and has people saying I should add sound.  Another with sound (thanks to a volunteer) that gets less traffic.  I approved or declined of comments and responded to them.  That was the most I did to maintain this site.  So why the heck did Google want me to put AdSense on it?

I decided to see what a search of Google would find.  The first was a blog for a host.  It pointed to my video and actually did a review of some of the hosts on this hosting review site that were on the top 25, one was hostdawgs.com (Which later went out of business).   They showed based on numbers that the system made no sense.  Hosts with a high amount of negative reviews or no reviews at all were on the list. They also had proof that webhostingstuff.com was deleting negative feed back. I also found that other hosts were referring people to my site such as this one.

This was the point I had decided that I need to start reviewing webhostingstuff.com on a regular basis to find their inconstancies.  I would also soon find out the site was losing traffic due to be on a shared environment with Godaddy and would soon move off to MediaTemple.

A summary of 1.5 years of looking at hosting review sites

One of the biggest inconstancies with this so called hosting review site, was a site called i7net.  The problem with i7net was it had not been online for months at a time.  Worse yet webhostingstuff.com stated that because of the frequency of downtime they were no longer keeping track of the up time   So on this wonderful top 25 you could see a very clear 0% for up time next to the zero stars for zero hosting reviews. Despite that it appeared off an on in the top 25 list from June – November 2010.  Until Webhostignstuff.com finale figured it out, and deleted the site’s listing from their data base.


A better summation of the problems I found on this so called unbiased hosting review site can be found at:


As my reviews intensified I had to start asking friends around the globe to get me screen shots because I was being blocked.  Which in turned my friends started being blocked.  They probable would not have been blocked if I had not sent emails to Michael Low telling him what countries and ISP my friends were in. Seriously if his site was legit why block people?

By May 2011 Webhostingstuff.com went through a face lift making the top 25 list obscure.  As I had to tell a very angry Jixhost.com (who happen to argue with me on webhostingtalk.com) that it may not be profitable to have to pay for a position that is now 9 clicks away from the main page when it was only 1.  Plus risk the chance of  losing people who are blocked.  At which time I have stopped reviews.  Though I can say I am not done with webhostingstuff.com. Despite these changes the only PPC going on with their site is from Google.

Fun on Webhostingtalk.com

I also got exposed on webhostingtalk.com:


I learned about Endurance International Group

Its funny how a chat can tell you things you never knew.


One of the big problems with this company is it does not fully disclose the list of hosts that are with them.  One of their former employees as you can see from the comments on that last post claimed that justhost.com was not added the BBB record (the only place I know that has a list of their sites) as it was a fairly new acquisition.  Which is not true as netfirms was acquired after that by atleast a year or 2, appeared just weeks after someone notified me that Netfirms had a been acquired.  I think had something to do with it being a Canadian host versus a U.S. host.  As EIG went out of its way to notify people and actually had a page dedicated to the transfer of the customers.


A few months ago they may have given me an edge with hosting review sites on FTC guide lines.  Which in short means if you profit by a review, you have to have a disclaimer up.  Which another site called hostingsthatsuck.com did not have until after I did a post on them.  I had planned on doing a review of every review site with an Alexa score below 1,000,000 that I came across based on these guidelines.  Time permitting I will start that process up again.

If you are a host, hosting review site, or anyone else I am the last person to spam.

I decided to take on certain elements in the hosting / web site industry.  The first of which was mindshark.ca.  A so called SEO company.  They harvested my email (they claim a third party did it, after I called their bluff on so called opting in), by going to my contact form and sending me an email.  I of coarse trying to not be rude responded.  Next thing I know I got spam.  Never mind the only purpose of that email was contacts from the contact form, blog updates, and YouTube. They claimed that I opted in, having been a previous hosting provider I know full well what opted in means.  In short I wrote two posts that stay at the top of their search engine results to prove they don’t know diddly squat about SEO, which says a lot as I don’t know a lot about SEO.  Did I mention my two posts appear in the top page of mindshark.ca review for Google?


Fake hosting review comments by Unlimitedgb.com

This is an on going drama, and one that I never thought would have gotten a lot of attention.  My former business partner thought it was a waste of time for me to do posts on hosts that spam unless they were like hostgator.  But a post on Unlimtedgb.com was the first host to get in trouble with me for posting fake positive reviews on my posts.  Seriously I am try to find the worst things about a host, and this host comes along to create fake feed back while bashing a host. Did they not think that maybe if I did not like fake reviews, I am really not going to like spam.  Not to mention its poor taste to try and make a buck off another hosts expense.

The worst of it was yet to come.  After I wrote a post:


Which in turn they decided to post positive comments, big surprise as this is strategy they do on other sites to drown out negative feed back (in a few cases some of these commenters came from the same IP).  But the worst of it was this page appeared on the first page of their search engine results. So he tried to bribe me.  I had to see how much he would pay, so before I contacted him I stated on Twitter and Face Book that some host was trying to bribe me and that I was going to soon bust them for it.

Clearly he did not read my Social Media for this site.


This is where he had the nerve to question my ethics for posting his email after not responding to the above post.  Never mind he spammed my blog, created fake feed back, and then tried to bribe me.


Despite a third post they decided to start spamming fake comments again on my site. Despite calming they had stopped that.

Bottom line if your going to spam my site, be prepared for me to do a post so I can get traffic off your site.

Another hosting company that has my interest is Gogvo.com, after one of their affiliates decided to spam my personal YouTube account. Which brings me back to the point where I worked for a “give me money and I will tell you how I got rich” guy.  Frankly this is worse than most review sites.  It not even so much the promise of good hosting, as it is the promise of income.  Never mind half the so called gurus have a disclaimer that states that results are not typical (translation stay away).


Those are some the highlights over the past few years I thought were interesting.

A few answers to questions I get in regards to hosting-reviews-exposed.com

For those that wonder what hosts I ran.

The answer is I cannot say, granted even if I was not legally bound by a non-disclosure agreement I have no desire anyway.

For those that wonder if I will start new hosting company.

Despite having a little more than 3 years left in the non-compete agreement. I ultimately have no desire to get back into hosting.  Perhaps that will change in the future.  But I have no desire to get back into nickel and dime hosting.  No offence, but the cheap plans are fine to start out with, but they are not a viable long term solution for a serious site.  If I get back in it would only be with hosting solutions for those that want serious solutions.  Otherwise called overpriced hosting to those that think unlimited hosting is the key to success.  Even if I did I would not involve that company with this site.

My site is against hosting review sites making money / I hate affiliate programs?

I never stated that I hate affiliate programs.  I have at many points expressed concern over affiliate programs that pay out more than a customer that clicks on an affiliate link may pay for in a year.  I am concerned with quality of service / support.  When 100% or more of a customer’s payment goes to the affiliate, none of it goes to service.

With that said, this is not my only site.  Far from my only source of income (I would be living in a card board box, with a card board iPad).  All of my sites, including this one are involved in an affiliate program or a program like Google’s Adsense.  I am not telling people that they should not use affiliate programs or that making money of referring people to a host is a bad thing.  It’s a bad thing when a review site makes so called top lists based on how much they get paid.  That means they don’t have a hosting customers interests in mind with a false hosting review site.

The problem is I have yet to see a hosting review site that does not manipulate the system to make a gain.  Which is why I have turned away many hosts review sites that have asked for my endorsement.  Often by giving them email of what the post would look like.

Having ads on my site is hypocritical of since I am going after hosting review sites that make money?

This is an argument I don’t understand. I am not telling you what hosts to use (though books, music, video games, or electronics just ask I will refer you).   I don’t have some so called review site with hosts I have never used, telling you their the best while getting  secretly paid out for referals.  For that matter there is no host I am willing to put my name behind.  I admit I have tried some of the same writing  style of sites I find on the first page of “(host name) + sucks” on Google to formulate posts in the beginning.  Many of these affiliates were not even hosted with the hosts they recommend.  One example is webhostingstuff.com which as far as I have seen has never had softlayer.com on their top 25 list.

In short the argument does not focus on the real issue.  Even if I had affiliate ads for hosts every where and made large commissions on referrals I would not be doing the same thing they are, and that is telling you a host is the best.

For over 2 years I have debated on any form of advertising let it be my own hosting company, or like my reviews of the Kindle Fire and Kindle Touch. Now that I think about it, its not so bad advertising non-hosting related stuff.  I also enjoyed writing up a review of my two new tech toys:

Kindle Fire: http://hosting-reviews-exposed.com/?p=2799

Kindle Touch: http://hosting-reviews-exposed.com/?p=2757

Which those reviews ended up paying for my two Kindle’s.  Well the Kindle Fire review paid for both.  I have yet to see any one buy a Touch (come on readers its better than a color device for reading).

Ultimately I think it would have been bad to advertise my own hosting company, while going after other companies.  Simply because this would have been just as bad as a creating a review site.  It would be like telling you my host is best, without actually telling you why.

I can say lately I have been debating about removing Google Adsense and going purely with advertisers that I control.  After all I had one ad come up a few days ago about Hot Thai’s, and I am not referring to cuisine.  That and I have blocked a lot of hosts.  Though I may very well restore every host back to appearing in Adsense.  I have been debating the fairness of blocking hosts while allowing others.  Which is why it would be easier just to stop using Google Adsense and have no hosts appear.

I am now a hosting customer like most of the people that visit here. Being a former hosting provider gives me some insight in what to expect.   I can’t say I am not bias, as there was a standard for the service I gave people when I was in the business.  Ultimately any host I recommend will have to be up to those standards.

Is there a host that I recommend?

Sorry to say but no, the list has grown shorter of hosts I am using which is MediaTemple and Rackspace.  However there are two new hosts that I am in the progress of trying.  Expect reviews this month.

So What will Hosting Reviews Exposed.com be doing next?

It’s a bit difficult to say where this site will go next.  It mostly depends on my free time.

One thing is for certain this site is getting slow again, and that means it needs to be moved to a more powerful system.  Which may mean I move from MediaTemple.

I defiantly plan to find if review sites are following the FTC guide lines and work with the hosts that appear on hosting review sites.  I also plan to post more reviews of hosts that I am using (I added a few) or ones that customers make me set up sites on (some good, most bad).  Not to mention hosts or web site related services that decided to spam me.  Honestly if they cannot afford real advertising they are not worth hosting with.  Perhaps next year I may recommend hosts, but I would not count on it me starting a hosting review endorsement.

Mindshark.ca – Seo Marketing Experts or Spammers? Part 2

With the second post for mindshark.ca I am going to explore their seo skills, which pretty much amount a weak show of smoke and mirrors. My first post can be found at http://hosting-reviews-exposed.com/spammer/mindshark-ca.html.  I am still waiting for an email from a spam expert in regards to what mindshark.ca sent me.  Netfirms.com contacted me in less then 24 hours and has already indicated that they will shut mindshark.ca down if they spam again.  I have made them aware Mindshark.ca used a third party “over seas” to phish/harvest my email.   I know this has nothing to do with hosting companies or fake hosting review sites.  But I have to admit I am really out of the grove on writing blog content because of a rather hectic March,  and I am rather fired up by this spammer.  Not to mention I really hate spam.  That sentence alone does not tell you just how much I hate it.  So the next part brings me to the very heart of who they claim to be, which is seo experts.

Now keep in mind I am no seo expert.  Before I got into the hosting business I did graphics and simple html.  When I got into the hosting business I ran the billing,  purchasing, and staffing.  Someone else was in charge of tech support (Even though I seem to be the one that would knock heads around when there was a problem) and another was in charge of sales, advertising, site design and seo. I was no longer a graphics person.   The last was/is the person I contact when I need help in getting this site or any other site noticed.    There are also experts that he works with that I have to pay when I need their field of expertise.  It would be a mistake to employee my services for SEO, granted I know the people you would employee.  I also know people that have ethically questionable methods of obtaining seo.   Autoblogging, fake pings, spam commenting on blogs, article spinning, and other things that I think are no better then spam, as it clutters search engines such as Google with useless results.

So with my limited knowledge of SEO, let me tell you why you should not go with Mindshark.ca

When it comes to finding experts in the field of seo, you would expect their site to be a shinnying example of their skills. There are alot of tell tale signs that their seo knowledge is not what they claim.  Looking at  compete.com I find the most interesting thing, which is nothing.

I find it odd that despite having a Alexa score of 387,496 which is double mine (the lower the score the better), and 284 sites linking in ( I only have 32 according to Alexa).  Despite all those numbers Compete.com has no data.  Perhaps their domain whois might explain the problem:

I find a few intresting things about that.

1. Their site is a little over a year old.
2. They recently updated something on their domain.  Which might be that they just moved to netfirms.com.

So far the only thing they have me beaten on is  sites linking in on Alexa.com.


Intrestingly enough I find another site that also does seo.

Mindshark.ca’s video tells me exactly why you should not trust them

The quirky thing about this video thats hosted on youtube.com it seems to be the opening for a reputation cleansing service.  For which there is not an active website for: mindsharkdefense.com.  I guess Zamir Javer got to be an expert for a Canadian News station – Global News, where a model that had nude shots taken of her got leaked on the internet.  Zamir explains that the best way to cover it up:

  • “Hide” Negative Material by posting positive content
  • Increase Credibility = Blog on Professional Sites
  • Look Like an Expert
  • Ongoing monitor = Free Google Alert

So the problem is she has nude photos with her on the web.  In order to compete and put “positive” feed back,  she is going to have to go to professional sites that deal with photos.  After all which do you think is going to stick out when type in “*model’s name* photos”:

  1. The nude pics?
  2. Her attempts to talk about jogging?

So that means that she would have to write things in regards to “*model’s name* photos” on professional websites, and every other term that shows up when you try to search for the nude photos.  She might have problems if she had to deal with trying to compete with the term “*models name* nude photos”.

But here is what I find interesting about the video, all of the people that have posted postive feed back on Youtube.com seem to have only created their user name to comment, rate postivly, and to make this their favorite video.   All of which was done the same day they created the account.  Every user that has comment on this videolooks like this.

After which these accounts have zero activity.

Frankly I am surprised they did not use a service that fakes your comments and views.   It would have made it far less obvious.   Or better yet have all those over 450 seo experts comment and view the video with some real youtube accounts.

Also I did comment on the video, and as you can see I put the one negative vote on their video.  Unfortunately my comment was deleted.  I guess they did not like that I drew attention to the fact that the comments were not real.

Then there are the sites that link in to Mindshark.ca

While I am not going to point you to the link at Sharenator.com that links to Mindshark.ca, I find it interestingly that hosting-reviews-exposed.com has 1 of every 117,647 internet visitors.


Many of the sites that are part of the back links, linking in, and what ever else seem to be a combination of sites like this, some sites that tell you what you can do your site.


Which tells me I need to talk to one of those seo experts I mentioned.

Then their is a site that tells me I have a terrible domain name: http://websiteshadow.com/hosting-reviews-exposed.com

Some sites like http://qeoz.com/1-hosting-reviews-exposed-com show nothing you could not find through going to Alexa.com directly

Then there are sites that I consider spam like http://feeds.joe.to/recent/page-2.  While I find that on second page of search engine results for “mindshark.ca”.

Here is the first thing to show up on the second page of their search engine results.

“Once again I did not opt-in or authorize use of this email address for their marketing / spam purposes.”


I am almost tempted to believe they just took part of my content and re-spinned it.

I have yet to find any of what Zamir recommends of posting on professional blogs.

Now to see if 450 Mindshark experts can hide my negative review.

Mindshark.ca – Seo Marketing Experts or Spammers? Part 1

Mindshark.ca seems to think this is a business.  Keep in mind it took more than 3 years for this site to make enough money to cover its own monthly bill.  So far my experience has been the people either come here to look for a host or to complain about a host.   The most bizarre request is from hosts that don’t use fake reviews,  is to get me to do a review on them.  You would think the last person they would ask to write something would not be me – the guy that has bad things to say about the very hosts that he uses.  But in the end, the people that are looking for a host are disappointed because I don’t recommend anyone, and the people that come here to complain are not inclined to buy.

So why the rage with Mindshark.ca?

Back when I first started I had asked a friend to set me up a contact form, I am not known for my non-graphic web skills which are still lacking, requiring me to pay for professionals.  Keep in mind I have stated this site makes enough to pay for its hosting, but it’s not paying for experts I bring in to assist me.  Anyway getting back to that contact form.   It was set up to send to a Gmail account, one in which only my YouTube account was sending mail to.  So after adding the contact form, there is only one way to get my Gmail account, and that is used by the contact form.  Mindshark.ca used a third party “overseas” to Phish/harvest my email.  After a contact with me, they added me to their mailing list.  Once again I did not opt-in or authorize the use of this email address for their marketing/spam purposes.   This week I got tired of them sending email to the Gmail account I use exclusively for hosting-reviews-exposed.com.  Here is the comment I got when I gave them 24 hours to remove my email or suffer a review and complaint to netfirms (funny didn’t I just do a post about them last month http://hosting-reviews-exposed.com/endurance-international-group/netfirms-com.html).  Here is the response I got this response from Zamir of Mindshark.ca:

You are off the list. Cheers 🙂

FYI you did opt in on August 9th   thx


Zamir Javer
Mindshark Marketing
1.877.MSHARK  1 xtn 730

My response:

Bullshit, I have the emails to prove that your full of it.  I will be filing a complaint with netfirms and my own review of your site.

Yes that’s right, I used profanity.  I did not opt in, I did not authorize them to use my email to spam or market to.  Frankly, I was a little tame in my response.  But I am not about to be treated like I “forgot” that I signed up for their spam.

I get the following response from Zamir of mindshark.ca,

What emails….please send so we can review.

My response:

You can review them with everyone else on my blog.  Your company contacted me by my forum when I responded to someone in your company you added my email without my permission to your mailing list.  Hence you are spamming.   Benjamin of hosting-reviews-exposed.com

Zamir of Mindshark.ca response:

I have reviewed your site.  You are an extortionist company like ripoffreport etc.

We are an internet marketing firm.   We have not done anything wrong.  If you have further questions please direct them to me and I would be happy to respond and address any concerns.

Yes, I am a terrible person, I told him I would do a review and report him to his upstream provider if they did not remove my email from their mailing a list.  An email that I did not authorize/opt in for them to spam me.  But why did they bring up ripoffreport?


Its a bit difficult to read, but it appears that this person also had their email harvest and on top of that their cell phone number.

Ripoffreport.com may very well be extorting, after all, they do offer a paid service to deal with a complaint.  I on the other hand only offer a chance to plead your case on my blog, I offer no service to clean up a complaint.  But I guess on the surface because I placed a few ads in hopes of re-cooping my costs, it appears I am in the business of extortion.

So my response:


You’re a bit full of yourself, but I have to wonder what ripoffreport has on your company.   Thanks for the material.  Your company did harvest my email through my contact page.   Your an idiot and so is David Abramovici  (the dumbass that thought it would be a good idea to add my email to your list) to think I had my sights on your company as your not a host or a hosting review site.  But I really passionately hate spam, and you have the nerve to say I opted into your list.  You can call me an extortionist because you glanced at my site, but the truth is you have no idea who I am.

By the way, netfirms is moving to the U.S.


Here is where Zamir of mindshark.ca admits it without knowing it that they are spamming:

Yes I know netfirms is moving.  Lol I have no clue what this conversation is about any longer.

Anyways….we do use a lead generation company from overseas.

IT seems maybe they are the ones that did something on your site,  If you can forward whatever info they sent we can review to try and forward it and put a stop to this.

We hate spam with a passion as well and do not engage in any of it.


I have my reason for mentioning netfirms, which sometimes I might explain to him.  But here is the point where Mindshark.ca admits they are not the marketing experts that they claim to be because they used a “a lead generation company from overseas“.  Translation they did not gather the emails themselves, nor did they make sure they were opt-in.  There is no integrity to the list, and so far there seems like two complaints that prove this.

Just to be clear if you purchase a list from a third party to gather your contacts, that does not free you from spam complaints.  If anything its more damning.

My response:


Now you’re telling me that your not even sure if people have opted in because you used a third party.  When I owned hosting companies I did not accept that as an excuse.  For that matter, if they could not prove their system was double opt-in after a spam complaint their account was shut down.  Seriously if I were you I would get rid of your existing mailing list and start from scratch.  After all, you sent your mailouts to me when I did not request or opt-in to your service.  Nor would I have reason to do so, if I needed marking assistance, which is not something I need for this site I would contact my previous business partners.

I am not going to send you the emails that were sent to me, you can find it when it hits my blog along with these wonderful emails you keep sending me, sorry but I don’t take kindly to being called an extortionist.  After all the only thing I asked for was to be removed from your list.

As for what netfirms moving has to do with this conversation…….



Zamir of mindshark.ca tries to deflect the facts:

Thanks for your email.  Again as I stated earlier.  We get hit with spam ourselves and we do not engage in any spam ourselves.   If there is any email or information you feel is spam related we would be happy to review it.  You are in our system as an optin from a third party lead source.

I understand you business relies on this type of thing to keep you busy with posts etc.  However I am extending our offer to assist you in whatever you are looking for.  If your intention is to keep responding with vulgarities please refrain.

However if you do have any requests for information or would like us to review any matter we are more than happy to help“.

I would like to think that my last response to mindshark.ca covers that:


If this was a business it would have failed miserably, its taken 3 years to finale start paying for its own hosting.  A post on your site would go against the grain of what my site is about.  But you do not realize that a post about your site has nothing to do with web hosting.  Though I guess I can work on the angle of how netfirms will deal with you once I send my complaint.  But the truth is, my feedback on hosts that use fake review sites discourages people from buying, a wonderful business model when you want people to buy.   Coming up with assumptions that I do what I do just for money is at best a poor defense for your spamming me.

Your receiving spam has nothing to do with the fact that you spammed me. I am doing a post because you have indeed spammed me, I did not -REPEAT- I did not authorize or opted for mail outs under this email address.   Therefore any mail out sent to me from you is SPAM.  Use of a  third party does not liberate you from any spam complaints, as clearly the netfirms terms of service indicates.

As for vulgarities, there were none in my last response.  Should you not have stated that when I called you an idiot, or when I said what you were saying was bullshit, or that David Abramovici is a dumbass.  The world can see exactly how many vulgarities I have used which has been very restrained.

Looking forward to another email where you defend the use of mail-outs to people that did not opt into your list because you used a third party “overseas” to collect peoples emails.  While telling me that I am being vulgar and extorting you.  By the way if I was extorting you I would have asked for a lot more then removing me from your list.  Your claim that I opted in has been rejected.  Furthermore the use of a third party to get emails has proven that your mailing list is tainted with other people that did not opt-in.

You can of course continue to lay the blame on me by stating

  1. I opted in.  (which you have already shed doubt on this claim of yours).
  2. I am an extortionist (for which the only thing I asked for was to be removed from your list).
  3. I am doing an article for my business.(despite it being totally off topic for my site).
  4. Complain about my limited vulgarities. (which honestly who would not be vulgar with a spammer).

And you can suffer more complaints then just mine, as I will be providing an outlet for other people that experienced the same thing as me.  Not to mention information how to register their complaints.

Or you can start your list from scratch and make sure you double opt-in your contacts.



Because I typed this from my phone I over repeated some details, but I think it serves the purpose of getting my point across.  Anyway, I did not hear from Zamir of Mindshark.ca again.

Do you have a spam complaint against Mindshark.ca?

First off I enter the domain mindshark.ca into http://centralops.net/co/DomainDossier.aspx

To find out where mindshark.ca is hosting in most cases the network whois will tell you where to send abuse complaints.

The whois tells me that they are with netfirms, it also tells me they are just a little over a year old I will have fun with this on another post where I will discuss mindsharks.ca’s seo skills.  But another thing is mindshark.ca appears to have recently moved to netfirms.com.

So if mindshark.ca harvested/phished for your email like they did mine, I suggest sending the mailout they sent you to [email protected]

You’re also more than welcome to place your own complaints in the comments area of this post.

Two more posts on mindshark.ca are in the works to show the email,  I am currently waiting on netfirms and I am hoping to get a contact from a spam expert before I do the second post on mindshark.