Yodle, the local online marketing and advertising company, promises to advertise your law firm or business on Google, Yahoo!, and other sites, and build you a website that will get clients to call. They also promise to gather detailed information about your site visitors and callers to both help screen out low-quality from high-quality online leads, as well as to optimize their online ad campaigns to improve the traffic to your site.

But what Yodle actually does, as far as I can tell, is employ a bunch of jerks to call me (four times last week, plus an email for good measure), insult me, and try to bully me into becoming a client. Judging by the buzz on several email lists, my experience is typical.

Yodle’s hard-sell tactics do not inspire confidence. Nor does this listing they created for Chicago lawyer Barry Kreisler (trust me, you’ll love this):


I know for a fact that Barry does not offer HVAC, plumbing, or male waxing services at his law office. Quality control is obviously not Job One at Yodle. (Yodle also lists bankruptcy lawyers under the “bankruptcy lawy” category in their directory.)

Yodle will not be getting my business. I have my own website, and Google AdWords is simple enough to use on my own. Plus, my law blog drives over 1,500 potential clients to my website every month. I can track my own potential client contacts—and I do—using good old pen and paper. In comparison, Yodle offers negligible value, but a huge price tag.

Edit: Whoa, Yodle records incoming phone calls. Attorney-client privilege problems, anyone?

Update: Yodle has issued a challenge to prove its worth! Follow the Yodle Challenge and see whether it does.