yodle logo

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 for lawyers (and other businesses), 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 for attorneys 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.

Want to learn more about local search? Check out our resource page on the very topic!


  1. Thank you for your post on this matter. Your feedback is valuable to us.
    Yodle is the fastest growing company in the local online advertising space, which is itself one of the fastest growing online segments. As a leader in this space, we are extremely proud of our service and team of intelligent online marketing representatives that are focused on educating local businesses about getting new customers from the web. This concept is very new and often times complex to understand given the number of options in the market place. Our service is completely transparent and our contract length is minimal, so to be anything but upfront would not only be irresponsible, it would be bad business practice. From customer #1 to now over 5,000, Yodle’s mantra is “Customers Rule”. Each of our over 300 employees lives and breathes this every day.

    As for the error mentioned above, this is not acceptable and was corrected several months ago. While it was in fact a bug on our own directory (local.yodle.com), it was made while it was in beta (test) mode with very few visitors. YodleLocal has since been GA (generally accessible) and is helping hundreds of thousands of individuals connect with local businesses searching for services.

    Thank you again for your feedback. To discuss any matter with me directly, please email info@yodle.com. Court Cunningham, CEO of Yodle.

  2. Sam Glover Sam Glover says:

    “Our service is completely transparent”

    Twice your sales staff pretended to be from Google, and only admitted they were calling from Yodle when I specifically asked.

    As for the errors, neither was fixed when I looked several days ago, although it looks like you have finally pulled the lawyer specialty categories entirely.

  3. Aaron Street Aaron Street says:


    I gotta say, I was with Sam when one of your sales people called him last week. The salesman initially indicated he was a consultant for Google, then after Sam directly asked him twice who he worked for, he eventually said “Yodle”.

    The most interesting part — to me — was that this phone call came an hour after Sam told me he was going to write this post because of all the hard-sales calls he had been getting.

    While your customers may “rule”, I think your employees’ attitudes toward potential customers could use some work.

  4. Sam Glover Sam Glover says:

    I just got off the phone with Mike DeLuca, Yodle’s sales & marketing VP. Nice guy. He says the deceptive salesperson Aaron and I heard from was dealt with “swiftly and rather harshly,” and that they will be instituting some ethics policies going forward. Definitely good to hear.

    Regarding the phone call recording issue, Mike said they have faced similar concerns with doctors, and customers may prevent anyone but themselves from listening to the recordings, or shut off recording entirely. I said he might want to disclose this up front–to lawyers, anyway–and he agreed that sounded like a good idea. Good to know.

  5. Avatar Mike DeLuca says:

    Sam, thanks for the opportunity to speak with you and I appreciate the update you’ve provided here. We are striving to help folks like yourself find creative and effective ways to advertise their Practice. The legal vertical is one of our top categories and we are currently helping hundreds of lawyers across the country target and find the types of cases they want to work on. Just as in Law, our reputation means everything and we will continue to pursue excellence for all of the clients we serve. Thank you for your criticism as it gives us an opportunity to improve.

    Mike DeLuca
    SVP Sales & Marketing

  6. Avatar lois fullmer says:

    Yodle has lied to my staff , trying to leave a message for me to return. thanks for the ‘head’s up’ about these folks.

  7. Avatar Pete says:

    Yodle may be good for some folks, but it is a hard sell to me because after almost 3 months I have received zero leads. ( i don’t count the marketers and out of area calls that I paid for ) I have not made a penny but this far have paid in over $1,000.
    After expressing my concerns to the folks at Yodle, they tried to convince me that they should provide the web site. They did it for free so I said OK, what ever it takes. ( we used my web site to start out because I felt there was nothing wrong with it. ) Well that did not work either and now a third try of doing something different is in the works. The end of August marks the end of my 3 month contract. I have allowed them to do what they thought was needed to make this work but they are still firing blanks at my expense.
    I am a Yodle customer and these are the facts. They should stop promising things that they can’t deliver. I am still waiting for something good to come out of this. Maybe a refund of some sort Mr. DeLuka?

    • Avatar chas says:

      Pete- I am considering Yodle now but after seeing these reviews, I am reluctant to proceed. If you don’t mind, perhaps you can email me so that I may learn more about your final experience with Yodle – “On Hold” in CA. Thx Chas

      • Avatar Nancy says:

        Do not use this company. They do not deliver on their promises and are making it difficult to cancel my account. When I call I am told a manager is not available to process the cancelation. When I request to speak with any manager, again, non seem to be working.
        This has been a waste of my hard earned money. Please learn from my mistake and do not be fooled by Yodle.

  8. Avatar J Bradley says:

    How can cancel a contract with these guys?

  9. Avatar Michael Harris says:

    My experience with this so called company is this. I have had my website goprolandscaping.com for a few years now, these guys come in and set up goprolandscaping.net charge me a large amount of money for it and than charge me for leads off of it. Which I didn’t receive any till I called to complain, they were actually drawing business from my goprolandscaping.com domain to feed their domain with links to their 1-800 # and their site yodle.com, then charging me almost $100 per lead. They also copied without approval all materials on my website at goprolandscaping.com to the goprolandscaping.net they had set up, again I’ll say without mine or my web designer’s permission. Then they added their phone number instead of mine. I did get them to transfer the domain to my current service where goprolandscaping.com is set up. To me it’s just plain stealing, down low dirty stealing. You have a website created, a business name and you work hard and some so called company comes in and piggy backs off of all of your hard work. I’m looking into legal action right now and so is my web designer, it appears Yodle is interested in some other clients she is working with, since they have been all over the other clients sites. BEWARE OF THIS COMPANY YODLE, YODLE.COM, very scary group, not here to help you at all, here to steal from you and piggy back off of what you have worked so hard to set up and then charge you high fees for doing nothing, but using what you already had set up. NOTHING BUT THIEVES, INTERNET THIEVES and liars. Not to mention again the copying of all the material on my website, they had an exact match to my site at goprolandscaping.com Doesn’t make me happy at all! PLEASE BEWARE OF THIS COMPANY YODLE, YODLE.COM

    Michael Harris
    GoPro Landscaping
    Knoxville, TN

  10. Avatar Ed W says:

    Yodle’s Disclaimer off thier Invoice SAYS IT ALL!
    Legal Disclaimer
    Yodle is not liable for any disruptions in service, inadequate service or otherwise undesirable performance. The customer understands and acknowledges that business specific characteristics may result in performance that is above or below similar clients. The customer understands that any claim or guarantee provided, exclusively pertains to services directly rendered by the vendor, and not to 3rd party traffic provider costs. Yodle makes no claim as to the merchantability of this offering, and is not liable for any damages, monetary or otherwise, incurred by the customer. You may not lower your budget until your recurring advertising budget commitment period has passed. After your contract commitment has passed, you will be billed on a monthly recurring basis and you may cancel at any time. All cancellations must be made by fax and will be made effective on the following bill cycle at which time any remaining funds will be used for final advertising. The customer understands and acknowledges that the products listed above carry no express or written warranty. The customer understands that this Order Form is in addition to and part of the Customer Terms and Conditions, collectively the “Agreement” and by signing above, acknowledges he/she has reviewed this Agreement.

  11. Sam Glover Sam Glover says:

    It looks like Yodle’s lawyers need to read my post on writing clearly. That whole paragraph could be written in a few short sentences:

    We cannot and do not guarantee particular results. You can change your ad budget at the end of your commitment period. If you want to cancel after your commitment period, you must do so by fax.

    I think it is odd that they put the “additional terms” below the signature line, instead of above it. You don’t sign a contract before the terms, after all.

  12. Avatar Pete Marinkovic says:

    Well, here is an update from my earlier post regarding Yodel. September 10th marked the end of my 3 month contract with Yodel. The marketers keep calling me using the Yodel phone number assigned to my account, ( which Yodel counts as a lead ) and a lot of tire kickers. The tally of business gained from using Yodel: 2 small jobs totalling $350.00. How is that for a $1500.00 +investment?
    I can’t really complain about the customer service as they did reply to my concerns, but then they really did not do anything to make things better. They did put up handiman.net website for free, but to no avail. ( I had my own website but they stated that it would help if they designed the website) Made no difference at all.
    They even refunded some money too.
    Again, just another bad decison that I have learned from. Watch out for those promising sales guys at Yodel. Good pitch, poor performance.
    Is there anybody out there in the handyman business that has used Yodel with sucess? I would like to hear from them.
    Until I find some rock solid company that delivers results, I will keep using Craig’s list to post my ads. It’s free and at least I get a lot of jobs. Goodbye Yodel and good luck!

  13. Avatar Pete Marinkovic says:

    Just one more important thing that I should mention.
    Yodle raves about how they track leads from your website and how you can also log in and monitor the progress. All true, but one big important item they don’t let you monitor is your account balance and how much you are spending per lead. Hmmmm, no wonder I did not have any balance at the end of my contract. I asked them what about my account balance? They keep it.
    So I just wonder how much of my budget was used on my behalf, really.

  14. Avatar Glen Seiler says:

    how do i get out of a yodle contract?

  15. Avatar Laurie says:

    Be nice if they actually posted that Fax number somewhere.

  16. Avatar Mitchell says:

    What I find amazing is that Yodle charges upwards of $500 for what I now get from a company like Adoozle for $199 or less. Yodle did nothing for me over 6 months. They are not the leader in local search marketing; they just raised enough money to swim for awhile until they drown.

  17. Avatar Alan says:

    Let’s see…Yodle offers PPC reporting that gives you no indication of where your money is going, what you are bidding on (outside of the top ten keywords) or even what networks are utilized. They also fail to tell you how much of your bill is administrative and how much is being utilized for spend. It’s a scam. I was called in by one of their clients to consult and after viewing their “proprietary reporting” and speaking with their rank novice rep, I can honestly tell you that you might be better off throwing your money out the window.

    But it doesn’t end there. This a company who has recently become infamous in the NYC SEM community for putting out job postings during the current recession with absolutely no intention to hire anyone. One of their recent ads ran for 3 months straight. Is that something a responsible company does to desperate job-seekers? Methinks not. If they do hire someone, it will be an untrained novice with no experience in the business much like the rep I encountered.

    But oh no, it doesn’t end there. They also like to create and own dot-net or .biz mirror sites and move their client’s campaigns through them, virtually guaranteeing themselves the client’s future business for all eternity. If the client wants to switch management, they lose the campaigns and the mirror sites. Yodle does this to track phone leads, but the convenient byproduct is that they have an iron fisted grip over their clients because there is no possibility of seamless transitioning.

    They are scam artists, plain and simple.

  18. Sam Glover Sam Glover says:

    I will let Yodle address Alan’s comments, if it chooses, except for the last point. Yodle was very clear that Brea could take her .net domain and website with her whether she stayed with Yodle or not.

  19. Avatar Mike DeLuca says:

    I’m more than willing to take my lumps when it is deserved. In the case of the comment above, i owe it to my company and our hard working employees to set the record straight.

    I think the results of the Yodle Challenge speak to the value we provide to thousands of our customers. Not all customers are always going to be happy but we go to great lengths to set up the right campaigns, design the best websites and provide the best CS in the industry in order to give our clients the highest probability of success.

    Not sure what is wrong with posting our job openings. We have hired over 100 people in 2009 in the face of the worst recession in 80 years. Yodle grew 700% YoY last year and will grow another 300% this year. To support that growth, you need people! Why on earth would we post jobs we had no intention of hiring for? I don’t get it but i assure you every job posting out there is completely legitimate and quite frankly, we have better things to do.

    Sam, thanks for addressing the last point.

    Once again, if anyone who reads this blog would like to bring any concerns directly to me, i am not above leaving my name, contact info and backlink. Thanks

    Mike DeLuca
    SVP Sales & Marketing

  20. Been following this thread for a while. I think the point is, some may find the service works well, others may not get the results they hoped for, regardless, don’t mislead people into thinking you are something you are not…if that is what was done.

  21. Avatar Mark Thompson says:

    Saturday,February 13, 2009

    I have to tell you that Yodle could have been the best used car sales people. The concept was good. The only trouble is once you sign the open ended rushed bogus contract they think the have full use of your credit card. Even though you state that they are not to use the first transaction without expressed authorization at each billing cycle. They don’t even give you a statement of accounts, you know the itemized receipt kind of stuff. They lead you to believe that all you pay is a $56.00 management fee. This is a nice Bate and switch. Well that seems fair. Than they offer you, your money for their casino chips and place it all where every they like and not on a site that gets attention. The rest goes in their “Growing Business accounts.”
    The classic is their “roll over” charges for unused hits. I miss understood this one. What they mean is roll over and assume the prone position.

    AH THE NEW YORK STATE OF MIND. These guys remind me of corporate travelers,that pray on the genuine nice people and small businesses.

    THE FACT IS THEY deliver nothing, they can’t even give you a monthly statement. They Sell you the car and once you drive off they go to the bank and look for another victim. They could have been different and had a thriving business.
    But sooner or latter things will come to light.
    They are through harvesting in the East coast, and now it is time; just completing the central states, to hit the West Coast.
    People victimized by YODLE, should YODEL from every mountain top and tell everyone and warn all their associates of their scams. I just got fleeced for over $5,075.00 and thinking I was only at the $1,604.00 range.
    I will long the day when these pirates will be indited like Madeoff.

    • Aaron Street Aaron Street says:


      If you are actually claiming that you were “fleeced” by Yodle for thousands of dollars in what you claim are unauthorized credit card charges, why not just dispute the charges with your credit card company? Why rant on a legal blog?

  22. Avatar Mark Thompson says:

    Hi Aaron Street, I did dispute the charges, I am taking the effort to inform people so they are not victimized. I just spoke to a cold caller today for book keeping. She said how are you today? I told her about my accountant and about Yodle. She said ” don’t tell me Yodle, interesting I just got a complaint from an account that said he signed up for Yodle. He has people trying to reach him, his clients and he is being dinged $30.00 per call. The whole this is a mess.
    I did go to my credit card company and I have disputed the charges. Why do you blog?
    I have something to say to get the work out that is why. How about you?

  23. Avatar April Gross says:

    I find it very interesting that many of the comments are made to simply degrade the system that Yodle has set up. I actually work for a competitor and know basically how their system works. Ultimately, they do the keyword bidding for their clients on the major Search Engines. Most SMB’s do not understand nor have time to understand the PPC breakdown. Now of course some SMB’s do and if they do and have time why not do it yourself?

    Let’s be realistic though, how many years did the “traditional” types of advertising go without any tracking, like: Yellow Pages, Direct Mail, Magazines, Directories.. etc. Only if a client was willing to spend some real money or work with a marketing company were they given tracking for their marketing campaigns. Transparency has just given all of you the understanding of what might or might not work. How many of you have tracking for all of your other marketing efforts? Testing and tracking are the most important factors to success in this market place and the internet is a vast yet most cost effective marketing.

    What you do need to understand is how your PPC or search marketing campaigns are set up.
    Here are a few questions that might help you understand what you are or are not getting for Pay Per Click (PPC).
    1. What keywords/terms am I going to bid on?
    2. What Geographic areas are my ads being pushed to? Is the campaign set up for just cities or a radius or pinpoints on a map?
    3. What Search Engines are my ads showing up? Google has the most search and is more competitive which will drive you costs up. (you are bidding against your competitors)
    4. What other areas will my ad show up?
    5. What do my Ads look like? Can I have multiple ads and ad groups?
    6. Will my site get the recognition for the visits?
    7. What is the average Cost Per Click in my field. A balloon artist will have a different average cost per click than an Attorney.
    8. Is the company setting up your campaigns through the Publishers API or are they just using their own “dashboard”. Most of the bigger marketing companies have built their own platform to directly talk to Google’s API.
    9. Can I log in to see how my marketing campaigns are doing? Some small companies will send you a snapshot or you can log into your Google Adwords account.

    I hope this helps shed some light. Most of you, based on what you are saying within this string, really just didn’t understand what you were getting, which really stinks. I hope you find a company that you feel can walk you through the process and help you understand this complex digital age.

    • I just got off the phone with a sales rep and instead of a DEMO he had me watch two videos and then began to read questions from a script. After 25 minutes, I said I was done answering questions and that it was his turn to say what he could do and has done for legal practitioners. He froze so I decided to end the conversation. Another bad experience with a sales call.

  24. April –

    The problem is Yodle’s tactics. They contacted my office, soliciting me to improve my business. Now, I asked them how they were doing anything different than the people I hired to do my SEO (who are by the way, doing a fantastic job https://www.ponderconsulting.com/ as I’m getting more calls than I’ve gotten at any time from anyone that has allegedly done SEO). The sales rep gave me stuff to read and set up an appointment later in the week for 45 minutes to do his presentation.

    When the rep called, I told him I read the materials and asked again, how Yodle was any different. He could not explain it but mentioned GoogleAds and I mentioned that my SEO put me there, as well. He had no further explanations. Then, he had the audacity to say I was wasting HIS time when he was the person that solicited me.

    Frankly, they do nothing different than anyone else and if they call, I suggest you save your time, energy and money. There are cheaper and much better people out there for this sort of service.

  25. Avatar Bill C. says:

    You should check out Adoozle. They provide local search marketing services at a really reasonable price. The other thing that I like is that they do not markup ad word buys (PPC) from the search engines. You pay what google charges. You pay a flat monthly fee for the SEO and the micro websites with placements in a bunch of directories.

    they do an awesome job and the PPC’s are totally transparent. I have heard a number of people say that they can’t get the company they use to tell them how much of their money went to actual ad word purchases. With Adoozle, you don’t have that problem.

    Check em out at http://adoozle.com.

  26. Avatar Mandy says:

    It’s amazing how many sites I see that all have the same types of comments. I’ve looked at hundreds of comments and only a fraction have been positive. It’s unfortunate that small business owners – who are usually running on shoestring budgets – get taken by this type of offer. They give a good pitch about the benefits but what they don’t tell you is that they put a huge markup (I’ve seen from 200-400%) on the clicks they send you and that according to Google more than 70% of searchers IGNORE PAID LISTINGS. Yep, they skip the “Sponsored Ads” and head straight to the organic listings. So, their clients are actually paying a lot more to miss most of their potential clients.

    Since being contacted by one of their clients about using my services I’ve been doing some looking around and I have yet to find one of their clients who is on page 1 of Google for their primary search term. In fact, I’d say 80% of those I’ve looked at are on page 3-6 which is just pathetic.

    But, what really chaps my hide is the fact that they actually create more competition for their clients which raises client costs, raises Yodle income and lowers client ROI. They have no compunction about promoting both your site and your competition’s site at the same time for the same keywords. To me, that’s just unethical. It would never occur to me that it would be ok to promote two different companies for the same service in the same market. That benefits no one but Yodle.

    Hopefully business owners will start doing their due diligence and learn that there are many companies out there that provide similar, if not better, services for a lower cost. Thanks for the great post, looking forward to reading the rest of the series!

  27. Avatar Juan says:

    I have recently been contacted by yodle and simply told them that I will need time to research the industy and their company.
    They try to pressure you into signing , knowing that there are
    many unanswered questions. They told me that $1000 was the monthly minimum for my type of business which seems to be a lie based on this blog.
    After telling them that I need time to think about it, the sales guy insulted me and told me that I should call them back when I have the money and the staff to handle the magnitude of business that they will send me.
    A word of advice for you at yodle…don’t ever insult your customer or try to belittle them for not falling for your B S

    • Avatar Jo Ellen says:

      I received a cold call from them today. The guy was pushing for me to set up an appointment for a demo. I questioned him on what they would do for me. First of all they would set up a website, I told him I have a website. But with their website I could see traffic info, where visitors came from, what keywords were being used, etc. I told him I had Google Analytics for that. Then he said he would rather show me a demo. I asked what the minimum cost was. He didn’t say, it would depend on what service I had. Again he wanted to set up a time to show me what they can do. I told him to call back later in the week and I would let him know if I was interested.

      I never jump head first into anything any more. I have been scammed before, years ago before I knew what I was doing. I research everything before I buy. I realize that most people who are happy with the product or service they receive are not going to write a review. It’s the unhappy person who will complain. I take into account what the complaints are and how many complaints of the same nature there are.

      Because of this blog and the comments I have decided that this company will be of no benefit to me.


  28. Avatar Carolyn says:

    We have been using Yodle for 1 month. I would like to see Yodle’s track record in what it has done for other companies. I see a lot of bad reviews, and the good reviews are only from employees of Yodle, what is up with that? Do they have a higher success rate than lower success rate? We need to know cause we are spending a lot of money and getting NOTHING in return, NOTHING. Are they just here to get what they can out of whoever they can sucker into it? And then after 3 months, well they haven’t lost much, but with the economy like it is, the companies theirselves are losing a lot to Yodle!

  29. Avatar D. Ward says:

    Just got a call from one of yodle’s sales people. I was suspicious, but had never heard of yodle. Thanks for the posts folks. You saved me time and possibly being sucked into the package that he represented would only cost me a one-time set up fee of $447.

    I could really tell Mr. DeLuca a few pointers on how to make this work, but I won’t. :)

  30. Avatar Paul Hamilton says:

    I use Yodle for a while and was extremely disappointed. These folks are not set up to handle the needs of attorneys—I spent thousands and got nothing in return. Don’t make the same mistake I did.

  31. Avatar Brianne says:

    Never have I handled a more unprofessional and insulting sales call then I have with Yodle’s sales reps. These people are awful at their job and their behavior makes me think they are awful people in general. It’s refreshing to see that so many others agree. Shame on you, Yodle. Your reps behave like bounty hunters.

  32. Yodle is a scam plain and simple. I simply canceled my credit card and have disputed the charges as fraudulant. If they want to put up a fight I look forward to it, my attorney is itching to sink his teeth into this company. Not to mention I travel to all the trade shows and will make it my purpose in life to talk to anyone who approaches their booth and tell them the truth about these theives.

  33. Avatar Lori says:

    They keep leaving me messages in which they refer to the fact that I am a real estate attorney (not even close) and ask if I could take on a few more cases. I figured they were trying to sell me something…..

  34. Avatar B says:

    My experience has been extremely negative. I work as a legal assistant/secretary and constantly filter out the sales calls. Not only does Yodle attempt to be deceptive about their intentions, but I also had one call back and threaten to send an angry e-mail to my boss. They not only call every day on at least one of the phone lines if not more at our office, but hey also send e-mails which is disruptive. Calling with an offer to perform a service is one thing, but when you call with this amount of frequency you are simply being disruptive to business and wasting everyone’s time and the law offices resources. First off, I don’t care if you send an e-mail to my boss as they appreciate me being a filter and trust that I handle incoming calls professionally. Second, this type of behavior is not only unprofessional but a bullying principle that isn’t going to get you anywhere but further away from getting in touch with anyone at my office. Lastly, I would never want to be affiliated with a company that is this manipulative as I can only imagine how they would handle someone’s business if they treat potential customers in this manner. One last thing. I followed up with yodle law the next time they called and spoke with a supervisor about the incident and asked to be removed from their call list but he failed to apologize and we are still receiving phone calls.

  35. Avatar Kristin Jones says:

    Just got a call from Yodle this morning. I pegged it as a sales call right away but when I confronted the caller about the fact that he was calling to provide a service for which he expected payment, he responded with (I find this priceless, actually) “well, to be honest, I’m not even authorized to take a credit card.” Told the guy no, the attorney wasn’t interested. He called back about two seconds later. Told him no several more times, but I’m not even sure he heard me because he simply kept talking, refusing to listen to what I was saying to him, claiming he “just couldn’t understand” why the attorney wouldn’t be interested because “it just didn’t make sense.” Pretty much had to hang up on him.

    Amazingly, a few seconds later he calls back AGAIN. Same thing, won’t stop talking, won’t take no for an answer, even when I point out to him how disrespectful and insulting he’s being by not respecting what I’m telling him, not even when I point out that his company is now the last company we would EVER do business with if we did decide we wanted such services.


  36. Avatar Erin says:

    Same thing just happened to me. I’m the marketing director for a law firm. They incessantly called me for like three weeks and I told them no. They somehow got in touch of one with my managing partners who transferred it to me. Then Yodle tried to bully me into setting up a phone call saying my managing partner was interested. I sent an email saying no again and the Yodle guy replied to MY E-MAIL and CC’ed my managing partner. My managing partner told him no again. Shouldn’t this be illegal?

  37. Avatar John Brewington says:

    At 2:09 PM Arizona time, I received a call from 646-770-8966. Young woman explains to me that she was referred to me by a man, whose name I did not know. I told her I don’t know that guy but she proceeded to give her pitch trying to get me to consider the use of her product Yodle. Standard sales pitch asking questions that would normally receive a yes answer, though I answered no. Pretty clearly a telemarketing call. Dropping the name of someone was an attempt to get inside the reistance many of us have about taking sales calls. Lying to me just pisses me off.

    Sounded to me like she was selling Search Engine Optimization, (SEO). After the opening lie I am not really ready to listen to any more so I shut the conversation down and she went away.

    So I Goolge Yodle and came upon this website, http://www.yodle.com/marketing-essentials. Yes…Yes..it looks like a SEO service that builds websites and does the normal SEO work. Are they a good company? I don’t know. Are they bad? Again I don’t know…all I know is their represenative lied to me from the beginning. Perhaps a little lie but I think these things can be a problem later when you are trying to address issues that may have gone badly for you. I am concerned about a company that would foster deceit in the opening sales pitch to me.

    I have learned a bit about SEO over the years. Enough to be on the front page of Google organically for every key word or phrase I want. So why would I want them? Did they do any homework at all? And so I build this new blogpost about this company. Maybe people with similar issues will respond. They were nice enough to put some of their customers on the web site. Maybe the customers should know about my problem.

  38. Avatar Mike says:

    I have been a customer of Yodle since February 2012.  Even though I am a fairly new customer, I can already see an increase in the number of calls to my office and I have been able to sign up several cases through their services.  I am currently only doing Pay Per Click with them, but I noticed that ever since they created my website I am even being ranked better in the organic section.  The best thing about Yodle is the Customer Services.  My account representative Joe is always available and makes changes to my account in a very timely manner.  I have had a great experience working with Yodle so far.

  39. Avatar John Schmude says:

    I have been with Yodle for over a year and I am actually very happy with their services. I was originally with another company for a few months and not only was their customer service lacking, I also didn’t see the results I anticipated, so I made the switch over to Yodle. I’ve been really impressed with their customer service and I appreciate that my contact is always available and on top of any changes that I need to make to my account. I have not only seen a higher volume of phone calls but the quality of the leads that come in are also good. I am converting an impresively high number inbound leads from Yodle into clients – so high that I oftentimes have to refer potential clients to other attorneys. I would definitely recommend Yodle’s services to other attorneys over other options.

    • Avatar Bill Thomason says:

      Canned Canned Canned– these scammers obviously have no shame

      Give me a break- all these canned Yodle employee responses sound the same– at least mix it up guys!

      • Avatar Radley Moss says:

        Hi Bill – my name is Radley Moss and I am the Director of Corporate Communications at Yodle. I want to let you know that I’ve checked and John Schmude is a Yodle client (as is the firm that posted the previous review). I want to assure you that Yodle has never falsified customer reviews and certainly wouldn’t engage in that practice. Like most companies, we encourage our happy customers to amplify how satisfied they are with Yodle but it’s ultimately for them to determine what they say about us and where and how they choose to do that.

        I’m not sure what your experience is with Yodle but I’m disappointed to see that you’re calling us “scammers” and am curious to find out why you view us in this way. We have more than 30,000 customers – a number of which are lawyers – that are benefiting from the quality leads that we generate. If you’re open to it, I’d really like to have the opportunity to talk to you if you’ve had a negative engagement with us to find out what happened and what we can do to set that right. Please feel free to reach out to me at rmoss@yodle.com or 212-542-5449. I hope to hear from you soon.

  40. Avatar CA lawyer says:

    I ran across this site (sorry to resurrect an old post, but I feel it’s appropriate) while searching for updated info on Yodle.

    I tried them out for a while a couple of years ago. The return on investment was horrible and needless to say, I didn’t renew. They have started calling me again, and as they did in 2009 as noted in comments above, they claimed to be “with Google” and “from Google” but when pressed, admitted they were calling from Yodle.

    Thanks, but no thanks. If nothing’s changed with their sales tactics in 3 years, I can’t imagine their service and value has gone up either.

    • Avatar Radley Moss says:

      Hi – my name is Radley Moss and I am Yodle’s Director of Corporate Communications. I’m sorry to hear that you had a negative experience with us several years ago. I’m surprised to learn that the people who called you said they were “with Google” and “from Google” because our sales reps are always supposed to clearly state that they are with Yodle. If you recall the names of the people who called you and said this, I’d be most appreciative if you can please email me the information at rmoss@yodle.com and I’ll look into this further. I’m also happy to talk about our service and value if you want to call me at 212-542-5449.

      One thing that I think is worth mentioning is that Yodle is a Google AdWords Premier SMB Partner. To be part of this program, we are required to have strong expertise in AdWords and extensive Google product training, as well as certification for its sales and service representatives. You can see more information about this partnership at http://www.google.com/ads/premiersmbpartner/advertisers-findpartner.html#tab=partner-yodle-com and http://www.google.com/ads/premiersmbpartner/.

      • Sam Glover Sam Glover says:

        For what it’s worth, when I got the calls that provoked this post, I remember the salesperson on the phone also claiming to be “from/with Google.” I’ve heard the same thing from other lawyers, which means, I think, that you’ve got a systemic problem.

  41. Avatar John Brewington says:


    As Sam Glover said this seems to be a systemic problem and there is now opportunity to fix that problem rather to to stick in a commercial for your services. Yodle may or may not be the greatest service on earth but lying to get into the front door doesn’t speak well. Communicate with your Corporation so their actions don’t surprise you.

  42. Avatar Chris says:

    Just had a quick phone call with them. I’m a seasoned SEO, so there is very little to impress me with, save of course joining a service to help automate profile management/social postings.

    The call with Yodle was strange.

    After closing their “demo” video, I was asked to log in with join.me (I don’t log in to other’s screen or share my own ever). When I said no thank you to using join.me, I was asked “… Why are you treating me so poorly? …”

    That approach is annoying and cheap. Reminded me of the movie “Boiler Room”.

  43. Avatar Kevin England says:

    Spoke with them today and something odd happened when I tried to signup. I kept asking them to send me the contract for a look. Eventually someone got on the phone and accused me of being in the same business? It’s obvious to me now that they are having MAJOR problems. Lucky for me they lost my business before they got it. I just wish I had located this article before I wasted hours of my time.

  44. Avatar Justin says:

    I have a client that was using their services. Upon wanting to switch to my hosting services he was informed that he did not own his domain name. Looking into this further they registered his business name’s website to their name and address. Other than waiting for this domain to expire (in yet another year) is there anything you suggest other than starting a long fight of threatening letters from our lawyers?

  45. Avatar Ken says:

    Update: Yodle has surpassed 30,000 customers and $100 million in revenue. Could their services really be that bad? They propositioned me last week, though I’m not going to retain their services.

    One thing is crystal clear about all marketing services: sometimes they work, and sometimes they don’t.

  46. Avatar Brian Duce says:

    After a year’s campaign at $750,during which there were many service issues, such as my mirror web-site being down for 20 days with out Yodle even noticing until we called and said why have we not had a call for 20 days. Well you change webhost and it shut down our site, you should have told us it is your fault not ours. It is not like anyone actually does anything at Yodle unless you call and complain, then they do not do much.

    In an attempt to seek more client’s or close the door’s I was convinced by a salesman to add another campaign to SEO optimization, and a DUI web-site. I tried a three month program, and increased my spending to $2,000 a month. From the DUI site I got 4 marketing phone calls one month, none the third. They charged my credit card a total of almost $2,300 per month saying it was a mix up and state there is no refunds or credits they have spent the money. During this period of increased pay per click advertising on my first campaign it actually went down in calls?

    Where did the money go out the window is right. I have been subject to a con. You can be to, do not research your company, and believe what is to good to be true, and give them a credit card number. I would run not walk away from Yodle period.

  47. Avatar John Brewington says:

    I am not a professional SCO person though have learned over the years how to do some things right in so far as getting my particular keywords and phrases not only to the front page of Google but listed as either first or second on that front page. Upon occasion I will help out friends and/or clients achieve that same ranking though and am very diligent in telling them that there is no guarantee ever that I will be able to accomplish this.

    I do a great deal of painstaking research to establish how much the competition is involved in SEO also. In my industry SEO is just now catching on, the same with others. But lawyers seem to have grasped the idea some time ago. I have a friend or acquaintance a DUI attorney that used to spend well over a quarter of $1 million a year in yellow page ads placing his on the back cover of metro Phoenix. He is no longer a Yellow Page guy rather he is now spending the same amount of money and getting better results by putting it into SEO. Frankly there’s a few others out there like him that are spending monstrous amounts of money to make sure they’re on the front page where they want under their key phrases and words. It would be an irresponsible act for anyone to suggest that they might have success usurping the position of these deep pockets. I have plenty of attorney friends that would do just about anything to be on the front page, I just tell them it’s highly unlikely.

    The work can be very time intensive so spending cash on the enterprise makes sense but ethically just as a moral human being I could never accept money from someone under the pretext that I’m going to get them favorable position when it just isn’t going to happen. The law field is one of the most difficult unless you plan on being the number 1 guy in Dogpatch USA.

  48. Avatar Todd says:

    I have been reading Sam’s blog and participating in the Lawyerist Lab for a while now and this is the first place I went to after spending 45 min on the phone today with Yodle. I personally do not appreciate the hard sales tactics that they went through, but I heard them out. It started out as $699/month and $475 set-up, but he kept going back to his “manager” and reducing the price to finally $399/month and no set-up. Of course the salesperson wanted an answer immediately even when I told him that I will do my own research before committing to anything. It fails the smell test and I am glad that I went with my gut feeling and told them “No.” Thank you Sam for this discussion and the comments. BTW I found almost unanimous complaints all over the web.

  49. Avatar Vince Hee says:

    I hired Yodle to clean up my visibility on the internet and agreed to a small number of hits to try to develop a neighboring county for my growth and visibility. Little did I know that if someone is looking for me and knows my name, Yodle was paying for top placement and showed up above my own website. They were redirected to the Yodle cheapened version of my website and then they presented it to me as how successful their program is. I view that as a questionable practice.

    Now, if someone is searching for me the website still shows up and the phone rings and says the party is no langer at this number. I would recommend someone who does not think they are the be-all, end-all and find someone with enough humility to see that they have an error and fix it. I will not be going back to Yodle becayse of this.

  50. Avatar MD says:

    I have yet to find someone for whom this service works well. I spent over 2300 and received 300 in client revenue through them. great results! just kidding. they completely lied to me in the sales, saying they help business accounting firms get clients every day- I asked this question many times, actually- and of course after I signed up the account manager tells me they don’ have any way to help business accounting firms- only tax prep. It turns out what they did was lump me with Jackson Hewitt- so I got about 4 calls in 8 weeks for Jackson Hewitt (when the calls were actually real calls and not people from other parts of the country looking for a plumber or something) and when the calls would ask why I didn’t say “Jackson Hewitt” when answering the phone, and I explained we were a business accounting firm, I was hung up on- they were looking for cheap tax prep services- whcih was not what I was offering. Never got a single person calling for business accounting services. All my correspondance with their people was removed (if you send an email to them through their system- you don’t have a copy of it) Tricky tricky…. so now I only have copies of the complaints and correspondance I sent after I realized this trick. Terrible company. If I took peolpe’s money and didn’t do any work- I’d have pretty high profits too. Total and compltete scam

  51. Avatar Kerry Drake says:

    They roped me in with a guarantee that they would refund my $695.00 per month if they could not produce more work and profitability with their system. The leads cost more than the few projects they brought in and they still haven’t refunded any monies as they promised to, to try their system. $6k of new work but their sytem cost me $7k to have. So I am working for them and losing money……
    They owe me a refund………………
    Stay clear of these guys……………

  52. Avatar Phil says:

    “We have hired over 100 people in 2009 in the face of the worst recession in 80 years. Yodle grew 700% YoY last year and will grow another 300% this year.”

    So what does that mean? You have a good sales process, good at closing people?

    I don’t care how much you grow.

    What I care about is… how profitable your clients are that use your service.

    Why do companies talk about themselves, and not their clients?

  53. Avatar Michael says:

    I will have to agree that Yodle should not be promising what it cannot deliver. I have had my own website for at least a year as an electrical contractor. I advised Yodle of this but they said they would be able to drive business my way and they said a very modest 20 leads in the first 3 months. I expected at least that, so when after 3 1/2 weeks I had not one lead! I teied to explain to them that I had an a through Google before, so he asked what did i expect for them to do for me. so instead of saying thst when I initially called they welcomed me filling their pockets. what a horrible company. I called Yodle about it and told them I wanted to end the business relationship. They were not very nice about it, I asked for a partial refund and they stated they do not give back funds. I asked what they would do to remedy the situation and he said they would give 1 month free after I threatened to contact the BBB and New York States Attorney. They did not live up to their word. They took my Google and Bing ad down and took my money. I would recommend that no one ever use their service, they are a scam!

  54. Avatar Andy says:

    The ad for male waxing made my day. Thanks for the laugh.

  55. Avatar Felix says:

    I got a call from Yodle today said they were from the “Legal Department” to make themselves sound important. Sales person would not admit they were making a sales call. So I asked “What the hell you want” and salesman said I will not be good fit for them. hahahaha. It gets them off the phone, especially when I said he had thirty seconds to tell me what he was selling.

  56. Avatar tommy says:

    Yodle Law isn’t only a bunch of pushy and arrogant sales jockies, they are absolutely con artists. They parted my firm with hundreds of dollars and produced absolutely NOTHING. Overnight we went from being an Estate Planning and Business establishment practice, to being Family Law, Bankruptcy, Criminal and Real Estate attornies. Not ONE SINGLE bonifide lead was provided over the 90 day “trial period.” Their web site that was allegedly produced to “market” our firm looked like a Junior High School project for beginning web site designers. None of the links ever functioned correctly and the entire web site was crammed with absolutely FALSE INFORMATION about our firm, who we are and what we do. When Yodle calls you, RUN AS FAST AS YOU CAN! These people are absolute cons.

  57. Avatar Kit Love says:

    I work for a lawyer that they are trying to sell to currently. Just wanted to thank EVERYONE here (esp. the author) for this wonderful feedback to show my boss before he talks to them again!!!

  58. Avatar Mark Wayne says:

    I have worked with Yodle law for about a few months and they have proven to deliver results. You can even see at the bottom of this page, Yodle Law even stepped up to the plate on taking on the challenge for running one law firm Sam Glover referred. A lot of people fail to realize that in this article the purpose was to do an overview of what the company does. They have over 35,000 clients and they have about 115 complaints, which is about 0.001% of their customers that they are currently working with. I was worried at first trust me, and I did a lot of research before signing up. So, they can’t fake the BBB at all what so ever because they research and investigate every issue and Yodle Law has solved each and every single complaint they have and still maintain a A+ rating. So, here is the missing part to this article that people fail to realize about the results that Yodle Law did for Sam Glover’s Challenge.

    Part 6 to this Article: https://lawyerist.com/yodle-challenge-update-6/

    Then the final results Part 7: https://lawyerist.com/yodle-marketing-results/
    So, please folks make sure you work with the sign up process correctly and always stay in touch with your marketing specialist because they can change any need that you want to take care of.

    • Avatar Rich T says:

      Mark, I have a hard time believing that you are anything but a shill for Yodle

      With all due respect, your math is totally off. While still relatively small, the actual percentage is 0.329% (or about 3 in 1,000).Each actual complaint with the BBB represents somewhere between 10 (3 in 100 customers) and 100 (3 in 10 customers) complaints that were ‘not’ asserted with the BBB.

      If you review the cases cited by the New York BBB, you’ll find that in virtually all cases Yodle did nothing for their clients ‘until’ they were confronted by a BBB complaint. The BBB (as generous as they are) pays a blind eye to the number of complaints filed and fixates only on the percentage resolved. Hence Yodle can maintain their ‘A+’ rating by paying off those that ‘do’ compalin. Most businesses lick their wounds and move on. (A word to those already hurt by Yodle – file a complaint with the NY BBB, Yodle will most likely work with you so as to keep their A+ score unsullied.)

      Yodle pays to be a member of the BBB, in part so that they can look like a good citizen to their potential clients. Where I live, there are over 2,000 practicing CPAs – of that number only three are members of a BBB. Legitimate businesses don’t need the BBB. In many cases those businesses that are members are questionable operations and need to do ‘something’ to ‘prove’ that they’re a ‘good’ citizen. Paying off complaints such as Yodle has done is a small price to pay for an ‘A+’ rating. Just for purposes of comparison Chevron, a multi-billion dollar company has an A+ rating and a sum total of 30 complaints in the last twelve months – the vast majority of which were from people who hadn’t paid their bill! Walmart, which is the largest retail marketer in the world (over $489 billion in annual sales), had only 973 complaints (fewer than 1 complaint in eleven stores) in the last year.

      There are several other web sites where there are numerous complaints from former Yodle clients. In those cases where a Yodle representative did respond, it was always couched in terms of ‘I’m sorry for your experience’ but there was never any real resolution provided other than to call the rep that was posting. Not in one case did I see a subsequent post by the customer saying that they received satisfactory resolution.

      FYI, I just went through Yodle’s high pressure sales tactics. The good news is that I didn’t bite (the good thing about dual monitors is that you can check things out while they’re doing their presentation – and what I saw wasn’t good!). The bad news is that I had to endure just about every high pressure tactic in the book (yes, there’s a book about it – and each tactic has a name). I was pressured, harassed, given a one time only offer, given the silent treatment, handed off to a manager and condescended to. In spite of all of this, I chose to say ‘no’ and stick to it. they made it clear that they weren’t happy and that I was the ultimate fool!

      There is no question that improving your web presence is an ideal goal for most of us. Interestingly, I have used a web service specific to my niche for several years, and pay a walloping $49.50 per month, with no set up fee and no contract. Other than for tweaking some of the content, I have done virtually nothing else and yet I’m at the top of my list. While my niche is somewhat unique, it points out the fact that it doesn’t take gobs of money to get a strong web presence.

      Moral of the story? Stay away from Yodle! they only thing that they’ve proven that they’re good at is extracting your hard earned money from your pocket!

  59. Avatar Bobby says:

    Sam, even though I’m not a lawyer (I’m an accountant), I find your blog very useful as I work hand in hand with attorneys. I know this article is a couple years old but the content still rings true to this day. Got a cold call from a pleasant and polite woman form Yodle the other day and decided to schedule a demo appointment with a “specialist” 2 days later, simply bc she was pleasant on the phone and I was having a good day. Then came the demo-call which started off fine then turned into what thousands upon thousands of people have described, a used car lot/boiler room book of sales tactics. It was cringe worthy but I had fun playing the game with the snotty salesman only to deny him the sale and waste his time after he wanted to act “cute” with me.

    Anyway, my experience led me to create an account so I could comment about my experiences 4 years after this article and to hopefully sway business owners away from these guys. Good job on the blog.

  60. Avatar PI_law says:

    I am an Attorney in Dallas that has been with Yodle for a year. Just about everything the author describes is incorrect…

    • Avatar Sam Glover says:

      So you are accusing me of fabricating that screenshot and making up a story about the phone calls I received? And you think I actually did hire Yodle?

      Or did you mean to write “I have had a different experience with Yodle”? Because it wouldn’t actually surprise me to find out that, in the four-and-a-half years since I wrote this post, Yodle cleaned up its act.

      But in that case, I refer you to all of the comments — many quite recent — describing the same thing I experienced.

      • Avatar joe bahgat says:

        They may have cleaned up their act in terms of the quality of the product they provide, but in my experience (within the past year) their solicitation tactics haven’t improved since Sam originally wrote this post. Their reps are obnoxious; they even made shit up to tell my secretary so that she would be tricked into putting their calls through to me.

  61. Avatar Jai says:

    Yodle is the best, they already a lot better now. All these complaints are over 2 years old. They have taken care of every complaint. Also they are number 9 on the forbes list .. Thank you Yodle!!!!

  62. Avatar Julie Painter says:

    I began receiving multiple sales calls after I started my company. They would not take no for an answer and argued with me repeatedly that I needed their services. When I found out the cost of signing up with them I knew this was some sort of a scam. An Ad Agency would not charge what they wanted and the monthly fee was way out of my budget for a new start up company. Even after I asked the salesman to stop arguing with me, I continued to receive calls from other pushy sales reps. I don’t need this kind of service. No thanks.

  63. Avatar Law1092 says:

    I was suckered into using Yodle last year when they cornered me at the ABA Tech Show. Biggest mistake I have made in my legal career. I was told they could help me rank locally better and since they wrote the yellow “for dummies” book on this exact subject, I felt like they would be good. So I hired them and they immediately published a bunch of incorrect information about my firm without me even knowing. Then they published the wrong phone number for my firm in about 100 online directories. I’m still trying to clean up their mess a year later. Their “customer service” is horrid and clueless. Eventually they presented me with a mutual release, asking that I release them from all the damage they caused and they will stop billing me. I happily signed it just to get rid of them. I really can’t put into words how bad this company is. The absolute worst.

  64. Avatar Cyrus Dugger says:

    I had the same hard sell experience as Glover. On the call I felt like I was being sold an adjustable rate mortgage back in 2007 or something. What’s worse, before I took the call I was inclined to use them – that was until the sales person attempted to bully and insult me into submission. Haven’t experienced anything like that on a sales call ….. well ….. ever. Anything that’s a hard sell is not worth buying. Good luck Yodle.

  65. Avatar MN Small Firm Lawyer says:

    So I read this article, and joined Yodle anyway for a trial membership after believing the pitch that they have improved their methods. In short, Yodle has not improved their game at all. The sales tactics were very aggressive, and the pitch wasn’t wholly unreasonable. I agreed to pay $800 per month, of which $500 would be spent on google ad words. I had been buying ad words earlier with little success, so I wanted to see what so-called professionals could do with ad words. They also offered to build a free mobile site for me, which they said I would own (this was later found to be untruthful).
    Fast forward two months, and I never received even one qualified lead. I did get a couple odd phone calls out of state. Since they build a separate site for you, I think Yodel actually hurt my SEO on my website, and also confused clients who were now finding two websites for me.
    The support was poor, and when I shared that I wasn’t getting any leads, the techs seemed concerned, but had nothing to offer to fix the problem. Yodle might be worthwhile for a service professional with no web presence who wants quick leads (like a plumber or appliance repair man). For a professional, it has been about the worst marketing experience I can imagine, and I would strongly discourage any lawyer from using their services.

  66. Avatar Steve Hansen says:

    Thank you all for posting. I’m grateful that you took the time to share your negative experience and help others avoid the same fate.

  67. Avatar BG says:

    I was contacted by a Yodle rep yesterday and agreed to jump on a call. The sales person seemed knowledgeable and did a good job with the representation. However, 50 minutes into the call, I needed to get back to work, so I suggested I look over everything in order to make an informed decision and follow up.

    That’s when I realized, “Oh, it’s one of those kind of companies.” I was super turned off by the hard sell at the end and had no problem deciding against it. Had it not been for that very last part of the call, it’s very likely I would not have researched them and instead would have provided payment info.

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