WHEN FINDING STAFFING PAYROLL FUNDING COMPANIES ON THE INTERNET CAN BE MISLEADING
Steve Capper, Principal/CEO Flexible Funding - July 18, 2017
Utilizing the internet to find exactly the right payroll funding company for your business is wisely done with some layman’s knowledge about web ‘ranking systems’… criteria that search engines like Google use to determine the order of search results. The highest service that a search engine can provide is to provide you with ‘useful’ information…the most useful
information you need to make the best decisions for your business or personal needs.. Suppose you want to learn about purchasing the highest quality unicycle. Most people would simply Google ‘unicycles’, and in the interest of time, only look at the websites of the first two or three listings.
Are those really the finest unicycles, or only the unicycle ‘websites’ that managed to get to the top of the listings?
In the past, the primary criteria for a top Google listing was, ‘does this website provide the information that is most useful to the searcher?’ That used to be, and logically from the consumer’s point of view should always be the holy grail of why a website is higher in search result listings. As of the writing of this article, Google has many other high priorities. Among them are:
- To continuously change the ranking criteria or mathematical algorithm/system for ranking so that nobody duplicates it, knows all components of it, and so that nobody games or tricks the system for better results.
- Keep everybody two steps behind and off guard so that Google remains a mysterious and mighty, highly profitable money-making machine.
In some subject categories (including ‘Funding’), Google has so far been able to successfully achieve most of the goals in the two bullet points above. Except one– keeping website builders from tricking or gaming their ranking system, at the consumer cost of NOT always being provided the most useful information or the most useful shopping experience. It’s no secret among professionals that help companies optimize websites for better search engine ranking, that many have been able to deceptively work or game Google’s system. Such efforts at tricking search engines are generally referred to as Black-Hat SEO-search engine optimization.
The following are examples of how search engines have been tricked in such a way that you may not be finding the best solution for your company:
One measurement that Google has used to improve a website’s ranking in list results is ‘external linking’. These are web link connections to a website, or to your website, from other external websites. At times, Google and others have deemed that the more external links from other sites to your site, the better. But there is a problem with that. If you are a company selling payroll funding for staffing agencies, having hundreds of web links (that have nothing to do with the subject of payroll funding or staffing agencies) from external websites connecting to your site–doesn’t mean that you are providing the most ‘useful’ information about the subject of payroll funding. Black Hat SEO’s sometimes build hundreds or thousands of these worthless links in an attempt to deceptively trick Google for better results.
The problem of links has become more confusing over the years as search engines have waffled back and forth as to when to reward (or even punish) for links in determining your ultimate ranking order. This may apply to the number of links or what they deem to be the ‘quality’ of any link. At one point organizations began giving grades to websites (aka ‘domain authority’ grade). If a website has a higher domain authority grade, when they link to your site it would help you move up in search result rankings. (‘Quality’ rank or high domain authority grade doesn’t always exactly equate with ‘usefulness’ for a web searcher though.)
Some of the variables for ranking sites and how it might affect a focus on the subject of funding include:
If a site is a well-designed website, or if the site was constructed with some favored website building program such as Word Press, it might get a higher value as a ‘quality’ site.
Unfortunately, that somebody built a website with a great layout or used a certain program to build it… with a link from that high-graded site to the site you are reading about payroll funding… doesn’t assure that the site you are reading is providing the most useful information about the subject of payroll funding.
Do a lot of people visit that external highly-graded site? That a lot of people traffic the external site that linked to the site you are reading about payroll funding does not mean you are being provided the most useful information about the subject of payroll funding.
Do they appear to be an authority or expert? If the highly-graded external website linking to the site you are reading (about payroll funding) is an expert on any other thing than the subject of payroll funding, then it may not be useful or might be misleading you.
Do they frequently change their site or add information? A website can load up new information, or blogs, at a greater frequency than other sites and as a result get a higher grade… and the information may be about every other thing in the world except payroll funding. Many companies hire professional bloggers to constantly pump out new information. That the frequent output/content producer links to a second website about payroll funding doesn’t necessarily mean that the (second linked-to) site is providing you the most pertinent information about payroll funding.
One specific example of how a search engine like Google, and you in turn, may be tricked with link building is the case of a funding company owned by a bank. The bank webmaster linked the websites of every single consumer/retail bank branch of the parent company (many hundreds of them) to the website of the subsidiary payroll funding company. If the search engine doesn’t realize that there is a parent-subsidiary relationship it might count every single branch as an external link. Street-retail banking branches focused on consumers really have little to do with the subject of staffing agency payroll funding that you may be trying to learn about. The questionable linking tactic may have temporarily helped them get a better search result listing…but may have led you in the wrong direction to find the best funding company for your needs.
Google gives your site brownie points toward better ranking if there is a lot of ‘internal linking.’ Internal linking are links that take you from one page on your own website to another page within your own website. Google also gives better ranking to sites that are extensive…with a lot of pages. At one payroll funding company that is owned by a software company, the pages about payroll funding are linked from and to hundreds of pages about software, making the payroll funding site appear more extensive than it really is. Again, that does not necessarily provide one with the most useful information about funding.
Reading Between the Lines
Anybody can write a sales pitch and get listed on the web. Write up six hundred words and stick in the words ‘payroll financing’ four or five times in the paragraph and to some extent the search engine machine/robots that analyze and rank websites will believe you know something about payroll financing, or that your website is about payroll financing. It is really not so hard to write up flowery descriptions that tout services, and to steal nouns, verbs, and adjectives from other websites that seem to be doing well in ranking.
It can be difficult to read between the lines of search engine ranking criteria/algorithms. Whenever a search engine’s priority of remaining a mysterious moving target, mighty and profitable becomes a higher priority than providing the most useful information to users, the web surfers get short changed. Google or others that may grade and rank funding company websites really don’t know the funding business…they haven’t spent years in the trenches of the funding world themselves. The search engines can only take a stab at lumping a website into a ‘category’ partially steered by what a web developer feeds them, whether it is accurate or not.
Funding Company ‘Flexibility’ Overcomes Search Engine Ranking Flaws
If you ever found yourself stuck with the wrong payroll funding partner/provider after finding them on the internet…looking back you would realize that ‘true flexibility’ is the number one quality that matters most. And there is only ONE TRUE flexibility; the ability to leave or exit a funding program when you want, for any reason, without any financial or legal ramifications for doing so.
Dozens of other funding and factoring companies use the word ‘flexible’ or ‘flexibility’ in their website copy. It’s a sales buzzword that so many latch onto, ending up in website copy and with no obligation to live up to. The only true flexibility is where you as the customer (and not the funding company) have the last word…the ultimate final say of the when, how, and extent of flexibility. If you are unsatisfied you must have the option to exit the program… get out of the finance contract at any time without any financial ramifications (such as early termination penalties, minimum monthly amounts you would be responsible for until the end of the contract term, or deposits that are nonrefundable.)
If contract provisions allow you to be sued, and be responsible for the funding company’s legal costs https://www.flexiblefund.com/legal-expenses-in-payroll-funding-and-financing-contracts/ or see video at https://www.flexiblefund.com/video-legal-fees-embedded-within-payroll-funding-financing-agreements/ then flexibility is limited. And if you sign contract provisions where your ability to sue the funding company or your recourse is limited by legal ‘waivers’–releasing the funding company, it’s officers, and employees from liability for any behavior or actions–then flexibility is always going to be limited.
One must understand that some aspects of accounts receivables funding and/or payroll factoring do not normally allow much flexibility at all. For example, accounts receivable payroll funding companies do not generally allow you to receive monies from your customers or deposit them into your own bank account. Rather, customer payments must flow to a funding company P.O. Box or a funding company bank routing number. You may think that the grass is greener on the other side of the hill and that there may be more flexibility at another funding company elsewhere. You may be deceiving yourself.
Sometimes, insight into a funding company’s flexibility will be evident in lawsuit filings. If a funding company’s contract venue were the state of Pennsylvania, an attorney might search Pennsylvania to see how many lawsuits the funding company has been involved in and the nature of the lawsuits. (The ‘nature’ of the lawsuits are quite important; if a funding company customer stole money from the funding company by fraudulent means and the customer was subsequently sued, that really has nothing to do with the funding company’s flexibility.) Major states of population and business activity–California, Illinois, Texas, Florida and New York might be searched for cases of ‘inflexible’ behavior. And Federal courts may also be searched. As some funding companies have changed their names over a period of years, without changing ownership or management, it is important to know the different names they have done business under before doing any legal searches.
Many funding companies lock you into long term contracts with penalties for leaving early; the primary reason for doing so is so they can sell the portfolio of handcuffed funding customers for a lot of money to another funding company, bank, or some other party. The sale is all facilitated by a provision in the funding contract allowing the funding agreement with it’s handcuff term to be ‘assignable’ (or transferable) to other parties. If you do not like the new purchasers and they are even less flexible, it is highly unlikely that you can leave. On the other hand, if there is NO long-term commitment and you do not like the new purchasers of the funding company you have options in your own best interest.
True flexibility, which only comes with the freedom to exit a funding program, is the only assurance that you can undo a mislead by Google, other search engine ranking system, website developer or deceptive search engine optimization effort. Ideally this aspect/option should be part of the ranking criteria/algorithms. It is the only assurance that you always have market competitive pricing and good service. A funding company should have to earn your respect, trust and loyalty every day.