Survey: Amazon remains most trusted SMB brand, Yelp still ‘number one’ at the bottom

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Business networking site Alignable yesterday released another installment of its small business (SMB) vendor trust rankings. This is based on net-promoter survey (NPS) data on dozens of companies that provide various services, including marketing, to SMBs.

The company collects (“would you recommend this business?”) data from “hundreds of thousands” of SMBs on a monthly and quarterly basis. One caveat is that Alignable doesn’t quality respondents first as customers of the companies they’re rating. Alignable argues however that its open method provides a more complete picture of a company’s reputation.

NPS scoring digital marketing

The new SMB brand trust results are similar to those released in Q4 of last year. Amazon remains the most trusted brand among SMBs and Yelp is still the least trusted. PayPal replaces Twitter on the new top 10 list. On the bottom end, new entrants included Angie’s List, Craig’s List and Web.com.

There are some companies on the list whose scores are worse than those appearing in the bottom 10. They’ve not been included on the list because they don’t have a sufficient number of ratings yet and Alignable considers them more volatile and less reliable.

Most and Least Trusted SMB Brands Based on NPS Survey Data

Alignable

I spoke to Alignable CEO Eric Groves (a founder of ConstantContact) and CMO Dan Slagen to gain some more insight into what’s behind these scores. They don’t ask SMBs for the rationale behind their ratings, although the businesses are able to make comments.

Many of the negatively rated companies on the list and others receiving low scores share the fact that they’re SMB marketing platforms or providers. I would speculate that SMBs are fundamentally ambivalent paying for traffic or leads. Groves pointed out that companies in the “retention” business (e.g., MailChimp), as opposed to customer acquisition, tend to do better. There are various reasons why this might be.

Regarding Google’s positive ranking, I suspect this is more about “Google,” the provider of consumer services and not “AdWords.” (The low Yelp rating might contradict that thesis, however.) There’s more investigation to be done on the question of whether the ratings are affected by the nature of the services provided as much as by the actual delivery of those services.


About The Author

Greg Sterling is a Contributing Editor at Search Engine Land. He writes a personal blog, Screenwerk, about connecting the dots between digital media and real-world consumer behavior. He is also VP of Strategy and Insights for the Local Search Association. Follow him on Twitter or find him at Google+.


 

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