Angie's List continues to make very large changes as they move to more of an advertiser supported model. We have included the text of an email (below) that was sent to us by a reader. Other readers have reported similar statements from Angie's List. The trend appears to be very clear. With the coming changes, it will be much harder for consumers to find information on companies who are not advertisers. All A and B advertisers will appear first. There will be only one or two pages of total results. Non-advertisers will be limited to their name and rating. The service description and number of reviews will be removed. Angie's List will run advertisements for competitors on the pages of those that do not advertise. Finally, the site is introducing a “Certified by Angie's List” badge which will only be available to advertisers. Angie's List previously changed the list sort order rotation so that advertisers get equal time on top and bottom.
These changes are going to fundamentally change your relationship with the company. In many ways this is not only moving Angie's List closer to the Yelp business model but it is also taking it one step further by removing company information and the numbers of reviews from the listings of those that do not advertise. It will be interesting to see how these changes are accepted or rejected by consumers.
"I’ve called and emailed several times to inform you of changes and improvements we were beginning to implement that would directly affect your listing, but I have not heard back from you. As a result, you have dropped within the search results, as of this morning. Unless you take immediate action to secure your placement on Angie’s List, you will no longer continue to receive the amount of exposure or business from our members that you previously have enjoyed.
As I mentioned before, premier placement on Angie’s List is no longer free. We have implemented changes to the ways that companies appear on and within the search results. These changes include:
1. Search results are now restricted to only display 1-2 pages of top rated companies.
2. Sorting logic has changed to make our advertising partners more prominent (Advertising A’s, B’s, then all non-advertising companies).
3. Company description has been removed for any company that is not advertising.
4. The total number of reviews has been removed for any company that is not advertising.
5. Advertising Service Providers will begin displaying our new “Certified” Badge.
6. Coupons, deals, and incentive offers from our advertising partners will begin displaying on the profile pages of non-advertising service providers.
7. Additional improvements are being made that will re-direct members to look at the pages of our advertising partners, when they are viewing a non-advertisers profile. I have been trying to reach you in the weeks leading up to these changes being implemented, because you have great standing with our members and I want you to have the opportunity to benefit from our growing network of homeowners utilizing their Angie’s List membership to help them find a great company to buy & schedule services with, but I haven’t heard back from you.
If you value the customers you have received from Angie’s List & are interested in protecting your placement, give me a call as soon as possible."
Derek Christian is founder and owner of My Maid Service, Cincinnati’s largest, independent professional cleaning company. Prior to that, he spent twelve years at P&G working on household cleaning products. Derek is Co-publisher and Director of Business Development & Sales for Cleaning Business Today.