How Raven Tools Ruined It All – My Raven Tools Review

  • Matthew Woodward
  • Updated on Jan 30, 2024
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IMPORTANT UPDATE: Jon Henshaw from Raven Tools posts his response.

One of the motivating factors for starting this blog was because I was sick and tired of seeing the reputation of the internet marketing/SEO industry getting trashed.

I’ve taken a close look at Majestic SEO along with SEO Link Monster in the past.

When I asked Matt Cutts what he likes & dislikes about the blog he said-

Matt Cutts feedback

I have to agree with him – the best posts are the ones that cut through the underbelly of the Internet Marketing world.

So now it’s time to turn my focus to Raven Tools deceptive practices.

What you read here doesn’t necessarily reflect on the quality of their tools and I urge you to check out their 30 day free trial and make your own mind up!

A Brief History

On January 11th 2013 I published a post to find the best backlink checker which included Ahrefs, Majestic SEO, SEO Spyglass, SEOMoz & Raven Tools.

Out of a possible 516,771 backlinks the tools managed to find a combined total of 178,242 – 34% of them.

Backlink Checker # Total Found % Total Found
Ahrefs 48,619 9.41%
Majestic SEO 36,911 7.14%
SEOMoz 39,411 7.63%
Raven Tools 34,206 6.62%
SEO Spyglass 19,095 3.70%

This caused all sorts of controversy – Majestic SEO got their knickers in a twist but the SEO Spyglass team handled it fantastically.

On the same day I published the post – I also applied to the Raven Tools affiliate program.

Raven Tools affiliate application

Jeremy Rivera – the Raven Tools affiliate manager at that time followed me on Twitter a few weeks later.

Raven Tools Twitter

When I did my backlink checker test I was actually very disappointed with the backend of Raven Tools.

The front end looked very clean and well-polished, but the backend left an awful lot to be desired.

At that time I had no plans to follow up and take a closer look.

However I knew Raven Tools were working hard to improve the service and when they released the beta of their new Site Auditor they reached out to me for a review.

Site auditor

Jeremy acknowledges that my review of Raven Tools as a backlink checker was pretty poor, but he accepted it was fair & thorough.

Nearly 2 months after publishing the post and applying to the affiliate program – my application was approved!

Raven tools review affiliate approval

Jeremy then very kindly reached out to me to offer his full support and any help with promoting Raven Tools.

Promotion help

They went on to highlight the fact that building honest & detailed reviews of Raven Tools was the best way to promote them.

honest reviews

Unfortunately in 11 months my honest review didn’t drive a single sale after 350 clicks and 72 trial signups.

But that was to be expected really due to their poor performance as a backlink checker.

Affiliate statistics

In my April 2013 income report Jeremy kindly dropped by and left a comment.

We went back and forth a little discussing how Raven Tools could improve its affiliate offering.

Jeremy comment

As you can see Jeremy is very open and honest about the situation and we have a great relationship!

He even offered his advice on how to increase the conversion rate of the trials.

Advice

Jeremy was doing a great job as an affiliate manager. Since the initial post was published we had built a positive relationship!

We also discussed a follow up post comparing SEOMoz & Raven Tools after I had received requests from readers to create a more dedicated Raven Tools tutorial.

A Quick Recap

  • Jan 11th – I publish the backlink checker post & apply to the Raven Tools affiliate program
  • Feb 1st – Jeremy Rivera follows me on Twitter
  • Feb 25th – Raven Tools ask me to review their new Site Auditor beta
  • Mar 6th – My affiliate application is approved & I update the original post to include my affiliate links
  • May 2nd – Jeremy & I discuss how to improve the affiliate offering for Raven Tools

A Positive Relationship Was Formed

 At this point I felt I had a great relationship with Raven Tools.
 
The original post mentioned the fact they offer a full suite of tools to manage campaigns – but checking backlinks was still part of their front end sales proposition.

Sure they didn’t perform that well as a backlink checker but they acknowledged that the test was fair but were working hard to improve their service.

Everything was great and I had spotted that Raven Tools had completely overhauled the back end, something I was previously very disappointed with.

They have also been adding new features to the suite nearly every week which is impressive by anyone’s measure.

So a more dedicated follow up post exploring the progress Raven Tools had made was certainly on the horizon!

Readers were asking for it & I like to give my readers what they want.

So What Went Wrong?

On October 30th, more than 10 months after publishing my case study to find the best backlink checker they terminated my affiliate account without warning.

I was pretty shocked by that, I was under the impression we had a great relationship!

Raven tools relationship decline

As you can see I copied Jeremy into the reply and even used my bestest /sadface

At some point it seems Jeremy Rivera left the company and with it, so did my positive relationship with Raven Tools along with the companies affiliate management skills.

This was the reply I received to my /sadface

That's not very nice

It took them less than 30 minutes to reply and destroy what was a positive relationship with someone that could have been a key affiliate.

An affiliate with an audience that wanted to hear more about Raven Tools.

OBVIOUSLY when I wrote the backlink checkers post I wasn’t trying to see which was the best one. I went to all that effort purely to find a way to rubbish Raven Tools in order to promote others… Apparently.

When Founders Take Control

Interestingly this email came from one of Raven Tools founders, notice the use of the phrase ‘my company’.

A person that is in charge of key business decisions and the future direction of Raven Tools.

The direction they have chosen to take, is not a good one.

This wouldn’t be so bad if it had come from an affiliate manager, but the fact it has come from a key decision maker in the business sets off alarm bells left, right & centre.

They are certainly taking an aggressive approach to negative reviews.

Write Good Stuff About Us Or Else!

The key quote from that email is this-

I seriously don’t mind fair criticism (which that was not) and I also don’t think it’s my place to tell you what to write. However, until we’re removed from that article, I have no desire to have you as an affiliate.

In essence, until I write something good about them, they are holding my affiliate account hostage.

Previously Raven Tools had told me my test was fair & thorough. Now they are telling me that it’s a misrepresentation & I was just looking for an opportunity to unfairly rubbish them.

They also don’t feel like it’s their place to tell me what to write but in the same sentence tell me to remove my honest review from the original post.

This certainly challenges their earlier communication to affiliates that stated the best way to generate sales was to provide an honest review.

What they actually meant to say was:

 If you don’t write a positive honest review, we will shut you down.
 
Perhaps that’s why the affiliates that don’t write ‘honest’ reviews perform so poorly, because they don’t have an affiliate account anymore.

Sloppy drive by emails like that certainly don’t encourage me to write anything nice. But I will be honest.

Do Not Trust Raven Tools Reviews

So with that in mind, how can you trust any positive Raven Tools reviews?

They are actively scouring the internet and threatening people to remove any form of negativity about them across the web.

This sort of practice really grinds my gears.

Previously they were reaching out to people, building relationships and looking for ways to improve. What happened?

Although this email doesn’t necessarily reflect on the quality of their tools, you should check out their free trial and do your own evaluation!

What Are They Hiding?

I wanted to find out what was going on and had suddenly caused this threatening backlash.

So I responded with this email-

Raven Tools response

A pretty reasonable set of questions I thought.

They didn’t agree and ignored the email entirely! After throwing their toys out of the pram they wanted nothing more to do with the issue.

Over the next 2 weeks I sent them a few emails, each of which were ignored.

Ignored email

It really baffles me how we went from a positive relationship to this.

The Raven Tools founders were happy to slam me with threats and hold my affiliate account hostage. But when challenged on that, I might as well have been speaking to a brick wall.

Enough Is Enough

I gave them plenty of time to fix the relationship and after being continually ignored it was time to take action.

I sent them a final email this morning-

Enough is enough

And I jumped onto Twitter to shine some light on the issue-

Twitter tweet

The Oldest Excuse In The Book

Taking the issue to Twitter certainly caused some alarm internally at Raven Tools.

Very quickly I received this email from Jon Henshaw – one of the company founders and coincidentally the chief marketing officer.

Jon Henshaw response

Notice the subject line of the email chain leading up to that is Matthew Woodward which involved Nate (user support specialist) and Courtney (community manager).

There had obviously been some internal discussion about this.

But instead of being straight, Jon went with one of the oldest tricks in the book claiming ‘for whatever reason he didn’t receive my responses’.

Raven Tools have created some of the world’s leading Internet Marketing tools but their founders & support team haven’t grasped email yet?

It took them 30 minutes to reply to my original email asking why my account was terminated.

It took them 2 weeks, 3 emails and a tweet to stop ignoring my questions.

Something doesn’t add up.

In their initial response it was clear I had touched a personal nerve of one of the company’s founders. They spat their dummy out said their piece and then flat out ignored me.

Only when they realised I was going to expose the fact they are strong arming affiliates were they interested in speaking to me.

As a former slave to the corporate world – this is pretty standard corporate behaviour.

Raven Tools Cannot Be Trusted

How can you trust a company that is either trying to force its affiliates into writing good things about them or to remove anything they don’t like?

That sort of attitude breeds a certain culture within businesses and as you can see.

Users trust their businesses and livelihoods with Raven Tools to help them make good business decisions.

Why can’t Raven Tools just be honest with us?

What Do Others Think?

I reached out to some other affiliates in the industry to see what they thought of this kind of practice.

Matthew BarbyFindMyBlogWay.com

I’m really surprised that a major player in the market would essentially deny affiliate access of an account based on not performing well within a test. I read the article that was written on the blog that ran a full comparison of all the tools and it seems to be a completely legitimate test?

This is a shining example of how not to manage your brand’s reputation, whether it’s openly across social media or privately within email, you’ve got to be fair and open to your customers.

Suggesting that negative results around your product be removed in exchange for an incentive isn’t a way to deal with an issue (yes, that isn’t explicitly stated, but I think we all know where they were going with the email).

The solution is to take on board the comments from a user and adapt your offering.

Jacob KingJacobKing.com

As affiliates, we deal with this type of crap all the time. 99% of affiliates lay down and take it. It can often be a powerless position giving us few options when wronged. Unfortunately for Raven Tools, Matthew is that 1%.

This situation obviously should have been handled differently. Although I must say this is an interesting approach to rep management, strong arming affiliates that rank for brand related terms with poor reviews.

Bottom line is we aren’t powerless if we speak out, so let’s make this real simple, reactivate Matt’s affiliate account and step your game up.

Charles FloateGodOfSEO.co

Now, I’m not one to get under people’s boots (hehe) but this was pretty stupid. There is some pretty reasonable things to assume out of this though. Either when their old guy left they’ve bought in some one new and he’s basically not been told what is going on OR (excuse my use of a Google footprint) the new email correspondent seems to of read your blog post and taken a Majestic stance even after building this relationship, though at least Majestic don’t call you ignorant and a few other insults thrown into the mix.

I’ve actually spoken with a few of the main guys at Majestic before, Raven just runs of Majestic’s API but only tends to update their index from the API every few months, and let me tell you Raven spend a quite large chunk of money on running through said API.

Also, a follow up to add onto this is that maybe we shouldn’t be promoting these damn marketing suites. This is the 2nd time I (and by my remembrance) Matt has been screwed by the exact same product, just by another company – Without any pre-notice (aka warning) Moz randomly shutdown their affiliate program when they were changing their brand from SEOMoz to Moz. In my opinion that was more to do with as they change brands, they get a ton more traffic from news/blog style sites and wanted to keep all that good PR money feeding their new bankroll.

Devin SantosIMDevin.com

It seems like Raven Tools completely went about this the wrong way. If this were my software or service receiving a less than stellar review of my product, the first thing I would do is reach out to the author to see if we can work together on improving the product.

Hell, I would even offer some compensation to the author just to provide me a list of all the areas they feel would make the biggest improvement with my product.

The way I see it is when something like this happens the company has a few different choices.

1) Talk to the author about working together and making improvements towards their product
2) Ignore the review of their product completely
3) Become defensive, ignore the opportunity for product improvement and make negative accusations towards the author.

It’s unfortunate to see a well-established company like Raven Tools took the latter route.

There is no doubt that this will end up hurting the company more in the long run then if they would have just reached out in the beginning and worked together to improve their product, but I guess even well established companies need to learn a lesson every once in a while.

Tom EwerLeavingWorkBehind.com

While one can argue the accuracy/fairness of your post if they want to (although from what I can see, one would be silly to), what you can’t argue with is that Raven Tools’ management of this incident has been terrible.

Put simply, from a brand management perspective, you shouldn’t — nay, mustn’t — treat people with anything other than respect, regardless of the way they treat you.

This situation reminds me of someone who left a review on Amazon saying that a Kindle book I was selling contained no useful information and was a “bait and switch” ploy. This was from someone who hadn’t actually purchased the book, and the product I was supposedly trying to bait and switch people into buying wasn’t even mentioned in the book.

I responded in a respectful manner in an attempt to clarify that I wasn’t trying to rip anyone off, and I still got torn to pieces by a bunch of people who couldn’t wait to get involved. Sometimes you can’t win, so at least do yourself a favour and give yourself the best possible chance!

You can be a complete angel and there’ll still be people out there trying to get you. Or you can screw up or provide a poor service and be the “victim” of some savvy reporting. It sounds like Raven Tools are in the second camp in this case and have dealt with the situation in a pretty shocking way. It’s a great example of what not to do.

Raven Tools Responds

Well you have to give it to Jon Henshaw – he has handled this like a true gent.

Matthew, after reading your post I have a much better idea of why you’re upset. I don’t think any of this would have happened if it wasn’t for me. I was having a bad day, saw your post and did something stupid. It’s easy to be passionate about something that is basically your baby.

I personally screwed up several times. First, I cancelled your affiliate account without having a dialogue with you first. (I just fixed that mistake by restoring your account, and I hope to talk to you person-to-person soon.) Second, I sent you a reply that was not professional. Third, I had communicated internally at the office that I was monitoring and communicating with you, so my team assumed that I had seen your followup messages that you sent to the affiliate email account. I didn’t see those until yesterday.

This really isn’t a Raven thing, it’s a Jon thing. Unfortunately, my actions are also connected to the company, so I also let down the amazing people who work here, along with my partners.

I want to publicly apologize to you and my company for how poorly I handled the situation. As you stated in your post, it’s an example of when a co-founder gets in the way of a good company trying to do good things.

It’s great to see that Raven Tools can be honest with us after all =D

Kudos to Jon and the rest of the Raven team.

A Shining Star

Jon has provided us and other businesses with a shining example of how to deal with things like this.

He took ownership of his mistake with great courage and lets be honest, he nailed it.

I haven’t had time to speak to Jon directly yet as I wanted to get this update published ASAP but we will catch up soon 🙂

Thank you again to Jon for stepping up! Perhaps you could share some tips with Dixon Jones or Amys Baking Company!

There is great opportunity to create a very unique case study off the back of this 😉

Try Raven Tools For Yourself

Don’t let Jon’s bad day reflect on the quality of the tools Raven Tools provide.

While I haven’t tried them myself, they do offer a free 30 day trial so you can make your own mind up!

Frequently Asked Questions

Raven Tools was built to make SEOs life easier. Indeed, it allows users to perform analyses and audits, track search engines trends, monitor social media networks, manage their link building, create SEO campaigns and much more.
No, Raven's SEO tools aren't free. If you want to get access to Raven's SEO tools you will have to subscribe to one of their plans. Their cheapest plan is the "Start Plan" which costs $79 per month.

Raven Tools Review

  • Review Of: Raven Tools
  • Reviewed By: Matthew Woodward
  • Rating:
  • Updated On: Jan 30, 2024

What Are Your Thoughts?

254 Responses

  1. Very good post Matthew. I’m not much for smearing campaigns and such, but it does appear that Raven Tools somewhat randomly decided to do a 180* on their policies.

  2. Hi Everyone! I wish I had read this before signing up this week! The tool is awful and barely works especially their “beta” tools. After using it for 24 hours I found it to be pretty much trash so I canceled my account and requested a refund but was shocked to find that even though it was upgraded during a trial that they refused to return my money after complaining that the rank checker and keyword manager were not working properly. As a web developer for nearly 20 years the tool is disappointing at best and I can so many mistakes they made in the front end. I highly discourage even bothering with the trial! The company supplies an inferior product and is looking to steal as much revenue as it can. DO NOT BOTHER WITH THIS APP!

  3. Excellent post! Although, I’m reading about these experiences a few months after they occurred, I was personally pretty shocked about the behavior from Raven I was reading about. I have a bit of an interesting relationship with a few of the folks having interviewed for a couple of positions there prior to them going through a bit of turnover. Having met Jon myself personally and had some great conversation, the original behavior surprised me, but his follow-up and admittance to being responsible didn’t surprise me. He’s a top-notch guy. I continue to use Raven Tools as a customer, probably going on my 4-5 year I guess now, maybe more.

  4. Hello,You are very honest person Matt 🙂 You can write positive reviews about raven and you can make a lot of money on this but you don’t. Congratulations!I have a question for you. I’m doing seo consulting in Turkey (I have just 6 customers but It’s my style because I’m taking care websites like a baby 🙂 Which company do you suggest me? I need rank checker, link analysis, keyword analysis tools and white label reports. I don’t want to buy moz+ahrefs+majestic+raven+seo power suite. It’s too cost for me. Do you now any company for suitable for me? (Sorry for my english)

    1. Hi,Your English is better than a lot of people in England don’t worry :PYou could start out with Moz and Ahrefs!

  5. Raven is just more intuitive andeasy to use, the branded reports are a big plus.Is Raven the most expensive?I’ve been very impressed so far with Raven!I started the 30 day free trial with Raven about a week ago and then saw this write up on Raven SEO tools today, so, I thought I would put my two cents in. what about in your point?

  6. I was looking for reviews on Raven Tools and stumbled upon your blog. Thumbs up for you delivering us such an detailed description of the events that took place.I agree that affiliate partners are in a tough spot here, and I have also experienced the same thing first hand.Not in that degree, but certainly close to get me upset.In regards to how Raven handled the situtation afterwards, is a perfect example of the modern way of dealing with customers.Due to the fact that communication methods and activity has changed tremendiously in the last decade, customers have a lot more say than they did in the past.Handling your business community and relationships are key to be successful.Btw., I have looked around for several marketing tools, and Raven is probably going to be my choice. If a company can state such things and do a 180 degree turn, accepting that they made a huge mistake is gold for me.

    1. Hi,Thanks for your kind words :)You have to give it to Raven they dealt with it in a great way, unlike one of their link checking competitors :PI’m yet to try out their full suite myself!

  7. I’d still be hard pressed to even want to be affiliated with such an ass… even after the apology.Thanks for staying true to yourself and readers by not deleting this post and previous. There’s very few… and I mean VERY FEW affiliates who stand up for what they have written.Most would simply delete any inflammatory writing, give a shining review plastered with affiliate links. Unfortunately for your wallet I won’t be clicking on any Raven Tool links anytime soon. However it will just make me more likely to click a Raven Tool competitor when it comes time to setting up some suites. Which will be soon…. 2 clients down for me($1250 per month) 3 more to go before I can afford subscriptions to these things… not long now buddy 🙂

  8. Hi Matthew Woodward, I really love this post. Love the way you write your posts. The information in this article is really unique and useful for me. After reading this article, I think I have some ideas for myself. I do follow your articles recently. Thanks for sharing this post. Hope to read more interesting information from you. Have a nice day.

  9. To be honest, it wouldn’t make much sense to use their backlink tool, since it’s running it through MajesticSEO. They aren’t like Moz that has their own index.

  10. But that doesnt really prove anything.I am going to do public over my shoulder case studies where you can see everything though

  11. Then don’t post the URLs 🙂 It’s all well and good people seeing how well you’re doing off this blog. But no one knows if you can actually rank a website with all the tools you are promoting so heavily.

  12. I find it hard to believe that after all this time and all those referrals, you haven’t made a sale yet? Doesn’t sound right to me.

  13. Wow, thanks for pulling this together. In today’s age of transparency and social media, a company like Raven should realize that these types of behaviors and responses directly contradict the notions of inbound marketing. Maybe they should use your criticisms as a way to build a better brand, but instead it seems they took the opposite approach. Raven leads the charge as the new “thought police” for online affiliate marketing.

  14. Hi,I do partially agree with what your saying! In a sense I suppose its a byproduct of Google’s success the past decade =I have considered releasing income reports outside the site but it carries great risk for me. Search is always a small part of a broader marketing campaign which when executed right, allows you to forget about search.I will however be building a business over my shoulder step by step, posting weekly updates showing exactly what I’m doing along with the live site so people can follow along with a $100 budget! I’ll explore some of the wider marketing techniques that can be used in that along with SEO.

  15. Sure, there’s a difference, but what you are promoting is still spam. it doesn’t matter how well it reads if it’s still do en mass for the sole purpose of getting a links.I’m not saying it’s wrong or right. I’ve blasted more than my fair share of links! But I’m under no illusions that what I’m doing is contributing to the downfall of these platforms.Whilst I’ve got your attention actually, are you planning on releasing income reports on stuff outside your blog? I’d love to see that. Especially with the current state of SEO!Adam

  16. Well thats a seperate issue, theres a difference between automating and spamming! If your creative and don’t cut corners automated comments/posts look and read just as well as non-automated!

  17. Oh I completely agree. I’m far from a white hat and don’t get me wrong. if a FORM is allows HTML/JS/XSS and I can automate it then it’s fair game in my opinion…But one of the major reasons SEO gets a bad rap is due to the huge increase of automated posts/comments created by GSA/XRumer. It just seemed like an interesting statement to make when your blog was contributing factor to the mainstream acceptance of link spam!Adam

  18. “One of the motivating factors for starting this blog was because I was sick and tired of seeing the reputation of the internet marketing/SEO industry getting trashed.”..Aren’t you an advocate of large scale link spam? :)Adam

  19. Matthew,I like that you called Raven out and pulled no punches but then when Jon stepped up like a man, you also acknowledged that. I don’t think Jon had much other choice at this point than to respond with an apology; however, he did and he took ownership of his stupidity and I respect that. And heck, we’ve all had days that bad. 🙂

  20. Matthew, how you think the termination of your affiliate account was unjustified is just plain and simple retarded, why even bother signing up to be a ‘partner’ or ‘promoter’ or to put simply an ‘affiliate’ when you know their service wasn’t quite as good as the other 4 or 5 you reviewed, to be totally honest with you, you’re simply a bad review, why should you gain?I’ve read your entire post and I would have not only banished you from the affiliate programme but also taken legal action and forced you to re-evaluate your findings, this is ofcourse if I personally thought your analysis or findings were thought to be incorrect or the software/service had been improved.You can not expect to stay on good terms with a company whilst your bad mouthing or providing negative feedback for the said company, that’s just being completely arrogant on your behalf.When they terminated your account you simply emailed them for a reason but you must have been thick to not realise the reasons behind it… To which you received an abrupt response from a founder of the company, from what I read he was simply frustrated and wanted to defend his service, like any businessmen would.From what I’ve gathered in this post you’ve used your social presence and followship to grab raven tools by the balls and in return ‘black mailed’ them into providing you with a response when in reality, who gives a shit if a company blows you out… No one.This post will probably not get published but I can assure you and anyone that reads this, I am in no way affiliated with anyone and this is simply my personal opinion.

    1. Hi,The original test was based on their own database of data, which they index from Majestic every so often. So they don’t actually use Majestics database, its always out of date in comparison.Forcing me to revaluate a data driven test, wouldn’t change the outcome. Same data input will equal the same data output. When I started the test I didn’t know who would win or lose. This wasn’t negative feedback, this was honest feedback.I would rather the founders focused on improving the service than defending it. Your right if I didn’t have the social presence I do I wouldn’t have gotten a response. Thats part of the problem.

  21. I have to say that this is likely both the most satisfying and also compelling post of this nature I have had opportunity to enjoy, quite frankly, for some time. Matt, this is outstanding examples of what and what not to do for love of one’s brand. Furthermore, I would suggest that this be an example or model for any small business when trying to convey to its members the importance of honest business practices as well as turning a potential permanent negative blemish on Brand reputation into a more desirable advantage. By accepting responsibility, and apologizing publicly. Jon likely opened the doors to many more positive relationships by establishing a persona of being reasonable and professional, contrary to reactive and impulsive(not the first to be guilty of that), thereby creating a positive experience for his brand ultimately. Great job Matt and keep up the great work. KC Kohl, Editor, IMreviewPro.com

  22. Great post, tore me away from work. Good job making lemonade out of this one 🙂 I’ve given Raven Tools a go and was never too impressed..

  23. Really good read Matt and good to see that Jon stood up and took responsibility for the whole situation in the end, which seemed very unnecessary in the first place. We’re all human and make mistakes and I have certainly had my share of bad days in the past! I know what it’s like to read a not so glowing review of your ‘baby’ and sometimes it’s difficult to put aside your personal/emotional attachment, take a step back and realise that criticism can be constructive.I think with negative (well, at least not positive…) reviews in general, the best approach is to engage with the reviewer, try and find out why they were not happy and resolve their issues. I’ve seen all sorts of threads/posts about using negative seo against bad reviews on forums etc and they all miss an important point – people who have had a bad experience can actually become your biggest champions if you show that you actually care as a business. The update at the end of the post is a great example of this and I don’t think anyone who reads to the end will go away feeling negatively about Raven Tools.

  24. Wow this is really absurd. Not only were you not trashing them but you were still sending them traffic that they had a chance to convert on. It looks like that first affiliate manager was a real smart guy trying to help work towards a better review and use your results to improve things and the co-founder was just being an absolute tard.

  25. As someone who’s been an active affiliate for the better part of a decade this unfortunately happens a lot. There’s a huge power shift towards merchants, they pay the network & they also pay you. Therefore they feel like they can get away mostly with whatever they want (without consequence).It’s a big part of the reason I’ve decided to move on from affiliate marketing as a primary source of income, along side being reliant on Google too much ;)That aside, I absolutely love ahrefs. Would trade it for any other tool.

  26. I’ve read your post and the emails contained within it. I can understand where you are coming from and you sure have poked your foot in the hive.Raven have unfortunately turned an opportunity into a tsunami. I am sure they have been working to improve their service within the constraints of a business making a profit. They have queered their pitch however by an atrocious lapse of etiquette and plain abuse which will not sit well in the internet space where business practices are a little more anarchic than the bricks and mortar world.That having been said, I think you have done yourself a slight disservice too despite the exposure gained. I say that because I think your tweet was a little incendiary and maybe jumped the gun a little :-). People are people and obviously Jon lost the plot somewhere there for a while. He will no doubt see the weakness in his team though by allowing this to get out of control. If he can fix his management and improve then his company will benefit through helping others like us more in the future.All sustainable business has to be good for both the buyer and seller; both have to feel they have gained for a relationship to continue.Whilst you seem to have gone rather over the top, kudos for linking out to them and your blog is one of the very very few I spend my time to follow. Keep up the good work!

    1. Hi Ian,The beauty of being human is we are always learning :)There is now a huge huge huge PR oppertunity at Raven’s feet that if attacked in the right way could transcend the internet marketing world into the broader business world making it worthy for mainstream press.

  27. I think there are lessons to be learned from both sides here. Matthews review was riddled with flaws. The review was inaccurate in many areas and I can understand many people getting upset with the unfair representation of their products. 1. Two things can be learned. Matthew should do more research before announcing a shallow study as fact.2. The hurt parties involved could have reacted a bit better.3. SEO Powersuite correctly pointed out, that all the backlinks involved with “the winner”, consisted of dead and duplicate links, which is not something the SEO powersuite offers in their results. This naturally distorted the accuracy of the results.4. I’m personally disappointed as a follower of matthew, that he did not learn from his initial mistakes and re-direct the original post to a new one , reflecting all the accurate facts. The original post is still live and nowhere does it say, “Actually, I messed up guys, here are the test results that are more accurate”5. I’m always interested in posts of this nature but I think it’s only fair to offer third parties a chance to respond to a study of this nature before publishing “facts”, as flawed studies can severely damage a brand even though they might be completely inaccurate. These responses can always be published along with the study, in the name of openess and transparency.6. I can’t help but feel, Matthew has gone all out to “cash in” on a private email sent between Jon and him, inappropriate and unfortunate as it was. By asking subscribers to his website to artificially “bump up” the post on the inbound website by “liking it”, can only confirm this.7. It saddens me, that so many people were baying for the blood of a man that did nothing wrong apart from defend the reputation of his business, even if done on the spur of the moment and in a way he regretted and admitted as such.Alas, this is the internet. and nothing can be taken back once said. At the end of the day, while many of us choose to be anonymous in our online world, it’s important to remember, we are dealing with human beings who are, thankfully not perfect but flawed unlike many of the people who made comments.

    1. Hi,Let me answer your points :)1) The study was based on data – it was followed with a test of 1 million domains, by far the biggest to date by a factor of 10.2) Usually the case but we are all guilty of that at some point or another!3) Not sure where you have gotten that from, the sites were never shared with them.4) Not sure where you are getting that from? 1 test focused on 5 checkers with real data, the follow up focused on the top 2 from that test. Both are linked to each other clearly.5) I doubt there would have been a response of that nature if it wasn’t published. Sort of a Chicken & Egg situation.6) This is marketing. I’m a marketer ^^7) Got to agree some of the comments that came in were overly harsh and not objective.Wise words sir 🙂

  28. Yes, Matthew but I really do want to know.Jon Henshaw: What can you do better next time? (For yourself and your company)-Kenneth

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