Seems SBI and Ken Evoy are on the Google War Path

Back in 2009 a certain SBI review made some waves in parts of the internet marketing world. You can read it here >>> SBI<<

  • SBI or Site Build It! is a membership site that helps people to build up and maintain their own internet based business.
  • The good point about them is, that they take people by the hand and walk them through all the steps and that they provide all the tools, website builders etc that are needed to achieve this.
  • The bad point is, that people will have to stay with them, and continue to pay, a whooping $299 per year if they want to keep their sites working as usual. Moving a site out of the system is certainly possible, but difficult for non-techie people (and that are the once that SBI mostly seems to target, and in all cases people wouldn’t be able to take the tools with them, as they belong to SBI, not the website owners.

So, for all practical matters, joining SBI would be a lifetime commitment (lifetime of the website obviously ;-) ). But this post is not about if SBI is a scam, a great business opportunity or simply an overpriced membership site. It is about the fact that Ken Evoy, the owner of the parent company SiteSell is on the Google War Path and the reason for this is, in my opinion, that Lis’ review from 2009 ranks pretty high in Google. Not only for ‘SBI scam’ or ‘Site Build It Scam’, but also for Site Build It (without quotes). Meaning that, according to Scroogle.org (cookie free, non-personalized and privacy respecting Google Scraper) she ranks between place 10 and 11 for this! Oops, not a good thing for Ken’s online reputation. Imagine you own a business and an article, that criticizes your business model, is ranking high for the exact name of your company / business. So Ken got angry and went on the ‘Google War Path’! So, here the next long piece to read >>>Ken Evoy’s War Declaration<<<!

I personally believe that SBI is simply overpriced and ties people in for (website) life, without an easy way to transfer their websites out of it, but reading what Ken Evoy wrote in his post, and how his community reacted, shows also some other, interesting facts. Here some examples:

Google Bombing

He describes what happened when Lis first published her initial review as Google Bombing. If you have a look at >>>this Wikipedia article <<< you see that her review doesn’t fit the definition at all. I quote, emphasis by me:

“The terms Google bomb and Googlewashing refer to practices, such as creating large numbers of links, that cause a web page to have a high ranking for searches on unrelated or off topic keyword phrases, often for comical or satirical purposes. In contrast, search engine optimization is the practice of improving the search engine listings of web pages for relevant search terms.”

Now everybody that knows Lis, will confirm that she can be sarcastic or even satirical, not sure about the comical part of her ;-) , but the review she wrote was not! Actually she wrote a review about what she believes is a scam and entitled it accordingly. So that is that, sorry Ken, you didn’t get ‘Google bombed’, you only got a negative review! And this review ranks high in the search engines for many reasons, one being that it was one of the first, if not the first, that was written by somebody that didn’t push the SBI affiliate program in the article itself …

Next thing Ken Evoy says is

“A Googlebomb is massive, organized webspam, the extreme link scheme.”

and he uses Lis’ post as an example. Now a link scheme is something two or more webmasters set up in order to help each other out with backlinks, planned, organized and carefully orchestrated in order to stay under the radar of the search engines whilst at the same time improving each others rankings. What happened in the case of Lis SBI review was not a link building scheme in this sense, it was a blog post going viral! And as her blog post was the source, it was only natural that people linked to it. Actually, if Ken had kept his calm and his followers back, the review would most likely have sunken of the radar and nobody, or at least not many, would have linked to it. So, in a certain sense, he contributed to the success of this negative review of his own business ;-)

As Ken didn’t keep calm, the story was promoted and supported by many of us, that know Lis and value her opinion. There is a big difference between a ‘link scheme’ and a group of online friends sharing information they find interesting with their readers. I am sure I also ‘throw a link in her direction’ back in 2009, not because anybody asked me to, but because I found the information and opinions she provided useful and wanted as many people as possible to read it.

To make it quite clear, if a story goes viral like this, it is not called Google Bombing or creating a link scheme, it is called ‘viral or breaking news’ with natural back links from relevant sites pointing back at the original story. Taken the internet as a whole, this was not even a tiny ripple compared to a true Google (and Social Media) Bomb such as >>>Amazonfail<<

A bird has twittered me, or should I better say a whole flock of birds is twittering on the internet?, that Panda wasn’t kind to SBI sites! Apparently lots of people are complaining on the private SBI forum that their traffic took a serious downturn after the Panda / Farmer update. So, instead of looking into which feature(s) /aspects of SBI might have caused this happening, Ken is setting out to look for a scapegoat and resurrects the 2,5 years old review of hers as a reason for this!

So, in his opinion there is nothing inherently wrong with the SBI system, it is all Lis’ fault because she Google bombed and link schemed her way onto the first page of Big G for a whole bunch of SBI related keywords. This still doesn’t explain why websites that were build with SBI have experienced sinking traffic, btw, but it would explain why the oh so attractive SBI affiliate program is not performing so well as it used to be. Even Ken says so:

“…It also damages SiteSell’s reputation and growth,…” — Translate growth to profit and you get the idea ;-)

Before I elaborate on the measures Ken Evoy recommends his followers to take, here another quote from the SBI website itself that makes me think that he is really a ‘pot calling the kettle black’:

“Value Exchange
The SiteSell Value Exchange is the simplest, fastest, most efficient, and most genuine way of exchanging valuable links with matching sites. Relevant, valuable sites link only to other relevant sites, providing value to your visitor, to your site and to your partners. Value Exchange also leads to other opportunities, such as joint ventures.”

If I read this right, and I am sure I do, link schemes among members are actually part of the SBI strategy, and as all these sites are sitting on the same, few servers, Google had a field day in discovering this, me thinks …

And now about what Ken calls his ‘Call to Action’:

What he basically tries to do is to get his followers, community, groupies, call them what you want, to help to lower Lis’ article in the search engine rankings to a point that nobody finds them anymore and SBI can do business, and profit, as usual. He argues that

“Google does not seem to mind that users of its Search service receive a poorly written, inaccurate review of SBI!”

Now, it might come as a surprise to Ken that Google doesn’t care about the amount of typos in an online article, nor does it care if somebody is wrong or right on the internet, it only cares about serving the best fitting result to a search query. And if I would be searching for something like a SBI review, I would prefer to find Lis’ article, typos included, instead of the fake review of one of the many affiliate marketers that only want me to buy the product via their link in order to make a nice commission! Perhaps Google is intelligent enough to disregard reviews that come with blatant affiliate links? Just food for thought!

So, if Ken and the SBI community like it or not, from a search engines, and searchers, point of view, Lis’ review belongs into the top results, at least in my opinion.

Far more concerning is that Ken openly and publicly asks people to do the following:

“… let Google know that the #1 ranking for a search for “site build it scam” delivers a bad user experience, a false review written by a Ms. Sowerbutts, due to webspam.”

And then he gives detailed instructions on how to fill out such a report and continues with

“Once you have done that, please “Like” this page (below) and let Google know by +1′ing it, too.”

So, not only he asks his followers to report a blog post wrongly (imho) as web spam, he also asks them to improve the rankings of his own blog post by using ‘likes’ and G+ buttons! Pot.Kettle.Black!

And if that would not be enough, he also suggests to take further action by telling his readers to block her domain from their future search results, hoping that this will raise a red flag with Google. This obviously would work only if people are logged into their Google account when doing so and that would mean that Google actually ‘sees’ who is doing it …

And to cover himself, he ads at the end of his post

“Please note that I am NOT suggesting that anyone abuse this mechanism. Do this if you find the review to be of poor quality and is inappropriately ranked highly by Google.”

In summary, Mr. Evoy:

What happened in 2009 is neither called Google bombing, nor web spam nor a link scheme, it is called a negative review, not more, not less. Instead of taking it gracious and with countenance, you decided to ‘fire back’ in 2009, causing a lot of Lis’ friends to support her against your attacks. Would you have simply ignored the review, this would not have happened and it would be, most likely, forgotten by now. Fast forward to 2011, by emitting a ‘call to action’ against Lis to your followers the same thing will happen again. Perhaps you should calm down and remember that all publicity is good publicity, even the negative one and that the worst thing that can happen to any business is when nobody speaks about it ;-)

And last, but certainly not least, a reality check for you, Mr. Evoy. The following numbers are the exact, not broad!, searches performed daily on Google:

  • site build it scam 33
  • site build it review 24

Does put things into perspective, doesn’t it? Especially if you bear in mind that quite a few are, most likely, performed by the people that are already members of your site …

And now it is time for me to add my own

Legal Disclaimer: Everything written in this blog post is an expression of my personal opinion and not orchestrated by anybody! ;-)

So, you have read until here, I hope you found it entertaining and informative! If you like to leave a comment, by all means do so ;-) You don’t have to agree with me, but please keep your language and expressions on a family friendly level, otherwise I might either edit your swear words out or delete your comment completely, depending on the amount of coffee I had ;-)

Update November 2012: Comments on older posts like this are closed on this blog, sorry, too many spammers and too little time ;-) A reader contacted me and asked me if I could add the following link http://www.stopfraud.gov/report.html to this post, as you can see I have just done so, I also recommend that, if you have a problem with SBI that you can’t solve otherwise that you contact the Better Business Bureau. That’s all for the moment, have a great day!

If you like this blog post and found it helpful, why not share it with your preferred social network? Handy links and bookmarklets above ^^^ ;-)

96 comments to Seems SBI and Ken Evoy are on the Google War Path

  • Good gravy. I may just go update my blogroll link to Lis’ site, so that it points to her SBI review & is keyworded accordingly. I’d hate to see Evoy get away with this garbage.

  • Allyn

    Excellent, balanced analysis and opinion. Truth is, Evoy’s a dbag who got his ass kicked too many times in 5th grade and instead of putting in the work it takes to overcome, he cries to the teacher.

  • Ken and his supporters are fuming over Googles blatant inaction regarding the removal of Lissie’s site from the SERPs. Hmm, could this perhaps be because Google realises that Lissie has done NOTHING WRONG? :P

    It makes me giggle.

  • Mike G.

    Mr. Evoy sounds like a cry baby. May just have to give Lis’ site some complimentary backlinks.

  • Kris

    Good read. I’ll make sure to send Lis some anchored links as we need people to expose scams rather than prop them up to make aff commissions. Hopefully soon lis ranks first for site build it. The owner has only himself to blame, if u run a scam operation then sooner or later it’s going to come out – especially on the Internet.

  • Nick

    Liked the review of the arguments, Sy.
    And, it’s kinda funny when you Google site build it review and some of the SBIers have built wordpress blogs to try to rank for the term, lol.

    It looks like he’s grasping at straws and pattern interrupting his followers.

  • Barry

    Great post, unbiased and neutral.

    Evoy has been splashing it all over the SBI forums. I still have an SBI site, so I occasionally go on them.

    I tried to post a few balanced points to counter Ken’s claims in a post he made. He wasn’t happy that I dare question anything and he replied with the “you are either with me or with her and against me” when I was simply trying to make constructive comments and remind everyone that his campaign was a waste a time as it was giving the very review in question even more attention.

    One point that you and I both made (me on the forums) was that this storm was cooked up because of Ken and SBI affiliates reacting aggressively to Lissie’s review and causing it to go viral. Of course, I pointed this out to Ken on the forums too and it went down like a bad fart in an elevator. There’s a really strange bunch of people in there, all agreeing with Ken and whatever he says. Weird, unusual people.

    Fortunately, there are balanced people too who don’t go along with it.

    Finally, I hadn’t realised that his current attempt to manipulate the SEs may even backfire on him even more. Evoy is smart enough and has been good at building up his business but his attempst on bullying people and on manipulating the SEs (eg. his affiliate army, rapid response team that descend on posts and forums to turn any SBI mention into a sales pitch) have finally backfired.

    It’s really a case of the big domineering guy in the school playground finally getting what he deserves.

  • Mr. Evoy sounds like he’s just complaining that he’s not getting his way

  • Erwyn

    Enjoyable read and as an SBI user, one that is to all accounts correct. Barry basically says it as it is.

    Ken has a good system that works but there is a cliquish ‘Yes Man’ culture that pervades the system and Ken encourages it in the way he runs HIS forum.

    As well as the googlebomb rubbish, there has been and still is a massive drive to make all SBI users like the Sitesell Facebook page; and to a certain extent SBI users are treated like lemmings and taken for granted.

    It’s a real pity but I don’t think Ken can actually see what he’s doing to his customers.

  • M

    Great article !!! Great to see people have taken the time to expose the truth about Ken Evoy and SBI. I used it for little over a year and I have to say I ran out of there… that forum, the whole thing is downright scary… This company is a wreck waiting to happen, sadly the trusting blinded customers will pay the price while he sits on his Anguilla mansion enjoying margaritas at people’s expense and failure with their businesses.

    Will you guys believe that this man has the nerve to actually promise subscribers to put out a report with instructions that will make SBI sites Panda proof for the next 20 years? I guess he paid someone off at Google for this type of information. He has volunteers (zombie followers) go and look at the stats of SBi sites to come up with a report. I have NEVER heard something as ridiculous as this….

    It’s sad and scary how so many people blindly accept Ken Evoy’s words as if he was a God speaking, don’t question it and let me tell you are scared to death to disagree with anything he says because they will get paddled in the behind and kicked out of the forums.

    I have one thing to say to anyone considering to buy SBI, “Stay the heck away !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

    SBI / Site Build it IS a SCAM, you can learn everything they offer on your own for FREE and the web building tools offer much more functionality and cheaper. KEN EVOY is a CULT LEADER, it’s a FACT and undeniable by anyone that has been there and has any brains or common sense to see it. He only cares about your Money and he will do everything to keep your “blinders on” so you don’t look elsewhere.

    Sickening !!!!!!!!!!

  • Z

    Is SBI a scam? I hosted a site there awhile ago.

    The ok part — You get a hosting plan with a site builder that churms out web sites using some of the ugliest templates on earth, created using ancient coding standards. Rumor – it will be updated soon.

    Really good part —- Get access to some comprehensive SEO information and a web site design guide that holds your hand through the process. And a nice forum of people. It is comforting in that sense, especially to beginners.

    Somewhat Scammy part —- The whole product is based on the idea that any person can make a good income with a web site on just about any topic if that person follows the SBI guide and works long and hard enough – it makes a point that it is not a “get rich quick” scheme so expect to keep your SBI site for many months and years before it shows a profit – all the while paying Mr Evoy $300 per year. He never loses money but you might be throwing yours all away.

    It doesn’t ever really work for most people for a wide variety of reasons. You see people who after years of hard work still have not much to show for it.

    There are the golden few who actually made it who are paraded in front of us like lottery winners. But so many SBI long time subscribers are like gamblers losing at the table, reluctant to give up, blame themselves for their lack of success, and they keep plugging away at their sites while Ken Evoy admonishes “build more content” “content is gold” “keep it real” as a fix for all that is wrong. And BTW pay me my $300 when you pass go. But actually it is not the loss of money, it is the loss of time, that could have been spent pursuing a real opportunity.

    The worst and weirdest thing about the whole experience and the main reason why I left is the personality and mannerisms of Ken Evoy himself. He routinely pushes and bullies his CUSTOMERS frequently in the forums. Very nasty to witness. Express a different opinion than he has and you risk the wrath. He rants away like a dictator of a small militant country. All the while pushing a friendly family atmosphere – I guess he is the mean anger-management father figure of this lovely family??? Most people are afraid to speak out. How strange since they are the customers! People who say SiteSell is a cult are not far off.

  • D

    Z you are completely right on your comments, but Ken Evoy and his kingdom is coming down, finally people are speaking up at the forums, SiteSell has allowed case studies and videos of little kids to be used on pornographic sites (which are against the TOS), people are sick and tired of their privacy not being respected at the forums because Ken prefers to use customers sites for marketing, the Panda Report (that supposedly was created to make SBI sites Panda Proof) was a joke. Your comment on Ken Evoy blaming customers for their failure…. well you are right on because he is doing it with the report. The sick and sad part is seeing how so many people believe and DEPEND on this man to make their sites successful. Ken Evoy has no relationships with Google or any authority online to be making such reports and assumptions.

    I am an affiliate so I keep up with what’s happening in that cultish group, but I don’t recommend it anymore.

    SBI was good back when it started in the late 1990′s, but they focused on sales instead of making the product better and staying up to date on the changes and demands of the internet today, the real reason why his customers are failing and his company will fail. The new Block builder is far from exceptional,I saw the video preview through a friend who sadly still uses SBI. The new builder will barely be up to date with the builders that other hosts offer, the only thing that the new builder will do is tie people up even MORE to SBI and making it even more difficult to move to another host. I upload via FTP and now I am in full control of my site and do my own reading and own research and I only pay about $7 per month for it all.

    • SilverTortoise

      Ha!! You got that right. Little daughter of a staffer was in a video used on male prostitutes site to sell SBI memberships!!! Im a mod. Ken didn’t want to take site down. Then he found out site owner is a sex offender!!! No WAY sbiers should be giving sbi their videos.

  • Stan

    Quatation – Word by word – from SBI forums.
    Ken Evoy got really mad at some critics, Here are the Zombies coming in hordes:
    “But 10 times out of 10, I’d rather be a true believer of Sitesell, the SBI process, and the value of this forum, than a true believer of the Church of Cynics.”

    Go there if you can to see how the butt-kissers are bashing the poor Alicia.

  • Stan

    From the poster above:
    “the personality and mannerisms of Ken Envoy himself. He routinely pushes and bullies his CUSTOMERS frequently in the forums. Very nasty to witness. Express a different opinion than he has and you risk the wrath. He rants away like a dictator of a small militant country.”
    and: “Most people are afraid to speak out.”

    How true!
    Here is the most recent example: Alicia, a member since 2007 or so, great contributor to the forums, hit by recent Panda release, dared to ask a couple of questions. Such as why the CEO of SBI is posting in the forums as an SBIer without revealing his identity, after all he IS the CEO, and has vested interest… (conflict of interest, anyone?)

    Ken Evoy turned her into piece of garbage and is post is worthy of Fidel Castro himself (at least!)

    Go ahead, read and horrify yourself:
    “I’m tired. Not just physically tired…
    It is THIS BS (…) that I find extremely demotivating.
    (…)Alicia, if you want a company to distrust, go comment on Google’s blog, please. That goes for everyone(…)”
    From me: great thank you from someone who already paid you $1500 for site hosting…
    More: “Please stop this nonsense. If you’re not happy here, if you can’t trust SiteSell through its actions, move on.”
    “I’m not sure what the policy is regarding the Coaches.”
    HAHA, great statement from the founder who controls the company like a dictator!!!!
    More: “To the folks who drag these forums down, it’s enough (…)Please go away.
    If you don’t trust us to manage that, after all our ACTIONS, move on.
    (…) From there, if you don’t like it, leave.
    (…)And yes, Alicia, there is something wrong if you can’t see the bigger picture and have to constantly find issues instead of building your business.
    (…)you’re on a witch hunt of a company that has no witches.
    (…)I cannot take this crap any longer.
    To Alicia who claims “it’s just good business(…)I am disgusted by comments like that.
    (…)
    SiteSell deserves better than THAT, in return. Yes, Alicia, despite your post, it does(…)

    …and so one and so forth… then come the Zombies, unleashed, kissing his butt in such a special CULTISH way.

    Here’s an example:
    “Dear Ken,
    I cried when I read your post. I want you to know that finding SBI ( a God sent miracle) and being a member of SBI has totally changed my life for the better(…) And for all you “cry-babies” out there, keep in mind that there is nothing in the whole universe that is perfect. But SBI comes close for sure.
    I love you Dr. Ken and I want to thank you soo much for what you have done to help everyone.”

    No comments.

  • Gawd that last paragraph Stan is very, very scary!

  • Fed Up with SBI

    Wow, first time seeing this page, I was looking to leave a review about SBI and found this very interesting discussion. Coming from the forums where you are NOT allowed to disagree with what some call God Ken and General Ken is quite awesome to find a place where you will not be bullied for expressing your concerns and disapproval of all the weird, scary, unprofessional and downright “cultist” behavior.

    Stan you beat me to it, I can’t believe Ken Evoy disgraced himself and made himself look like a fool and self righteous narcissistic victim, the fact that he went on such a irrational emotional rant over a simple question and request for SiteSell employees to be transparent is simply SHAMEFUL. He thinks he was putting Alicia, a strong professional and very well spoken lady to shame, but what he did was make himself a fool, the only rational person in that whole thread was and always will be Ms. Alcia. After his last post, I am out, not one more penny for that company.

    He is putting SiteSell to shame and if any of you reading this would read about the 10 pages to follow the comments from the CULT TROOPS you would think you are on a fiction cult movie. It’s scary to see people falling for his BS, no wonder those that are successful leave SBI and the forums, anyone with any common sense or intelligence would RUN out of there as far as they can.

    Between Panda traffic hits for SBIers, low sales and tons of people transferring their sites, people speaking out on the forums and sites like this that don’t put up with his bullying, well… it looks like Ken Evoy’s days are numbered on the net.

    It’s a shame because the truth is Ken Evoy was respected years ago, but it all went to his head, now it got so big that I think it blew up and damaged some nerve cells.

    Stop bullying people Mr. Evoy or keep playing with the small zombie group you have there.

    For Goodness sake, it’s only a hosting company, customers. Nothing more. The internet is not a real world, it’s a “cloud”, come back to earth people, and Ken Evoy, please get a life.

    Myself, I will go elsewhere and run a business.

  • Fed Up with SBI

    Just wanted to say thank you to the owner of this blog. It’s a shame so many people are falling for lies, blogs like these allow objective and real concerns to be discussed. When you read all good reviews about a company that sends a red flag, Ken Evoy was getting away with bullying people into NOT posting bad reviews, it looks like that’s stopping.

  • Stan

    Yes, folks.
    Ken Evoy’s message is basically this:
    “Either you TRUST ME or get the f.u.c.k. out, and if you you don’t, I will FIRE YOU!”

    Yes, people, he will be now “firing” his paying customers.
    (based on his recent post on a now locked thread).

    How professional. This man is now becoming a legend.

  • Stan

    Guys this is from another site, copied and pasted (sorry) but really worth reading. I’ve been following the situation on sbi forums very closely lately. Therefore I guarantee and promise you that author of the post is truthful and knows exactly what he’s talking about.
    Evoy gets indeed extremely aggressive when someone, does not matter who, dares to voice their doubt or question his opinion.
    Does not matter if you are an old, loyal member in good standing, that you paid him thousands for web hosting etc. Once you dare to “misbehave” you are pretty much dead. First trashed, silenced and then out. He publicly stated in the forums that he would now just get rid of dissidents.
    Truly horrifying for everyone who put their money, years of their life and, yes, their trust in the man who, as it turns out, is running a cult.
    Enjoy the reading:
    “Just wanted to give you an update Lissie as the latest SBI drama unfolds..

    You see, since Evoy got no attention from Google after pooing his diaper several times about this so called G bomb, another crisis has occurred.

    So it’s official, the G bomb hissy fit story was funny, but now it’s been moved to the backpage.

    Why?

    SBI sites have been SERIOUSLY hit by the October 14th Panda update.

    Now while it’s bad for those honest SBI site owners, I feel sorry for them because some do have content that doesn’t deserve this slap..

    But what I don’t have sympathy for is Evoy’s reaction to it all.

    He managed to cheap out and get some top people to volunteer to work for him – all to save him thousands of dollars of course – to get to the root of why over half of active SBI sites (estimate) have got slapped nastily by a 65-70% traffic decrease (truth as stated by them all in the forums).

    Some of these poor people have put all their faith in his claims only to see their dreams and income dissolved overnight.
    People are fuming on the forums and even since Evoy delivered his report which promises to explain the cause of the problem, which is done by volunteers who were unpaid, as Evoy is as tight and stingy as a duck’s butt.

    Evoy’s report is basically just a rehash of his silly wordy action guide, which pro SBI weirdos seem to talk about in the same manner that Scientologists talk about L. Ron Hubbard’s books.

    Evoy is desperately lying out of his back teeth to say that some SBI sites have recovered already. It’s a complete lie which smacks of cheap desperation. He’s also claiming that only 8% of SBI sites got hit, obviously BS as the forum is full of desperate people.

    When these honest folk ask for more data on sites that have recovered they get nasty replies from Evoy himself and some weird moderator, who locks the thread then deletes the posts.

    People who actually dare to ask for data on the forums have just had ALL their posts deleted and the thread locked.

    Evil evoy just wants pro SBI garbage in his silly, pathetic android forums where the moderators are just there to delete anyone who doesn’t quite follow the crowd like a cult goat in a herd. He just wants fake BS basically and for him to play the L. Ron Hubbard role.

    The thing is that this is probably gonna give him serious problems for his business.

    A couple of months back he wasn’t getting the results he wanted so tried to blame your review, bully you into submission and even asked you to promote SBI for him instead.

    Now it seems he’s getting what he deserves and his gaming of the internet is finally gonna slap him back.

    Maybe G slapped SBI sites on purpose because of some specific reason.

    I just feel sorry for those folk whose incomes have disappeared overnight and Evoy’s way of dealing with them. That’s why I wanted to share this with you and other readers here. It’s important that new SBI people or even those about to renew know about what’s really going on.”

    Nuff said.

  • Stitching

    I’ve been with SBI for a long time and I think it’s sad what’s happening. It didn’t use to be like this.

    Ken has never done anything to tone down or discourage all that praise that he gets and I believe its been too much for him. It has to have some kind of affect on you if you sit in front of your PC all day bombarded by
    “Ken we love you.”
    “You have saved me.”
    “You’ve changed my life.”
    “You are like my god.” (yes, they say that.)
    “Ken I will wait for you tell me how to proceed.”
    “Ken will come and tell us what to do.”
    “Ken will help us through this.”
    “Ken only cares about us.”
    “Ken we need you. Please don’t leave us.” Creepy stuff.

    There is no humility then he uses all this strange emotion and dramatic scenarios to manipulate the followers to do what he needs to push sales. Constant posts about sales. Sites are used without asking. From there they get copied and your niche gets polluted with sites he himself calls Pap, but he helped it! It’s such a shame, but worse, when site owners don’t see it happening until it’s too late. Funny part he makes sbiers think its special to be chosen to be case study aka copied and trashed.

    My son tried SBI about a year ago. He let it go because he didn’t like the “cultish” and personal stuff in the forums he said, and he thought the action guide was too long. I gave him the SBI lecture about WP being bad, but I have to admit. His WP site is doing well after just a few weeks. Embarrassing to say I was convinced by Ken that WP was bad and too hard for me, but I never really tried it until my son showed me some things. I hate to admit I’ve been kind of fooled.

    I did see the stuff in the forums about his announcement to be “firing” people who post things he doesn’t like. One warning then he takes down their site. More crazy overreaction to simple reasonable questions asked by a respected SBIer that he did trash in the forums for ego only it seemed to me.

    I am too old to start fresh my pages are all on blockbuilder and impossible to transfer easily. My son says that’s on purpose too. Locks everyone in. He may have time to help me move my site but its such a shame I would even need to consider doing that because I really have enjoyed SBI up until now.

  • Fed Up with SBI

    Stitching, your review and post, true, true, true, very well summarized of what’s happening inside that “creepy” place they call Site Build it.

    The cherry on top for your comment: there’s a contest and Ken Evoy said at the forum: “Fantastic Prizes and surPRIZES are waiting for you… the lucky grand prize winner even gets a prize that money can’t buy (big hint: I am part of the prize)…”

    Narcissistic or what? I wonder what his wife thinks about that?

  • Barry

    Fed Up With SBI, Stan & Stitching you’ve taken the whole lot of words out of my mouth – thanks for saving me 5 minutes from typing out another post. That silly post by Evoy was unbelievable. Every single one of the replies bar one was devoted to Evoy’s chocolate starfish. Only one guy there had the balls to question his unbelievable attack on Alicia. And she is a breath of fresh air to the weird, L. Ron Hubbard style forums, I’m amazed he singled her out.

    Someone posted a few questions on threads about the Panda report, actually daring to wonder whether the 8% that apparently got affected included all the dormant SBI sites which have 10 uniques a day.

    Because, you know, those forums are swarming with people whose traffic has been blasted into bits. Most of them are desperate. I’m sure about half of active SBI sites got badly hit, if not more. Only 8% got hit, really Evoy?

    The result? Evoy deletes ALL the posts and locks the thread. Hmmm.

    Ok and this last bit is for Stitching:

    You CAN move your existing Blockbuilt 1997 style site to WP. I did it by simply copying all the pages the hard way.

    SBI tried to charge me $100 to get access to my own html files but I protested and they waived it. Make sure you use a custom link builder WP plugin to name the pages the same.

    It took me ages to move 100 pages of text to WP but it was worth it. Now I can breathe as I know that site costs me so little to run, instead of the rip off $300 a year.

  • Stan

    So…. Can anyone post a step-by-step instructions on how move a site out of SBI cult over to WordPress, or elsewhere?
    Any advice is appreciated.

    • hospitalera

      Stan, I haven’t moved a SBI site but what you want to do basically is:

      Get your own hosting, I recommend Hostgator if you need to, if you are already hosting your own site skip that step.

      Install WordPress on your domain (make sure that doesn’t overwrite any existing content!), via cpanel / Fantastico it takes less then 5 min and set, for the moment, the blog to private / block search engines.

      Copy and paste your content into blog posts and pages.

      Redirect all old urls to the corresponding new urls, via htaccess or cpanel.

      Check all is ok and works well.

      Allow search engines and delete old site.

      No warranty that this is the best / only way to do it, just trying to help here, SY

  • Barry

    Just to add some helpful resources.

    You’ll need plugins:

    - Customize links with html extensions (you need to rename your pages with .html as they were originally)
    - Redirection (to redirect deleted crap to your new pages)

    Do a search for: 10 best WP plugins.
    Find a few different articles and take your pick of best plugins.

    And basically, the rest is a lot of copying and pasting, and checking there are no broken links.

    A good part is that with the “related posts” plugin, you may not need to copy over your links at the end of each article. WP plugin just inserts the links for you. And no screwing around with silly adsense code either, as the awesome adsense plugin just puts ads automatically in for you.

  • Derek

    Nice to read a discussion about SBI! without it being bombarded by the usual sycophantic nonsense.

    Z & D’s comments are completely bang on the money (Speaks volumes that they feel they need to remain anonymous – I am as well, as I have a SBI! site and I am an affiliate, and know I wouldn’t be for a minute longer if I gave my real name).

    I’ve been with SBI! for years and I was a Mod, but I disagreed with Ken Evoy publicly on the Forum about SiteSells linking policy and I was fired the following week.

    I’m still there putting in my two cents worth, as someone has try and give a balanced opinion, but it never goes down well, and I have to play it squeaky clean, as the Mods are looking for any reason to ban me from the SBI! Forum – I’m a marked man ;) The last one they came up with was repeatedly posting in the wrong Forum section. Any more and I would be banned. Please!

    I’ve asked many times on the Forum for stats on how much SBI! websites make to be made public. Knowing these sites make a good income would be the best marketing tool ever. I rarely get a reply, but every now and again I do…”Impossible to collect such information.” was the last excuse they gave. How hard can it be to create a poll that all SBI! users can vote on saying how much they’re website made/makes after 6 months, 12 months, 2 years etc? Easy peasey lemon squeasey ;)

    The truth is I suspect they don’t want such information to be made public, as I believe the vast majority of SBI! sites make very little after one year. It wouldn’t surprise me if over 50% of all SBI! sites cover the $300 SiteSEll charge every year.

    Just look at the comments on the Forums. A recent thread asked how much your site made, and the vast majority of the replies said they hadn’t made a penny within one, two or even three years! Yet all the usual sycophants appeared and told them to battle on, get the snowball rolling, get over the hump etc.

    Get over the hump? Still losing money after three years!!! What’s that hump called? The f*cking Himalayas!

    Unbelievable.

    SiteSell preys on newbies who don’t know any better and they are seriously getting the wool pulled over their eyes.

    I’m closing my SBI! site this year and all the recent crap has made me decide to finally cut the connection with them (Including promoting them).

    I honestly feel for the people who are there. I sometimes just want to give them all a good shake and tell them to wake up and start running, but SBI! has a very good affiliate offer, so they will always be heavily promoted by people who have never used them.

    It’s a real shame, as it’s not a terrible system, but I feel it’s like a sinking ship desperately trying to keep afloat. Or like a cornered rat, who is lashing out at everyone around it, including those who have supported and looked after it for years.

    I just hope anyone thinking of using SBI! reads this thread first just to get a balanced view, because most the comments above are honestly bang on the money.

    SiteSell R.I.P

  • Barry

    You made an interesting point there Derek.

    Following the recent Panda giant turd drop on SBI, I have been seriously wondering about the one huge thing they failed to mention in the report (which is another version of the action guide).

    The linking policy.

    Thousands of sites, all hosted on the same servers, many of which link to each other in reciprocal link structures and yet there is no mention of any possibility that this could be the problem.

    The interesting fact is that I built an SBI site over 2 years following their policies, and then moved that site to WP after 2 years.

    Now that site got hit badly by Panda as did my SBI sites, only now it’s in WP. However, the one thing that didn’t change was the sites it links to that link back to this site.

    What does this tell you? If you could elaborate some more on what you disagreed with regarding their linking policies, I’m sure you could open a lot of eyes.

  • Robert

    I have been using SBI for a little more than 3 years now and in that time I have noticed a few concerning patterns:

    1) Most SBI sites seem to be heavily reliant on Adsense as a monetization model and therefore require large amounts of traffic.

    2) There is no real thread for Intermediate/Advanced Internet marketing strategies i.e. more than just monetizing content with Adsense, Infolinks, Chitika etc.
    And when someone does mention something outside of SBI protocols the thread gets deleted or locked.
    (Could this be because many other IM strategies require only small to medium sized websites, and the $300 yearly Sitesell fee is exorbitant/too restrictive for these strategies?
    Plus, sometimes PHP, access to the .htaccess file, or some other function is needed… and this is not possible with Sitesell.)

    3) Why do I have to keep on paying over and over for the same Tools, year on year (Content 2, Mail out manager, Brainstormit!)? I can buy Market Samurai for $149 with free lifetime updates, but SBI for 10 years will cost $3000!

    4) Why do Additional sites also cost $300 regardless of whether I will actually utilize all the tools (Content2 mailout)or not on my next site? Plus, I have already slogged through the very verbal 10 day course with my first website and I already have all the Tools with the first site, including access to the forums…
    So why $300 per year for life if I already have the tools with my First site?

    5) Mail Out manager is really old Internet technology. Most SBI folks that I know who have a marketing list use Aweber…

    6) The Content2 strategy just imploded. And there is now a flurry of activity with folks trying to delete and/or piece together 100 word posts…

    7) My gut is really persistent in warning me that these large SBI content driven sites are extremely risky, difficult to get off the ground, and very susceptible to Google’s whims.
    I can’t help but feel that the whole Sitesell strategy is already on its way out, And I don’t see that their technology will be able to keep up. (Not that it is right now.)

    Just my thoughts.

    Obviously there is no way I would be able to ask these questions in Sitesell’s forum.

    Thanks for putting up this blog. It gives some folks from the ‘SBI clan’ a chance to express concerns that they would normally not be able to do.

  • berry

    News from SBI:

    BOTCHED LAUNCH of so called BB2. New platform full of major bugs.
    A number of people affected by this catastrophe are losing their money as their sites have become dysfunctional.

    MAJOR REBELLION against SBI, as evidenced by numerous posts of disgruntled SBIers. Some leaving SBI for good. Some of those are long-time members.

    KEN EVOY full swing in damage control efforts. After 2 days of initial silence.
    You know his style? “Demonize the dissidents”.

    KEN EVOY’S ZOMBIE TROLLS as always on standby, descending on the forums and belittling those dissidents, who got hit really hard.

    TIMES ARE TOUGH for SBIers and their cult leader. First Panda fiasco, now this.

    Yet it is being trumpeted – still- as the best thing that ever happened on internet.

    Scary.

  • The Secret SBIer

    Hi,

    Not linking to my wesite, because obviously it would get me a life ban from SBI for what I am about to write. I so agree with everything written here. I have a couple of sites with SBI, but really would like to move them away. I rarely go into the forums these days, because of the strange attitude in there. I go there sometimes to help out newbies, but that’s it.

    Before Panda came along last Spring, my site was succesful, both in tems of earnings and traffic. When Panda came the first time the site took a deep dive, to my disbelief and shock. It then took Mr Envoy about a week or so to pick my site (without asking) to show examples of sites deserving to be hit. He claimed greed was the reason, due to having a top banner ad (one of the ad places not openly recommended by Google Adsense). The site also had “thin content” he claimed, due to the fact that the layout of the site was the more standard WP design, with a larger right column to fit and I had ads there. I asked him a couple of followup questions, because I felt extremely insulted by his behavior and also I didn’t understand his analysis at all. He didn’t even care to answer. So I am officially greedy now and the Panda hit is my own fault for not following his guidelines. Only I did follow the guidelines – amongst others I let C2 run wild with visitor created content… Have now deleted some 800 pages published by this SBI feature – and traffic is on its way up again.

    Anyway, it is refreshing to go outside the SBI forums and read where people speak their minds without fear. I’d want to leave SBI, or at least certainly not start a new one for my coming projects. But it is taking me ages to try to figure out which WP theme would be appropriate for a former SBI site. If someone has a tip – and I’d be happy to pay for a premium theme too, as long as it works well for a standard content site and really is SEO efficient. It drives me nuts to be stuck somewhere where the ceiling is so low that I can harldy breathe.

    • hospitalera

      Completely understood ;-) C2 is that feature that converts every comment to be on its own url/ page on your website, correct? Then I would say that this created the ‘thin content’, not your articles … OK, assuming your articles are great ;-) As for showing other people a website without the permission of the website owner – speechless!!!

      I have never moved a SBI site because I never had one, but I came some time ago across this guy http://sbi-website.howtobuildawebsiteq.com/ not sure if he is legitimate or not but he sells his ebook via e-junkie, so for the book their would be a money back warranty.
      The most difficult part will be surely to redirect all your old urls to your new ones, not the theme. Basically every theme, magazine or blog style, will do. What a theme does is adding some ‘prettiness’ to a website, plus some added layout options, but the most important part of a website is your content, not the theme ;-) I have switched website themes on my sites several times and never noticed any change in traffic because of that. Most new themes are pretty well SEO optimized, if you look at the top left corner of this blog you see a handy affi banner to the Gabfire themes, that are the ones I am using now on some of my other sites, very nice themes and you can try them out in a sandbox before you buy ;-)

      What I would do depends on how much content you have, if it is not too much you could just manually copy and paste it in WordPress and redirect the urls manually also. I also suggest you install a plugin called ‘link juice keeper’, it is free!, so be on the sure site. If you have a lot of content have a look at the guy’s ebook, again, I never read it so can’t say if it is worth the money.

      Hope that helps a bit, SY

  • I remember the guy who wrote that ebook on how to “liberate” your SBI site SY – I believe he’s legitmate too. It seems a reasonable price to save the ongoing fees for SBI

    And for what its worth TSSer – we are all a little bit mad around here – but nearly as much as Evoy – who seems to have been going even more over the top in recent months!

  • Berry

    Hi Hospitalera!
    Did you know? Somebody has brought your blog to SBI attention right on their forum!! They gave the URL etc. I have reasons to believe this was done on purpose, so that others can actually come to the place where they’re free to speak their minds.
    Of course the standby trolls were quick to dismiss you as a “splogger”:
    “It’s pretty sad that this splogger is trying to resurrect his glory day”
    …and…
    some are getting ready to assassinate the guy wrote about Hospitalera:

    “You have two choices: stay with SBI! or leave. It’s time to “take a shit or get off the pot” … In my opinion, posts like these are infectious and serve no purpose other than cause unnecessary drama.”

    Is there any wonder SBI member are frightened? Bullied into submission” Afraid to speak?

    Typical of a cult. Isn’t it?

    • hospitalera

      Oh dear, hope I can cope with the spike in traffic ;-) Truth is I had to google ‘splogger’ and now I feel mildly offended as I write all my content, ok minus the occasional guest post, myself and recommend only products I use and like. If they go through my site they can actually see that I stopped promoting things I no longer use / recommend, costs me a few hundred of $$$ each month in affi commissions, but so be it …
      I am happy to help as good as I can, but as I have never owned a SBI site it is difficult for me to recommend people the best course of action on how to move their sites away. The best I know is:

      Copy the content you want to keep, minus obviously those stupid ‘each comment gets its own page’ stuff.
      Install WordPress on your own hosting account.
      Copy and paste content into your new blog.
      Make a note of your old url (as the structure will differ).
      Redirect said urls to new ones.
      Install link juice keeper plugin (free) to keep links that you missed.
      Test, test, test that all is well.
      Point DNS server to new site.

      Oh, and it would be ‘her glory day’ not ‘his’ ;-) As for cult, yes, it sounds so, a business puts the customer first, a cult puts the guru first, nuff said …

  • Berry

    Some people however seem to be sick and tired enough, and it looks like they do not give rat’s back end:

    “I’m also angry
    My daughter and I both have SBI sites and we do not use BB or BB2 but here are issues which have effected us
    The BI issues is the worst and I am sick of going on and it not working
    This has been going on since at least the end of March
    This forum states that the process is slow only for people with 1000 pages or more
    Well let me tell I have a site with two pages and it is slow
    So is the up load process
    Lastly my ezine number have been wiped out on one of my sites and one of my daughters.
    This was reported five days ago and the best response has been it has been passed on to the tech people and they are working on it we will keep you updated.
    SBI is not cheap we expect a better update process and a better response for our money
    Remember it is SBI user that sell SBI”

    also this one:

    “Yes I have contacted support and while they are very nice and helpful the issue for me is that SBI is not cheap and why should we be so complaisant
    Yes Ken is very nice and keeps us all posted but at the end of the day we pay heavily for what is repeatedly sold as a superior service
    In which case we should expect that
    And
    Get it
    The issue with Brain Storm has been going on for more than half a month now.
    Me and others, running more successful business than me, pay for the mail out service we are not getting
    You pay for brainstorm and ezine mail out
    Sitesell is not a sacred cow, it is a business and should perform like one
    Upgrades of this size should be smother than this it is not really rocket science
    You me and everyone else should be getting what they pay heavily for the smooth sleek service we are always being told Sitesell is.”

    Wow.

  • New Fan / Soon-to-Be Former SBI-er

    I came from the link in the SBI forums, and all I can say about this post and all the FANTASTIC comments is, RIGHT ON!

    I’ve been an SBI-er for nearly five years. I actually make my living w/ SBI sites (I’m one of the few), and boy do I feel like I have been RIPPED OFF. Ken and his “blinders on” BS has really held me back. I’m so glad he went off the deep end and started acting like a crazy man with his recent “war on google” (not related to the alleged Google Bomb), but his fight on their new Privacy Policy (which isn’t cool, but he bullied everyone in the forums to delete their Google+ Accounts in a ridiculous act of protest.) Now this BB2 baloney is RUINING long time SBI-er’s sites, and it’s already 15-months late. And the entire time he acts like he’s doing EVERYONE A FAVOR by updating his horrible block builder. The ONLY reason why I’ve been there so long is that it’s a pain in the butt to move, but here’s the kicker … to upgrade to his much touted crock of crap Blockbuilder 2 system (that will have only a tenth of the features you can get in a free WordPress theme), YOU HAVE TO COPY AND PASTE EACH PAGE INTO THE NEW BUILDER.

    That is EXACTLY what I have been trying to avoid doing, and he didn’t reveal this little bit of information until the product was LATE for it’s already LATE Christmas launch. I would have started my move a year ago if I would have known it.

    And as far as SBI being a creepy cult. YES! It IS creepy, creepy, cult.

  • sbi'er looking for escape route

    I’m SO glad this forum exists where we can finally speak freely AND anonymously. This might sound paranoid, but Evoy does indeed have spies – they’ve often been discovered lurking elsewhere – and they’re watching right now. Yes, it’s gotten THAT bad in the last 12 months or so. The scariest part is that he seems to actually believe his own inflated hype. His cultists have actually said “Ken is my God,” “General Ken,” and countless other gushing worship that would curdle your blood. and he does NOTHING to tamp down that stuff.

    He makes very frequent mega-posts in the sbi forums – usually 2-3,000 words at a time – with a half-dozen links to other mega-posts. Before you read one, you have to chug a gallon of coffee, pack a lunch, and take along a change of underwear. Then those are always followed by 20-30 cultists gushing gratitude for his gazillion words of wisdom. It’s mind-boggling.

    I agree 1,000% with all posts above. But they’re just the tip of the iceberg – there’s FAR more stuff I’ll reveal after I safely escape.

    Btw, Evoy’s relentless, million-word rants against Google’s Privacy Policy were just a convenient smokescreen to divert attention from the slowest rollout in Internet history: bb2 was first touted/hyped in late 2010 – at least 16 MONTHS ago! After he beat the G-rant to death for months on end, he then kicked the corpse to dust for another month. And STILL bb2 was far from ready, so he concocted more smokescreens, such as: some mysterious Kindle/global-education malarkey (WTF?), off-shore tax havens (for his struggling customers mostly making NO money, WTF?), and any other distraction he could scrape from the bottom of the barrel. It was a freak show, yet his hero-worshiping cultists played along (baa baa).

    The sbi forums are a ghost town of what they were a few years ago. The savvy vets have escaped or are lying low to avoid Evoy’s posse cult of attack dogs who attack anyone with a legitimate complaint. The savvy and/or wounded vets now have little grapevines of private FB and LI groups where they can finally speak freely – and help each other with shop talk and tips. The sbi forums now have only noobs and cultists trying to rearrange the deck chairs on the Titanic while Captain Evoy and his attack dogs bully anyone who dares to complain. It’s the circus from hell.

    There must be hundreds and hundreds – more likely thousands – of other shell-shocked, experienced sbi vets who’d LOVE to escape if only they knew of a paved, lighted escape route. Give us a viable exit strategy and there’ll be a mass exodus. That’s why hospitalera is so valuable as a way for all sbi escapees to communicate without Evoy’s frequent threats to “fire” dissenters before they can move their sites to a new host. We’re pretty much being held hostage by the sbi host.

    I’ve seen that fellow you mentioned, Daniel Papcke of http://sbi-website.howtobuildawebsiteq.com, in a grapevine group and he does seem to be legit. I know there are also other former sbi’ers with similar sites – I just don’t know YET which one is the pick of the litter. My savvy friends are blazing the escape routes and will keep me informed.

    Hey, if I have to do a tedious page-by-page copy/paste from bb1 to the slightly better bb2 (and still be trapped in the sbi lunatic asylum), why not just copy/paste from bb1 to a new, up-to-date, far less expensive host (without an egomaniacal cult leader)? It’s a no-brainer.

    Bye, bye, sbi. Drove my Chevy to the levee but it’s pie-in-the-sky…

    • Danny

      My one experience with Daniel Papcke would make me wary of having much to do with him.

      A year ago Papcke wrote to me out of the blue seeking some web-related advice and I responded with a long and carefully thought out answer. It took me some time to put it together.

      Never got so much as an acknowledgement for my effort. In my book that is just plain rude and ungrateful

      Maybe it seems a small issue, but sometimes I think the small issues can be indicative of bigger problems. What I draw from it is that Papcke is great at taking, not so good at giving.

      • Danny, I cannot remember having had contact with you…I am for sure not perfect, but I cannot remember nor find any conversation we had … I more would dare to claim that you are an SBI affiliate in some way doing the usual stuff they do…

        so since you are attacking me, please prove your insult…and that you are not one of SBI’s suppression trolls …or..

        sorry to the rest for interfering the discussion…I was asked to have a look by a friend

        Daniel Papcke

        • hospitalera

          Quite ok Daniel, I am mostly keeping out of the discussion ;-) and leave it to the, directly, affected ;-)

  • Pete

    SBI’s Empire: Beginning of the End? –> SBI! Xpress #384

    No need for you to read 100+ Net-marketing e-zines, blogs & feeds — we do that for you.

    People like you only get confused by information anyway. Plus, nobody out there knows what they’re doing. You’ll be safe in here. Trust us. Would you like a cup of tea?

    SBIX boils it all down and reports only the important material you need to know.

    Like closing dates for our latest Facebook competition, the announcement of a new Featured Fan, or the release of an I LOVE SBI! video series.

    You are always up-to-date

    We promise to keep at least one or two of our 80+ modules more-or-less up to date at all times. And if you really need a funky feature you’ve read about somewhere, just request it in our Wish List thread. We love that thread here at SBI. You should hear the tearoom laughter it generates on a daily basis.

    and “noise-free.”

    We would never, for example, bombard you with an endless stream of irrelevant anti-Google campaigns just because the boss has some sort of personal vendetta. Nor would we stuff every one of your newsfeeds with urgent pleas for you to protest against Google or some other equally futile cause. Because that would interfere with your business building activities, and your business means a lot more to us than the confused agendas of our eccentric founder. On the contrary, we respect you as a paying customer, and will never abuse the privilege of having your custom by mistaking you for a political pawn.

    There are no back issues because all important information goes into the various HQs in Site Central.

    Also, we don’t have a SAVE button, which makes back-issues tricky. (Of course, if you’re after bells and whistles, I believe there are third party services nowadays that provide Save functionality. You can integrate a 3rd party Save widget into your block-built site using Infinit! Talk to one of our SBI coaches today, and they’ll walk you through the process for a very small fee!)

    It’s all part of the overall SBI! policy…

    At least I’m pretty sure it is. To tell you the truth, I’m not sure that we even have an SBI! policy, but I’ve just sent out a note to Help Elf to check.

    SBIX & the HQs deliver all (and the only) key Web marketing news, strategies and analysis that you need.

    I know I’ve already said that, but we at SBI believe that if we repeat a phrase enough times, customers will start to mindlessly repeat it too. In no time at all you can use this method to have an otherwise perfectly rational and intelligent human being defending to the death statements they don’t even understand.

    You literally gain tens of hours per week ignoring all the outside noise.

    And that is grrrrrrrrrreeeeeaaat news for YOU, because you’re going to need every one of those hours to navigate your way through the labyrinth of archaic buttons, dropdowns, and other nameless idiosynchrotic devices to perform even the simplest of daily tasks, like sending out an email to your subscribers.

    Use that time to grow what’s important… your business.

    But PLEASE folks, whatever you do, just don’t grow it too big. Sorry, we just don’t have the tools.

    NOTE: For the lucky non-SBIers among you, the tags indicate direct quotes from the introduction to SBIX! — that’s SBI’s regular newsletter mailout.

  • Pete

    SBI’s Empire: Beginning of the End? –> SBI! Xpress #384

    SBI — No need for you to read 100+ Net-marketing e-zines, blogs & feeds — we do that for you.

    KEEP IT REAL — People like you only get confused by information anyway. Plus, nobody out there knows what they’re doing. You’ll be safe in here. Trust us. Would you like a cup of tea?

    SBI — SBIX boils it all down and reports only the important material you need to know.

    KEEP IT REAL — Like closing dates for our latest Facebook competition, the announcement of a new Featured Fan, or the release of an I LOVE SBI! video series.

    SBI — You are always up-to-date

    KEEP IT REAL — We promise to keep at least one or two of our 80+ modules more-or-less up to date at all times. And if you really need a funky feature you’ve read about somewhere, just request it in our Wish List thread. We love that thread here at SBI. You should hear the tearoom laughter it generates on a daily basis.

    SBI — and “noise-free.”

    KEEP IT REAL — We would never, for example, bombard you with an endless stream of irrelevant anti-Google campaigns just because the boss has some sort of personal vendetta. Nor would we stuff every one of your newsfeeds with urgent pleas for you to protest against Google or some other equally futile cause. Because that would interfere with your business building activities, and your business means a lot more to us than the confused agendas of our eccentric founder. On the contrary, we respect you as a paying customer, and will never abuse the privilege of having your custom by mistaking you for a political pawn.

    SBI — There are no back issues because all important information goes into the various HQs in Site Central.

    KEEP IT REAL — Also, we don’t have a SAVE button, which makes back-issues tricky. (Of course, if you’re after bells and whistles, I believe there are third party services nowadays that provide Save functionality. You can integrate a 3rd party Save widget into your block-built site using Infinit! Talk to one of our SBI coaches today, and they’ll walk you through the process for a very small fee!)

    SBI — It’s all part of the overall SBI! policy…

    KEEP IT REAL — At least I’m pretty sure it is. To tell you the truth, I’m not sure that we even have an SBI! policy, but I’ve just sent out a note to Help Elf to check.

    SBI — SBIX & the HQs deliver all (and the only) key Web marketing news, strategies and analysis that you need.

    KEEP IT REAL — I know I’ve already said that, but we at SBI believe that if we repeat a phrase enough times, customers will start to mindlessly repeat it too. In no time at all you can use this method to have an otherwise perfectly rational and intelligent human being defending to the death statements they don’t even understand.

    SBI — You literally gain tens of hours per week ignoring all the outside noise.

    KEEP IT REAL — And that is grrrrrrrrrreeeeeaaat news for YOU, because you’re going to need every one of those hours to navigate your way through the labyrinth of archaic buttons, dropdowns, and other nameless idiosynchrotic devices to perform even the simplest of daily tasks, like sending out an email to your subscribers.

    SBI — Use that time to grow what’s important… your business.

    KEEP IT REAL — But PLEASE folks, whatever you do, just don’t grow it too big. Sorry, we just don’t have the tools.

    NOTE: For the lucky non-SBIers among you, the SBI — tags indicate direct quotes from the introduction to SBIX! — that’s SBI’s regular newsletter mailout.

  • Anonymous

    It should be mentioned that within the last week or so Ken has threatened to fire people. I never really understood how you could fire people who don’t work for you. They pay you for a service. I think this speaks to Dr. Evoy’s mindset.

    He seriously feels that if you don’t behave in a way that he feels is appropriate, either in the forums or with support he can just cut your livelihood and take your site off the net.

    He seems to use this tactic to control the group because when it was pointed out that the .02% of the people he was intending on letting go was actually just 8 people it become difficult to justify threatening the entire customer base. It caused alot of stress. Who wants to pay Ken to stress them out?

    Personally, I’m moving because I don’t like the fact that its obvious now that there is no board; no committee, no team behind the scenes helping Ken make decisions for the company. It’s just him without anyone willing to say No to him. Or at least steer him clear of some really bad judgement calls over the past year.

    And the customers who complain get called names in the forums. Naysayers, demotivators, bashers. Anyone who has a legitimate complaint gets some nasty label and then the rest of Ken’s supporters feel OK with continuing the bullying. But then he claims abusive tactics are not accepted. He hates criticism of any kind. Even the staff says that amongst themselves. Thin skinned.

    There are some really creepy people in the forums now. The kind with thousands of posts who live in the forums so that you wonder if they ever step outside or have family or friends. And the others who seem to be this side of dangerous zealot. So weird.

    With everything broken after this launch and with that not even close to being over the likelihood of moving forward with any real online business there doesn’t seem realistic. Not for $300 a year per domain.

  • hospitalera

    Hi guys, I did a bit of research and found this forum thread http://www.websitebabble.com/site-build-sbi-discussion/24584-migrating-site-build-wordpress-via-httrack.html hope it is useful to somebody. On a similar note, if somebody here wants to write a guest post about how to move your site out of SBi with step by step instructions, I am happy to publish it! You can contact me via the information given here http://hospitalera.com/contact-networks/

  • berry

    Agree, guys. This whole SBI thing is archaic.
    Evoy’s hyper-inflated and hyper-sensitive ego makes him worthy of a cult leader.
    Yes, you need a cult to attempt to keep alive a bankrupt platform that costs you fortune.
    I haven’t seen anything this primitive and this creepy like this whole site sell venture.
    Everything is broken indeed after this botched “launch”, yet the zombies keep singing in unison:
    “Ken we love you”, “Thanks Ken”, “SBI rocks!”, “Keep up the good work”, “Spend some time with the family, we can wait”‘ “I believe in SBI”. Good gravy this scares me.
    I am on my way out! Bon voyage!

  • OnMyWayOut

    Man you folks crack me up! You’ve hit the nail on the head! The only thing I’ll miss about leaving sbi is my daily forum barf, because it is quite comical to read all the praise threads and then the threads where everyone is whining about their loss of traffic or how great their Alexa score is…although their upstream and downstream is 100% sitesell.com

    What a pompous and arrogant A-hole

  • (I’m choosing to forgo anonymity because there are enough details below that it wouldn’t be too hard to figure out my identity anyway – plus I can always use the backlink . . .)

    I successfully moved the first of my four SBI sites to HostGator this last week. I purchased Daniel’s book and even gave him a testimonial – to me, it was money well spent because it helped expedite the process for me. Well documented, step by step instructions – that’s what I needed/wanted and that’s what I got, and after 27 days, the book will have already paid for itself.

    One thing that hasn’t been pointed out, however, is that the book is designed to help you transition from SBI hosting to another host – while still maintaining a static html site. If you want to go the WP route, the book won’t help. I prefer keeping my sites as static html, so it’s been a helpful resource for me.

    ——————–

    There are two primary reasons I’m leaving SBI – business and personal.

    On the business side of things, I’m not about to expose what currently amounts to about two-thirds of my income to the risk of the well being (be it physical or mental) of a single individual. Yeah, I’m sure there’s a succession plan and yeah, Ken’s constant sniping at Google will probably never result in an across the board de-indexing of all SBI sites, but why even take these chances?

    On the personal side, I take my rights as a customer pretty seriously. Don’t get me wrong – I’m very low maintenance, respectful, appreciative, but when you accept my money and fail to deliver the value you promise, or fail to acknowledge the problem, or even fail to appreciate my business, then I’m going to stop giving you money.

    And there’s this absolutely weird psychological and emotional dynamic with SBI. I recently did my taxes (one full day before the deadline lest I be accused of procrastination), and I discovered that I paid SiteSell more than $1500 in 2011 (I’m on the monthly plan and for a while I had a 5th site last year).

    If someone paid me $1500 a year, you can be d–n sure I would go out of my way to express my gratitude to them, acknowledge their concerns, listen to their ideas. With SBI, it’s the opposite – we’re the ones who are supposed to be appreciative. Actually, appreciative isn’t even the right word, because I really am appreciative of what I’ve learned over the last 3-4 years, and I’m very grateful that I haven’t had to be an employee for 3 years now. But at the same time, I’m not filled with adoration, fierce loyalty, or slavish devotion. Yes, my experience with SBI helped facilitate my success. But I’ve also been busting my backside for the last 4 years, too.

    I’m sorry, but I’m weirded out by people who need to be adored. I’ve never had this kind of bizarre emotional relationship with a service provider before. I don’t experience drama with my cable company or my cell phone provider – why should I with my hosting company?

    Still, I’m not rooting for either Ken or SBI’s demise. Ken has successfully identified and understands how to market to (manipulate) his target audience/demographic – i.e. unsophisticated, conflict-averse, e-commerce hobbyists/retirees who desire a sense of family first, business success second.

    (And have no doubt about it – he’s a master at marshalling that zombie army – e.g. in his thread on “firing” his “abusive” customers, loyalist (non-abusive?) comments that followed subsequently compared those customers who had been critical of SBI to weeds, cancer, and gangrene . . .)

    More power to ‘em (there will always be herds and someone driving that herd – that’s what herds desire most after all – at some level you just have to accept it and then try to stay out of harm’s way) – but when you’re no longer part of that demographic (or never were but only just now realize you’re not the business model’s ideal customer), it’s time to move on and continue your growth/journey somewhere better suited to you.

    Good luck to all . . .

  • OH.MY.GOSH. I’m so glad I happened upon this post tonight!!!

    I’m an ex-SBIer, and I’m absolutely NOT afraid to share who I am! My name is Kristi Linauer, and I own a site called Addicted 2 Decorating.

    Let me share my own personal experience…

    I used SBI for three years. I learned a great deal about how to build a successful website, but after three years, I started realizing the tremendous limitations of Sitesell.

    I decided to move to WordPress, and I did just that in December of 2011.

    Before I moved, my Alexa rank was around 125,000. Within a week or so of moving to WordPress, my Alexa rank dropped to 104,000. That’s a drop of 21,000 that can only be attributed to the switch to WordPress.

    In December of 2011 (my last month with SBI), my site had 128,655 visitors and 278,124 page views. In January of this year (my first month with WordPress), my site had 166,473 visitors and 676,129 page views!! That’s quite a jump!!

    I’m realizing now that I got out just in time. I no longer have access to the forums, but I’ve been reading comments from frustrated SBIers on the SiteSell Facebook page regarding the effects of Panda. Panda seems to have kicked SBIers in the butt, while my WordPress site has had smooth sailing, and has even increased in rank for many huge key words.

    On the SiteSell Facebook page, I read a comment from someone who was complaining about how his site was hit hard by Panda. He mentioned the key word “make money online”, which I can only assume is his niche, so I Googled it to see what I found. Of the top ten sites for that key word, SEVEN of them were WordPress sites.

    On another post on the SBI Facebook page, a member posted “How many of you have been able to make your website your main source of income? I’m not looking to get rich but I would really love for this to be my “job” in the near future.” One response caught my attention. He said, “Working on it. Have been working for 3 years. But I’ve put in too much work to give up now…”

    So I Googled his name, found his SBI site, and then checked the Alexa rank. After three years of work, his site has an Alexa rank of 1,411,171. AFTER.THREE.YEARS!!! My gosh, man, I think it’s time to throw in the towel!!

    Anyway, I could go on and on…deceptive marketing practices, cult mentality, etc., etc.

    Needless to say, as I used to be one of these people, I have compassion for those who desperately want off this sinking ship.

    Want to build a successful website? USE WORDPRESS!! Want the best WordPress theme available? CHOOSE A GENESIS THEME. Need help? CONTACT ME! I can help you customize your site and get it set up just like you need.

    But please, if you’re an SBIer reading this, for the love of your online business, your time, and your money, get out while you can.

  • Barry

    I’d like to show profound gratitude to Hospitalera for being so awesome as to reopen the comments on this post.

    Secondly, the person who had the BALLS to post a link to this article in the weird, psychopathic, mentally stunted cesspit SBI forums deserves a gold medal. Well done to that girl or boy.

    The nasty piece of domineering work that is Evoy has got away with overcharging and manipulating internet reviews for far too long. The search engines have finally slapped half of their sites and now this idiotic BB2 story is yet another example of it going down the pan.

    I had 3 SBI sites and I moved the last one over a couple of months ago. It felt very good indeed.

    I see there have been a couple of G updates this week and no doubt, plenty of SBI sites will have been hit badly. No doubt this will create some havoc on the precious forums again.

    No doubt some freak who calls himself mad Paul or something will insult anyone who dares to have an opinion. Oh by the way, mad Paul is an SBI employee and was masquerading for years on the forums as an example of a good ol’ SBI success story just like the others. And he is some seriously odd redneck type, believe me.

    Something that struck me when I started to move all my sites away, was that I saw that these “amazing 15k per month earners” who took pics of themselves when meeting Evoy or elsewhere, all had slightly crappy clothes. Who earning that kind of cash wears crappy clothes? Well the answer is that they don’t actually earn that cash. These people bleat on about how they bought a house at 43 years old or whatever, as though it’s a huge achievement. They’re all full of BS.

    It’s great to see some honesty and real opinions of real SBIers somewhere neutral.

    Keep this thread going so that innocent newbies don’t get scammed into that oddball sect.

  • Stan W.

    ?Sorry, We’re Not Really Penguin Proof –> SBI! Xpress #31455657690

    Pearls from the Forums.

    Well we are not (yet) but we are still the best platform in the universe.

    HERE’S ONE EXAMPLE of just how “GREAT” a platform SBI “system” really is:

    - Okay,
    I’m not new to using includes but it’s been 3 days and I uploaded a new page and updated my include files but up till now, the include files have NOT been updated sitewide.
    Even the new recently uploaded page that I expect to show the include immediately did not show.
    Funny thing is, today when I check this new page again, it appears the contents of my new include has disappeared.

    This is totally scary. anybody knows what’s going on?

    - Buddy, this whole SBI thing is scary indeed, just noticed?
    - No, nobody knows what’s going on. SBI “support” is too busy running around, putting out fires.

    PENGUIN JUST HIT – SBI IS BLEEDING! perhaps to death… here’s a couple of examples from the poor s*ckers who used BELIEVE in the “system”. Boy, what a bloodshed.

    I AM SO CONFUSED my traffic is always good 2012= 27,000-31,000 Now in one month -67% I can’t afford this kind of traffic loss and I work too hard to go backwards. Every time I go into Google tool masters I see new things. I am reading what is important to them. I read Kens report that Panda report and never had a problem until last month and I can see where I can make a million changes but which ones matter the most. Even if I could do all those changes it would take me 5 years so what can I do now to stop the bleeding and move forward not backwards. Does anyone know that?

    - Buddy, nobody knows. Yes it’s gonna take you 5 years to rebuild everything. But in the meantime, another Panda will hit, then Hamster, and then Skunk.

    Three of my sites – which all sailed through Panda & even had a lot of growth in the last year have been hit hard. The site that was hit the worst (over 50%) drop was audited in the panda audit as a “panda-proof” site. Obviously it isn’t penguin proof!!
    And I always liked pandas & penguins! This drop could be devastating to my family financially, but oddly I have a strong sense of peace about it. I just feel like it is going to be OK. 100% agree to sit tight & don’t take any action – at all – until we get the good doctor’s diagnosis – you can’t begin treatment without a diagnosis!

    - Oh, yes, your sites are Panda-proof for next 20 years! Dr. Ken said that. He knows. But he never mentioned Penguin-proof. Life is tough.

    My traffic is down by MORE than 50%, YES!
    Pretty discouraged lately like so many of the people being affected by this.
    My traffic dropped about 50%. The first hit was in late November (about 25%) and this past month or two it’s gotten worse.
    My traffic is down around 50% and my AdSense income is down about 80%.
    It’s grim now but I don’t think it will last. Google will do a bit of an about-turn and Ken will come back to us with helpful analysis as he always does – like everyone else I am beyond grateful for that.

    - Sure, he will, he always does. It’s gonna be another re-hashed AG version, what else? And if you do not rebound he will blame you. He always does. And if you question that he will fire you, he always does. He will also publicly embarrass you in the forums, he always does. You should be beyond grateful for that. You always should be.

    I don’t know if anybody can help me, I haven’t been following the Google “stuff” and about 2 to 3 months ago my website was getting alot of traffic about 1300 new visitors a day.
    I continued adding content I have over 350 pages now then in the past 2 weeks it stopped my visitor rating went down to around 500 new visitors a day. What is going on?
    When I stopped adding content just had let me site sort of sit is when my visitors went up, but when I started adding more content it went down.
    This is crazy! Please help.</i?

    - Help? That will be tough. Ken hasn’t got a clue what has hit him. Say he: “Even the big-gun gurus are scared of this one”. Including him, we guess.

    My traffic is also down from 1800 uniques/day to 900/day and falling, revenues are also drastically down. Yeah it sucks. But it’s taken me nearly 3 years to get to this point.

    My site was hit too, and over the past few days my rankings have been dropping. :( I know I’ve never knowingly done anything wrong,

    Me too Susanna. It’s actually good for me to think about this right now because if I think about other things going on I’ll just fall apart (personal stuff) so I’d rather be obsessed with this forum for a while.

    My site has been hit yet again. It never recovered from Panda and now this. The only thing left is if they delist my site altogether. I’ve spent literally hundreds of hours auditing, trying to get back in google’s good graces.

    - So does the “system” work? Nope? Maybe? We thought it was Panda-proof for the next 20 yrs.

    I start Sbi! 3 months ago and my site is online from 2 months.
    I have about 20 pages, 18 backlinks from blogs that a friend of mine has.
    In 4.12.2012 my traffic start growing, reaching 150 uv. in 4.23.2012 from some high demand keyword.
    After penguin I lost all page ranks and my traffic drop to 20 uv.
    I only follow the Sbi! Action Guide

    - Maybe you shouldn’t?

    I’ve been hit too. From about 700 visits/day, now down to 200-300. I’m getting pretty fed up with Google. I’m getting closer to Paul Ellis’s mindset of not doing the Google dance. Take all of your traffic get them on your list and run with hit.

    Hi Folks,
    My overall traffic is down by 40-50%, but no one page seems to be the culprit. They have each gone gone down significantly to make the overall totals bad. The little ADsense I do have has dropped off to almost nothing. Do any of you find the same thing?

    - Of course, just about everybody. SBI rocks!

    SOME SBIers SUSPECT THE WAR AGAINST GOOGLE was not worth it…

    On the whole, I hardly have any advertising, spammy tricks or keyword stuffing, yet blogs that do seem to be just fine. Is it possible that SBI sites have been hit more than others? Very disturbing!
    My suspicion is that so much anti-Google hype killed all chance for SBI sites.
    This was Google’s Penguin revenge.
    I purposely did not sign the petition (for fear of repercussions) or “like” any of those post…yet, I have lost over 80% traffic in the last 2 days.

    I wonder about this sometimes also. After all, we are all creating our websites with the sole purpose of earning money from them. We are optimizing them to earn the most possible. Also not to mention SBI has somewhat gone to war with Google publicly. Who knows, only Google does.

    SOME DARE TO SAY WORDPRESS SITES WERE SPARED WHILE SBI WERE NOT

    I have a number of a very small WordPress sites, which are probably ‘overoptimized’ in Google’s definition. They have adsense on them and shortened links to Amazon or clickbank products.
    They have pages on them with fewer than 50 words, just pictures and H1/H2 headings. They are not content rich in anyway. They all have around 20 pages of content.
    My WordPress sites were not affected by the Penguin update – they’re all still on page 1 for the keywords I’ve optimized them for.
    My SBI site has suffered a 50% drop in traffic.
    My SBI site has Google analytics on it. My WordPress sites do not.
    If the Penguin update truly did what it was supposed to do, then logic tells me that my SBI site – not overoptimized and using backlinks from all the legit places suggested by SBI like Ezine, guest posts on other blogs, social bookmarking, Facebook and Twitter – should have been unaffected and my WordPress sites should have been nuked. I smell a rat

    - We do too! Golly, no wonder Ken hates WordPress.

    SOME DARE TO SAY SBI BUSINESS MODEL IS DEAD

    Free traffic is Dead! Time for a New Plan, Ken?
    I think it is time for a complete rethink of the SBI model of building good quality sites and relying on the search engines to send free traffic.
    It is great when it happens but I think it is no longer realistic to rely on this business model. Any business that can be destroyed overnight by the whims of another (Google) is not a sound business. This latest penguin is final proof.
    I used to recommend an online business to people but I really think it is too difficult now and there are too many little “mistakes” you could inadvertently make even if you do build a good content based site. I mean who would recommend a business model that can be destroyed overnight – even a shop on Mount Vesuvius is more secure than that!
    I don’t always do what I “should” as after Panda I spent hundreds of hours turning things around but if Penguin had nailed me, like it has others, I think I would be inclined to cut and run.

    - Wow! Cut and run? You are not a TRUE SBIer, are you?

    - …AND SOME HAVE PROPOSED A NEW BUSINESS MODEL:

    1) copy and back-up your website to your computer
    2) delete all the content from your website (but, not the structure, in order to keep backlinks)
    3) register a new domain, that is not exact keyword match (not to be overoptimized)
    4) pass all the content to new website. Now, new site is fresh, without any backlinks that could harm you
    So, in short, if Google is penalizing you for all those links, just create a brand new site. Of course, that would be radical ( but possible ) so at the moment is much better just to wait and see how this Pinguin story will end up.
    5) if Google turns back to the old algorithm (where links are important), use back-up files to post your content back to the old website (that have kept old backlinks)
    6) if however, Google continues to penalize for spammy links, your competitor could bomb you with thousands of spam regularly. What should you do then? Copy your content to brand new site again, and bomb competitors site, … he will register a new site too and bomb you, … you will do the same, … he too, … and so on ad infinitum

    - Interesting business model. Not realistic? What else is?

    AND… A$$ KISSING NEVER STOPS, EVEN NOW

    Ken,
    I just wanted to express my gratitude for what you’re doing for us/me. Not just for mopping up the mess after the drunken arctic bird Google pitched at us, but for your tireless effort constantly looking ahead and clearing a path for us to build our businesses. So, thank you from the bottom of my heart. I mean it.
    I think this demonstrates that there is someone at the helm of the SBI ship that truly does have our interests at heart. Thank you Ken.

    Thank you Ken and the team for your tireless efforts. This is what makes Sitesell one of the best companies around. To think we not only get all the tools for building our sites, but also a detailed report to beat these Google changes, all for $299 a year. To my mind that is awesome.

    Considering the problems with BB2, I am actually amazed Ken finds time to stick his noose in this piece of #*%$ too… What it does show is the commitment of Ken to help us out.

    AND CONSIDERING THE PROBLEMS WITH BB2, well, it’s not here yet. Maybe next Christmas, maybe next Easter, maybe next Hanukkah, maybe next Ramadan. Google is helping Ken. What a great distraction – just in time.

    Hey guys,
    according to Ken’s last update the BB2 for group 2 users was supposed to start April 26:
    “Bottom line? Almost back to normal. Group 2 starts April 26.”(post by Ken).

    … still no sight of BB2. I only have a home page built and i’m waiting with all my other pages for the BB2 to lunch, and that’s the reason i’m so stressed…

    Me too!!!! Today is the 27th and I don’t make empty promises in my line of work, and I am not impressed that he promised April 26th. What gives!!!!! I deserve an email telling me why my just started site looks like a barren wasteland. I paid $300 dollars and I want answers, not emails on how to pollute my site with SBI affiliate , make Ken richer ads!!!! For a guy who stresses how to write a website, he sure bores the heck out of me with his emails that blather on about nothing.

    HERE COME THE TROLLS, they never sleep. Remember that.

    Patience, you lot! What a bunch of instigators, especially you, Graham! How rude! BB2 is going to roll out when it’s ready, not before.

    Don’t be mad at Ken, in 2 months you could have EASILY had 10-20 pages written, if not more.
    you paid $300 for a fully functioning site builder that, if you research and learn, can do the vast majority of things that BB2 can do. Sorry, no sympathy here.

    I just don’t want the same issue to rear it’s ugly head on other threads recently, where certain people went on a rant.

    AND THOSE SITES FOR SALE, MUSHROOMING OFFERS, including the old, seasoned sites now (mostly) worthless

    Great looking site, wish you all the best with the sale of the site!

    - Yes, me too!
    - And whatever you do, please, KEEP IT REAL!

    NOTE: For the lucky non-SBIers among you, the SBI — tags indicate direct quotes from the introduction to SBIX! — that’s SBI’s regular newsletter mailout.

  • Stan W,

    I am writing a detailed expose on Site Sell on my blog, and I had two questions for you:

    1) Just to verify, are those direct quotes from the SBI forums? They appear to be, but I just wanted to verify, and
    2) Would you mind if I include your comment (or at least some of it) in my article?

    You can respond back on this thread if you’d like (I check back about once a day) or you can email me at addicted2decorating (at) live dot com.

    Thanks!

  • [...] been hit hard by Google’s Panda algorithm updates. (Ken Evoy vehemently denies this, but the comments from users tell a different story. These people are frustrated and frightened at seeing their traffic, and [...]

  • Barry

    Thanks for posting those latest forum updates guys. Things don’t change around there do they? No they don’t.

    Just for the record, I make a living with around 10 sites.

    3 of these sites used to be SBI and have been recently transferred to WP, a new host and so on.

    And here has what happened since the penguin update:

    **Only the ex-SBI sites have tanked badly**

    That means that EVEN after transferring these sites to a new host, registrar and using WP Google, still sees them as SBI garbage.

    Thanks Ken! My sites are now tarnished by your anti-google ridiculous open rants because they were once SBI.

    I can only assume that G considers these sites far too SEO optimized. What else could it possibly be?

    New host, new registrar, using WP and yet the only difference between these 3 sites and the other 7 is that I used “analyze it” to build pages. Could it be that?

    All my sites started outside of SBI and written without using that analyzer tool.

    And they are doing just great! A pity sites built using SBI aren’t.

  • Paul

    While I don’t have the same level of distaste for SBI as most who are posting here have, I will say that I have SBI burnout. I have been with SBI for four years, but in the last year I have reached the conclusion that SBI might not be the best place to host websites going forward. Even though my sites were not hit by Panda, I spent months improving them to protect them from future Pandas. Then I get hit by Penguin. I’m at the point now where I’m not going to do much of anything with my sites while they are still at SBI. I’m slowly going to move my sites away from SBI to save the $300 per each year. That way if they get hit I won’t be spending $300 per site for nothing.

    I one man can’t keep bad things from happening, but the fact is that Ken has positioned himself to make a lot of SBIers to believe that he has the power. How can he know what Google is thinking? How can he know when Google will quit doing what it has been doing for the last 18 months? Yet most of the regular posters wait on the Ken report like it is coming straight from Google. I’m tired of all of that.

    If I could offer Ken any advice, my first piece would be back off from the forums. Making it appear as if he is running a one-man show is not good for the future of SBI. Why would anybody who knows how to delegate have to stay up all night and write a lengthy report himself? It’s reassuring to many there but to me, it’s just another reason to want to move my sites.

  • I moved my SBI sites over to WordPress just last month. It was a painful process, and I wish I knew there were trustworthy people actually providing the migration service. I couldn’t find anyone through search. Anyhow, I managed to move everything as systematically as possible, and I learned from the process some very important lessons (though since I won’t be moving over any sites from SBI, I won’t really need that knowledge again).

    For anyone thinking about moving over, I’ve explained what I did below. Please note that there’s some technical work involved so if you have never done something like set up a hosting plan or install WordPress, please seek help for this. None of it is extremely difficult to do, but I do realize many SBIers have become dependent on Sitesell to do everything for you that if Sitesell went belly-up tomorrow morning, you’d be out at sea with no lifeboat, while someone enjoys his villa by the shores of Anguilla…

    OK, here goes…

    1. Set up a Hostgator hosting account. You can start with a shared hosting plan which will run you around $7 per month.

    2. You need to have a primary domain for your hosting account. So if you have only one SBI website, this can be your primary domain. Otherwise, you can use any domain as your primary, and add your SBI domain as an add-on domain. Hostgator will happily guide you through this process, in my experience.

    3. Install WordPress on your domain. This involves creating a MySQL database and then installing self-hosted WordPress on your host server. Again, if you’ve never done this, Hostgator can help you through the process, and even do it for you.

    4. Setup WordPress. For now, you need to setup your permalink structure so that it generates a yourdomain.com/sample-page URL path and not other variations that WordPress offers. This fairly easy to do – and with the latest WordPress version it’s a matter of clicking from one of the options.

    You should then go the Privacy submenu in Settings and select “Ask search engines not to index this site.” This will add instructions to the search engines to not index the site (in your robots.txt).

    5. Install WordPress plugins. You need to install some essential plugins (you can search for these in WordPress using the Add New Plugin submenu in WordPress…

    - .html on PAGES (this will maintain your current SBI site url path by adding a .html to the end of the URL).

    - Contact Form 7 (this will replace your SBI Form Build It! and it’s very easy to use)

    - Facebook Comments (this will replace your Face-it! in SBI). Again, easy to use and a lot more flexibility than Face-It!

    - Google XML Sitemaps (this will generate your XML sitemap and submit your pages and posts to the engines. You can also add these sitemaps to your Google and Bing Webmaster Tools accounts.

    - Quick Adsense (if you monetize with Adsense, this will be your savior. You can add your Adsense codes in the plugin settings and then configure where and how often your ads will appear. You can disable the ads on specific pages or posts, or manually write the ads to pages. Again, more flexible than using SBI includes, and you can achieve in minutes what would take you hours, if not days, in SBI.

    - Really Simple CAPTCHA (adds CAPTCHA feature to your Contact 7 forms. Again, no need for Form Build It!)

    - Simple 301 Redirects (this plugin is going to come in handy for you when you start the actual transfer process out of SBI. Since you have already installed the .html on Pages plugin, you don’t need to do 301 redirects for any of your SBI site pages. But if you decide to not use or to stop using the .html on Pages plugin, you will need to do 301 redirects. You can add your redirects into your .htaccess file and it’s not that hard to do. But if you are totally non-tech, this plugin will do the trick. Simply add your old URL paths and new URL paths (e.g., old.html –> yourdomain.com/new).

    You can also use this plugin to redirect your image URLs. In SBI, your images are stored in /image-files/ folder. In WordPress, you can choose where to store images, or use the default location. Again, simply add the old and new paths for each image.

    - Velvet Blues Update URLs (this will be useful if you need to update any URLs on your pages. For example, on your SBI site you’d be linking to your internal pages which have the .html extension. If you decide to abandon the .html and redirect your pages to the new WordPress URL without .html, you can use this plugin to update all links on your site accordingly. Again, easy enough.

    - Simple Sitemap (this plugin generates a HTML sitemap similar to the sitemap page you created in SBI, except in SBI you had to add to your sitemap manually. This plugin does it for you and you can choose whether to include or exclude specific pages/posts from the sitemap.

    - If you are looking for an autoresponder alternative, you have options. Aweber is the tool of choice for most veteran marketers, but if you’re looking for a free and SUPERIOR option to the SBI mail out manager, Mailchimp is a great choice. You can easily set this up later, after your site it up and running on WordPress.

    - There are hundreds of other great plugins you can explore for managing, promoting, monetizing and improving the user experience of your site. You can check these out later by Googling for top or best plugins, or doing your own homework. Note that ALL of the above plugins are FREE. Right now you should be pissed off that you actually pay for all of these functions on SBI, and in some cases, functions that even SBI won’t let you do.

    - Many people use an SEO plugin like All-in-one SEO which is also free. The theme I use adds the SEO features to the page/post editing panel, among many other amazing functions, so I just go with what’s included in the theme. More on the theme I use below.

    - Choose a theme. You can use a free theme but I use Catalyst. It’s fairly easy to learn and there is good documentation and support for it. Others may recommend themes like Genesis, Thesis, etc. They are all excellent options. You’ll need to trust one of us or make your own decision after trying them all. You can buy Catalyst for around $90 that will let you use the theme on an unlimited number of sites that you own. Make sure you set up your theme the way you want it.

    6. Copy and paste all your content page by page, into WordPress. You can do this using either WordPress pages or posts. Note that pages in WordPress are intended for permanent content such as your privacy page, etc. But many people use pages for their content as well. Posts are what drive your blog, and appear in your blogroll and RSS feed. Upload all your images and media, and then make sure all your URLs are correct and your pages/posts appear as they should. If you choose to keep your SEO page/post meta, copy and paste them in the editing page – again either with All-in-one SEO or theme functionality.

    OK. So far, you’ve spent $7 x 12 months = $84 for hosting and $90 for a premium theme. $170 and you have some change. Of course, keep in mind that you can use the hosting and the theme for your second, third and so on sites…

    7. Contact SBI support. Tell them you want to transfer your hosting and domain to another provider. They’ll help you understand their convoluted process for doing so, and might scare you with the “you’ll lose all the great benefits of SBI once you change your server”. Don’t worry…

    Once you get access from them, change your nameservers in the provided SBI control panel to the Host Gator nameservers. You’ll find the Host Gator nameservers in your Host Gator cpanel at the bottom left of the main page.

    It may take some time (usually hours) for the new servers to kick in. So in the meantime, come back to your WordPress setup and go to Settings –> Privacy. Remember where you selected “Ask search engines not to index this site.”? Now you’re going to change that setting to “Allow search engines to index this site.” That way, by the time your Host Gator servers kick in, your domain will be pointing to your new WordPress site.

    8. Test everything. Make sure there are no broken links and that the site is working as it should.

    9. You can now initiate a domain transfer. Again, Sitesell has its own weird way of dealing with this, but it’s easy enough to do. Set up an account at Namecheap.com and initiate the domain transfer once Sitesell has unlocked the domain. This can take a few hours and even up to 7 days, but in my experience it happens fairly quick these days.

    Once your domain transfer has been processed, you finalize the transfer over at Namecheap by pointing the domain to the Host Gator nameservers.

    And that’s it. You are free from SBI.

    Notes: You should set up your preferred domain settings in Google webmaster tools to NOT use the www. prefix. SBI uses it, and with WordPress, it’s unnecessary. You can also add a 301 redirect in your .htaccess file to instruct the engines to forward any www calls to your domain to the non-www URL.

    Before doing all this, make sure you’ve familiarized yourself with WordPress, especially if you are doing this yourself. If you are going to ask/hire a more experienced user to do this for you, then no worries, they can coach you on WordPress after the migration.

    If I missed anything, or something doesn’t seem right in my instructions, anyone who has done this…please chime in.

    Hope this helps! Good luck leaving SBI! You won’t regret it…

    • Greg

      Did you set up your sites as blogs or as proper sites? I have signed up with WP but can’t see how to set it up as a site not a blog. Also did you pay the $99 per year fee to upgrade to pro, or don’t you need this?

      • Greg, what WordPress are you speaking about? The software itself is free, but you need your own domain and hosting to set up a site. In case you are speaking about the free blogs at wordpress.com, these can’t be monetized, not much at least and not in the usual way, like Adsense ect. If a site looks more like a blog or more like a traditional site depends on the theme you use. Hope that helps, SY

        • Greg

          Thanks for that. Do I have to have my site transferred from SBI before I set up evrything on the new host? I have purchased and downloaded a template and have chosen a host. I don’t want my site to be out of action for too long, as it will take me some time to set up the new template and transfer all my info over.
          From what I have seen so fay it appears that I will not be able to proceed with the template until the site is available.

  • On a separate note, this is a request to both SBI and non-SBI users….

    I am conducting a short survey to learn about how much SBIers and non-SBIers actually earn.

    If we can get enough SBIers to share their earnings, and how much they spend time and money wise to earn that amount, then I have something definitive comparing those who build and manage sites with SBI and those who use other platforms like WordPress.

    URL to survey is here…please share….

    bit.ly/IN73RP

    Thanks.

  • Stan W.

    Kristi,

    To answer your questions (tanks for asking):
    YES and YES.
    All the best with your expose.
    Please post the link here, when ready.

    Stan

  • Appalled =

    Yes, I’m an SBIer. Soon to be EX-SBIer.

    It is clear from the panic inside the SBI forums that many SBI sites – probably close to 70% – have been affected in some way by the Penguin update. To date, the only solution that Ken Evoy has offered has been several long-winded rants that amount to:

    -you are either a ‘natural’ or a ‘manipulator’ when it come to backlinking
    -don’t be naughty
    -delete all of your naughty backlinks
    -build more content
    -appeal to Google for a reconsideration

    Ken took approximately 38 pages to say this when converted into a Word doc. It’s symbolic of what’s wrong with the organisation. When I started following its much-lauded “Action Guide” a few years back, I was appalled. Why say something in one line, when you can say it in 14 paragraphs?

    Personally, I think it’s a matter of too little, too late. The method of building a site with the left hand nav bar (appears first in your source code) and the prescriptions made by the heavy-handed Analyse It tool (their internal SEO checker) would appear to be viewed by Google as keyword stuffing. Thankfully, I’m not a ‘blockbuilder’ but one of their second class citizens, someone who writes their own CSS and HTML, so I’m not involved in the BB2 debacle.

    And the forums…

    If you’re after a fundamentalist, MLM-type place to hang out, you’ll love it. If you faint at the sight of the word ‘damn’, you’ll also love it. If you feel like you need to live in a protected area, something like Disneyland where it’s all peaches and Dr Ken rides a shining white charger, sign up NOW!

    I LOVED finding this post and the thread and I can tell you…. I’m outta here!

  • Barry

    The biggest swizz of all is their “like a tortoise” mantra. What a load of steaming horse manure.

    That is Ken’s way of saying “pay me for 5 years before your site fails”. The sad thing is so many of those people believe it. Some of them are 3 years counting and not even making $100 per month from their site.

    But no, they have to be patient. Because it’ll happen one day. Really.

  • I have successfully transitioned several websites from SBI to WordPress, including very large ones. It is possible – and it is possible to do so without having your website down or losing any file names, etc.

    • Stan W.

      LORI

      How did manage to transition your large site to WP?

      Have you done this all by yourself?

      Stan

      • Hi Stan,

        I’ve done several. One I downloaded the entire SBI site, fixed the coding issues (like the coding for the SBI includes) then FTP’d to the new host. Built the wordPress “behind” it – so as I deleted the static .html pages, the new WordPress pages were live.

        I just did this for a client – hosted on a new host, used the IP as the url – completely built the WordPress – transitioned the pages – THEN moved the domain name to the new registrar, and pointed to the new host. This way there were no down time.
        Have to find a host that allows for this –

        About to check into another way that may be faster, but before I recommend it I need to try it.

        I’ve moved several large (100+ pages) sites.
        There is life after SBI!
        All my clients find that WordPress is a lot easier to deal with too – as far as editing and publishing pages, and the never-ending supply of plugins that will do everything but your laundry! ;)

  • sbi'er looking for escape route

    Is Ken Evoy’s credibility in question? Here’s a verbatim copy/paste quote from sbi’s home page on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/SiteSell :

    “www.sitesell.com has helped hundreds of thousands of regular people build online businesses (“e-businesses”) that outperform larger competitors. SBI! is the only all-in-one product that empowers folks to succeed at unmatched rates of success.”

    Why does Evoy’s primary promo on sbi’s FB home page (smack dab at the top) claim “hundreds of thousands” of successful sbi-hosted sites (that means at least 200K), yet in the sbi forums he constantly claims a total of 40K sbi sites? Isn’t a difference of 500% rather HUGE?

    How did sbi’s 40K sites (whether “successful” or not) suddenly become 200K successful sites? And why hasn’t anyone asked him to explain his contradiction in his “friendly” forums? Could it be a fear of his rabid posse (and undercover shills) and a fear of getting one’s site “fired” with no clear exit ramp from the quagmire of sbi’s arcane coding?

    Is Evoy’s sbi promo claim/contradiction just an honest mistake? How many of his other statements are just “honest” mistakes? Would his blindered worshipers care about a blatant lack of credibility? Could they bear having their dream-bubbles burst? Just wondering.

  • Anonymous

    Something else anyone considering SBI should know is that Ken and Team have no problem exposing your site stats in the forums.

    If you mention your stats in any way make sure you are accurate. If not and it reflects negatively on SBI, you will be scolded and your “corrected” stats will be offered up in the forums. Like– We checked and you only dropped %18 yesterday, not the %20 you claimed, and compared to what your site did this same day last year that’s actually an improvement of xyz percentage.–

    So be warned. Even mentioning your stats in passing indicates to them that they can discuss even more about your site statistics than you might be comfortable with.

  • Former sitesell customer

    Just wanted to note that any “SBIers” looking to unlock and transfer their domain can do it here:

    https://manage.opensrs.net/

    All you need is the info from the webmail email they sent after registering your domain. This email includes the user name & password you’ll need to login and manage your domain.

    To unlock the domain, you’ll just disable domain locking. You’ll have to do this in order to transfer your domain. You’ll also need the EPP code which can be found under Domain Extras then clicking info.

    I’d also like to add for hesitant Sbiers that a managed WordPress host may be a good option if you’re afraid of the technical stuff. Check out zippykid.com. Their least expensive option is $15/month (1 site/50,000 visitors per month) which will likely work for most Sbiers who only have 1 site and far less than 50,000 visitors/ month (sad I know). The next step up is $25/month (1site/100,000visitors).

    More expensive than host gator, yes, but much cheaper than SBI. And, If you’re just starting out (like me) or don’t want to worry about the back end of WordPress Ive found it very convenient. I don’t have to worry about security and back ups since they do it all for me. I know it’s not for everyone, but it may be a good middle ground when transferring from SBI where you didn’t have to worry about the back end stuff. It will definitely cut down on the initial learning curve for transferring SBIers and let you focus on getting your content situated. I had no content to transfer ( thanks BB2!) so I can’t speak of the ease or how to of migration. I do know this host offers migration services for $150.

    Check out Krisi at addicted2decorating.com, a former Sbier who offers WordPress help and set-up services for a very reasonable hourly rate!

    Anyway. I just transferred from SBI and am looking onward and upward!!! WordPress is NOT evil and it can be done!!!!

    • I have never heard of Zippykid.com before and $15/month is, whilst not expensive, surely not the cheapest hosting solution. A basic >>>Hostgator< << account starts at as little as $4/month and they offer one click WordPress installation and provide, in my experience, a superb support service that goes beyond the call of duty. Zippykid seems to be in business since 2010, >>>Hostgator< << is since 2002, that would be also a point to consider imho. SY

  • Stan W.

    Hello Michael soon-to-be-ex-SBIer!

    SBI HOLY INQUISITION HAS CONDEMNED YOU!
    BEHOLD, OUR CULT LEADER HAS SPOKEN.

    (EXCERPTS from 3000 words recent post by Ken Evil – to save you 2 hrs of reading)

    - “I’m sad to take some time away from Penguin to answer this, but a straw, the last one, has just broken this camel’s back.
    It’s beyond incomprehensible.

    Michael’s posts add nothing, complain about the same things, and make up some stuff that is so ridiculous that folks aren’t even sure what he’s saying sometimes.

    Prior to that above thread, he posted a reply to “Sitesell Support Officially Sucks!.”

    But over 5 weeks later, on May 17, 2012, Michael’s happy to find a subject line like that and jump into an old thread with a really destructive post that suggests (again) that I sack the CEO)..

    … and adds that what we (SiteSell) really want is “a nice quiet old guy who is happy with 40 pages and paying his 300 Canadian bucks per year” and that “big sites are a nuisance from a business standpoint to SiteSell.”

    Yup, that’s us. That’s why I’m on the edge of “brain explosion” digging through all this Penguin data. Michael is about to discover what “real” hosting costs him — it’s not $300.
    Despite that, he still gets 9,000 visitors per day. In its heyday, pre-Panda, Michael had more than 20,000 visitors per day.

    I understand disappointment, even lashing out.
    Michael’s only “answers” have been to continue with his destructive repetitions. He does not read replies.
    To be fair, I understand his mood. It hurts to lose traffic.

    I was going to review a few more of his posts, but while I was writing this (literally), the majority of them disappeared!
    He has made 124 posts and I could have sworn I saw pages of them at…
    Suddenly, only 4 remain. I double-checked

    … but now there are only 4 listed. I can’t explain that. I called Debs and she says that no one here has deleted them (we don’t delete posts). She’s looking into it.

    Now, to Michael… you’ve outgrown us and aren’t willing to wait. You’ve finally also outgrown our tolerance level for acceptable behavior here.

    Support will be e-mailing you notification that you have 90 days to move your site.
    During the time you remain with SBI!, you shall not be able to post. That privilege is rescinded.”

    MICHAEL, YOUR CRIME?
    THIS POST:
    Re: Sitesell Support Officially Sucks!

    New post by Michael from pictures-of-cats.org » 17 May 2012, 10:17

    There is no question that SiteSell has gone downhill. I say that with huge regret and reluctantly.
    The technical problems keep coming back, sad to say. There is no point in denying that.
    I have problems over and over again.
    I hate contacting support these days.

    The engineering at SBI is poor.

    Note: I don’t read replies when I politely criticize SBI because the replies are blind and upsetting.

    So please don’t respond in a heavy handed way :(

    Judging by the symptoms I would say that it is likely that there is panic in engineering daily and support are instructed to say and do certain things.

    I don’t think they like it either.

    Is Ken Evoy still around as a consultant or Chairman?

    If he has the authority I would suggest that he sacks the CEO and the engineer and starts again.
    Sorry, someone will delete this I expect which will be the wrong thing to do for SBI.

    From me (Stan W.)”
    Of course Mike is not an idiot, Ken.
    He will move his site before, if has not done so yet, without you “firing” him first.
    This may be the (only) reason he had the courage to say openly what he thinks.

    All the Kool-Aid Drinking Zombies will never do that. Neither those afraid of your bullying.

    The worst thing (for you) is this: Mike is right. And every word is his post is true.

    And you too are right when you say “Michael’s posts add nothing”.

    BTW: who has deleted 120 Mike’s posts? You don’t know? You don’t delete posts? LMAO!!!
    If you really do not know who then SBI is really in trouble! Mike’s statement that “SiteSell has gone downhill” is very true! Isn’t it?

    NO WORRIES THOUGH… THE RESIDENT ZOMBIES WILL ALWAYS SUPPORT YOU:

    “Keep mixing that Koolaid, Dr. Ken . . . because I’m still thirsty!!”

    “Honestly, for someone like me who didn’t have a clue about how to build a website, let alone have a hope in he!! of getting any SE traffic, SBI has been fabulous!”

    “This Koolaid-drinking zombie is glad to just coast along blindly doing what Ken advises… I don’t have time to research it all myself AND build a website… would be nice if I did… but I don’t.”

  • sbi'er looking for escape route

    Dang! I’m SHOCKED! Michael got fired for complaining about crappy Support. That IS stunning! Support craps on him then crybaby Ken Evoy fires him for complaining about it! Instead of fixing the bugs and fixing Support, Evoy fires the victim!!! That’s victimizing the victim – double crapola from sbi.

    And Evoy claims that 120 of Michael’s posts “mysteriously” disappearing wasn’t done on purpose. HA! That means one of two things:

    1. Evoy is a LIAR…
    OR:
    2. sbi’s tools SUCK (which was Michael’s point, btw).

    Though #2 is so often true, it’s hard to believe that 120 of Evoy’s enemy’s posts just happened to somehow disappear – it’s waaay too much of a coincidence.

    Having seen a mountain of Evoy’s b.s. since mid 2010, I’m betting on #1.

    All this PROVES that sbi and Evoy are dishonest amateurs. Evoy’s facade as the saintly guru is nothing but a mask.

    P.S. I hope Michael has access to this Sheseo thread so he can see that the non-brainwashed folks give him moral support.

  • Adil

    Well, since I was never active on the forums – it just seemed like a bunch of people acting like experts in there low or no income – Kristi and I were very recently in a heated debate with Ken and the Sitesell gang about how their continuous WordPress bashing posts were both misleading and plain stupid.

    He banned Kristi from their FB page and called her a liar. As for me, they were a lot more lenient with me. I guess I wasn’t as harsh (though honest) as Krist and her recent review. All they did was delete any of my posts which showed how cost-ineffective SBI is, if not risky.

    So bottom line – they do delete posts/comments. And probably the easiest way to do it is to ban/remove/fire customers.

    I just don’t see how he gets off firing paying customers for complaining/criticizing Sitesell. It’s a domain and hosting service with some addons and a forum. But when one person (who incidentally is not even CEO of the company) has that much power to arbitrarily fire customers, then it really does smell like a cult.

  • Another WP Convert

    When I was new to SBI I fell for that comparison to WordPress. I was convinced, for years, that WP was too hard for me to learn based mostly on what I was learning from Ken. Everything outside of SBI was too expensive and too hard. It was all just marketing crap.

    You can’t compare the two products. SBI’s true competition would be a product like Keyword Academyor any of the other products that claim to teach you how to build a profitable niche website. But WordPress is just a very popular CMS. You can build any kind of site you want to with it, but neither WP dot com or dot org (software you download and host yourself) claim to teach you how to build a profitable site.

    Even better comparisons would be SBI to GoDaddy or SBI to Hostgator. They all offer hosting plus sitebuilders and other tools. Now, the draw to SBI is supposed to be that you get everything for one price; that paying separately for some tools will cost you hundreds more. Not true.

    Most SBI sites could be hosted someplace else with all the same functions they have right now (probably even more) for less than $150 a year. Pay for what you use and as your business grows you pay for additional services as you need or want them.

    If you want to add a site the hosting itself on most plans won’t cost anything extra. Just buy your new domain and start building.

    That’s smart business, and not necessarily on WP. Other hosts offer other site builders that are even more non-techie friendly and more dynamic and FASTER than the BB1 and 2. WP is just one of many options out there.

    What about the instruction in the AG on how to build a profitable site? I found some very good resources came back when I Googled “how to build a money making website”. Lisa Irby is a fantastic resource as well as the timely SEO info found right here on SheSEO. (And they both use tens of thousands less words than Ken to get the point across.)

    Other hosts also come equipped with tech savvy support people that you can reach via live chat or even phone. Most will do the tedious tasks like MXing your email for you, and with other hosts using support is usually so easy and fast that it can be your first option to solve an issue; not your last resort like at SBI. Other hosts also offer TNT’s (better ones that include comments by users); Support Ticket systems; and Forums (without the “atta boy Ken” messages burying the business stuff) in addition to the live chat/phone support.

    SBI on the other hand, encourages that you use the forums first. Sometimes Support will even send you to the forums where you may or may not get a timely answer from someone who may or may not have a helpful answer.

    Here’s a forum entry made by someone who reflects the

    attitude of most who still bother to post in the SBI forums. This person is talking about the “firing” of Michael. This is the entire post.

    “In the private/public discussion I feel that transparency of an organisation

    promotes trust.”

    This doesn’t apply to SiteSell because they use employees in the forums who also

    own sites to promote other paid products and to influence sbiers who may be

    dissatisfied or considering quitting. There is no way to tell who is part of the staff and

    who isn’t. They all own sites.

    “I applaud the way Ken has managed the situation without resorting to character

    assasination.”

    Character assassination has been happening repeatedly for the past year if not

    longer to anyone who questions Ken or the current relevancy of the system.

    “It’s good to see how an organisation thinks and responds to its people. I like the

    being fully human approach and I’m sure that we all as business owners will come

    across critics and Ken’s example teaches us a way in which to handle it.”

    Humiliate and kick out your long-standing, paying customers because they hurt your

    feelings and made claims that were too close to the truth. That’s the way to grow

    your business?

    “For your sake Ken, so you can get on with life, decide when it’s time to let it go

    and move on. I worry about the stress it may be causing you. You look after us and

    we need to look after you.”

    Does this read as pathetic outside of the forums as it does inside the forums? What

    about the stress of all the people who have broken sites? (as of yesterday there are

    more bugs causing links to disappear plus other income destroying issues.) But Ken

    needs looking after? What? In shifts? Who’s flying to Anguilla to take the first watch

    over Ken in his seaside mansion?

    “Splinter pulled, put a bandaid on it and turn your attention to enjoying your

    holiday with your family.”

    No Ken, do not enjoy your holiday with your family. You don’t have that kind of time.

    Sbiers are working through weekends, holidays and losing sleep because your

    platform is failing them in too many ways to count. You’ve put so much irrational fear

    into them about everything outside of SBI being too expensive and too hard for

    them to learn that they’re desperate to make their Panda and Penguined sites work

    because they believe SBI is their only option.

    The SBI model is based in the idea that you can take anyone and teach them how to make a profit online from some knowledge they have. He tells people they can create a retirement income this way in just a few hours a week of work. That may have been true 5-10 years ago, (and I will always be glad I found them back then) but today that same message is a scam. Google has changed the rules and SBI simply did not keep up. Instead, Ken waged war on Google.

    The idea that you can still build one big huge site and have all your hopes riding on it is also a scam. You can’t consistently move at tortoise pace and still be sharp and competitive on the net.

    The only person making heaps of money month after month of tortoise pace business creation by sbiers is Ken.

  • If anyone would like to read my complete review of SBI, you can view it here: http://www.addicted2decorating.com/site-build-it-scam-a-site-build-it-review.html

    It’s outrageous that Ken actually fired a customer. He’s just a slimy, smooth-tongued scam artist. It’s disgusting to see the idiots fall all over themselves in support of him, and all the while, their websites are tanking. “But Dr. Ken will save us!! He’ll know what to do! And in the meantime, until I hear the voice of Dr. Ken leading the way, I’ll just keep on posting cute pictures of tortoises on the SiteSell Facebook page, because that makes me feel like I’m really part of something special!”

    What a BUNCH.OF.FREAKS. Seriously, anyone still defending that man and that company deserves exactly what they’re getting.

    Ken Evoy is absolutely a liar. I his long rambling post (yes, I’ll be specific, since all of the posts from that narcissistic freak are the length of novels) where he fired Michael, he had a “sidebar” in there about me. He didn’t mention me by name, but he did claim that I have an “agenda”. Well, I suppose I do have an agenda…to warn people of the SBI scam and the misleading information and outright LIES that they use in their marketing info to hook people and scare them into using their awful product. Yes, I hope to save them from potentially falling under the spell of that slimy liar. That’s my agenda.

    Probably the funniest and most telling thing I read from those threads (I have a person who sends me the most outrageous ones) was when Michael questioned the the Results page on SBI’s website. The Results page is one of their MANY marketing pages that supposedly shows 100′s of successful SBI websites that are in the top 1% of all websites in the world based on their Alexa rank (i.e., SBI websites with an Alexa rank of under 1 million). None of the Alexa ranks on that page were accurate, and all but about 15 of the OVER 300 WEBSITES had gone up drastically.

    Ken’s response/rationalization for almost all of the Alexa ranks being wrong (and very misleading)?

    “That page is a marketing page. It is NOT for SBIers.”

    Ha! Ooohhhh, okay. That makes perfect sense, Ken. So Michael was wrong to bring it up, and everything is totally okay, because you only use that fraudulent information on unsuspecting people in order to trick them into purchasing your product! But I’m sure that you promise, once those unsuspecting people are part of the club, you’ll never, ever, EVER lie to or mislead them again, right? Right.

    And then there’s this little juicy morsel from Ken:

    “Owning SBI! is a privilege — you owe your best to yourself, to SBI!, and to those behind SBI!, fellow SBIers and SiteSellers.”

    And of course, this was in response to those “negative” people who muck up the forums with claims of SBI being broken, and their bellyaching about BB2 taking so long, and well, anyone else who dares to muck up the forums with their negativity.

    A privilege? Yes, it’s a privilege to pay them $300/year, spend years building a website, and then seeing it all go down the drain because SBI is archaic and Ken decided to wage war on Google. You’re PRIVILEGED. So just shut your trap, pay your money, leave lots of glowing and positive comments in the forums, and drink more Kool Aid.

    Such a disgusting company with an even more disgusting narcissistic maniac at the helm.

  • Barry

    This is absolutely spot on:

    “The SBI model is based in the idea that you can take anyone and teach them how to make a profit online from some knowledge they have. He tells people they can create a retirement income this way in just a few hours a week of work. That may have been true 5-10 years ago, (and I will always be glad I found them back then) but today that same message is a scam. Google has changed the rules and SBI simply did not keep up. Instead, Ken waged war on Google.”

    I realised this at the first panda beast slap.

    Wanna quick résumé of my experiences with SBI?

    I started slowly in 2009 and began to give it much more attention with 3 SBI sites by late 2010.

    After a lot of hard work I wasn’t getting the best results. So I started looking outside SBI on blogs like this one, on IM forums.

    I took the easy advice on some IM forums posters’ blogs and got their freebies. Guess what? My results started improving immediately and I actually started earning cash. Not because of SBI, because I had actually been doing my own research (Evoy uses propaganda and blatant lying to stop people searching on outside forums for advice).

    But then the Panda slap stopped all that. Now I hear penguin has been worse to people.

    But is it bothering me now? NO.

    Because since that, I realise that the SBI model of depending on free google traffic is dangerous. NEVER rely on that. It is over, dead, done and dusted and part of the past. Forget it.

    Panda was good in a way because I now have my own products and diversify my traffic sources. I have 10 sites that cost less than 1 SBI site, I use PPC and I make enough sales not to depend on free traffic.

    I hope that this is clear for anyone who still thinks SBI is the way to go. Evoy is actually bordering on insanity. That is no joke. His lies, attempts to “shut people up” and oppressive lack of reasoning is quite disturbing. I would avoid it like the plague and take responsibility for your success through independent research.

  • S

    After a week or so of reading the comments here and being a spectator in the SBI forums, I’ve got some thoughts.

    I thought I’d start off by quoting something that Paul said a couple of weeks ago:

    “Still, I’m not rooting for either Ken or SBI’s demise. Ken has successfully identified and understands how to market to (manipulate) his target audience/demographic – i.e. unsophisticated, conflict-averse, e-commerce hobbyists/retirees who desire a sense of family first, business success second.”

    I have to say, yes, I agree, that’s his target market. People who are too scared of the real world and just want a hobby, building websites instead of growing topiaries, waxing their moustaches or protecting their homeschooled kiddies from the F-word.

    No joke, there was a guy on one of the Penguin threads that said after 4 years of hard work he had been getting (I hope you’re all sitting down)…. 100 uniques to his website and was now thinking about monetizing, and after Penguin, didn’t want to give up.

    Four freaking years?!? 100 uniques a day?

    This guy isn’t a tortoise, he’s the human equivalent of continental drift!!

    Another thread: several of the more adventurous SBIers pondered whether starting over with new URLs might be the best way to go. I note that some of these people had large sites with lots of backlinks. I suspect these people had been reading outside the SBI forums for not only Penguin recovery advice, but previously for SEO advice and were some of Ken’s so called ‘Manipulators’ who’d been very naughty with their backlinking practices.

    What did the Kool Aid crew tell them? Don’t do that. Keep your site and wait for Ken’s A-M-A-Z-I-N-G Penguin report. It will fix everything.

    Funny, but not a day later, Matt Cutts came out and said that if you had a site with a link profile that was so big and so difficult to remedy, then starting over was probably the BEST thing to do.
    And this: AJ -an SBI guru who I formerly had respect for- stating that a ‘a well known New Zealander IMer had just had a webinar with a guy who’d created a $497 Panda info product, based upon over a year of research. AJ’s point was that this product (which he HAD NOT SEEN -he had only watched a promotional webinar!!) was a complete rip off, whilst Ken’s Panda report was free and this was proof that SBI was such an awesome and cost effective place to be… in other words: don’t go outside of these hallowed walls!

    I had to bite my tongue. Ken’s panda-fix it report is about 75 pages of waffle that could be distilled into about 10 pages of quite useful dot points.

    And the guy that AJ was putting down?

    Had spent over 12 months doing a longitudinal study of Panda on 200 sites! Complete statistical and qualitative analysis. I was lucky enough to see a review copy of the 10 hours of video information he’d produced. The detail and analysis it contained completely blew Evoy’s stuff out of the water. It was like comparing a junior high school science paper to a post-doctoral thesis!

    That was the moment that SBI lost my respect.

    There’s two other things I’d like to touch on here, too. Someone else mentioned the Action Guide and its long windedness above, I’ll second that.

    I really don’t know where to start to describe the paternalistic, long-winded, confusing, overload that is the Action Guide. If I was a beginner, I’d run screaming. It is just so damned confusing. When I used it, I ended up finding some handy articles by people like Tomaz and AJ who had simplified it for non-Vogons.

    And yes, this is someone who’d already been able to set up self-hosted WP sites with no drama!
    It needs re-writing by Seth Godin. Or Tim Ferriss. Someone who understands the 80/20 rule and has read Strunk and White!

    This leads me to the so-called ‘build a business not a website’ model that Ken Evoy pushes. Well, I say that SBI is all about building info sites that are NOT businesses. Sure, the info on how to monetize is there, but really there is nothing that slaps people between the eyes and tells them difference between a website and a business. It’s all lost in the endless acronyms. The Kool Aid and the tortoise hoo-haa.

    Quite simply: making people think through the question could your website be a business WITHOUT a website?

    There is nothing. NOTHING. In SBI about this. Those who’ve been successful have worked this out for themselves.

    So. If you’re looking to build a successful hobby site, then SBI is for you. If you’re looking to build a real business, SBI will be good for a while, but you’ll be stifled and go elsewhere.

  • Stan W.

    Chairman Evil had announced World Turtle Day and has gone away for vacation.
    Remember Chairman Mao? Well, Evil is a Chairman of the Board. What board?
    I guess HE is THE board. “But, I digress”

    WORLD TURTLE DAY!!
    By Chairman Evil, Our Dearest Leader

    (bold are my comments) Enjoy! His post is priceless!

    “Many species of turtles have become endangered. (This includes SBI.)
    Despite all odds, they continue to survive. (Yes, just survive, mind you! How about growing?)

    Even they, however, need environments where they can thrive, places beyond all the elements that put them at risk. (SBI comes to mind! Full of “elements that put them at risk”)

    As an SBIer, you chose the way of the tortoise. (No, I do not choose. I’m being TOLD to choose it).

    As individuals, many are mortgaged beyond the hilt, living paycheck to paycheck (if they still have a job) with credit cards that are all maxed out.
    (And yet many are paying you $300 annually (or $30 monthly) for your BS product and Cult Membership. In some crazy hope that SBI is the answer! )

    Government? They’re more broke than the average person — and their debts are, ultimately, ours. (That’s why you’ve moved to Anguilla? To avoid paying Canadian taxes? You openly admitted that in the forums.
    So, we pay you and then pay YOUR share of taxes, somebody has to… your debt is ultimately ours…)

    What can folks do?

    Shed the fur and put on a shell. (Yeah, and keep paying you as we go the tortoise way).

    E-hares are out there trying one thing after another… be an Amazon affiliate. Ebay. Mini-sites. Get Rich Quick schemes (with incredibly persuasive arguments). “WordPress is free.”
    (Aren’t you hating that bloody WordPress? Not only is it free, it also 300x times better than your ancient clunker!)

    It can be a long and winding road, (certainly it is with SBI) one “this is it” thing after another
    (well, SBI is NOT it! You may see that soon. I would advise you to check with Anguilla Manpower Office, you may soon need a job! Just envision you customers leaving en masse or simply not renewing their expensive subscriptions…)

    SBI! is perfect for those who are new to the idea of starting an e-business,
    (Yes, you perfectly know how to manipulate those poor suckers, and drain their pockets. This indeed is your “target audience/demographic – i.e. unsophisticated, conflict-averse, e-commerce hobbyists/retirees who desire a sense of family first, business success second.”)

    (Just recently someone in the forums put up their site for sale. 6 year old site. The income? Between $10 and $20 per month.
    Are freaking kidding me? That guy isn’t even breaking even! Is THAT supposed to be an e-business?)

    So much wasted time and money, for no results.
    (YES, EXACTLY !!!!!)

    So we’re celebrating World Turtle Day on SiteSell Facebook.
    (Shouldn’t you rather go and fix what’s broken and behave like a real business and not like a cult??)

    On May 23rd, we’ll reveal a special gift for our Facebook fans only.
    (Sure, Dearest Leader, if my site 6 (six) years later makes only $10 – $20 per month, then Special Gift is definitely overdue.)

    We now have an amazing 138,000 fans. At the rate that SSFB is catching on, we should pass 300,000 by the end of the year!”

    (How many of those “fans” have you purchased, Sir?
    And if you haven’t then why on earth all SBI can brag about is only 40,000 accounts (assuming this is not another lie). What about the other 118,000 “fans”? Not signed up yet? Or prefer to stay with WordPress?

    To do this Penguin Study you are looking for unpaid work force: “volunteers” .
    Let’s see 40,000 active accounts times $300 annually gives you about $12,000,000.
    Sir, and you need volunteers??! Poor suckups who will do the heavy lifting for you?

    Life in Anguilla must damn expensive. Perhaps taxes have just gone up in your little paradise.

    World Turtle Day. This is precisely what need today, Dearest Leader. Something to do, while nothing can be done to rescue all the sites that have dunked. Something to do while your titanic is taking up water. Another freak show.

  • Stan W.

    WATCH OUT! It would appear that Chairman Evil is getting his trolls ready. Call to Action may follow soon!

    Someone by the name of “Marc from home-air-purifier-expert.com” posted this:

    “People are free to unload in outside forums, but there is still something called slander if they illegally decide to misrepresent the truth as “Mrs. Sowerbutts” found out last year.

    Do what you will elsewhere but mind your P’s and Q’s legally.”

    Lissie did you hear THAT? He has just posted a warning to all of us posting here.
    Lissie, apparently you “found out last year” it’s not worth it to criticize Dearest Leader even outside SBI precious forums! (What did they do to you?)

    I guess such criticism is going to be considered “something called slander if they illegally decide to misrepresent the truth and is going to be treated as such.

    WOW!

    Marc, judging by his writing style, is a quick study.
    His ramblings resemble those of the Chairman, more and more.
    At least our Dearest Leader’s rants suggest they were produced by a somewhat sober individual.

    But majority of Marc’s lengthy posts are incoherent.

    However every time he decides to lay down the heavy stuff, he is able to produce several sentences that actually make sense.

    He may or may not have been authorized by Chairman Evil to issue a thinly veiled legal threat.

    Or perhaps Marc, one of the Resident Zombies, who live in the forums, is attempting to sell this idea to the Chairman.

    Either way, we’ve all been warned.

    • Now lets see let me check – nope I’m still not Mrs – and it I was my surname would have changed and nope I just checked my records – don’t appear to have had any legal notices filed from tropical Caribbean beaches or even chilly Canada ones!

      Never heard of the clown called Marc, I would have thought with the thrashing his site has had in the SERPS since last November he’d have better things to do.

      You know I used to get mad at Ken Evoy for the way he maniuplated people, but frankly I do think reading some of these comments – that some people just need to believe in a “higher being” – despite all the evidence in front their eyes – that Evoy has no insight into what Google is doing at the moment. Precious few people do – and the only one’s worth listening to are the ones who are producing theories based on evidence by studying the search results.

  • Jonny

    I admit I was convinced at the start that the SBI method was great.

    Especially when I’d seen all those success stories, notably that guy with the tennis & vacuum cleaner review sites saying he earned 14k per month. They all seemed so honest. Then there is that french guy but um, how does he earn anything with his site about radio communication? Oh, he doesn’t.

    You can’t actually find vaccum guy’s sites using a search engine. Umm..what?

    I realize now that whatever he earns was from a WP blog with which he promotes SBI only. He earns pennies from his SBI sites.

    The old scam that newbies fall for the MOST and the scam they should be the most aware of goes something like this (from ken evoy’s leaked blueprint: contact him for more info):

    1. Set up a “build your own website or business” or “make money online” with hefty affiliate payouts. Make it expensive as hell. After all, if you’re paying a wad to affiliates they’ll do anything to sell you, so you can make your price a serious rip off. Doesn’t matter!

    2. Sit back and enjoy. Affiliates will lie, bully, threaten and basically do anything to protect their precious payouts. And that includes affiliates that really think SBI and ken evoy are awful and those that have never ever used it. Doesn’t matter it’s all about you and your money.

    3. Once the noobs are locked in, promote some “way of the tortoise” scam mantra, so the noob stays with you for 5 years waiting for the success that never comes before stumbling across an article like this and finally biting the bullet. But not to worry, this faithful noob paid you already a fortune. $1500 for each failure of a site. As long as you’re ok on my island. Your daughter (who is 27, not 15 by the way) needs a new yacht so a few more noobs help pay for it.

    4. Get SBI employees to masquerade as normal folk in the forum where any potential dissenter is grassed on then punished and beaten. Make anyone scared to speak out. Scared that you may delete their site. After all, Stalin used these tactics and they worked for decades. Awesome. More money for you and your island mansion. You needed new curtains.

    5. When SE changes start to hit your sites traffic (which was low anyway) proceed to blame it all on google. Nothing to do with your business model. Oh no. Start a campaign against google because you think am bigger than them. Just keep those affiliates promoting my scammy lie of a business model.

  • I started by first SBI site in December 2008. Since then I have bought three and started two more myself. The Action Guide is probably more detailed than need be and goes off in more directions that in should, but the fact is that I leaned a lot from it. The forums were a big help also. Questions that I had were quickly answered and I was able to move on.

    Despite all the SBI bashing on this very long thread, SBI has been very good to a lot of people – how many, I don’t know, but some people have made money with SBI sites. I bought my last site in July of last year (after the Pandas began) so that means that I was happy at SBI. In fact, it was only after Penguin hit, cutting my best site’s traffic in half and the income much more than that, that I had my first thoughts along the lines, “Do I really want to keep doing this?” After the first Panda, I did Ken’s site audit, going through all 250+ pages of my best website – editing, rewriting, lengthening short pages and even adding a good many new ones. It was a lot of work, especially for a site that actually enjoyed better traffic after Panda.

    I haven’t seen Ken’s new report (I think it is due today), but I’m not going to do anything more than I already have. I suspect there are many site owners like me (not just SBIers). I’m not going to audit six sites everytime Google changes its mind, even if Ken recommends it. It’s too exhausting and there’s no reason to think Google is finished yet. This could be a game changer for SiteSell. Sitesell’s only real selling point is the traffic that it could bring to a site that follows the Action Guide. Whether the typical SBI site is better at generating traffic than the average website is irrelevant to how satisfied the typical SBIer is with the product. What matters is how happy the typical SBIer is with THEIR traffic. If that gets cut in half and doesn’t come back or comes back and gets cut again, I see a lot of unhappy (and wore out like me) SBIers. It’s just not fun any more for me.

    Beyond the money (never was a lot but was nice while it lasted), I enjoy being a website owner. So my plan is to move the majority of my websites to WordPress. (Since, to use the new BB2, I would have to manually move one page at a time, I could more easily make the decision to do that at WordPress.) At WordPress, if my sites don’t make much money at least they won’t be losing any. I will spend the majority of my time on my first site, the one that I enjoy the most. How long I keep that last one on SBI depnds on what my sites do at WordPress and how whether it keeps getting hit where its at (costing $300 per year).

    I am a total non-techie, which I is probably why I was at SBI in the first place. I have moved my first aite to WordPress with Daniel Papcke’s help. After a couple days the traffic is still there. I more happy with the look of mt WordPress site that I was with my SBI site. Daniel is about as patient as patient can get and very knowledgeable. Now I’m in the process of moving my second site, and looking forward the time I can forget about websites for awhile.

  • Another WP Convert

    So this was posted this morning on the SiteSell Facebook wall this morning:

    We have been under a massive Distributed Denial of Service attack. Basically, this is a super high-volume attack from “slave computers” (infected with a virus) all over the world that make it impossible for regular visitors to access a site.

    DDOS’s have temporarily brought even the largest companies to their knees. We are working on the solution and will keep you posted. Sorry for this.

    All the best,
    Ken

    It seems many if not all SBI sites were down for around two hours earlier today.

    A bunch of SBIers over there post upset that they’ve been victimized by unknown bad guys who want to hurt SiteSell.

    Ken posts again: Fueling that fire.

    Basically, as the bad guy keeps attacking, the IPS (Intrusion Protection System) has to “learn” the traffic, settings tweaked, etc. until it’s totally clean and the attacker has no new IPs and tricks to throw at the system

    All the best,
    Ken

    Some of the Facebook comments re: the attack and Ken’s posts:

    “DDOS’s also can be attached to blackmail attempts. “If you pay us, we’ll go away”. Take your time SBI tech wizards. We can wait patiently until you’ve made it safe again, like good tortoises.”

    “I’m flattered. I consider it a privilege to be under such a vigourously vicious attack. It means we are important enough and have a strong positive influence on the Web to be considered a worthy opponent, in the eyes of the “black hatters” (synonim of “underworld” online).
    I’m also very happy that SBI! has such an outstanding team of programmer/analysts who were prepared for the eventual onslaught and we thus able to counter it effectiveley in a few hours.
    Finally, this means that we will be stronger still and further well prepared for any eventual future attack.”

    “WOW :) )) You guys are amazing! Thanks so much for getting it sorted out so quickly.. Ken, I was worried about YOU having a breakdown too.. there’s just so much on your plate right now. So happy that it’s all taken care of, just one more example of why being with SBI is such a blessing…’ hi ho, hi ho, it’s off to work we go’ :)

    – So being with a web host that is the target of sinister attacks is a blessing? That you pay for????—

    “Wowwwww! Love SBI/SiteSell for their transparency & honesty. I do not believe that most hosts would share this information. Thank you!!!!”

    – If you’ve been following this thread at all you know why that is a ridiculous statement.—

    “Glad for alternate avenues of communication. I have not been able to get in to SBI or support for several hours so knew something was going on.”

    “Ugh, what an awful thing to deal with on top of BB2 and Panda. It happens! I have total faith in SBI! superstars to get things back to normal. Hang in there!”

    Then Ken again:
    DDOS is now under control, traffic being scrubbed. You should be able to access now. Details to follow in a comment below. I’ll post to the forums right now

    All the best,
    Ken

    More from sbiers:

    “Dr. Ken – you are amazing & your team is awesome. Thank you SO much for everything you do for us – everyday. You all are a big bright blessing in my life!”

    “why would anyone want to attack sitesell?”

    “I think it must be because IT WORKS! That must be a threat to some…”

    “DDos attacks comes from serious big time hackers…the russian or pakistani types….some one out there must be really pissed….not trying to spread fear…”

    …..

    The SiteSell Facebook wall is available to the public on Facebook. These are just some of the posts there and not all in any order except for the last three quotes.

    I’m wondering if DDOS attacks are verifiable, and if it’s possible that maybe this “attack” is simply the latest mess to come from the BB2 migration and Ken has decided to blame it on some unseen bad guy instead of saying that they messed up again.

    Either way though, real attack or not, it seems a bit much drama for any one web host.

  • Susanna

    Below is an issue for anyone who builds a site on ANY website builder or tries moving a builder site from one host to another. I’m including wordpress, blogger, etc.

    Have you ever tried moving a wordpress site? Not easy! Blogger, again…not easy.

    “The bad point is, that people will have to stay with them, and continue to pay, a whooping $299 per year if they want to keep their sites working as usual. Moving a site out of the system is certainly possible, but difficult for non-techie people (and that are the once that SBI mostly seems to target, and in all cases people wouldn’t be able to take the tools with them, as they belong to SBI, not the website owners.”

    At least with SBI you get a bunch of tools and you LEARN what you need to build a successful site. It’s not that you can’t learn them elsewhere, it’s just that you’re not getting a basic hosting page for $299. You’re getting a bunch of tools and LEARNING!

    • Your point about other blockbuilder-type websites may be valid, but you completely derailed when you said “I’m including wordpress, blogger, etc.”

      First of all, Blogger IS a host. You don’t move a Blogger blog from one host to another. Most people choose to move a Blogger blog to WordPress, which is actually quite simple. WordPress has built-in tools and plugins that can be used to move a Blogger blog to WordPress quite simply.

      Moving a WordPress blog from one host to another is the same thing. Tools available on WordPress allow you to download the entire blog with one click of a button, and upload it to another host with a few simple clicks.

      SBI’s blockbuilder sites are a completely different animal, and when someone uses it, they are absolutely locked into SBI unless they want to pay hundreds (possibly a couple of thousand) of dollars to someone who is willing to spend hours and hours copying and pasting information from SBI to the new host.

      And again, most of the “special tools” that SBI offers can be found FREE elsewhere online.

      I could also make a pretty compelling argument that a person creating a “successful website” with SBI is more about chance than anything else, as the number of TRUE “success stories” with SBI are really pretty dismal.

    • I realized I didn’t answer your questions specifically. You said, “Have you ever tried moving a wordpress site? Not easy! Blogger, again…not easy.”

      The answer is yes. I’ve moved several sites from from Blogger to self-hosted WordPress sites. Very simple. I’ve moved a self-hosted WordPress site from one host to another. Again, very simple. And I’ve moved a WordPress.com site to a self-hosted WordPress site. Also simple.

      Let me also point out my experience having moved away from SBI. My last month on SBI, I was averaging about 4150 visitors per day, and my Alexa rank was about 125,000.

      I moved to WordPress almost exactly six months ago. In six months, my average daily visitors has increased to 10,300 and my Alexa rank has dropped to 74,792. My average monthly income from my site has tripled in six months. I don’t use any “special tools” to write for my site, I don’t write for key words, and I don’t use any of that “learning” that I got from SBI. In fact, I wish I had never started with SBI, because I feel certain that it held me back.

      SBI and all of the special tools and learning that comes with it are archaic. I’m sure it was amazing in the 90′s, but the internet has outgrown it and far surpassed anything that SBI has to offer. That’s the plain and simple truth.

  • Only my experience, but for me moving a site from SBI myself would have been extremely difficult. I have moved a Blogger blog to WordPress.com and it was “clicking of some buttons” easy. I recently moved that same blog to a self hosted WordPress and that wasn’t as easy as moving from blogger to WordPress.com but it was still not difficult.

    Once you learn the system at SBI it is very easy to just maintain staus quo for the most part and when a problem does arise you can email support or ask on the forums. With WordPress, you have to go all over the place for answers, unless you have someone on call to coach you.

    Moving some of my sites from SBI doesn’t mean that I don’t see value in the system. I moved them because for me the choices were – sell them, let them expire or move them. I chose the last option. For now, I will most likley leave my first two sites at SBI because even though they have taken some traffic hits, they still make some money. No point in taking a chance by moving them. If they take more hits though that will be an option.

    I am not looking forwatd to moving those sites page by page to the new BB2. Honestly, I predict a lot of people will let their sites expire rather than do that.

    I’m pleased to see that this thread has become more civil.

  • Wow a real case of lack of knowledge from Susanna I’m afraid. That’s sad. It was a huge pain the butt to move my SBI site. Much harder than moving a WP site.

    I’m sure Susanna’s a nice girl but unfortunately spending time around Evoy and his weird forums can brainwash people into believing slightly weird theories like the above. She is walking proof of it.

  • rudolph britton

    Hey there! I’ve been following your blog for a long time now and finally got the bravery to go ahead and give you a shout out from Houston Tx! Just wanted to tell you keep up the great work!

  • Matthew Friedel

    I’ve recently started a site, the info you offer on this website has helped me greatly. Thank you for all of your time & work. “Money is power, freedom, a cushion, the root of al evil, the sum of all blessings.” by Carl Sandburg.

  • Searl Petroff

    Nice blog here! Also your site loads up very fast! What host are you using? Can I get your affiliate link to your host? I wish my web site loaded up as quickly as yours lol