Anyone who has my book knows that I like the Big Commerce store system. I think it is the easiest to use and most intuitive hosted e-commerce solution out there, and they are relentless about improving it, and adding features. One of the things I always loved about it was the built-in SEO, because it was done by Aaron Wall, of SEOBook.
Aaron’s name is used prominently in their copy and they state that Big Commerce is “Optimized by #1 SEO expert Aaron Wall.”
Now I am far from an SEO expert, but in my limited judgement, it looks as if they have it figured out: tweakable meta tags, friendly URLs, etc. With Aaron Wall’s name on it, I figured there must not be any issues and at the minimum it would be as good as anything else out there, and most likely much better.
Then today a friend sends me this link: http://www.seobook.com/big-commerce
Here’s a choice quote from Aaron’s post:
“I have not viewed/used/reviewed the product in any way in years. Yet I am still listed as having optimized it.”
Wow. That’s a shocker. Not only did he not optimize their current version, he says that he has asked them twice to take his name out of their marketing materials. And to add insult to injury, they no followed their link to his site. Actually, that part is kind of funny.
Of course, we only have one side of the story, but Mr. Wall has a very solid reputation and his word carries a lot of weight. As I am currently in the process of moving a Yahoo store to Big Commerce, and setting up another consumer product site on their platform, this concerns me.
Worst case scenario, BC is knowingly using Aaron’s name to make sales despite his protests. I kind of doubt that – it doesn’t fit with my take on them.
Best case, their left hand doesn’t know what the right hand is doing – also not good, but maybe understandable, given the rate at which they seem to be growing.
So I called Big Commerce to find out what the deal is. The very nice lady who answered was as surprised as I was, and told me that so far as she knew, Aaron had indeed worked with Big Commerce. She promised to make some calls there in Austin and send me an email clarifying things.
My own hope is that this is resolved by Aaron and Big Commerce striking a deal where he crawls through their current system with a fine toothed comb and tweaks it to within an inch of its life. That way I can continue to use BC and recommend it without reservation.
Soon as (if I) I hear something, I’ll put it up here.