Alert #193: 9/7/2011

Industry Trends a Mixed Bag

Some suggest our industry is a mixed bag in itself that’s full of beans, nuts, corn and cheese, all with a sugar coating. They’re a small minority, but they are prolific – and five of they’re websites still appear in the top 15 Google search results for the term “MLM”. Of course, their sites are a bag of nothing but sour grapes, picked cherries, and bovine guano, puffed out with hot air to make it appear fuller. But the good news is, that’s fewer than there were last month. Over all there were 80 pro M.L.M. sites in the top 100 search results the first day of August, and there were 86 on September 1st, with anti-MLM sites in the top 100 down from 11 to 9  (the rest were neutral or irrelevant).

You can view the “Industry Trends” page here:  
The overall amount of online chatter related to MLM (pro and con) continued to rise another 7.7%, as it has in 10 of the last 12 months. The ratio of pro to con references rose 4.8% to 1.971. Although this ratio has risen slightly in three of the last five months, it’s still well below the record of 2.395 set exactly one year ago.
The total number of search results for the term MLM+(scam or pyramid) is trending down overall, with a slight uptick this month. This search resulted in 18.21 million hits on June 3rd, and 13.94 million on September 1st. However, this could be the result of the waning popularity (finally!) in the bait-and-switch tactic of using “Scam” in the title of pro-MLM prospecting sites.
On a negative note, the Wiki entry for “Multi-level Marketing”, which perpetually holds the #2 spot on Google searches for the same term as well as the acronym “MLM”, is still controlled by anti-MLM factions. Any attempt to make the listing neutral, or just balanced by adding references or rebuttal points to counter those added by, or linking to, well known MLM critics, is immediately deleted. Almost as if someone has been tasked with full time monitoring duties.
It’s upsetting that there are well over 10 million of us, and literally a dozen of these aggressive, some would argue obsessive, anti-MLM critics, yet their online commentary makes up a fourth, to sometimes as much as half, of the top 20 search results for “MLM”, and their editing of the Wiki entry so strongly influences its content.
But here’s the good news: Wall Street isn’t paying any attention to them. My “MLM Index” made up of the 12 largest MLM companies by market capitalization has outperformed the overall market for a fifth straight month with a 4.79% decline compared to an 8.38% decline of the S&P 500 Index (based on the index’s total share price compared to the price 90 days earlier). When the index price on the first of each month is compared to that same date one year earlier the “MLM Index” has outperformed the overall market for a 29th consecutive month by 14.04% to 11.49%. The average monthly gain over that stretch is 31.56% for the “MLM Index” – 144.9% higher than the overall market!
So sure, I’m biased. My trend data might be influenced, perhaps even subconsciously, by the fact I make my living from this business. But, apparently there are a few thousand other “trend analysts” out there that also seem to be pretty optimistic about the future of this industry.
Len Clements
Founder & CEO
MarketWave, Inc.

P.S. Keep a lookout over the next 24 hours for an Alert regarding the Breakthrough Telesummit, which I will be participating in as a contributor. It starts next weekend. Check it out HERE.

About Len Clements

Based in Las Vegas and Founder and CEO of MarketWave, Inc., Len Clements provides consulting, training & expert witness services for the network marketing industry. Since 1989, he has been a top producer, trainer, and consultant for multiple network marketing companies. As a well-respected icon in the MLM industry today, Len conducts Inside Network Marketing seminars throughout the world and is the author of several best-selling books and audio tapes including Inside Network Marketing (Random House), Case Closed, The Whole Truth About Network Marketing and The Coming Network Marketing Boom.