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Debt Relief Search Trends Continue to Show a Downward Decline

Recently I wrote about my forecast for a decreasing demand for debt relief services. Here is another part of the puzzle that seems to show decreasing consumer interest in some specific debt relief topics using the Google trends search traffic monitoring tool.

The data was filtered for U.S. searches only and as you can see, there are noticeable declines in search demands for the major debt relief options in 2010 and entering 2011.

From the search traffic data it appears there was a surge in all debt relief solutions, except for credit counseling in 2009. The trend for credit counseling has been on a downward decline since 2004, long before the increase in searches for debt settlement and bankruptcy starting in 2008 and continuing through 2009.

I had also written about the missing January bump this year. This is a phenomenon that generally appears each January when holiday bills arrive and push consumers to seek solutions for problem debt. You can read this article for more information. The best chart to see this is the credit counseling chart below. Notice the big December drop followed by the January spike for all previous years.

If you look at the credit counseling and debt settlement search traffic for January, 2011 you will notice the lack of a perceived January bump holds out in the search jump for the first month of 2011.

Of particular interest is that search traffic for one debt relief option over another does not appear to show that one option, like debt settlement is increasing and forcing the others down. Te basic trajectory of all solutions appears to be similar.

Debt Relief Search Trends Continue to Show a Downward Decline

Debt Relief Search Trends Continue to Show a Downward Decline

Debt Relief Search Trends Continue to Show a Downward Decline

Debt Relief Search Trends Continue to Show a Downward Decline
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Debt Relief Search Trends Continue to Show a Downward Decline by

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About Steve Rhode

Steve Rhode
Steve Rhode is the Get Out of Debt Guy and has been helping good people with bad debt problems since 1994. You can learn more about Steve, here.
  • Dan

    Dear Former Employee,
    I am very happy to discuss your grievance with you. In return, may I request that I get permission from you to tell my side of the story which might include personal and confidential information about you and the reason you are no longer an employee?
    Dan Smith
    President
    New Era Debt Solutions

  • Bobby Zangrilli

    I think it’s a combination of all of these things…marketing drove demand up but demand was also higher because banks extended more credit pre-recession which increased the need for debt relief services.

  • Dave VanderVeer

    I agree that the pool is shrinking for a number of reasons, people are finding out (through this site and others) that they do NOT need a “Full Service” type approach, nor do they need a Legal Approach, they just need to keep setting aside some money, communicate with their creditors that they are not Hiding from them and their desire to eventually settle with them. While my companies solution may be a bit ahead of its time, the Peformance Based, Self Directed Solution of http://www.MyDebtPortal.com is the future of debt settlement, Not that we will be the only ones doing it but we will remain on the side of the consumer, work completely within any rules the FTC or other states apply and we will provide a valuable solution for everyone to get out of debt in a private, secure, low cost manner.

    Thanks for the site and keep up the good work!

    -Dave VanderVeer
    CEO
    MyDebtPortal.com

  • Dave VanderVeer

    I agree that the pool is shrinking for a number of reasons, people are finding out (through this site and others) that they do NOT need a “Full Service” type approach, nor do they need a Legal Approach, they just need to keep setting aside some money, communicate with their creditors that they are not Hiding from them and their desire to eventually settle with them. While my companies solution may be a bit ahead of its time, the Peformance Based, Self Directed Solution of http://www.MyDebtPortal.com is the future of debt settlement, Not that we will be the only ones doing it but we will remain on the side of the consumer, work completely within any rules the FTC or other states apply and we will provide a valuable solution for everyone to get out of debt in a private, secure, low cost manner.

    Thanks for the site and keep up the good work!

    -Dave VanderVeer
    CEO
    MyDebtPortal.com

  • Steve Rhode

    LOL

  • Joe_debt_jr

    the lakers won last night and beat the supersonic… oh wait wrong thread.

  • Steve Rhode

    Doug? What does this post have to New Era?

    And now for something totally off the wall.

  • F & B

    Cramerfill,
    Welcome. Please tell us more!

  • Cramerfill

    Please can someone answer if this is ethical or legal? Be careful of New Era debt solutions is all i have to say. I was apart of their organization when it was DTS Financial in Moorpark,Ca and was brought in to work for a new company they created called DACA (Debt and Credit Advisors). A supposed non bias help line to give clients options after screening their situations. This was a great idea but in working for DACA I saw that we were not a non bias help line but a direct lead source for DTS which is now New ERA after a name change and multiple problems with sales department (Barbara D.) lying about fees to get clients in the door. The name change took focus off their current issues as DTS financial. Back to their scam, Any client who didn’t qualify for their program or was in a state they didn’t handle DACA advised the client to contact Bright Credit GLENN GRANT. Kind of bias if it goes to either New Era or Bright credit don’t you think? He will do business in any state no matter what any laws say and he pays New Era a fee with no 1099 at the end of the year is what i was told. I cannot confirm the 1099 but i know Bright Credit paid Dan Smith or New Era or any entity they owned a fee on the debt load of the client over a few month spread. The client would pay Bright credits fees all upfront with minimal success but New Era was clear at that point but had already benefited from their facade of doing good for people in need. New Era is very smart(but sloppy what they let past employees in on)! They have a computer genius Craig who literally sits there all day and blogs for them and bashes other companies through trying to be sneaky and clever.Here is the deal, New Era will do anything they can to be at the top of the industry and that includes, lie, cheat , misdirect, and steal to make sure they look better than every company that is competition. It’s amazing NO ONE HAS FIGURED OUT THAT THEY ARE MOST LIKELY THE TIPSTER SITE OR TIPSTER. Makes sense to bash local companies and try to raise issues so they can look like the facade they are MISCHIEVOUS BUSINESS MEN PRAYING ON THE ONES WHO ARE LOSING EVERYTHING FOR BENEFIT OF THEMSELVES. I’d advise all to shop around and not be fooled by the debt settled. Not hard to settle a lot of debt or have a lot of clients when they lie to get them in or mislead them as a non bias help source. Just some insite on people who deserve to be put on the chopping block. Is any of this illegal?

  • Cramerfill

    Please can someone answer if this is ethical or legal? Be careful of New Era debt solutions is all i have to say. I was apart of their organization when it was DTS Financial in Moorpark,Ca and was brought in to work for a new company they created called DACA (Debt and Credit Advisors). A supposed non bias help line to give clients options after screening their situations. This was a great idea but in working for DACA I saw that we were not a non bias help line but a direct lead source for DTS which is now New ERA after a name change and multiple problems with sales department (Barbara D.) lying about fees to get clients in the door. The name change took focus off their current issues as DTS financial. Back to their scam, Any client who didn’t qualify for their program or was in a state they didn’t handle DACA advised the client to contact Bright Credit GLENN GRANT. Kind of bias if it goes to either New Era or Bright credit don’t you think? He will do business in any state no matter what any laws say and he pays New Era a fee with no 1099 at the end of the year is what i was told. I cannot confirm the 1099 but i know Bright Credit paid Dan Smith or New Era or any entity they owned a fee on the debt load of the client over a few month spread. The client would pay Bright credits fees all upfront with minimal success but New Era was clear at that point but had already benefited from their facade of doing good for people in need. New Era is very smart(but sloppy what they let past employees in on)! They have a computer genius Craig who literally sits there all day and blogs for them and bashes other companies through trying to be sneaky and clever.Here is the deal, New Era will do anything they can to be at the top of the industry and that includes, lie, cheat , misdirect, and steal to make sure they look better than every company that is competition. It’s amazing NO ONE HAS FIGURED OUT THAT THEY ARE MOST LIKELY THE TIPSTER SITE OR TIPSTER. Makes sense to bash local companies and try to raise issues so they can look like the facade they are MISCHIEVOUS BUSINESS MEN PRAYING ON THE ONES WHO ARE LOSING EVERYTHING FOR BENEFIT OF THEMSELVES. I’d advise all to shop around and not be fooled by the debt settled. Not hard to settle a lot of debt or have a lot of clients when they lie to get them in or mislead them as a non bias help source. Just some insite on people who deserve to be put on the chopping block. Is any of this illegal?

    • F & B

      Cramerfill,
      Welcome. Please tell us more!

    • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

      Doug? What does this post have to New Era?

      And now for something totally off the wall.

    • Anonymous

      the lakers won last night and beat the supersonic… oh wait wrong thread.

      • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

        LOL

    • Dan

      Dear Former Employee,
      I am very happy to discuss your grievance with you. In return, may I request that I get permission from you to tell my side of the story which might include personal and confidential information about you and the reason you are no longer an employee?
      Dan Smith
      President
      New Era Debt Solutions

  • Steve Rhode

    Or…more consumers have dealt with their debt burden over the past two years and with less easy credit people can’t get loaded up again. This results in a shrinking pool of potential clients with the different major debt relief camps all competing for the shrinking pool.

  • Angelo

    A lot of players have left the industry. I wonder how much of that decline can be attributed to the decline in affiliate marketing companies, lead generation companies and industry professionals? I dont believe that there are fewer people searching for debt relief services. I’m told by other settlement companies that close ratios are at all time highs. I just think the marketing is not as “in your face” as in the past. Just a thought….

  • Angelo

    A lot of players have left the industry. I wonder how much of that decline can be attributed to the decline in affiliate marketing companies, lead generation companies and industry professionals? I dont believe that there are fewer people searching for debt relief services. I’m told by other settlement companies that close ratios are at all time highs. I just think the marketing is not as “in your face” as in the past. Just a thought….

    • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

      Or…more consumers have dealt with their debt burden over the past two years and with less easy credit people can’t get loaded up again. This results in a shrinking pool of potential clients with the different major debt relief camps all competing for the shrinking pool.

      • Bobby Zangrilli

        I think it’s a combination of all of these things…marketing drove demand up but demand was also higher because banks extended more credit pre-recession which increased the need for debt relief services.

  • Robert S

    Let me build off Steve’s ending post… and add that in SEO services have more Snake Oil salesman than Debt Settlement ever had. It is an easy industry to sell snake oil because the industry is brand new. Search Engines themselves have only been existence for not even 2 decades. And yes, most of them purchase links so they show the customer how well they help them rank. I, and most people, can spot this in 2 minutes with a quick backlinks search.

    What’s worst? If you have competitors that are SEO’ing ethically… all it takes is for them to report to Google and for them to do a quick check of the backlinks… BOOM, just like JC Penny they will discredit the links and/or suffer a google ban (delisted).

  • Robert S

    ah ha! You used the google trends discussion I had yesterday with Mike. I thought this is what you were first talking about in terms of traffic slowing down for leads.

  • Steve Rhode

    Tried it. Peaked in 2009 with a similar downward slide in 2010. Got another for me to check?

    I offer the following advice only as background for you in your efforts on the SEO campaign you were embarking on to target specific keywords. Recently Google made some rather key announcements regarding link farms and content farms. In fact they took action against JC Penney for gaming the search listings.

    Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is one thing. But as a friend, I just want you to be aware that the possibility exists that a SEO campaign built on posts, links and articles that Google has now identified as basically spam may result in a long term site punishment.

    I’ve been approached by companies wanting to sell me SEO services, after reviewing the offer I have never purchased them and in light of the recent crack down by Google, the largest search engine, I’m just saying be careful. Here is a related article.

    From that article:

    “As the world’s premiere search engine, Google has a clear mission – to organize the world‘s information and make it universally accessible and useful. Google has rules in place that prohibit the gaming of its system and has professed strict punishment will be enacted against brands/individuals that violate them. Regardless of how they are “punished,” ultimately JC Penney, and any brand that seeks to cheat the system, are fighting a losing battle. As the public’s eyes are being opened to the gaming of search, the method of “winning” at search is changing – and brands looking to phone it in are about to be left behind.”

  • Bobl

    I’ve been in this industry since 1995 and while it may appear to be counter intuitive, the industry always does better when economic conditions are good. There are a couple reasons for this. First, people truly are doing so poorly that they can’t even afford the remedy. When you can’t put food on your table, paying back your creditors becomes a non-thought. Second, when times are bad, people don’t feel a disconnect when they too are doing poorly. There is no urgency to fix the problem.

    We won’t see an increase in demand until the economy improves and credit starts flowing again. Only then, will people feel a need to find a solution so they can take part in the party.

  • http://www.bknetmarketing.com Bobl

    I’ve been in this industry since 1995 and while it may appear to be counter intuitive, the industry always does better when economic conditions are good. There are a couple reasons for this. First, people truly are doing so poorly that they can’t even afford the remedy. When you can’t put food on your table, paying back your creditors becomes a non-thought. Second, when times are bad, people don’t feel a disconnect when they too are doing poorly. There is no urgency to fix the problem.

    We won’t see an increase in demand until the economy improves and credit starts flowing again. Only then, will people feel a need to find a solution so they can take part in the party.

  • Mike Reilly

    This report is very limited in the information it provides, this is only based on three Key phrases when there are many. So while these particular KW searches show a decrease, there are many others to look at. Try debt advice…

  • Mike Reilly

    This report is very limited in the information it provides, this is only based on three Key phrases when there are many. So while these particular KW searches show a decrease, there are many others to look at. Try debt advice…

    • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

      Tried it. Peaked in 2009 with a similar downward slide in 2010. Got another for me to check?

      I offer the following advice only as background for you in your efforts on the SEO campaign you were embarking on to target specific keywords. Recently Google made some rather key announcements regarding link farms and content farms. In fact they took action against JC Penney for gaming the search listings.

      Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is one thing. But as a friend, I just want you to be aware that the possibility exists that a SEO campaign built on posts, links and articles that Google has now identified as basically spam may result in a long term site punishment.

      I’ve been approached by companies wanting to sell me SEO services, after reviewing the offer I have never purchased them and in light of the recent crack down by Google, the largest search engine, I’m just saying be careful. Here is a related article.

      From that article:

      “As the world’s premiere search engine, Google has a clear mission – to organize the world‘s information and make it universally accessible and useful. Google has rules in place that prohibit the gaming of its system and has professed strict punishment will be enacted against brands/individuals that violate them. Regardless of how they are “punished,” ultimately JC Penney, and any brand that seeks to cheat the system, are fighting a losing battle. As the public’s eyes are being opened to the gaming of search, the method of “winning” at search is changing – and brands looking to phone it in are about to be left behind.”

      • Robert S

        ah ha! You used the google trends discussion I had yesterday with Mike. I thought this is what you were first talking about in terms of traffic slowing down for leads.

      • Robert S

        Let me build off Steve’s ending post… and add that in SEO services have more Snake Oil salesman than Debt Settlement ever had. It is an easy industry to sell snake oil because the industry is brand new. Search Engines themselves have only been existence for not even 2 decades. And yes, most of them purchase links so they show the customer how well they help them rank. I, and most people, can spot this in 2 minutes with a quick backlinks search.

        What’s worst? If you have competitors that are SEO’ing ethically… all it takes is for them to report to Google and for them to do a quick check of the backlinks… BOOM, just like JC Penny they will discredit the links and/or suffer a google ban (delisted).

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