The Arbor Academy Review (2023): Scam or Legit?

Are you looking to up your SEO game and get more traffic to your local business from Google Maps? You might have come across Chad Kimball’s Arbor Academy and wondered if it’s the right choice for you.

As someone who’s always on the lookout for online marketing opportunities, I’ve tried my fair share of digital programs and courses. So, I decided to give Arbor Academy a closer look and share my thoughts with you.

Before we get started, let me clarify that I’m not affiliated with Arbor Academy in any way, so you can trust that my review will be unbiased. And, to sweeten the deal, I’ll even share a better alternative that’s helped me earn a full-time income using Google.

So, let’s dive into this Arbor Academy review! Here’s what I’ll be covering:

What Is The Arbor Academy?

Chad Kimball’s Arbor Academy course is a potential solution for those who are struggling to drive leads to local businesses or improve their Google Maps rankings.

The Arbor Academy Review

With millions of non-optimized customer listings on Google Maps, Chad Kimball promises to teach you how to spice up a customer’s listing and make their phone ring with just a few changes. By ranking and renting Google Business Profiles, you can generate leads for local businesses without spending extra time or money on ads or improving someone else’s website.

But before you dive in, it’s important to note that ranking a non-local business website on Google Maps is impossible. The businesses that appear on Google 3-Pack are location-specific, meaning local SEO results differ depending on the searcher’s location. To get approval for a location on Google Maps, accurate information such as the phone number, website, opening hours, and location of the business profile must be provided.

Local businesses can easily rank on Google Maps by keeping their Google Business profile complete and up to date. No need to pay agencies or invest in complicated strategies. The Arbor Academy may still offer valuable insights for boosting local business rankings, but it’s important to set realistic expectations and understand the limitations of the platform.

Learn more: What is Local SEO, and How Does It Work?

Recommendation: Here’s The Best Alternative

Who is Chad Kimball?

Chad Kimball is a digital marketer who has made a name for himself with his innovative Google Maps business model. He’s been in the game for a while, having worked for himself since 1999 when he left his job due to issues in the workplace. In 2011, he founded his online marketing agency to help small businesses gain more customers, and he’s been helping them do just that ever since.

What sets Chad apart is his expertise in SEO, which has earned him a reputation as a thought leader in the field. He knows his stuff, and he’s not afraid to share his knowledge with others. His Google Maps Advertising marketing model, in particular, has been a game-changer for local businesses. It generated over $2 million in revenue for The Arbor Academy in 2020, and Chad believes that smaller companies, startups, and entrepreneurs can benefit from it too.

Chad is active on social media, using platforms like Facebook and YouTube to promote his digital programs. However, as one viewer notes, some of his YouTube videos are just pitches for his course. Despite this, Chad remains a respected figure in the world of digital marketing, and his Google Maps business model is proof that he knows how to help local businesses succeed.

Recommendation: Here’s The Best Alternative

How Does The Arbor Academy Help You Make Money?

If you are searching for a new method to generate income, you might be interested in Arbor Academy’s rank and rent business model. This approach teaches you how to purchase and rent high-ranking search results on Google Maps to local businesses. The process involves following nine simple steps.

  1. Use the e-tool to enter a search term, like “electrician,” and a specific location. The tool will show you how many people are searching for electricians in the area.
  2. Go back to Google and search for local business listings for “electricians.” Identify electrical contractors in your area that aren’t listed and convince them to hire you.
  3. Don’t be fooled by all the electrician businesses on the map; not all of them are real. Arbor Academy can help you create a listing for a local business that’s not already on Google.
  4. Create a website specific to the business you’re seeking leads for. You can earn a commission on every purchase once you agree on a specific payment rate.
  5. You can act as a middleman in countries where Google search maps don’t rank high. You and a digital agency can contact local businesses and negotiate a fixed residual payment after showing them how you can attract customers to their business.
  6. With a little effort, you can help many unlisted local businesses around the world attract more customers.
  7. You can target keywords from a variety of business sectors, like “plumber,” “roofer,” “scaffolder,” “car rental,” and “lawyer.”
  8. Find local businesses that aren’t mentioned and negotiate a fee with them. As an online Search Engine Results Page (SERP) marketer, you’ll learn how to guide buyers to the products or services they need.
  9. This business model is easy to understand. Look for local businesses that need an online presence to increase their sales. By acting as an intermediary between them and the services they need, you’ll be doing them a favor.

Learn more: Rank & Rent Lead Generation: Local SEO Guide

Recommendation: Here’s The Best Alternative

An Overview of The Arbor Academy Course 

The Arbor Academy Course covers all the essential aspects of the Google Maps business model, making it a solution for those seeking to master the ins and outs of Google Maps and gain a competitive edge in the digital world.

The course includes online video tutorials, available exclusively to members of the Google Maps Elite program. Here’s a sneak peek at some of the topics covered:

  • Introduction and overview
  • White hat techniques for optimizing your online presence
  • Understanding the Google local ranking algorithm
  • Creating content that resonates with local audiences
  • Backlinking strategies to boost your website’s authority
  • Keyword research and analysis for local SEO
  • Mastering Google My Business guidelines and optimization
  • The importance of customer reviews and how to generate them
  • Leveraging social media and other online platforms for maximum exposure
  • Building citations and establishing your brand as a local authority

But that’s not all – the Arbor Academy Course goes even further by delving into more advanced topics such as:

  • Using press releases and other PR strategies to boost your local presence
  • Expanding your reach through Yelp and other online directories
  • Selling leads and other advanced lead generation tactics
  • Staying on the right side of Google’s ever-changing policies and algorithms

How Much Does The Arbor Academy Cost?

To gain full and unrestricted access to their materials, you can expect to pay a one-time fee of around $1,000. Yes, it’s a significant amount of money, but keep in mind that you may be able to negotiate a lower price with your breakthrough agent.

If you’re looking to save some money, you may also want to consider doing your own research on the lessons you’re interested in. Simply Google the titles of the lessons, and you may be able to find the information you need without having to spend a dime.

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Praises For The Arbor Academy

Chad’s expertise and coaching

At The Arbor Academy, you’ll have the opportunity to learn from Chad, a legit guru in the industry. He’s been in the business for years and has experience in generating leads and growing small businesses. Plus, he’s made a name for himself in the early 2000s when Google maps wasn’t as advanced in validating addresses for small businesses. So, you can trust that he knows what he’s doing.

Weekly Live Coaching Calls

One of the best things about The Arbor Academy is the weekly live coaching calls. During these calls, Chad shares his knowledge and expertise on lead generation and helps you grow your business. Whether you’re just starting or have been in the industry for a while, Chad can provide valuable insights and strategies that can help you succeed.

Personalized Coaching and Support

At The Arbor Academy, you won’t just get access to generic courses or videos. Chad provides personalized coaching and support to each student, making sure that you’re on the right track towards achieving your goals. You’ll get one-on-one attention and guidance, which can be invaluable when it comes to growing your business.

Access to a Supportive Community

Being an entrepreneur can be tough, but at The Arbor Academy, you’ll have access to a supportive community of like-minded individuals who are also on the same journey as you. You can connect with others, share ideas, and get feedback on your business strategies. This community can provide you with the motivation and encouragement you need to keep going and achieve success.

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Criticisms For The Arbor Academy

Hidden Costs to Build a Lead Generation Site

One of the first things you need to consider is the cost of building a lead generation site. You’ll need to pay for website hosting and a domain name, which can cost around $25 a month on platforms like Weebly. You’ll also need a keyword research tool, such as SpyFU, which can cost around $33 per month. These costs can add up, so it’s important to budget for them before you start.

Ranking and Renting Takes Time

The Arbor Academy’s lead generation course is not a “get rich quick” scheme. If you choose to use the “rank and rent” method taught in the course, it will take time to see results. This method involves creating a lead generation site and renting it out to businesses in need of leads. However, it takes time for the site to rank on search engines like Google. Additionally, Google prefers websites that regularly update their content, so you’ll need to put in effort to keep your lead gen site fresh.

Bad Debt is a Possibility

One of the drawbacks of the “rank and rent” model is the possibility of bad debt. You may generate leads for clients, but they may not pay you for them. You’ll need to keep track of your leads and follow up with clients to make sure you get paid. This can be time-consuming and frustrating, especially in the early days of your client relationships.

Link Building is Time-Consuming and Risky

Another thing to consider is the time and effort involved in link building. While The Arbor Academy teaches a white hat technique for building links, it’s still possible to violate Google’s rules in the future. Google’s algorithm is constantly changing, and what works today may not work tomorrow. 

Additionally, as Google becomes smarter with artificial intelligence, the importance of backlinks is decreasing. Google now places more emphasis on the relevance and quality of content. So, while Chad’s backlink approach may work now, it may not be effective in the future.

Recommendation: Here’s The Best Alternative

Is The Arbor Academy A Scam?

The Arbor Academy is a legit program that can teach you some useful skills to help rank your site in the Google Maps 3 Pack.

What is the Google Maps 3 Pack, you ask? It’s the top results for a local business search that Google displays. The 3 Pack includes three local businesses that Google deems relevant, well-known, and close to the user. It also includes a map of the three results as well as listings for the three Google Business Profiles.

Now, while the Arbor Academy may be legit, the big question is whether or not you can make money from it after completing the course. And, can you get your money back for the course?

Here’s the deal: it’s impossible to create a non-local business website just to rent it out to local business owners via Google Maps. This is a total con. However, as long as the small business owner has a website and fills out the business profile, their website can show up on Google Maps when customers approach their business. It’s all about proximity and relevance, and they don’t need to know any SEO tactics.

One thing to keep in mind is that Google’s 3-Pack will be updated again. According to Google, the update will rebalance the three most important ranking factors for 3-Pack results: proximity, relevancy, and prominence.

Learn more: Make Money Online Scams: How to Avoid Them?


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Final Verdict

You should think twice before joining The Arbor Academy. Here’s why.

It’s Expensive

The first thing to note is the cost. The Arbor Academy charges at least $1000 to join, which is quite steep, especially for those just starting in the lead generation business.

Generating Leads Takes Time and Effort

Chad Kimball, the founder of The Arbor Academy, claims that renting a lead generation site can help you recoup your investment. However, ranking a lead generation site on search engines takes a lot of time and effort. And in major cities, the competition is tough.

Lack of Regularly Updated Content

Unlike blogs that can be updated regularly, lead generation sites may not have new content frequently. This could make it challenging to attract clients and maintain your ranking.

Limited Target Audience

While you might be able to target some small towns, finding clients willing to pay a high fee might be difficult. Even if you manage to get your site to rank on the first page, most business owners might not be willing to pay $1000 for your services. After all, they can always generate leads through Google ads.

Violating Google’s Policy

Chad Kimball’s use of link-building strategies for lead generation sites violates Google’s policy. Once Google’s algorithm detects this, it may remove your website from its search results.

Competing Directly with Google

Lastly, the local lead generation model competes directly with Google. This might make it even harder to attract clients and generate revenue.

Considering all of these factors, it’s no surprise that most online marketers don’t make much money using the local lead generation model. So, if you’re thinking of joining The Arbor Academy, it might be best to look elsewhere.

Recommendation: Here’s The Best Alternative

Best Alternative to The Arbor Academy For Making Money Online

If you’re not too keen on shelling out money for Chad Kimball’s course, then you might want to check out Wealthy Affiliate as an alternative. This platform offers comprehensive training on SEO that goes beyond just Google Maps listing. Plus, if you’re doing marketing for a local business, you can learn a new business model that can help you earn more money – affiliate marketing.

Wealthy Affiliate is my top recommendation for affiliate marketing training. It lets you build a website and provides you access to extensive training. But the big question is, how much can you earn in affiliate marketing? Well, a 21-year old student from Wealthy Affiliate was able to make $7,395 in just one week using free traffic methods like SEO. That’s over $1k a day!

You can check out my full review of Wealthy Affiliate here.

Wealthy Affiliate Testimonial

Wealthy Affiliate has been around for 15 years, and it has helped many people become successful in affiliate marketing. If you need more proof, just check out some of the inspiring success stories from their members.

Joining Wealthy Affiliate is easy. The platform has a simple pricing scheme with free and premium membership options. If you’re curious about Wealthy Affiliate, you can sign up for their starter membership for free – no credit card required. As a starter member, you’ll get instant access to the community, live chat, over 500 training modules, 2 classrooms, networking, commenting, 1 free website, and access to the keyword tool – all without spending a single penny.

So, I strongly suggest registering for a free account and experiencing Wealthy Affiliate for yourself.

Recommendation: Here’s The Best Alternative

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