Massive Layoffs at Geosign?


A Facebook group titled ex-Geojerk is reporting massive layoffs at Geosign:

"A recent reorganization at Geosign has eliminated my role with the Company."

Massive layoff at Geosign leaves many pondering their future. The severance package paid out over a period of 8 weeks seems to be suffice, and those who invested in the Company will be getting back every cent they put into the company. I hope there's interest on that.

Anyone know what scale this is too? Any other arbitragers feeling the pain? What happens with that $160 million investment?


Apparently they're still

Apparently they're still getting the $160 million. They ran into some issues that led them to trim off some excess fat, and there was plenty of it that they had gained...100+ employees got the pink slip. Supposedly that'll improve their bottom line going forward. Oh, and Tim Nye stepped down from his Chairman role.

I guess that's the kind of stuff that happens when you get outside investment.

Bad management

Well as one of those guys who got "busted" this week, I gotta tell you this: I SAW it coming. How could you base all your revenue model on such a narrow and exploitation of "almost a glitch" of just one supplier (google)?? that's more than (fatal) mistakes right there:
1-Narrow : their arbitrage model was such a narrow model that made it the only way to work was to increase their ad campaign massively like they operated
2- exploitation : I mean come on! you thought google will see the abuse of their adwords (even though it generates revenue to google adwords) and not do anything? because they get paid anyway?? it is not microsoft you know!
3- one supplier : google! ...hmmm... It is like opening a restaurant that sells weird menu items but it only works as long as your restaurant is beside the 407 construction site.

what surprises me is that they did not try to fix their model and adapt it to the recent changes (it is definitely doable..geosign is not the only one in the market that play on arbitrage you know)..instead, the smart guys in the boardroom decided to flip it altogether, get rid of extremely talented, top notch people, and come up with a new biz plan!! restructuring to become a publisher (ironically they got rid of alot of the editors) and come up with a new revenue plan! that's laughable.

My bet is..geofart wont last to see the next year's eve (odds of 6:1).

My applologies for the edgeness in my message but I have alot of "resentment" towards these guys but much respect to those who lost thier jobs in a blink.

good luck yo all.

I am baffled by their new "Publishing" Plan

So, I see that Geosign is going to attempt to become an online publisher with sites that have ad space and have a proper editorial line up - good for them...BUT I find it strange that they have let go a lot of staff that have actual publishing backgrounds. They let go people who have years of experience in magazines, newspapers, journalism etc. These are top notch editors and writers who have the education and experience, and yet they let them go.

And I see a whole lot of problems with their new publishing model including the fact that they have kept staff without publishing backgrounds to "edit" their new online publications.

They had previously said that anyone who could get hired at a magazine or newspaper etc is who they would want on their new publishing team and yet they have retained people who have no education, background, or experience in real publishing in management and editorial.

Writing a good blog is not grounds for journalism experience, and regurgitating what other people have written as someone on another board has pointed is simply not journalism. And I find it laughable that they think it is. It takes years of experience and education in the business to get a head editor position - so the fact that they are treating it lightly tells me that Geosign has a lot to learn in terms of real publishing.

So to all the real journalists and editors who lost their jobs, go back to print where your job is actually respected and your experience is valuable.

Good luck to you all!!

excess fat?? Tim Nye stepped up not down...

To clarify:

- it was a lot more than excess fat... 1/3 of staff - many who had been there quite a while
- Tim Nye did not step down as Chairman (AFAIK) but actually stepped back in to head up one of the 'new' Geosign divisions.

im looking to hire excess fat

call me crazy but when a company lets go of over a 1/3 of their staff i think there just might be some good people in that mix.

my problem is finding good people. i have no shortage of good online projects. i'd be interested in talking with anyone looking to do content or link dev. we could either develop joint projects or i could pay you to do work on one of my existing projects.

ps if any ex-geosigners are gonna become affiliates sign up under me :)

Fat, or perhaps "phat" content

Hi Goodroi,

I'm one of the unlucky writers that was laid off by Geosign yesterday. Although I was one of the most prolific bloggers the company had (, I did tell them that I'd be returning to school this fall to pursue my PhD and they simply accelerated my departure. However, I'm actively pursuing freelance opportunities, and would like to contribute to your well-rounded site.

Let's chat, if you're interested.

When you get banned by

When you get banned by AdWords for AllTheBrands, AllTheServices, AllThe et. al. and TrueLocal... what the hell did you think would happen. Rumors were they were spending $1m/day on AdWords and making about $20mm/month profit. No matter how they disguise the company, they were an MFA and were told by AdWords to stop.

They still have a lot of other web properties, but nothing compared to what they were doing with arbitrage.

Live by the sword

Die by the sword

A local paper gave some coverage

The original story:

and the follow up:

Geosign announced Tuesday it was laying off a significant number of employees, but word is now spreading that the total provided was incorrect.

Company officials have just admitted the number of "38 or 39" given by president Ted Hastings is incorrect.

A spokesperson is now saying the total is between 50 and 100 but refused to give any more details.

Meanwhile, has received at least two e-mails from people who claim to be Geosign workers who say 100 employees have been terminated.

Looks like geosign needs to update its website:

• More than 180 consumer websites
• Over 35 million online visitors each month
• 215 team members and growing
• 300% employee growth in the last three years
• 99% employee retention

Was the employee growth just to get the investment?

I would imagine company moral is at an all time low, and those who survived this first cut will be scouring the web to find more stable employment.

Sorry to all who lost their jobs, but as Greg stated, there is lots of people looking for web talent right now, so it may not be as bad as you think. I would love to see a menu of who is now on the market and could work remotely (c:

Someone should throw together a "Guelph Elance" or outsourcing company.

Best of luck to you all!

Link developer speaks..

You can definately be sure that there is a lot of talent that was just let yesterday. I was one of them! If anyone would like to discuss any link development opportunities or anything for that matter keep them posted on here. You're a huge help to all of us and thanks for your support!

growth was akin to supernova

Geosign hired very aggressively throughout 2006 to tackle a roster of outrageously ambitious projects. It is a company built on a serial entrepreneur's tolerance of risk, that got too big, too fast, in too many directions. Saying much more would involve speculation. I compare Geosign to a supernova; puffed up to enormous proportions as it spent the last of its fuel, then collapsed. What's left is a dense star... let's hope it doesn't become a black hole and suck Guelph in

was the entire link developement/SEO team laid off?

I wonder if anyone knows if the entire link development/seo team within the publishing group at Geosign was eliminated in the layoffs...?

I've always felt like the domain industry has never paid enough attention to SEO and I've heard that Geosign had built out this internal group significantly.

Jack Dmitri

I'm hiring

Not to hijack the thread or linkdrop too terribly much. We're hiring at Range:

hey oilman i was the first

hey oilman i was the first to threadjack this with an employment offer (and refugees can still contact me via

and for those without a facebook account sugarrae is looking to recruit her old coworkers

i cant remember the last time so many people have gone on a hiring spree

AdWords ban

"When you get banned by AdWords for AllTheBrands, AllTheServices, AllThe et. al. and TrueLocal... "

That's the most important thing arbitrageurs should note about this. Even though those sites had no AdSense, Google still slapped them big time because of the perceived quality of their sites. They're probably starting with the biggest players and working their way down.

We are also hiring

For those that don't mind a commute downtown, we are a leading provider of online communities, and do a lot of work with domains and SEO. Some of our products include a soon to be re-launched We also own,, and domains such as Along with over 30 online communities in Sports, Automotive and Technology.

Check us out at

And be sure to send your resumes in! We are looking for content writers, SEO specialists, and any developers / coders.

We've got a mandate to do some hiring too...

In a not-totally unrelated industry... was founded to provide solutions to owners of great domains and to help them turn them into great web destinations. We're in downtown Toronto.

Would be interested in speaking with writers, SEO folks, link builders, community builders, and developers.

Since there is no difference between facts and speculation...

The American Capital investment was the worst thing that ever happened to Geosign. Why? Because it put them on all the radars they had spent years sailing under. The AdWords army's legitimate clientele saw Geosign as a target and they blew it out of the sky.

It was a great ride but I'm kind of glad to get off. Goodroi and Domainer, I may be in touch...

And George (werty), just to correct you, with all due respect - no one hires aggressively just to get an investment; all that hiring - and the investment- was based in overconfidence in a narrow revenue model you helped create, brother. :) The "menu of who is now on the market" is growing by the hour and it's found in the facebook link at the top of this thread.

Dazed and Annoyed

I was one of the people who got a blue triangle of death on Tuesday - as far as I can tell, Geosign let go of over 100 really great people who were amazing to work with. The amount of talent that was under that roof was unreal - you would be lucky to get any of them, so snap them up while you can!!

I came into Geosign from magazines and as a journalist I can tell you that that company was really playing it fast and loose with the word "publishing" - I am looking forward to going back to doing credible journalism again. I have left that company with nothing to show in my portfolio for several months of work.

And to all the ex Geosign -ers out there, this set back had nothing to do with your abilities or talents, you are all great at what you do. We could have written the most amazing blogs that brought in 10,000 hits a day (like some of us did!!) and it still wouldn't have made a difference. We simply weren't needed anymore in their new "publishing" model.

Good luck everybody!

Best linkdrop thread ever.

I'll help ya look, or perhaps contract ya as well - feel free to drop me a line.

Those that took the hit - it'll probably be the best thing that ever happend to you. Congrats:)

Ex-Geosign ninja needs some work

Hello all, my name is Cory Perquin.

I am one of the ninjas who took the hit a couple days ago.

I would like to say thank you to all those who have posted in this thread offering to help us out. It means a great deal to everyone involved.

I would like to speak with anyone who currently has work available for link development or design.

Even if you only know of a possible opening, sharing it would be greatly appreciated as there are quite a few people who will need to get back on their feet.

Keep up the great work guys and thanks again.

My linkedin profile can be viewed at the following URL

Thank you kindly,
Cory Perquin

lovin the love

I just wanted to say thanks again to everyone who has contacted me privately and on this thread.

I am putting together a list of LinkedIn profiles for individuals who wish to be contacted and I am making your contact info available to the list. I will post back here when its complete.

As for the notion that the vultures are swarming -- I will concede that there may be a few, but I am sure that as a group we will sort that out rather quickly.

Thanks again

Cory Perquin

A friend of mine could use a

A friend of mine could use a link developer. please ping me at SeoBook aT gmail d0t com

Best thing to happen? maybe

I guess it could be the best thing to happen for some people. As a writer, it was sometimes difficult writing so much repetition for the sake of the almighty dollar. It didn't make a lot of sense to write a site about something you knew absolutely nothing about. Sure, you can research all you want, but you're basically putting out inferior sites. Anyway, it's over and done with, so time to turn the page and get on with the next adventure. If anybody's looking for a writer please let me know via this system or at

Writers and Link Dev - Tax Free opportunity

I reckon your talent was wasted at Geosign... that ship was too big to be agile enough to change with the dynamic nature of the industry.

Maybe this really was the best thing that could have happened to you.

Here's the deal - work as a freelancer / fulltime for us and earn tax-free money.
If they don't want your kind of talent - I certainly do!

just a caution

Cory, Colin et al others,
I urge you to be very cautious of the vultures falling over each other here. Choose your next move wisely. You guys are all playing from strength - just wait until you start to feel it. Don't get sucked into another black hole like the one you just escaped from.


I urge you to be very cautious of the vultures

who exactly? so far everybody that I've seen post that they're hiring is a highly respected person in the business. There's a total lack of skilled labor right not so damn right we're gonna 'fall over each other' to scoop anybody with enough skill to fill the open jobs we have.

I don't really have time for this but...

Get over yourself, oil. I'm talking to my friends. I want them to be sure to avoid the slick and slippery people in this business.

Geosign job cuts a reality of private equity

Hey Guys,

I wanted to comment on all the scuttlebutt that's been flying around since the ax fell on Tuesday at Geosign. As someone who spends most of his time writing about stocks, I can tell you this had everything to do with return on investment and nothing to do with preserving the company. Geosign is far from broke and the reason the cuts were made is their new investors wanted to ensure that the ROI remained healthy. Fortress Group (a competitor to American Capital) did the same thing to Intrawest (owners of Whistler, Tremblant, and other resorts) when they took the company private. Cut, cut, cut, until the breaking point and then fill jobs on an "as needed basis" to keep things running. Why run a business on 200 people when you can run it on 100. It's simple math really.

What bothers me is they didn't have the stones to be straight with people.

Good luck to all. We were truly a dysfunctional family.

>be very cautious of the vultures falling over each other here

I took that one pretty personal too - unless there were other folks that contacted you privately - I can vouch for at least half of the people in this thread that offered potential work.

These are good people lookin' for good people, and it easily could have been as much more of a generalization. If you were meaning to talk to your friends - it just as easily could have been done in private. I guess assuming you meant the other half it's cool;)

okay okay

I apologize for overgeneralizing. You have to admit that SEO and SEM has always had its 'black' side, and those on that black side are often the ones who find it difficult to keep help and work. I have also heard from people who (albeit self effacingly) refer to themselves as vultures, so it can't be that bad an insult. Go right ahead with the hiring, the job security and the paying fairly, I say.

Former Geosign Employees who wish to be contacted

Hello all Cory here again -- I have assembled a list of LinkedIn profiles for my friends who wish to be contacted for employment offers.

The list can be viewed at The "Geo Menu"

Cory Perquin

Looking for sources for article


I'm writing an article on what it was about Geosign that enabled them to raise $160 million.

It's a complete mystery to me.

Their content looks advertorial. The sites don't come up high when I google the subject matter. And they have hardly any del.icio,us bookmarks, a good popularity proxy.

Also, where does the Google AdSense/AdWords arbitrage rumour come from?

Plz drop me an e-mail if you can help out or know someone who can.



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