Online Listings And The Professional Investigator
By Ralph D. Thomas

Someone stated that they have never gotten a case out of being in an online
directory. The problem is, some investigators say they get a lot of business
off of certain listings, web sites and so forth while others say they get
nothing. What is up? Advertising, either free or paid doesn’t bring you any cases
at all. That is your job. All it will do is give you a certain amount of phone
calls, which YOU then convert to case assignments. If no one is ever in your
office to answer the phone and potential clients get an answering machine, it
is a proven fact that the percentage of cases you get from these phone calls
drops drastically. More than that, if you never return those phone calls or
do not return them in a timely manner, nope-you will not be getting any case
assignments from them.

There are a lot of PI directories around. Some are free, some have a very
small yearly charge and some are rather high to get listed. You should get in
as many of them as you can for reasons other than just making the telephone
ring from the directory listing. Many of the search engines rank your web site
based on the number of web sites that link to you. Therefore, it stands to
reason that the more links you have out there, the higher you will get rated in the
search engines.

Most investigators get good mileage out of being listed in the state and
national investigative associations directory. You can find a list of them off

State Investigative Associations

National And International State Investigative Associations

Free Listing-The PI Search Engine
The PI Search Engine is a new high traffic listing service where you can list your private investigative agency service and web site. There is a section for NAIS members, NAIS members who are certified, Bodyguard/executive protection services, process servers and private investigators. There is also a place to list private investigative associations, bail bondsman and bail enforcement agents. Listings are free so take the one minute it takes to post your listing. The PI Search Engine is new but traffic is growing very quickly.

If you are not yet a member of The National Association Of Investigative
Specialists, Inc.-investigate why it costs instead of just pays to be a member and
get listed. NAIS is part of the highest traffic investigative web site on
the net, The PI Mall. From Feb. 24th to March 17th, The PI Mall had 3,258,255
visitors. (Yes that is three million!) More than that, NAIS has over 3,000
investigative members, and is the oldest and largest association on the net. You
can go to:

and investigate why you should join as well as listen to actual audio
testimonials from actual members on how NAIS has helped them build their
investigative agency practice. Not only that, NAIS lets you create a free web page ad on, gives you massive discounts on books, manuals, training aids and equipment and gives you access to the NAIS members only web site which you will find thousands of aids, resources, articles, aids and news on conducting private investigations.

Aside from just online directory listings, you can also join high traffic
portals that link your web site into the search engines quite well. Examples of
some of the best ones are, and

It's important to note that ranking and ratings is important when you consider placement of a directory listing. It's a matter of how much exposure you obtain. Naturally, the higher a ranking, the more traffic the specific service is going to obtain. Sites and web pages that are considered link farms basically give no consideration these days to many search engines. Link farms are defined on the Internet as:


Definitions of link farm on the Web:
• A recent term used to describe some link exchange programs. These programs are nothing more than random links on a page and really do not help one popularity. Can be considered spamming.

• a site created solely for search engine ranking purposes that consists almost entirely of a long list of unrelated links. These types of pages are penalized by almost all search engines.

• On the World Wide Web, a link farm is a large group of web pages created that contain hyperlinks to one another or a specific other page. Link farms are normally created by programs, rather than by human beings.

There are a few ways to check a specific ranking of an individual web site or directory. You can check the google ranking but this basically only gives you info for the google search engine. Alexa offers a ranking service that is fairly good. Here are some examples of ranking from Alexa:


Examples Of Alex Rankings:

Search Engine Rankings 1 3 1,892 11,367 14,723 23,679

Some Directory Rankings
LawInfo 20,881
PI Mall/NAIS 48,445
Rominger Legal Directory 107,205
PI Directory-Spies Online 229,055 228,589
PI Magazine 284,624
Virtual Gumshoe 370,068 418,201 797,662
The Investigator Directory 1,321,839 2,062,153 4,200,870
Sleuth1 5,147,173
Professional Investigator Directory 5,407,065
Nationwide PI Network 5,464,420

Note that the lower number, the higher the ranking. It would then stand to reason that a service that had a ranking of say 10,000,000 is not going to get nearly the traffic that a site had for say 150,000. However, the results you might obtain from just using rankings may not always match for various reasons. For example, Law Info is ranked 20,881 which is a high ranking. However, the private investigator directory is just a small part of their overall web site. Their main focus is a directory of law firms and web sites. Therefore, the ranking for rating as a private investigator directory might be lower on the list. However, since they have so many law firm listings, it would stand to reason that the law firms in their web site would tend to search for private investigators who are listed there.


Ralph Thomas
Thomas Investigative Publications, Inc.
National Association Of Investigative Specialists, Inc.
Spy Exchange And Security Center Inc.
Utrak. Inc.-Online GPS tracking
SpyTek Wholesale