In case you didn't know: Inc. offers a what they call "verified listing" for the small annual fee of $30. Their marketing scripts are well written and it sounds like a great opportunity to get additional eyes on you.
You're able to add your company info (address, a sentence about your mission) and your entry will soon rank on the first page of Google if you google your exact company name. Also, you can add social profile links and a link to your website.
Why I cancelled my Inc. verified listing
Maybe an SEO expert will tell you it's a great backlink. I'm sharing my opinion from a non-SEO standpoint. Also, I highly doubt a service anyone can pay is a valuable backlink in Google's opinion.
I feel the listing in the top 10 search results strips me of an opportunity to connect with someone who's looking for me. Inc. doesn't offer a directory or search function. People can't search for your industry or service. No business will come from there.
Instead, the site seems to have the sole purpose of marketing Inc. Not you. Every option you see in the picture above leads to Inc. content. Search Inc. articles, get your own "verified" (not sure what they verify, I did not notice that there was a verification process) profile, and so on. Several links lead to the "get your own verified profile" sign-up page. If you don't look at it with SEO eyes, you might feel like me that this doesn't build any trust.
On a sidenote: I applaud Huff for removing the "any blogger" function. I feel that the quality of Inc. publications is decreasing, whereas THAT is a good backlink. Writing for the site is.
On my website, I share about 150 articles, some videos, I have a podcast and whatnot. If someone feels that they have to check if my business is legit after checking out all of the aforementionend, they just don't like me. Finding my obviously paid for "verified profile" won't change that. Finding my LinkedIn profile might. If someone checks me out on LInkedIn, there is a real chance they might take action afterwards.
At the time of my Inc. verified cancellation, my LinkedIn profile ranks as search result eleven.
I feel it's a top 10 entry wasted. A phone book entry only people will find that are looking for you anyway. The opportunity to build trust wasted by shameless self-marketing. Hopefully, Google is too clever to be impressed by backlinks without real value. Looking at the incredible amount of mistakes I make as an SEO-challenged person and the generous amount of organic traffic Google sends over, it's safe to say they are clever.
Inc. states below your listing:
Inc. Verified Profiles are not endorsements of the listed products or services. See what Inc.’s verification entails at www.inc.com/verified
I don't pay for prestige and I would have removed my listing too if the service was free.
As always, unless you're on my Coaching site, take my opinion as just that: an opinion.