Peter Peterka’s Global Six Sigma USA (6sigma.us and 6sigma.com) Exposed:
A Case Study on Deceptive Training Providers & Fake Reviews
With so many Six Sigma training providers on the internet, it can be very difficult to find a worthwhile training provider. If you are like most people, you will rely on Google to help you narrow down that search. From there, if you are a wise consumer, you will attempt to find some reviews to help keep you (and your money) protected. Should seem simple, right? Well… perhaps not.
As an example, let us examine a website that frequently ranks in the top 5 six sigma search results of Google:
Global Six Sigma USA – 6sigma.us (also 6sigma.com)
Let us begin by looking at some reasons why it might be ranking so well in Google’s indexes.
Reason 1: Its Domain Name
When someone is doing a search for “six sigma” or “6 sigma” Google has no way of knowing the user’s intent. Are they looking for general information about 6 sigma? Or are they looking for a specific website called “6 sigma”? Since Google cannot know for sure, it will typically provide a very large boost to a website if the domain name matches the search name. Owning a website that is an exact match to “6 sigma” (i.e. 6sigma.us) can be extremely powerful when it comes to ranking.
Reason 2: Marketing Scheme #1: Doorway Pages
There is a dirty little secret in the world of Search Engine Optimization. They are called “Doorway Pages”. Here is Google’s definition:
To see how Global Six Sigma USA (6sigma.us) violates this Google Webmaster Guideline, here is a page at Global Six Sigma USA (6sigma.us) that simply says “Google” with no other related content on the page except a disclaimer that says “This page exists since Google is one of our past customers. We make no claim that Google endorses or jointly offers programs with us.”
It appears, based on Bing search results, that their website does this for over 5,000 different well know companies and organizations ranging from the US Coast Guard to Harvard University.
Why does this matter? Think about your web history. If you did any searches for a large company like Amazon and then later did a search for Six Sigma, Google could try to customize your search results allowing Global Six Sigma (6sigma.us) to rank higher. If there was no value in the strategy, why would they appear to dedicate over 5,000 web pages to it?
To make matters even worse, often times Global Six Sigma (6sigma.us) will also display the copyrighted logos of these organizations. Are consumers to believe that Peter Peterka and/or Global Six Sigma USA (6sigma.us) have any legal permission to use these copyrighted logos for their own marketing purposes?
Well, after a brief investigation we can see that the following copyrighted logos appear on 6sigma.us:
Meanwhile, the United States Department of Defense clearly states the following:
The information provided by the Department of Defense speaks for itself. The full document issued by the DoD can be seen HERE.
Reason 3: Marketing Scheme #2: Fake Training
Global Six Sigma USA (6sigma.us) doesn’t stop there. Global Six Sigma appears to have agreements with several contractors in various cities (around 30) to offer classroom based training.
What is more interesting is the training that they don’t offer. They say they don’t offer training in Cincinnati, Ohio. Yet there is a page dedicated to “Six Sigma Certification in Cincinnati, Ohio”:
And another page dedicated to “Six Sigma Training in Cincinnati, Ohio”:
Why would a training provider DEDICATE 2 PAGES to saying they do not offer a service in the city? Again, refer to the definition of a “doorway page” above.
Here you can see, according to Bing, Global Six Sigma USA (6sigma.us) does this for what appears to be approximately 3,000 times. As you can see, every one of these pages appears to offer no training in their respective city:
In fact, if you compare these various pages, a pattern will appear that could have been generated by a computer. To create these pages, it appears that Global Six Sigma USA (6sigma.us) basically does the following…
Step 1: Generates 2 generic paragraphs of text about a city
Step 2: Generates 3 generic paragraphs about six sigma
Step 3: Replaces [city name] with “six sigma certification in [city name]” in all 5 paragraphs
Step 4: Repeat the process again, and again, and again for different cities
Step 5: Enjoy the extra website traffic caused by deceiving the search engines and web users.
This type of process is generally known as “spinning content” (which is also frowned upon by Google).
By exploiting this weakness in Google, it appears that Global Six Sigma USA (6sigma.us) has been able to rank #1 for many of these pages despite the fact that they do not even offer training in those locations.
What about Global Six Sigma Headquarters?
What about Global Six Sigma Headquarters? Surely that must be a real training location, no? See for yourself:
Google seems to show that it is either a Starbucks or a UPS Store PO Box. You decide.
Reason 4: Marketing Scheme #3: Fake and/or Deceptive Reviews
Spotting questionable reviews is often pretty difficult. Luckily, Global Six Sigma USA makes it pretty easy.
Here is an example of where Peter Peterka gave his own company a 5-Star review:
Here Peter did it again:
Here is another 5-star review from someone whom appears to be Peter Peterka’s recent Russian bride (who appears to be the same person listed as a Partner/Consultant at Global Six Sigma):
These do not seem to be isolated incidents. Peter Peterka not only promotes his company Global Six Sigma USA, but also his more recently acquired (and highly controversial) ISSSP. Here you can see former Global Six Sigma USA (6sigma.us) and current ISSSP employee leaving reviews for both of Peterka’s organizations:
Any other questionable reviews?
Absolutely! In 2018, our organization posted a consumer alert against Peter Peterka’s Global Six Sigma USA (6sigma.us) and related companies. Naturally, it ranked very high in Google for those that were seeking a review. This appeared to get the attention of Peter Peterka.
Shortly after, Global Six Sigma’s primary website (6sigma.us) quickly posted approximately 1,000 reviews (with an alleged 4.9 star average) to their own website.
A thousand reviews with no identifiable information accept a first name.
Where did these reviews come from? Based on some of the comments they appear to have originated from their classroom-based classes. If you look at exactly how many “stars” were chosen, you may notice something very suspicious:
This person chose 4.3 out of 5 stars.
Think about this. If you were sitting in a classroom, and someone asked you to rate their training on a scale from a 1-star to 5-stars, would you respond with ”4.3 stars”? Who would do that? It would seem much more reasonable that a person would simply say “4 out of 5 stars”. You might have someone get a little more definitive and say “4 ½ stars”. But 4.3? Really?
Yet, it happens again, and again, and again…
If you look at the verbiage of these reviews, a reasonable person would likely conclude that they are not even reviews at all. For example:
Based on these statements, it sounds as though Peter Peterka’s organization took some comment cards that asked a general question such as “what did you like about the course?”, then deceptively used those answers to create their own biased fake reviews, then fraudulently attached a fake star-rating to ultimately give his organization a 4.9 star average rating.
To add insult to injury, these highly questionable reviews do not even seem to average 4.9 stars anyway (as claimed on 6sigma.us and in Google)…. but they instead averaged 3.9 by our calculations.
Note: If an organization were to claim to have a 4.9 star-rating for teaching statistical control methods, they should at least try to get their basic math even remotely correct (even if their reviews are completely fake).
Is it possible that these ratings were fabricated to manipulate public perception of their company while attempting to improve their website’s “schema” so that these questionable pages with “reviews” would outrank the CSSC Consumer Alert?
As you can see above, if that was their goal, they definitely succeeded. However, in doing so they would have been clearly deceiving consumers in the process.
Reason 5: Training Quality
So is the actual training of Global Six Sigma any good? Well, that is not a simple question to answer. Any education is good education. The better question to ask might be “whether the education you are receiving is a good value or not.“
The quality of Peter Peterka’s Global Six Sigma was once brought into question in a 2016 lawsuit.
An organization named IASSC claimed (in a lawsuit brought against Peter Peterka and Global Six Sigma) that Global Six Sigma’s programs were “just one-third of the industry average” in terms of hours, and a Black Belt “which is approximately less than half of the minimum training duration that IASSC defines as satisfactory or sufficient”. They also stated that they would “sell, without any additional defined criteria requirements, a certification to participants for simply attending their training.”
What about the quality of their instructors?
Again, this is difficult to determine. However, the top listed “Partner” on the Global Six Sigma USA (6sigma.us) “Meet our Team” page is Svetlana Rubtsova (also mentioned above in the fake/deceptive reviews section).
It appears that someone with the name Svetlana Rubtsova got her Six Sigma Master Black Belt Certification from a company called the International Six Sigma Institute back in 2017:
What is wrong with getting a certification from the International Six Sigma Institute? Are we sure this is even the same person? Well, Peter Peterka himself actually commented on this very same organization in a recent Linkedin article:
Assuming this is the same person, which it certainly seems to be based on the circumstantial evidence, is this the caliber of instructors that Global Six Sigma USA (6sigma.us) offers? Again, remember she is listed 2nd on their “Meet the Team” page (right after Peter Peterka) .
Could you imagine paying thousands of dollars for a course being taught by someone who simply took a 17 minute exam to earn their Six Sigma Master Black Belt?
At least we can agree with Peter’s statement that everyone needs to do their diligence when considering who to do business with from online businesses. This appears to be especially true when considering Peter Peterka’s Global Six Sigma USA (6sigma.us).
So what can you do to protect yourself as a consumer?
When you see reviews, be skeptical and don’t be afraid to do some investigating. Never trust reviews that appear on their own website (as those can be easily manipulated). If you are on an independent website, investigate the people leaving the review. Are they real?
Also consider checking our listing of Consumer Alerts. We also maintain a listing of accredited universities, colleges, and private training providers which might serve as an excellent starting point.
Lastly, always remember, relying on Google’s search results will give you the training providers that are best at exploiting Google’s algorithm, not necessarily the companies that excel at Six Sigma Training.