Search Marketing Scams - Cashing in on Ignorance

Over the last week i've happened across three different search marketing scams. Two of them are disturbingly similar - so similar in fact that one would be forgiven for thinking they were written by the same person.

Is this the start of a Search Scam Gold Rush? I think perhaps it is. As Google and others begin to reach out to agencies and the hitherto little touched areas of search results come under increasing public notice it seems that some unwholesome search marketers are looking to cash in on ignorance. Follow the title link above for the full post.

The Telesales Scams

The first such scam was a telesales firm operating out of Manchester, England. The deal was essentially this: Pay us £200 and we'll get you ranked in the top 10 on Google and Yahoo! for up to 10 search terms. The naive and clearly clueless telesales agent that called me seemed very proud and excited about the fact that her company would be using an invisible website to promote mine and that it would be cross-linked to 3000 other invisible websites.

For those reading that are unware, that's quite possibly a high risk move, especially for a small business were income almost certainly depends partly on the company website.

You can read a little bit more about this here.

That probably isnt so new though, telemarketing cold call scams have been around for a very long time after all. The really worrying developments in this trend are the companies and individuals creating software to sell online to unsuspecting, unknowing businesses.

The Quick Fix - High Risk Software Scams

These next two are truly dreadful creations, complete with truly dreadful snake oil seller websites to acompany them:

Notice the press releases both try to use the "white hat" stance on search marketing to sell their products? From scam one's press release:

Quote:
After a year of development, an honest Internet Marketer Costa Dedes discovered a unique and amazingly easy new method to get his websites listed on Google in 3 short days, without trying to manipulate the search engine rules.

from scam two's press release:

Quote:
Search Engine Optimization Expert Offers First “White Hat” Software Tool

Nathan Anderson is a search engine optimization expert who is a long time advocate of ethical techniques. On November 1, 2004 he introduced MetaWebs, the first major software tool specifically designed to aid in ethical SEO.

Cashing in on the White Hat Movement

That joker is a member at the ihelpyou forums, an infamous white hat website and he's currently being a hard ride by Doug Heil, the sites owner. Doug is vehemently opposed to any kind of automated software for site building, hell i think he'd probably say Dream Weaver was dirty :) - Rockynate as he's known is also getting a roasting at the HighRankings forums, another well known white hat styled forum.

There are very few search marketers out there that would agree that either of these products were ethical or "white hat" - possibly shite hat and almost certainly dangerous in the hands of business owners and search marketing newbies bt certainly no self respecting search marketer would recommend either of these shoddy looking attempts to cash in on ignorance to anyone but their worst enemy.

Im certain this is the tip of a large iceberg, much as i like to battle with the "white hats", despite finding the very notion of hat wearing more than a little silly, i really dont envy them having their cause taken up by such unscrupulous wankers.

Comments

Agreed

Very boring. Still makes me sick...

More..

I see costas the conman is at it again...

thanks Andy for the heads up. Ya know, we may just have to let these hucksters go at it, im not sure i can even keep up with them. Im not a fan of the "im all right jack" attitude but there comes a time when you just have to focus on your own stuff and hope these arsewipes' businesses die a painful death :)

Random name

Nick i just picked you’re name because for some reason it sprung to mind while on threadwatch :) but hopefully people get the idea even if you were a bad example, hehe ;)

Could easily practise SEO for years using ineffective tactics if you only listened to some so called experts, or you could learn most of what you need to know in few days speaking to the right people. I’m pretty sure if a newb found this place the majority of members here could have them out performing many a so called expert in no time.

Guru

The power of perception is amazing...

Im really the biggest newb here paul, seriously. People just get an idea i know stuff cos i write about it heh! I recently wrote about the future of Threadwatch and what prompted such a site. One thing I didnt mention becuase it wasnt relevant in that thread was that TW was also setup to help me learn more, by providing a place where the knowledge levels of the group would be high :)

So far, it's working very nicely...

Newbs of the world unite

Number of years in a profession like SEO doesn’t count for fat lot on its own. Its what someone learns and achieves in that amount of time that matters. What they are capable of, how fast they absorb knowledge and how well they adapt. Someone could easily waste years performing SEO ineffectively, reading the wrong forums, chatting to the wrong people, or they could be taught everything they need to know from a guru like NickW in a few months ;) But then i would say that being a newb :D

100% agree

>1. Don't try and step on the "whitehats" business space, they *really* don't like it.

yea, its stinky

>2. Jill's comment "Sheesh...I remember him. He was just learning SEO like a year and a half ago or so. Two at most. Now he's touting himself as an SEO expert." is belittleing, insulting and in many ways misleading. I know many SEO's of 2 years experience that would make her look silly on the SERP's.

I have not even been online for 2 years yet and I do just fine. I also think that by the 2nd year point many of the best SEOs get out of selling SEO services because they could make so much more money with their own merchant sites, lead generation sites, AdSense sites, or affiliate sites.

scam 1 ; "This is NOT a SEO tactic"

>>Internet Marketer Discovers A Simple Way To Type In A Few Words, Click A Button And Instantly Be Listed On Google in Days!

I doubt scam number 1 is actually a product and I'm willing to bet you're basically paying $50 to be given the urls to press release sites.

Now if anyone wants my leaflet on how to make a fortune online please send £5 via paypal.....

I dont understand why you peo

I dont understand why you people have to bash on other peoples products. I spent a lot of time putting this package together. I also have hundred of clients who are very happy with the results. Please do not bash something you know nothing about.

Rockynate as he's known is also getting a roasting at the HighRa

I'm reading the same thread [I think], I think he gave better than he got. Having said that I haven't looked at the product so maybe my opinion is of no worth.

Having said that three things really JUMP out the page for me.

1. Don't try and step on the "whitehats" business space, they *really* don't like it.

2. Jill's comment "Sheesh...I remember him. He was just learning SEO like a year and a half ago or so. Two at most. Now he's touting himself as an SEO expert." is belittleing, insulting and in many ways misleading. I know many SEO's of 2 years experience that would make her look silly on the SERP's.

3. What is more deceptive, the software or a guy who promotes in his sig a "phrase" that has exactly 386 results in the new expanded Google? Which one do you think the FTC needs to look at?

IMHO of course.

Cute tracking links Nick...

Hehehe...wanker and arsewipe...cute

Who knew we could get high rankings on Google in 3 days for just 50 bucks? Where do I sign?