Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Scam! A look at google adwords advertisers

Last year we did a blog post about various individuals who run around the internet calling everything a scam or fraud while peddling a variety of items including multi level marketing, unregulated banking scams, questionable commodity investment's and real estate schemes. This year is no different except to say that there are many more than in the past.

To explain further: Every year in mid fall, famous names and product keywords are purchased in google/msn/yahoo/ask with the intent to mislead users from obtaining legitimate information about a person or product in order to gain the confidence of the victim (You).

It's easy to spot these ads as they usually claim they've been scammed or they reviewed the product or have a special report you really need to read. Generally the websites present unsubstantiated claims, poorly written personal opinions or flat out lies by the self proclaimed "expert". This is almost always followed by linked statements of "This is the only thing I've found that works" or something very similar. If you click the link you're taken to another page/website and handed a sales pitch for all sorts of rubbish that has nothing to do with your original search. In your mind you are thinking "hey this guy saved me from buying this product" maybe he's got something real here...

In this post we'll look at one ruse that Google apparently allows to advertise on over 400 keywords. The keywords purchased rarely match what the website is really peddling. Below is one ad (out of dozens) that occurs under the keyword "Matthew Lesko":

Looking at that ad, you would think that the author has some revealing details that you need to know before buying a Lesko book. Clicking on the link reveals the website is a front for something called the "reverse funnel system" which is routinely called an upside down pyramid scheme.

The shocking truth about Matthew Lesko turns out to be 4 misleading sentences and a plug for the reverse funnel system:

"Mr. Lesko will give you information on getting grants from the government for $60." Much of the information is outdated. He never really tells you how to apply. There are many bad reports on the internet about this man. I would stay away. Please check this out. "

Apparently this person has never seen the 2 year old government money club which is updated daily, has a librarian to help you find a program, costs $20 a month and does indeed show you how to fill out applications. As for bad reports, if you count websites like this... yes there are many misleading sites with bad reports. In reality, the only report that matters is the bbb which is clean after 25 years and millions of books sold.

If you poke around the site, there are dozens of people/products with "shocking truths" about them. Including an ebook called the Rick Jerk ... Which actually outlines exactly what this person is doing:

"I first found nothing, but self promoting information. I had to dig deep for the research. The Rich Jerk must be doing alright or he would not be able to block my Google searches with his thinly veiled advertisements. (What is this guy talking about?) Finally I found the dirt. The book has been reported as a total fraud. There is nothing worth anything in it. You cannot get a refund. I would stay as far away as possible. Here is a good deal. Try it."

I read the "Rich Jerk" ebook. I think it cost me $29. It wasn't the best nor was it the worst. It did outline techniques for getting products, advertising in Google, writing websites and of course how to claim everything is a scam. Some stuff was basic but the concepts are different. It's OK for beginners and experienced google advertisers who might be looking for a new approach or a rehash of things they already understand. As for no refunds, this book is sold by clickbank and they do give refunds (within 60 days).

What is a reverse funnel system?

Who knows? Most people involved won't explain it (which is a red flag). All I can say is that it apparently costs $50 to find out how to pay $3000 for a vacation club membership that also allows you to resell the $50 information and the $3000 membership while paying $300 a month for a sales website. Some people have reported a $5000 bill due for marketing purposes as well. Hmmm... our hero/expert above doesn't like $30-$60 books and is pointing you towards a minimum $3,350 bizop/mlm/inverted pyramid something... What a nice guy.

Here's the wikipedia description of what the reverse funnel system apparently is:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:WH_Coordinator/Reverse_funnel_system This description matches several pages around the internet with posts from people who apparently got involved and wanted out.

Why does google allow misleading ads?

I don't know, but you can ask them:


In conclusion,

Google ads that scream scam rarely have your interest in mind and are hotbeds of misleading information. They're designed to gain your confidence by trashing whatever you are looking for. They tend to steer you towards products/services that may or may not be legitimate or even related to what you were searching for. Be very cautious of websites using this ruse.

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