Article about the Googlebomb and why Google is not always your friend.For years one of the most effective ways of sniffing out the latest scam is through the top search engine Google. You would simply enter the name of the scam or a keyword and see what comes listed for it.
Results for low tech scams would usually yield one or two sites setup by the scammers supporting the scam, usually one of which is the scams homepage if it had one.
If for some reason it did not yield obvious results straightaway, then you would re-enter the search term followed by the word “scam” to see how many results were found. Based on the amount of results claiming it was a scam, you would make your choice whether or not to venture.
Things are changing now, as people who scam people out of money with dodgy schemes are becoming more and more aware that their biggest foe lies in sleeping giant Google.
GoogleBombing refers to the sudden massive amounts of results (or hits) favouring one side of an argument, that have been purposely placed by one side in order to push out arguments from the other side, so that only one side of an argument is shown when doing a Google search.
And this applies more than ever to determining whether a scam is indeed a scam.
It is usually the fake investment scams, like Ponzi schemes that have started to use this tactic, and it unfortunately works well.
How it works?
There are many sites where you can submit articles and small posts, and because the site where you submit these already has a good Google ranking, it won’t take long for your article or post to get a good ranking when the right keywords are entered into Google.
Now – hypothetically - if you were to start up a scheme you knew was legally and/or ethically dubious, and many people were going to complain about it, the last thing you would want it for people to find all those negative posts through Google, so if at the same time you launched you posted numerous articles and posts about how amazing your scheme was, and how much it definitely was not a scam, people would believe you and sign up.
In reality this mass “GoogleBombing” doesn’t even have do be done by you, but if you have equally unethical affiliates, they would do it for you, and if you were running a Ponzi scheme where only the top early investors were likely to make a profit (out of all the new members signing up fees) then your affiliates – straight after posting all their fake positive feedback – would sign up and make money out of all the new innocent recruits.
Similarly, if the site was a get-rich-quick scam, affiliates would bombard the Internet with fake reviews containing their referral link, meaning if you sign up VIA that review, the person who wrote it gets the commission. They don't care what they are selling, aslong as they get the commission. (see paragraph below for more tactics on how they do this).
There are unethical people out there who practically make a living out of doing this - going from one scam to the next - promoting it, and making money from innocent investors. These people are often referred to as "serial promotors".
Unethical to the extreme, but it is, in reality, being done.
Scammers have even come across an effective way of counteracting a search result containing the word "scam" (or similar) by creating articles or web pages with controversial titles such as "[scam name] is a scam!" or "[scam name]" - legit or scam?" - or "[scam name] - reviewed!" - when the user clicks on these articles expecting to be confronted by a negative article or a review, what they are actually seeing is a shameless promotion of the scam by the owner or an affilliate (serial promoter) of the scam. This can really dupe new Internet users and prevents genuine articles or genuine negative feedback from ever being seen by potential victims.
The problem is some scam artists have become very good at Internet marketing, and even better at marketing a dodgy product. There are, however, tell tale signs that people can look out for –
- The sites hubpages.com and ezarticles.com amongst others are popular with scammers when trying to promote a scam
- Normally you notice a plethora of articles defending the scam, when there appears to be little or no people attacking it. This serves as a pre-emptive strike against the inevitable force of people attacking it when they realise it is a scam.
- You see a lot of videos of people defending the scam. The videos exist because the (often) unwitting members are told to make this video to make more money.
So Google, while still great at sniffing out dodgy schemes and fraudulent scams, is not always your friend. If you know how to work Google, you can make it lie. For now Google remains a sleeping giant being taken advantage of by scammers all over the place. Let’s hope soon it wakes up.
GoogleBombing can also be referred to as Black Hat SEO. Black Hat meaning unethical, and SEO being the techniques people use to get better serach engine results.
In the meantime, we also recommend to sticking to anti-scam sites you know and like and more importantly that you trust.
Here are some of ours –
Jonathan Cuyno says:
|posted on 09/30/09|