We’re all Internet Marketers these days: whether we’re selling our own products, affiliate marketing or just blogging – we’re putting something up on the Web that we want other people to buy/eat/read/consume. There are millions of us, literally, and so of course there are huge numbers of people who see us as a market ourselves. Just published a few blog pages? Waited a week and had a comment from one friend? Gone to Google and typed “how do i get more visitors to my site?”. You’re a potential customer for somebody who knows the tricks and techniques.
Sadly, you’re also a potential mark for someone who loves newbies, especially newbies who’ve put their toes in the marketing water. Imagine a credit card held in those clenched toes and there will be a thousand beady little eyes lighting up as they sense fresh blood, There will also be a lot of genuine sources of help, genuine sources of information, free and paid for. Your innocent Google query will return more hits than “Britney Spears Naked” used to – so how do you sort the wheat from the chaff? How do you find out if Paul’s Infinite Free Links (PIFL) is worth buying?
Check the URL: If it looks anything like www.piflreview.com, forget it – if the product name and the word review appear in the domain, assume it’s a fake review.
Check for duplicated text: Go to the main pifl site, cut and paste a sentence into Google advanced search – if it appears over and over, ignore the sites – they’re either mine or affiliates who can’t be bothered rewording my sales blurb.
Nice big BUY links: If it claims to be a review but features several buy links, usually with an affiliate code on, it’s a fake.
Does it have any hard info? Does the review actually tell you any details about what it does, how it does it, good and bad points? Or is it just a load of waffle with one message “it’s good, buy it”?
Forums should be safe? Not necessarily: look to see who owns and runs them – anyone can set up forums in minutes and then pay cents for fake posts.
You’re better off hunting for a larger site that specialises in reviewing a wide range of products. Look for good and bad reviews, look for serious comment on how a product works. It may seem like a lot of work but if you don’t want to waste your money and your time, it’s worth it.
For further discussion of this and related topics, see Avoiding Internet Marketing Scammers. For some info on products that are definitely kosher and some more sources of free advice have a look at Five Internet Gurus Reviewed. And good luck with your search.