A Disturbing Trend

Last Update: Mar 11, 2019

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I noticed a disturbing trend in product reviews.

It may be new or me recognizing it for the first time.

But...

People are writing posts disguised as product reviews. They are nothing but 'bait and switch' posts for other products. And, certainly, not honest reviews.

I noticed this recently while searching for reviews of affiliate marketing products. I found another one this morning, which prompted me to write this post.

The posts follow a pattern.

First, there would be a brief description of the product. There would be little discussion of features or benefits. Then there would be mention of the product being available at one of the affiliate networks. The affiliate networks mentioned were JVZoo and Clickbank.

Then a big part of the review would be a general bashing of the affiliate network. The bashing would include statements like 'most products are scams' and not worth the money spent. It is hard to believe the accuracy of a statement that states 'most products.' Considering Clickbank has 1+ million products. Besides, with that many products, there will be some bad products.

At this point, the review switches to an invitation to read another review. The invitation usually refers to the person's #1 recommendation.

Or worse...

the review continues on as a competing product review.

Unfortunately, most of the 'reviews' I read were from Wealthy Affiliate members.

If it was you, just stop it!

First of all, it's great I found your post of the first page of the SERP.

But more importantly, better reviews will knock you off the first page.

Mine, for instance.

I spend a lot of time researching products to review. As part of the research, I visit and read the reviews listed on page 1 of the SERP. I am looking for weak product reviews that I can improve upon. My list of product review ideas continues to grow.

Recent Comments

30

Very interesting, Glen.

Wayne

Thanks, Wayne.

Great post I thank you so much for sharing this information on bad reviews. I am sorry but I don't deal with Clickbank so I am not familiar with their products. I deal with Amazon but I have not had a problem with that.

I am wondering why WA members are writing these kinds of reviews when that is not what we are taught in training. That doesn't make any sense at all.

Can those reviews be pulled down or something? I was wondering about that.

Mary

Mary, after reading a few, I think it is a matter of being lazy and in a rush to get content published.

I agree with you on this because that is the only thing that makes any sense at all.

People want a business but they have to work for it and build it you just cannot be lazy about things because you won't succeed at this business then.

Going back to what I asked earlier can these reviews be pulled?
I was wondering because that will give us a bad name.

Mary

Mary, I don't think there is a way to have them pulled unless the product owner complains to the web hosting company or sends a cease-and-desist letter to the website owner.

I once received a letter from a state agency about a violation of state laws regarding advertising. It was a case of mistaken identities as they confused my business with another company.

I understand that I wasn't aware of that. I thought that once Kyle and Carson were made aware there was something they could do to pull those reviews but they would have to go to the website owner.

That does make sense though I just was aware of what it all details that's all. I am sorry that you had to go through something like that.

Mary

It was not so bad once the initial shock wore off. I wrote a letter in response giving the information related to my business company and that I was not physically located in their state.

Oh wow so it was an in-state business then I taken that is so bad. I am so happy that you got that all straighten out though. I bet they were surprised though.

I can't say I understand what you went through but I can only imagine what you went through. I am sorry that happen to you though.

Mary

Thanks, Mary.

I had a tax practice years ago. So I was used to dealing with the IRS. (I was an early adapter of the IRS efile system and filed my clients' tax return electronically.) I know people freak out when they receive an unexpected letter from the IRS.

You are so very welcome and that is amazing work that is hard work trying to keep up with the tax laws and everything that why I said that was amazing.

Mary

I have reviewed several of those Clickbank products and frankly speaking, most of them are nothing but hot air. It's hard to give a positive rating to a program that uses fake owners and testimonials from paid actors on fiverr. I tell it as it is.

Thanks for sharing your experience, Leonard. I see no problem telling it like it is. If the sales material is fake, it is legit to call it out.

I have purchased some terrible products on Clickbank as well as other online marketplaces. I have never had a problem getting a refund from Clickbank. I can't say that about other networks or vendors.

I think it is unfair to those people who sell good products to blame the affiliate network. I still use several products I purchased on Clickbank years ago.

This response is not meant to start a big disagreement and I hope you don't take it that way.

It's just another perspective on the subject.
I love WA and I started earning a paycheck from WA about 13 months ago.
I have not missed one in all that time.

It's not enough to support myself yet and it does take a long time here to start making REAL money that will support us.

I wanted to rush things along a bit so I bought into many, one after another of those C/B products because they looked so inviting.

Of all the ones I bought into, I have yet to find one that worked like they say it does.

They make big claims of making big money in a day or almost no effort.

Why shouldn't we let people know about those that do that. They are taking peoples hard earned money for nothing of value.

Frances, thanks for commenting and providing your perspective. I agree there are lots of trashy products on Clickbank as well as good ones. I have requested and received refunds for a few duds. And I have several that I have used for years.

I certainly write product reviews of those that don't deliver what they say they will. That is fair and useful for readers, particularly sharing experiences with a specific product.

My issue is with reviews that are faked in order to lead readers to click a link to another product.

Well said. Thank you.

You have also given me some ideas that will strengthen my product reviews.

I'm not familiar with JVZoo. Yet I do know there are some legitimate, highly respected products on Clickbank. Granted, I wish Clickbank would be a bit more selective in who they allow to place paid ads that show up in the margin whenever someone is searching for a vendor on Clickbank. There is currently a get rich quick scheme for doing nothing being advertised. Drive me nuts.

Yet, my desire to get the necessary information for a legitimate training is more important to me than the annoying ad.

Thanks, Sondra,

I am with you wishing Clickbank was more selective. I think that applies to all the large affiliate networks. I recently joined the Peerfly affiliate network, which has 3,000+ offerings. I am struggling to find a product worth promoting.

I think the affiliate networks have low barriers for product placement. They let the marketplace sort out the winners and losers.

Best wishes!

Thanks so much Glen for pointing this out. This has helped me! I haven't started product reviews yet but I don't want to get into Bait and Switch or putting minimal work into benefits and features in the future. Thanks for your due diligence as well. All the Best to you!

You are welcome, T.

I have been marketing online long enough to become very cynical about the advertising I see, particularly in the highly competitive niches. I think the make-money-online and weight loss niches are so competitive that there is a lot of deceptive advertising plus many scams. To give an example, I saw one weight loss product (system) that recommended nicotine as a "supplement" to help boost quick weight loss.

All I can say is for everyone to do their research or homework.

Yes, will do my research for sure! Thanks again :-)

Hi, Glen.
Paul here from Canada.

This has been going on for a very long time and unfortunately a model that many Wealthy Affiliate Associates follow.

Some aspects (which are then exploited by the members) are actually taught in the Affiliate Bootcamp Training.

Nearly all WA Reviews that you will see, do what you mention in your post and then insert the "My #1 Recommendation" statement into their review.

Much criticism has been made online regarding this WA member tactic to get page 1 rankings.

You are correct...Better written and more well researched reviews will definitely replace the former.

Thanks for bringing this topic to light.

Paul.

Thanks for commenting, Paul. My point is that people use the pretense of calling their post a product review. But they hardly make any effort to describe either the features or benefits of the product.

If that is how they want to roll, then it is to my (and others) benefit.

I agree with you again, Glen. Those that are just 'Bashing' something else as a means to their own end will get what they deserve in the end.

Onward and upward, my friend.

Paul.

This something that I find annoying, you check out a review to find it is a deliberate attempt to get you to view their review so they can promote a product of their own, I respect your due dilligence, and wish you well with honest approach to reviews.

Thanks, Paul. I am currently working on a new review that I originally had no intention of doing. But two crappy reviews are on the SERP first page. I will be watching how my post ranks.

Yikes!! Thanks for the heads up. I don't want to accidentally find myself doing the bait and switch... I'll keep this front of mind.

I usually include an invitation at the bottom of my posts for readers to read the review of my #1 recommended training program.

Can you send me an example? Either here or a DM? Thanks :) #StillLearning

Matt. I sent you a PM.

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