60-Seconds #322 : I got trapped by Google Adsense & false advertising

by Fred Showker

60-Seconds #322 : false advertising on the web Do you remember when Google came out with Penguin, how they would penalize any site with 'false' links? Then all this talk about mobilegeddon, and how Google has become the internet police and the ministry of information -- all about 'honesty' on the web. Google's "honesty" took a big hit when I wanted to contact a Tupperware sales representative in my own town. But, the search results were the last thing I expected -- and certainly the last thing I wanted. Thanks, Google!

The search results brought a half-dozen sites that said "Buy Tupperware in Harrisonburg" -- but NONE of them had anything to do with Harrisonburg. Searching the code revealed no mention of Harrisonburg what so ever. What gives?


Tupperware_others I actually called the one that seemed the most convincing. You can see it here. The voice on the phone said "No, I'm in California, but I can still help you." I protested and said, no, "I need a local -- how come you claim to be in Harrisonburg?" She skimmed over the question and went directly to getting a Tupperware order. I told her if there are no agents in Harrisonburg, I would call her back. I later found out there are THREE agents within 15 minutes of where I'm typing this article this moment. So not only was she defrauding me, she was stabbing other Tupperware agents in the back.

So for a whoop, I tried "Harrisburg" . . . sure enough the SAME consultant is in Harrisburg as well!

Yes, the word "Harrisburg PA" does show up in the header of the file. But no place else, and the phone number is the same California number. I decided to test some others . . .

Why am I not surprised?

Her card showed up in a dozen other locations -- NOT because she's there, but because the programming on this site picks up the search phrase and inserts it into a script that changes the page to the city the search is looking for.

To me, this doesn't seem quite honest. To grab the search phrase from Google and plug it into your web page so it looks like you're a local business just seems like fraud to me.

Do you think Google knows about it? Of course they do - they served the ad. Do you think they care? Well, they must not. They've allowed it to continue -- even after all the blowing steam about 'fake' links and false clicks -- they seem to be engaged in the worst kind of click fraud, allowing Google's own AdSense to purvey false advertising.

virginia_fraud_ad There are others too. I see them all the time with "Virginia" in the come-on. Like Virginia state troupers, or Virginia insurance holders. The one to the left is one I captured some time ago. It was actually on Yahoo, but again, purveyed by Google. (No loyalty amongst thieves ... Yahoo using Google advertising) That one was simply to bait you into the site to compare insurance policies. It had nothing to do with Virginia, nor any new laws or anything. It's just false advertising plain and clear. Who's going to police that?

Is Google to blame?

What do you think? Should Google purvey false, misleading ads? Shouldn't someone at Google be watching out for cyberfraud or cybercrime? But who is going to complain? Everyone with a stake in the web is scared to death to upset Google. Nobody will or can go up against Google. Why is it good for Google? The more powerful a false claim is in getting people to click, the more money Google makes. Did you think they would outlaw false advertising when it is making them so much money? Am I the only one who noticed? Do you think Google is honest?

fred_c_125Dream on. And, just don't click.

And, thanks for reading

Fred Showker

      Editor/Publisher : DTG Magazine
      +FredShowker on Google+ or most social medias @Showker
      Published online since 1988


Another Google search gone bad False Advertising is any advertising or promotion that misrepresents the nature, characteristics, qualities or geographic origin of goods, services or commercial activities" (Lanham Act, 15 U.S.C.A. ยง 1125(a)).
GO legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/False+Advertising
Yes, I looked up False Advertising in the legal dictionary and look what happened. If you read this and go to this page, please tell us what the ad says to the right of this article.

Here's what OURS displayed -- an ad that is the epotime of false advertising!

legal_dict_false_advertising Please share your discoveries with other DTG readers:
GO Send an email to our editorial staff
GO Contribute your own article
GO Follow DTG on Facebook!

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