Fake Affiliate Review Sites
Sites that review products and services, sort of like this one, are extremely helpful to consumers. People love to read about the real-world experiences that others have had with things they are looking at buying.
Unfortunately, affiliate marketers have used this to their advantage and fake "affiliate review sites" started popping up all over the place in late 2007.
Now they are literally everywhere, covering every niche you can think of.
Affiliate marketers are commission-based "salespeople" that promote products and services for other companies, and earn a commission for each sale they generate, and fake review sites are now one of the favorite ways for unethical affiliates to do this.
The reason is simple - because fake review sites work extremely well.
The average consumer who knows nothing about Internet marketing will generally assume that any "review" site or blog they come across is legitimate and unbiased.
In reality, most affiliate review sites are set-up in a way that no matter which product you end up buying via a link on their site earns them a commission.
And the ugly truth of the matter is that the way they "rank" or "rate" the products on their site is generally based only on how much they make when you buy it.
Those products that pay them the highest commission are ranked the highest, but again, they will also earn a commission on the lower ranked products as well.
Fake affiliate review sites generally all look pretty much the same. If you surf the web long enough you'll come across tons of them and eventually learn to recognize them.
They usually "review" a handful of related products or services, and write as though they have personal experience with each product when in fact they don't. They list the "pros and cons" of each product, and rank them in order of best to worst.
Usually however the affiliate has no experience whatsoever with any of the products, and literally everything you will read on their fake review site is absolutely 100% fabricated. They don't care about helping anyone - just making money.
They also employ other highly-deceptive tactics such as fake testimonials, creating a fake persona with a picture that they stole from another site, fake blog comments supposedly written by others, fake user ratings, etc.
For those not familiar with affiliate marketing and how to spot an affiliate link, fake affiliate review sites can be difficult to identify. The best and simplest advice we can give you is to never rely on the advice of a single site when making a purchasing decision. Especially if it's an unknown "little" site or blog.
Always do a search to see what others have to say about the product or service you're interested in, or better yet, check to see if the product is reviewed here at IM Report Card. If it's a marketing related product or service, chances are we know about it.
Be leery of any review site that you find via a "sponsored result" on a search engine or any other form of paid advertising. Anyone that is paying money to advertise their review site is looking to turn a profit and is extremely biased.
Fake affiliate review sites are actually one of the big things that caused us to create IM Report Card. We were sick and tired of watching "newbies" getting suckered into buying worthless marketing products after seeing it on a fake affiliate review site.
These fake review sites will continue to exist forever, because unfortunately they are profitable for unethical affiliates. All we can hope is that this article, and IM Report Card, will make it just a little tougher for all the unethical affiliates out there.