The Verge Slams Internet Marketing Gurus
If you still haven’t seen the piece on The Verge where they slam some Internet marketing gurus pretty hard, well, grab some popcorn and visit the link below, cause you are in for a treat (whether you agree with the opinions of the article or not).
The post is titled Scamworld: ‘Get rich quick’ schemes mutate into an online monster, and it runs for thousands of words with a very comprehensive view on the matter.
Just to give you an idea on how they didn’t hold any punches: there are pictures and videos of some pretty famous Internet marketers (e.g., Frank Kern and Mike Filsaime) all over the article, with explanations of how they “scam” people out of their money. Here’s a quote:
When you first discover Internet Marketing, whether online or at an event like this, it’s tempting to overthink things. Internet Marketers like to make their industry appear complicated to the point of obfuscation. In reality, things are pretty simple.
“The product is really irrelevant,” Frank Kern tells an audience of Internet Marketers on one of his many videos floating around the web. “Now, that’s not to say that you can’t, or don’t need to, or should not make an absolutely kick-ass product. That is not what I am trying to tell you at all. But we should never put the cart before the horse.”
Later in the same video, he explains that “the market” (what people are willing to buy) is the most important factor when developing an information product, and not whether you’re actually qualified to teach someone about a subject.
If anything, Internet Marketing is a form of “pure marketing” that exists often without the complication of an actual product. Rather than develop something useful, Internet Marketers create something out of thin air: likely a worthless e-book, or some sort of coaching session that consists of a semi-regular phone consultation.
There’s even a graph showing who is connected to whom, like they do with the Mafia and other criminal organizations…
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t agree with everything that is on the article, but I find it pretty interesting that mainstream tech publications are starting to take an interest on the Internet marketing world, and if they are shady stuff out there I think it’s positive to see it exposed.
Check it out and take your own conclusions though.
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12 Responses to “The Verge Slams Internet Marketing Gurus”
Interesting internet marketing article, You should be agree with every point of the article because there isn’t any
All I can say is wow. I am only a 1/4 thru the article on The Verge. The truth is the truth. Am I shocked? Not in the least! This has been going on for along time. I have been watching the internet marketers selling to each other for years. But when a down and out desperate person gets taken you have to feel for them, and wish you could have warned them!
Now back to the article (no popcorn, just coffee)………
Nice Post Daniel :D.
Yes, there are so many “gurus” out there and I think it is a good thing that people are starting to investigate these “gurus” and separate the real ones from the scams.
You should see Danny Sullivan’s reply to it on SearchEngineLand.com
I started looking into this Internet marketing a year ago.
The sentence “Internet Marketers create something out of thin air” was exactly what I saw, it looks like as if I wasn’t wrong at times.
If there is no real value I have a problem with the marketer, that I could say.
But in the end, we can learn a lot from marketers and marketers can learn a lot from honest people.
I really enjoyed the article you linked to Daniel, Thanks for sharing.
Tess The Bold Life
I donâ€™t agree with everything that is on the article…
I would be interested in what you specifically don’t agree with. Please share. Thanks.
I read the article and watched the video. Ironically one of the sites I read about it on and agreed with much of it, later on the page promoted three “get rich quick” internet info sites that “really work.” You have to love the nerve of some of these people to point out the scams while promoting other ones.
@Tess, I don’t agree that all Internet marketing is a scam as the article is claiming. I think only a small part of it is.
Andi the Minion
Wow the Verge was an incredible article what can I say, terrible in many ways, there are Internet Marketers who do sell rubbish and possibly over price the information, they may happily take from people who can ill afford it. However I have to be honest, I see many Internet Marketers sell useful products and at a fraction of the price as the ‘scammers’.
As for the comment about the Free DVD or front end product is worthless and just a way to engage the persons credit card, since when is that an Internet Marketing trick? Papers give away free CDs to get people to buy, 2 for 1 offers in supermarkets are to get people to buy.
Free is the magic number, it is a pure business practice. As for marketers it is a way to build an email list but it is also to build a relationship and trust with future customers. Every business does this. Restaurants and night clubs send emails or card to people when it is there birthdays with a voucher for a free meal or free entry etc so they will bring their friends and family to spend money in their establishment. Is that a scam or good business practice?
When a dodgy person rents a shop front for the day, fills it full of laptops and offers free laptop repairs or memory upgrades, who then suddenly shut the shop down and disappear with any laptops that were left by any unsuspecting person, does not mean that ALL computer shops or repair people are dodgy, thieving scammers. So why suddenly is anyone who makes money online is a scammer?
Google make a lot of money online, are they scammers? Giving use to free software then generating money from adverts or affiliated shopping suggested links to the user. No. I think the article is unfair.
Businesses copying Mafia style networks is not wrong, being the Mafia and killing people while dealing in extortion and drugs is wrong. The Mafia in many ways copy business methods and businesses copy the Mafia structure. It’s a structure not the actions.
Is the army bad, do the general public perceive them bad? do they not have a Mafia style structure? Even politics do. The article is right to focus on and highlight any shady wrong doing but to generalize the whole industry as bad and scamming is plain wrong.
There I said it 🙂
To lump all Internet Marketers as scammer is like saying all sales people in the world are scammers. True Internet Marketing is just the skill of promoting a product online. Any program that claims it will make someone rich fast is a scam, yes. Because it takes time and a lot of skill. If someone doesn’t know Internet marketing techniques of how to build a site, how to generate traffic, how to convert site visitors into sales, they won’t make a dime. Internet Marketing is hard and the true trainers are very upfront about that. Anyone who says its easy either doesn’t know what they’re talking about or are scamming you. But Internet Marketing itself isn’t a scam. For instance, if there was an affiliate marketer of a shoe store, am i a scammer? No i’m selling shoes for the store owner. Is there a lot of money to be made online? Absolutely! IF and only IF you learn how to do it. Then you would know the best affiliate programs to promote and who your potential buyers are, and you’d know how to sell them your product. Common sense people. If something sounds too good you know what they say. I promote 3 affiliate training programs that are really great. Do I claim to be a guru. No, on my website I clearly state that I am not, but I am passionate about affiliate marketing and believe it is the answer to anyone’s financial problems. But my goal is to show people the importance of getting the right training so they AREN’T scammed. Been there done that. The Internet is a portal of opportunity. For scammers and for people who do their proper due diligence. If I read an ad that promised I could be a doctor in 3 weeks and be earning $200,000.00 per year if I ordered their home-study-to-be-a-certified doctor kit, does that mean that all doctors’ are scammers? No it would mean i was a fool to fall for the scam. Internet Marketing is a very complicated profession and anyone who wants to succeed in the industry must put in time and sweat and a lot of work, training and more training and more training.. but that doesn’t mean they should buy every IM training program online… NO!!! Those are outdated and teach nothing… anyway just mho….thanks for reading.
Great share, Daniel. Truth is that just as there for every decent internet marketer out there trying to make an honest buck, there are dozens of others who want nothing but to take your money and run.
Why do you think almost every 1 page sales site boasts an unconditional x-days money back guarantee? Because they’re certain that people sure aren’t going to hang onto their receipts like they do in the offline world and ask for a refund. They’ll have moved on to chasing the next dream.
That said, I reckon highlighting Frank Kern in the article wasn’t so great. I haven’t bought a single product off him in all my years and still listen to his tips and advice – some of which is really good.
At the end of the day, whether the customer buys or not is totally up to them – no internet marketer’s going to reach out through the computer monitor and grab them by the throat, eh?
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