Off-Topic Thursday – Money for nothing (and your clicks for free)

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Off topic? One could argue that is every day. Let’s not go there.

I visit my spam filter daily, mostly to save the few well-intended commenters from the depths of anonymity, but also for the entertainment value. This morning I have 156 comments there, all right where they belong. Most are trying to sneak in their links, links to sites pushing mortgages and credit cards, insurance and casino gambling, and, of course, Viagra. Everyone’s gotta make a living.

There is another category that really riles me. It is the group of sites ripping off my content to populate a site where the sole reason d’etre is farming clicks. These are the site loaded with Google ads which, through the magic of Google NonSense AdSense, insert helpful links on related content for your readers. Of course, every time your readers follow these helpful links, you make a few cents. The theory is that it just might add up.

AdSense for content automatically crawls the content of your pages and delivers ads (you can choose both text or image ads) that are relevant to your audience and your site content—ads so well-matched, in fact, that your readers will actually find them useful.

Useful indeed! They will love you for it! My most recent post titled “To be a door mat you have to lay down” is Now Showing on emortgagerates.net. Here is what surrounds my little stolen sniglet (and you will notice that I sometimes write under the pen name “Sheila Kuehl”).

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The one thing which will immediately strike you is that starting a door mat, or even a floor mat, business this week would be a very bad idea; this niche is crowded, and so much competition would make the small business loan folks frown upon your fledgling venture. The second thing which will impress you is that emortgagerates.net does not really do anything. They don’t sell anything. They are trolling for your keywords and for a little do-nothing residual.

This morning, this same site lifted a nice article from another blog about Barney Frank, or as the title referred to him, Uncle Barney. That post is now surrounded with Google ads for Barney Live  Tickets, Barney Miller on DVD, and Uncle Kracker Ringtones. It’s insanely funny, except that those advertisers (most of whom are honest) are paying for this NonSense. But then, it is really a chain letter of sorts, this week’s installment of Stupid-Icky-People Tricks. Click on one of the ads, and you will be directed to a site with yet more ads.

The difference between Spam and Scam is one little letter.

And I got mine this week.

Why do I bother trying to run an honest business with a real product? There has got to be an easier way to make a buck, which brings me to Stupid-Icky-People Tricks: The Sequel. Steve and I were both honored and overcome with visions of sugarplums when we received our complimentary V.I.P. tickets to personal wealth in the mail this week. The tickets are to an Unlimited Riches Workshop, and keep in mind that these are “valued at $149 each.” Wow! I’ve already made money! These are the things we will be learning (all emphasis added):

… how to buy and profit from bank-owned properties with little or no credit and no money out of pocket… how to turn the current banking mess into (my) own personal cash machine… how (I) could be only 2-3 deals away from retirement.

This is a “once in a lifetime opportunity to accumulate massive wealth” I am told. Gee, I thought that was in 2005.

Have we learned nothing?

Posted by Sheila Kuehl

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