Do a Google search on something. “Fender Telecaster,” whatever. We’ll go with that, since it’s a topic I’m interested in.
Hey, this is a blog, not a democracy.
Now look at the results page that appears. The two-thirds of the screen on your left contains your regular search results. The right third of the screen, however, is a list of paid advertisements. See how it says “Sponsored Links” at the top? That means those are not “pure” search results. Those are Google AdWords listings. Every result in this list is there because somebody paid to have it there.
Now look closely at your ”regular” results. For most searches, you’ll see it once again again—”Sponsored Links.” There is a very pale yellow background behind the first couple results. Once again, the owners of those sites paid money for their businesses to appear there. The first “real” search result (if you use our “Fender Telecaster” example) is a page hosted at Fender.com, which makes sense.
My goal here is first to point out how there is just a massive amount of advertising on the Internet, even when performing a simple Google search.
Secondly, my goal is to point out that these advertisements are not from Google. No matter what those “Sponsored Links” say, they are not affiliated with Google (unless you search “Google” or “AdSense” or “AdWords,” which are legitimate).
Search “make money with Google” and a whole bunch of sponsored links come up on your right…and they’re all scams, as far as I can tell. “$100,000/month Guaranteed” my foot. That one even says it up front: you have to pay them to sign up, which is one of the easiest ways to detect a scam.
(By the way, do NOT click any of these links if you’re actually doing these searches along with me. This is your one warning. I am not responsible if you ignore it.)
Supposedly, Google is cracking down on these scams, or at least trying to stop them from appearing on their own advertising setup. However, as of today, these scams are still rampant, and they’re still using Google AdWords to lure people in.
If you are interesting in using AdWords to advertise your business, or using AdSense to make money from your blog or other website, make sure you’re at the actual sites hosted by Google. The links I provided above are the real ones. By the way, anyone telling you that you have to pay them to sign up for AdSense is scamming you, too. It doesn’t cost you anything to participate in that program.
Here’s a short list of Google scams I have heard of so far. Do not trust any of these, or anything that sounds even a little bit like them:
- Google Works
- Google Kit
- Google Money System
- Google Cash
- Google Cash Kit
- Make Money Posting Links on Google
- Easy Google Profit
- Google Treasure Chest
- Scott’s Money Blog
- Josh Made Cash
- Earn Cash Fast With Google
- Joan’s Money Making Story
This list probably doesn’t even scratch the surface. Those last four are fake blog sites that are supposed to make you think they’re written by somebody “just like yourself.” They even have an embedded program that figures out where your location is, and makes it sound like the blog’s “author” is from nearby.
So, keep your head about you when you’re running a Google search. Those Sponsored Links aren’t your most trustworthy source of information. And just don’t fall for anything that promises huge amounts of money involving Google.
Heck, even with AdSense, unless your blog is getting thousands of hits per day, you’re probably not going to make more than a few dollars. I’m not saying don’t do it. After all, passive income is the best income, don’t you think?