Doug Marks, who runs a guitar instruction business called Metal Method, has exposed some of the dubious practices in his market. (And I should point out that not only am I a fan of Metal Method, I'm also an affiliate.) Doug has raised the issue to Google but so far, no response. Perhaps with the FTC's disclosure rules, it will get tougher for these scam sites to operate.
But it would be a shame if it takes the FTC to get Google to crack down on sites that are misleading consumers and violating Google's AdWords policies. The same thing is happening in other areas. There are bogus review sites for exercise equipment, language instruction courses, nutritional supplements, diet pills, drop-ship manufacturing companies, and the like. How long before we start seeing bogus review sites for servers and software? You and I might not be misled by these tactics, but obviously some people are. And it sure looks like Google is making money off all the ads.
Whatever happened to "Do No Evil"?
This article, "FTC and Google need to crack down on scam review sites," originally appeared at InfoWorld.com. Follow open source developments at InfoWorld.com.