Fake news sites have long been used and embraced by online marketers as an effective sales tool. You may have seen a fake news site or two before if you’ve been browsing the Internet and looking for product reviews.
The FTC has recently placed a ban on fake news sites. Here’s what to know and what this means for online marketing.
The common signs of a fake news site are either a supposedly legitimate news report video on a product coupled with a number of supposed icons from big-name and reputable news sources like CNN Pimpandhost. These graphics indicate that the product has been featured on these reputable news sources in the past, and the only reason that these fake news sites are able to display these graphics is if their product truly has been mentioned and featured on these reputable news sites.
The way these fake news sites have gotten away with it in the past simply by using paid advertising to get their product listed on these reputable sites. So when they say that their product has been featured on CNN, this simply means that they have purchased a banner ad to appear on CNN’s website
This is one of the major ways which these sites have been able to sneak under the radar seemingly playing by the rules up to this point. But now the FTC has passed a new law which forbids the use of these sites as a marketing tactic. A number of consumers were likely feeling betrayed and tricked until enough of them complained to get the Federal Trade Commission’s attention.
It won’t take very long for this to pass into other niches. If you’ve been using these kind of sites as your landing pages, it might be time to start looking for other options in terms of marketing your products or services.
The FTC has also come down on using outlandish and specific claims or testimonials unless they are absolutely able to be proven. If you’ve ever visited a weight loss product’s page online, you’ve probably seen what they’re talking about. Claims about losing 100 pounds in 3 months and displaying a picture of a thin “after photo” person are exactly what they are talking about.
While the FTC is tightening its watch over affiliates, there are still ways to happily coexist and make serious money online through white hat marketing practices. The key as far as the FTC is concerned is transparency in marketing.