Yesterday I found an article and news clip about Google’s official response to the Google scam I have written so much about. Check it out here. You will find Googles response just above the over 500 comments.
Since we have posted on the internet scam “Posting links on Google” and other money making schemes like Clickety Split many of you have asked about other similar services. One that was recently brought to my attention was iNetGlobal. They are an internet company that claims they will help you get a “piece of the internet pie”.
Based on the information on their website it looks like you download their software and then you have to visit certain websites for at least 20 seconds or so in order to earn credits. They then allow website owners to pay to have their website put into the software so other members have to look at the website in the rotation.
The major problem with this model is that people that are using this software only care about one thing, earning credits for visiting the required sites. They are not going to engage with the websites they are required to view (1) because it is a complete shot in the dark if it is relevant to something they want to see and (2) because that would eat into the time they can visit more sites and earn more credits.
This is a model that has been circulating around the internet for many years. If people like looking at sites that they have no interest in then more power to them. I just don’t think this is the answer to the question how do I make money online?
My big question is, why is this company using an MLM model? If they have the know how to teach people how to make money online, why don’t they just do that? I have to admit that they do a fantastic job getting people excited about these “opportunities” but in reality your time is much better spent building your own internet empire.
Here is what you need to understand: If you want to make money online, you need to start your own internet business. Don’t join an MLM and try to make money that way. All you will do is make money for the people who started the MLM. A common marketing tactic for companies like iNetGlobal is to show you the founders of Google, or Bill Gates or Mark Zuckerberg (founder of Facebook) in order to try to get you excited about the prospect of making millions online. The point they don’t make is that the thing all of these people have in common is they started their own internet business, they didn’t join an MLM.
Decide what you are good at, think about what the internet world needs and start looking into internet businesses you can start from there.
This morning I received a forwarded email from my Dad (a common occurrence even though I hate getting forwarded email) but he had personalized it a little asking me if he should look into the “business opportunity” a relative sent him.
I was immediately intrigued because he doesn’t ever come to me with emails like this. He has worked as an mechanical engineer for close to 40 years and does not typically look to branch out into biz ops.
So I started reading the forwarded email message. It was apparently from an older cousin of mine and started out with the disclaimer that she was sorry if she offended anyone with the email but if they were interested in making money to read on.
Sounded like classic MLM (multi-level-marketing, which I like less than half as much as forwarded emails). I read on: “You and I have both seen the amazing growth of Microsoft, Google and Facebook. We also know that we have contributed to their value as we use their products and add to their revenues. Now, I want to introduce you to a truly unique company called ClicketySplit.”
I love how people love to throw themselves and their own companies in with the likes of Google, Microsoft and Facebook. Yeah, I would say that when I think of the most successful internet companies ever, Clickety Split is at the top of the list. (please note my sarcasm)
It is another classic MLM tactic to give general information about the success of a certain industry and exploit it, helping ignorant people by drawing the “obvious” conclusion that since Google made money with the internet you clearly will too.
ClicketySplit’s main offering is a software program that “bridges the gap” between the internet and your computer applications. When you run their software they show you “relevant targeted ads” for your convenience. First of all I didn’t realize there was a gap between the internet and my computer applications.
Why don’t you just call it what it really is, a software program that you have to install on your computer so they can serve ads to you all day. There is nothing “revolutionary” about it. Splitting revenue is a practice that has been done thousands of times over. Only in this case you are the one that has to engage the ad in order to get revenue from it. One word that does come to mind is “adware”, “spyware” or “malware”.
Here is the kicker, in order to join this once in a lifetime opportunity you have to sign up and pay an enrollment fee of up to $500 and then pay $200 a year to stay enrolled. In essence you are paying Clickety Split to be forced to watch online commercials.
They tell you that to make money all you have to do is “view an ad, click an ad or shop online” and when you do they split the ad revenue with you. So you have to go to one of the advertisers and buy their product and then ClickeySplit will share the ad revenue they get with you. Where I come from paying $50 to get $1.50 doesn’t seem like a good way to make money.
The real way you make money is by getting “you to share the software for free with others so that they can get their split also!” In other words, add to your downline and you will make a commission each time. That is where the real money is at.
Then in the email it said: “I believe this is a revolutionary concept that will expand exponentially as people learn about it.”
Let me be the bearer of bad news. There is nothing revolutionary about this concept. In fact, they are probably 10-20 years behind the times. All this is, is another multi-level marketing scheme that will most likely make you absolutely no money but will do a great job of alienating all of your family and friends so they will screen all of your calls and stop inviting you over for dinner.
Let me reiterate, there are so many other, better ways to make money online that I definitely would not recommend that you waste any time on this one. Save yourself the trouble, the heartache, the lost money, the lost friends, and make money online the real way.
In light of some of the comments I’ve received, I decided to do write more specifically about what led me to the conclusion that Clickety Split is simply a re-spun MLM company.
Clickety-split.com is registered to the following contacts:
Hal Halladay from Palace Partners? I tried to do some digging and found that he’s also the administrative contact for quiltthreads.com (the domain is parked) and pearpieces.com (a site about quilt pieces).
A quick google search for “Hal Halladay” did get me to his LinkedIn profile (see it here). He has quite a burdgeoning resume and has obviously been very successful building and selling companies. You can read his blog here (though it hasn’t been updated for about a year at the time of this writing).
All I could find on Palace Partners was that it’s the affiliate program for Giant Palace Casino (a very large online gambling site, from what I could gather).
I almost missed this, but the clickety-split.com domain that ranks is actually redirecting to clicketysplit.com (no hyphen). I checked out that domain and got the following:
So a new person has appeared (Daron Johnson’s the technical contact on both): Rusell Sewell (view his LinkedIn profile here). Russell hails form my great state of Arizona. It looks like he was previously in real estate.
Why Did I Call Clickety Split an MLM?
If it walks like a duck…
They have a “Platinum Membership” where you can recruit other members. Each platinum member can be on varying tiers: Premium, Elite, and Select. You need to pay $495 to become a premium member and then renew annually at $195. If you recruit a “free” member (someone that just uses the software to earn revenue based on their sharing program) then you get 4x their payout. Elite members get 3x their payout and Select gets 2x the payout.
Here’s a screenshot:
“Simply invite a friend to join…your earning potential is based on the number of clickthroughs…from the people in your circle of influence…”
“Get in on the ground floor…”
“The time to act is now…”
“As each tier fills its membership, the next tier will open until it’s filled.”
“Expected to be evangelists and very active in their use and promotion of Clickety Split.”
“Qualify and invite others to join you as a platinum member that would naturally promote Clickety Split.”
“Limited time opportunity…available only for early adopter members…”
Perhaps that’s all just nice marketing copy (hey, I’m a marketer too and can definitely understand that).
But let’s examine closer — is Clickety Split really an MLM?
I’ll reiterate what I wrote originally — absolutely.
Go ahead and click the sign up button on their site. Here’s what you see:
Hrm, let’s see…what other type of business model has “sponsors” when you sign up?
Also, In the bottom-right corner of the sign up page I saw a logo for OrbSix Software (they’re a supplier member of the Direct Selling Association). I checked it out.
So…if OrbSix Softare is a supplier member of the Direct Selling Association (DSA)…then what types of members would it be supplying? I dug through their list. Here are a few you may have heard of:
- Agel Enterprises
- Mary Kay, Inc.
- Nu Skin
So Clickety Split isn’t a member of the DSA, but they’re using OrbSix Software…for what exactly?
Well, OrbSix offers a whole host of tools, mainly for paying commissions, order management, downline management, autoship profiles…
Perhaps I’m reading too much into this, but straight from the horse’s mouth at OrbSix’ about page:
OrbSix Software is a software service provider for the direct sales and network marketing industries.
Here’s a choice quote from the IT manager at Agel (an MLM company):
I would recommend OrbSix to any mlm company.
I should clarify a few things.
I’m not saying Clickety Split is a bad company. All I’m saying is that it’s an MLM where you make money by referring friends AND clicking ads. I feel like I’ve made a very solid case for that.
Just because the software will be free doesn’t mean they’re not an MLM. Instead of having people purchase some autoshipped products each month, they’re having people click. The advertiser is buying the advertising (product) from Clickety Split, who is then paying a commission on the advertising (product) to the software user. I DO want to see the software in action to actually see how it works, so in the Fall when it’s released, I’m certain I’ll take it for a spin.
I don’t want to get into war of semantics over whether or not Clickety Split is an MLM or not — heck, MLMs are not evil (they just carry an extremely negative connotation with me and apparently a few other people). However, when I received that email that I originally referenced, it sure seemed like an MLM, and doing further digging, I’ve concluded that it is.
I’ve removed the personal emails of the managers — not trying to be clever, just trying to see who’s behind it. Very standard due diligence before investing money, time, and reputation in something.
A message to commenters associated with Clickety Split: Instead of spending your time disputing whether or not Clickety Split is an MLM (it is), why not just try and promote it as a legitimate way to make money? Why are you so worried that one guy (well, and Greg) is convinced Clickety Split is an MLM and has written about it?
Listen, you can run off lickety split and join Clickety Split for $500, recruit all of your friends and make your millions, or you could NOT, and save yourself some time, disappointment, and perhaps a few awkward Thanksgiving dinners.
One of the biggest challenges for website owners is link building. Building your link popularity increases your web presence which in turn helps with search engine rankings and over traffic increases. We are always on the look out for new products that can help with the link building process. One we recently came across is Unique Article Wizard.
Unique Article Wizard is a program where you write 3 versions of the same article and then they take each corresponding paragraph from all 3 articles and they create the maximum combinations of unique articles as possible. So by mixing and matching paragraphs they submit to article directories hundreds of different (but similar) versions of the article you wrote.
Each article submission allows you to place a link in the footer of the article and so every submission that takes place gets you new links. It is a quick and easy way to start link building quickly.
Our Experience With Unique Article Wizard
So like any good internet marketer we decided to give Unique Article Wizard a try. We had our copywriter start writing 3 versions of the same article and submitting them to UAW and the links started coming in. We were getting hundreds of links everyday.
Before I continue it is important to note that there is such a thing as getting too many links to a site too quickly. I have posted about that before here.
In order to test the effectiveness of the links we stopped all other link building efforts. This way we would truly know if the Unique Article Wizard links were working. You should know that the website we tested on already had thousands of good links and very good search engine rankings. It was probably dumb of us to test it on an established website that was making us money but we did.
Search Engine Backlash
Suddenly about 1 month into our Unique Article Wizard experiment we saw a sudden and unexpected drop in search engine rankings in Google. It was such a dramatic drop that our traffic dropped by 75%. We were scrambling at first trying to figure out what had happened and why after a year of consistent rankings we had plummeted.
After going over all of the on-page options we finally concluded that the only x-factor in our SEO was Unique Article Wizard. We realized that for about a month the only type of links we were getting were these article submission links and there were a lot of them. Since we had abandoned the more natural link building tactics we had been using and were testing only these article links our rankings dropped.
This happened because these articles that Unique Article Wizard submits are not truly “unique” in that at least one paragraph will be exactly the same on hundreds of these combinations of articles. Therefore the links do not carry nearly the weight of the other links we had been getting and our link building efforts now didn’t appear natural.
One thing you should know: Google will never penalize you for links that link to your website. That is something you can’t control and so they will never deindex you for it. They may completely devalue links that look spammy but you won’t ever be penalized. It does look like you can’t just use Unique Article Wizard or any article submission service as your sole means of link building, especially in an industry where your competitors are doing link building the right way.
How To Use Unique Article Wizard Effectively
It seems to us that the best way to use UAW effectively is to make it one part of the overall link building mix. If you have a new website or new pages that you want to get indexed by Google quickly then Unique Article Wizard can help there too. It can be a help to you in the overall link building effort but it should never be your only strategy to getting links.
Can you make money with clickbank?
We have posted before about how our favorite way to make money online is through affiliate marketing. This has been our bread and butter and has by far generated the most money with the least amount of ongoing effort.
One of the biggest affiliate networks around that you can make money with is ClickBank. This company allows you to sell your digital products using their service and create and affiliate program to get a group of salesmen for your product.
They have been widely successful in the internet marketing world and many people make a lot of money with them.
How does Click Bank work?
There are two ways to really make money with ClickBank. The first is to use them to promote your own product. If you have created an ebook for example you can create an account with them and use Clickbank as your payment processor. The advantage to this is that they also serve as your affiliate program manager and they help you recruit affiliates to promote your product.
All you have to do is tell them what percentage of the sale you are willing to pay the affiliates and then ClickBank handles the rest. When an order is placed that came from one of your affiliates ClickBank automatically gives that affiliate the percentage you agreed to and then they deposit the rest of the money into your account. This way you both benefit.
The second way to make money with ClickBank is by signing up to promote other peoples products. This is a great way to decide on an industry to get in. Logon to ClickBank and search through the thousands of products available to promote. These range anywhere from dog training, to diet to learning another language. If you have an interest in life more than likely there is a product (or multiple products) you can promote.
The next step is to find the product and the offer that looks the best and create a website around it. One of the things that we like to do when we find an industry or niche that has a ton of products is to create a review website and review all of the products in that niche. If you do this right you can really help people make buying decisions and they will trust your advice and buy the product through your affiliate link.
It is also easy to create a lot of great content that will end up ranking in the search engines as you write reviews on each product individually. This is our “long term” method to making money through affiliate marketing. I say long term because we love free traffic from search engines and it takes a little time to get ranked but the long term effect is that you get traffic month after month and can really count on the income from the site when you put the time in.
Making Money Through ClickBank – Our Conclusion
We have spent some time on ClickBank looking at different offers that are available to promote. One thing that we have realized is that there are thousands of products on ClickBank that should not be there. Since a person has nothing to lose by placing a product on ClickBank to be promoted they can create a piece of garbage ebook and offer a 75% commission and affiliates will try to sell it.
This is a great disservice to the consumer and my only suggestion to you is that you make sure that any product you promote is legitimate and can truly help people. You wouldn’t want to sell people lung cancer just because you could get 75% of the sale. Promote good products and people will trust your opinion and advice and thus you will make more money with ClickBank.