Internet Bullshit

As the departed Elvis once sang, "There's a whole lotta scammin' goin' on."

Okay, so it is hardly news that the internet is chock full of hogwash, donkey doo, and heapin' helpings of Bullshit.

What I want to bring to your attention here is some of the more subtle ways that the BS magic gets worked. I pay a little extra every month to the AT&T Yellow Pages to have an enhanced listing on their online Yellow Pages. Made sense to me at the time. Well, if you type in Chimera Design my listing comes up with a link to our website. Yippee. There are also FOUR jewelry stores along the right hand side under "category related advertisers". One is in Hudsonville, MI one in Dallas, TX one in Grand Rapids, MI and one in Comstock Park, MI. Hudsonville is 25 miles away, Grand Rapids is 18 and Comstock Park is 20 or so.

Also, right beneath our listing are three more listings with links to their websites. None of them are "local" - two are in Michigan however. So what the heck am I paying extra to AT&T for? To help promote 7 other jewelry stores and their websites? Common sense tells me these 7 places pay more than I do every month so that their ads intrude on my listing because MY listing does NOT show up on their listings. Makes sense if you are AT&T, but from my perspective it is a pretty shaky way to do business - selling out to the highest bidder and screw the little guy.

Another example - I read about a jewelry store in Oklahoma in Instore Magazine and wanted to take a look at their web presence. The first listing in my Google search had their name/address / phone but right next to their listing was an ad for diamond earrings at Blue Nile with a link to Blue Nile. Obviously it was a "free" listing by the company that sells advertising space to Blue Nile whenever someone searchs for a jeweler. Wonder how many of these listing sites are using our information to sell advertising to Blue Nile et al.

A recent internet friend of mine - she is a writer/blogger from NYC shared another example. She is a 50 year old and is not interested in following the party line of swallowing hormones to "deal with" menopause. She thought she had found a blog site sympathetic to her views. It presented as a "natural alternative" place and she was shocked to find the blog all decorated with ads for drugs to deal with menopause and the effects thereof.

Things ain't always as they seem here on the net, are they?
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