There’s a growing market of scam websites being pushed by bogus PR and publishers: Made for Advertising websites (or MFAs). They are made to look like a media websites complete with abundant posts and articles.
The content is mass produced and copied from site to site creating an entire network of cloned websites. The scam comes in form of people paying good money to have press releases and articles posted on these sites under the illusion that there’s an audience. There isn’t.
Here’s how it works. Let’s call them “Frank”. Frank purchases 10 generic URLs. URLs that sound legit. Like Fashion Technical Journal or some similar combo of industry related terms. I’m too lazy to check if that address is taken. Apologies if that’s you and you’re legit. Frank then adds a quick generic logo and imports a feed of prewritten fashion blog posts. Obviously swap fashion for any other industry. In an hour you can have a network of 10 websites built and Frank is the admin for them all.
Frank has a friend, Paul. Paul wears a tie. Paul creates a website claiming to be a big PR agency or publisher. He even buys 100,000 followers on social media. Then he pays for a Cameo from a big name celebrity that mentions his agency name and pins it to the top of his social channels. Here’s the push. If you send him $1000 he can get you published to 10 industry leading websites. You guessed it. One of those sites is Fashion Technical Journal.
You will receive links to the 10 websites as proof of the posts. You may even be encouraged to share the links. But there is no payoff. You will not receive any noticeable traffic or SEO boosts. You just got scammed.
Before jumping in bed with a new PR agency, do your due diligence. Dig deeper than their follower count. Look at social engagement, comments, and their website. Also, more importantly, check out the clients they claim to represent. Often these facades break down in that tertiary level.
There you have it. The marketing scam of 2023. We hope this article spares you any frustrating (infuriating) experiences. If you ever need help vetting a new PR source or any other marketing things… we know a guy.
Thanks for reading,
Please email me at OceanAndCakeCreative@gmail.com with any comments, questions, or criticisms.