Internet Marketing's Words That Sound too Good to be True

Words that sound good are often used in marketing by those in dire need of credibility, or those promoting a warped view of reality needed to justify their own business models. Many catch words and phrases obtain an Orwellian opposite meaning, due to such usage. Some examples?

from SEOs...

  • below radar network = huge obvious footprint
  • ethical SEO = while the search engines are not our clients, we put them above our clients (or, we are lacking in creativity)
  • industry standards & certification = low paying job, little to no competitive advantage
  • cheap original content = recycled, machine translated, or obviously outsourced
  • blog links = comment spam
  • automated link building solution = bot driven spam
  • spam = sites positioned above mine (think this one came from Brett Tabke)

from search engines...

  • ad quality scores = price gouging algorithms
  • ethical links = links purchased through our ad network (including adultery links)
  • link spam = links bought through other networks, especially if they influence our rankings
  • quality content = content just like the stuff on your site, but published on a Fortune 500 website
  • thin affiliate = content just like on the Fortune 500 sites, but published on your website
  • organic growth = keep ranking on page 12. buy our ads if you want exposure. better luck next life.

from directories...

  • seo friendly directly = only for SEOs, not something Google wants to count
  • useful links = poor label for irrelevant spam
  • bidding directory = list of casino affiliate sites
  • high pagerank = recycled expired domain (or domain showing false pagerank from pointing the domain at a trusted domain and waiting for a Google toolbar update)
  • 100% spam free = free spam. and nothing but spam

from PPC marketers...

  • PPC is way better than SEO = speaker earns more charging a percent of spend than they would for delivering greater value through a more complex but less transparent process
  • SEO is luck = speaker is ignorant of the SEO field, and is too lazy to learn it

from affiliates...

  • high volume leads = massive cookie pushing
  • high quality leads = incentivised or automated
  • lead cleansing = hoping mixing in your fraud with the pool of others will conceal it

from email list internet marketers...

  • you're leaving money on the table = It's my money (on your table), and I need it now. (a shout out to J.G. Wentworth!)
  • cutting edge system = outdated advice (with a high affiliate payout)
  • buy today or miss out = if you buy you are probably being exploited by an offer that has no lasting value
  • life-changing event = you will be bombarded with spam for the rest of your life if you send in a single dollar

Your Turn

What are some of your favorite double meaning words and phrases?

Published: January 7, 2009 by Aaron Wall in internet


January 7, 2009 - 10:40am

I can add one to 'from (paid) directories:'

Submit Site, Get targeted traffic = Actually we sell links
but can we say that!

The 'ethical seo' and 100% spam really made me laugh.

Excellent post and great idea.

January 7, 2009 - 11:56am

Ha, ha, ha, ha :D This one's good! Gr8 post....

January 7, 2009 - 12:48pm

from easy money info product marketers...

$97 Value = Nobody would ever actually pay for this.

Bonus = Advertisement/come-on from another guy with a mega long sales page like this one.

Free Trial (pay only shipping and handling) = I've got your credit card number.

Secret = A widely known and/or ineffective technique with a $97 value (see also, $97 value).

Testimonial = quote from someone who has either gotten a testimonial from me or who wants a link from me.

Review = I have more than one affiliate offer.

Best ____ (fill in with hosting, acai berry, colon cleanse) = This ____ has the highest payout.

I could probably add 50 more if I went and visited a couple of long info product pitch pages. I have followed some of the "free trial" ads on Facebook and they are nasty - free trials for junk ("As seen on Oprah" acai berry pills and colon cleanse - WTF is that?) that charge you $100/month if you don't cancel ASAP, but that information is hidden as much as possible.

January 7, 2009 - 12:49pm

Aaron - subjects from the comments don't show in the comments. That's sort of strange.

January 7, 2009 - 12:52pm

hehehe...nice comment :)

btw...after reading your comment I feel guilty for having just put some suggested values within my sales letter page on this site :(

my favorite of your listings is this one...soooo true!

I've got your credit card number.

my wife canceled one of her accounts nearly a year ago, closed the bank account they were trying to charge, and they are trying to mail her bills for a service she canceled a year ago and is not using!!!

January 7, 2009 - 1:56pm

"you're leaving money on the table = It's my money (on your table), and I need it now. (a shout out to J.G. Wentworth!)"

This one rules. I hated that commercial :))

January 7, 2009 - 3:04pm

Great post, let me see if I can add some of my favorites
Absolutely free= Junk you cannot use
Google page 1 in one day= They are on crack
First 500 subscribers= No one has joined
Thanks for a great laugh.

January 7, 2009 - 3:18pm

The Insider Secrets THEY don't want you to know = I bought a used Dan Kennedy book at a swap-meet in Trenton, NJ.

Blackhat is back = Crap, I better sell this course before Google completely discounts social media / bookmarking links.

Social Media Guru = I use Twitter.

Craigslist Secrets Revealed - I was too busy posting on Craigslist to notice that Craigslist is suing so many people that Jenny Craig is changing its name to Cenny Jraig.

January 7, 2009 - 3:48pm

How about

Send me a proposal = work on this for free and I'll use it to hire somebody cheaper
Let's meet for lunch = give me free consulting
How much does that cost? = I will not pay my bill

nBridges Media
January 7, 2009 - 3:51pm

"Only 138 more Copies Left" = 138 is a constant variable
"Secert" = Most generic Information

January 7, 2009 - 5:41pm

our core competencies - we have no imagination and only one trick to offer
work less than 10 hours per week - you will never earn a dime
MAXIMUM WEALTH, with minimal risk - you will never earn a dime
million-dollar web marketing strategies - you will never earn a dime
Wait... there is more - you should've already left, idiot
a simple, proven formula - this never, ever works. Ever.
I laughed out loud at your post, and then the great responses - my fave was dan's: "Social Media Guru = I use Twitter"---classic!

January 7, 2009 - 9:59pm

HA! I love it

On Stage Lighting
January 7, 2009 - 5:58pm

"Earning a living online" = I have an Adsense account with $3 in it.
"Neglected Niche Site" = A badly conceived idea that I have all but given up working on.

Great list. Cheers.

January 7, 2009 - 7:15pm

Request For Proposal = Please Commodify Your Service

Proven Earnings = I make $.50 a month from AdSense

Brandable Domain = I bought it when I was drunk - but it's only one syllable!

Limited Supply = We have infinite copies, but we heard scarcity sells.

January 7, 2009 - 9:34pm

Aaron, how could you miss out domainers? (Thanks for the reminder, MikeTek!)

Dictionary domain - someone of foreign descent may have used this word once in 1743
Proven traffic - I bought some
High-value name - I saw the .com go for $7349 so I registered this in the Leeward Islands
Name drop - we guarantee to catch your name for only $59 unless we like the look of it too
Type-in traffic - I use popunders
LVLVL - no, I don't know what it means either but there are billions of people on this planet and sooner or later we must run out of five-letter .coms

January 7, 2009 - 9:37pm

I love the lunch and RFP many people looking for the best possible personalized service, and willing to put $0 of their own money behind it :)

January 8, 2009 - 1:57am

It may sound like I'm contradicting myself = I'm back-peddling big time because you caught me in a lie.

January 8, 2009 - 3:00am

Guaranteed rankings = too good to be true

January 8, 2009 - 3:30am

after reading your comment I feel guilty for having just put some suggested values within my sales letter page on this site

Heh heh. Well that wasn't my point. I just read Predictably Irrational by Dan Ariely and Influence by Robert Cialdini and those convinced me that if you actually want to sell stuff, you should always put a value on it.

Have you read those books? They're reasonably fun, relatively light reads, but have some substance too.

Social Media Guru = I use Twitter.

That one made me chuckle out loud!

January 8, 2009 - 3:55am

I read Predictably Irrational...good stuff. Have the other book, but have not yet read it.

January 10, 2009 - 9:40am

listening to the audio book now, lot of good insights

January 8, 2009 - 3:29pm

I actually just dove into Influence - about 20 pages in so far and it's great. Predictably Irrational is next on the list.

January 8, 2009 - 5:34pm

site flippers:

infinite upside potential = i heard folks make money online
killer ad copy = we ripped off another affiliate's ad that runs everywhere
social news must benefit newbies, firstly = my content is rehash

January 10, 2009 - 9:39am


January 10, 2009 - 1:40pm

Special limited time offer = Same offer I made last month opened up again to sucker more people

Google Quality Control = Google Bitchslap - A competitor reports your site as spam and google removes it from the index.

An Internet Marketing Guru = Someone who makes a lot of money talking about how he/she makes money online, and people visit his site because they wish they could be just like him. He spends half his time going to expensive restaurants and taking photos of food and expensive cars, which he then posts on his blog to reinforce his Guru image. Also, they typically herd in groups, where one 'Guru' promotes the other 'Guru's services and vice versa to help reinforce the fact that they are Gurus.

January 11, 2009 - 3:29pm

How about "I'm looking for a few (number here crossed out several times) dedicated people who really want to learn how to.... blah, blah, blah! = I need some big money from coaching to buy my next new car so sign up now.

January 15, 2009 - 6:24pm

Cannot export site info. Any reason why?



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