Subject: Canadian Pharmacies, Discount Pharmacies, Online Drug Stores, Canadian Discount Pharmacy
Message from ML, one of our readers about online prescription drug companies:
Website - Affiliate of XL Pharmacy.
What would be the cost of getting to page 1 or 2 of the major search engines using 24-30 keywords? How long would it take?
Reply: We need some other information before we can give a quote. We need the list of keywords you would like to target. And, the website you mentioned that you own does not seem to be functioning right now. So, we can't tell what you already have on the website because I get an error when I go to it. How many pages from the website do you currently have with information? Who is your target audience?
Also, when I look at it with Google Search of the index of web pages, it looks like all the pages you have and XLPharmacy web pages are the same.
From ML: You are so kind to get back to me. Long story short, I spent a lot of money on a campaign such as the one I described with a company that I am pretty sure now is defrauding its customers. I was trying to determine whether the info they were feeding me about the campaign would jibe with that from another advertising company. When I started asking questions, they put me off, and now my affiliate website has apparently disappeared. I suppose the next step would be to report this to some law enforcement agency. Things like this must be damaging to the image of everyone in the field of internet advertising. Is there a professional association to which I could also report my experience and which might suggest appropriate actions to remedy my situation? If you are moved to make any suggestions of your own, of course they would be most welcome!
PS This has been a rough experience, but I don't believe it would have happened if I had asked the right questions from the beginning. I haven't given up on the concept of internet advertising. Perhaps we can do business sometime.
Reply: Here is a place to start:
B2B legal, ethics, regulatory b2c ethical, Internet Businesses e-commerce legal issues articles and help can be found at the Internet Fraud Complaint Center, which has information about the various topics as well as filing a complaint.
Additionally, here is an article about an Internet advertising scam that is going on online, bilking thousands of dollars from businesses.
The company is using various names: Search Elevators, Link Positions, Window Billboards Network, Winspeed Network, Real Positions Network, Keywords Guru, and even a new search engine labeled RedZee Search. Read more: Advertising Scam - Search Engine Data Merging.
Getting to the top of the search results for your keywords and keyword phrases on the top search engines; Google, Yahoo!, and Microsoft Live Search takes lots of effort, time, and quality links back to the website. There are no shortcuts to doing the proper website optimization. Unethical people will promise you the world. Read some warnings from Google about webmaster guidelines.
Here are a few articles I wrote that I think you might find informative about SEO - search engine optimization (website optimization):
What is SEO
When you can provide more information about your business, let me know.
From ML: Wow,
You have gone the extra mile. There is so much I don't know about doing business online and I foolishly believed I could take a shortcut and hire someone to be the expert and take their word on how things work in the internet ad world. I will contact the complaint center and read your articles. As to my business, it was an affiliate website which I now believe to be operated by the same people who were supposed to be doing the SEO campaign. That it has suddenly disappeared from the web is not a good sign! However, perhaps I will have a website to promote in the future and then we can discuss key words. I plan to educate myself quite a bit more before diving in again. I know there are dozens, maybe hundreds of "experts" out there trying to sell their internet marketing courses, for quite a range of price points, but have no idea whether any are valid. My next step will be to go offline, to the bookstore, and see what I can find there. Again, if you do not feel imposed on I would welcome any suggestions you may have on the subject of gaining an education sufficient to prevent my getting killed like that again.
Well, the website is back after I called the company to inform them it had disappeared. I don't know the number of pages on the site but there is an online pharmacy plus three other stores, selling herbal remedies, pet meds, and food supplements. So I guess the target audience would be anyone looking to save money on these types of products. I have no clue as to how to choose keywords; the company offering the ad campaign selected them for me. there were about a dozen pertaining to the pharmacy store and the rest divided among the other stores. Since the pharmacy is the one that provides the largest commission, i think these keywords are the most important. The ones they gave me were things like "online pharmacy store", "affordable generics", "brand name medications", "reliable online medicine store", "buy prescriptions online", "trusted pharmacy source", 'order pet rx", "great savings on rx", "all natural solutions", "minerals nutrients""pet medicine", and so forth.
Sorry, I don't know what it means that all the pages are the same.
The person who says he designed the campaign claimed the site was being submitted to 132 search engines, including all of the major ones, with thirty key words, and that the optimization process would put my site on page one or two by the end of three months. In addition, there is a banner ad campaign consisting of 30,000 banners spread out over twelve months. The 90 days were up at the end of January and not a single sale has been recorded. They made very attractive claims about how this was going to produce big results, but so far there is nothing. The combined cost of the SEO and banner ads was just shy of $10,000.
Reply: First thought. You probably are competing with other people like yourself for being an XLPharmacy affiliate. Interesting business plan they have. Very unethical. Think about it.
It sounds like they set you up with a website. They promise you the world. They spend your money on some type of search engine optimization, (the same that they do for every website that sells for them). There is probably something in the fine print that says there are no guarantees on how this business plan will perform. Then, if you are lucky, they get advertising dollars and spend on the same ads as everyone else. They probably keep most of the money and not advertise very much if any at all.
Take a look at this Google Search term for the main sentence on your website:
We are among the leaders in providing health care products and medication at substantial savings. We uphold the fundamental belief that people should
Note: The Google Search results are just the tip of the iceberg.
Expand your results to include all the websites with those words and you will see a startling site.
1 - 10 of about 91,800 for the following words: We are among the leaders in providing health care products and medication at substantial savings . We uphold the fundamental belief that people should ...
So now, lets do a search for the following in quotes: "We uphold the fundamental belief that people should have access to affordable medication." Expand the results to include the other pages. See Google Search near the lower portion of the page to expand the results. "In order to show you the most relevant results, we have omitted some entries very similar to the 8 already displayed.
If you like, you can repeat the search with the omitted results included."
Look at those results for that sentence. Approx. 2,100 websites have the same line.
Now think about how any of those websites are going to be able to stand out in the search engine results pages. With so many websites with the exact same information, the search engines view it as spam.
Sorry for the bad news...
Now, add it up for XLPharmacy. 2,100 websites X $10,000.00 = $21,000,000.00
Wow, what a SCAM!
From ML Yikes! exactly what I was afraid of. I have an appointment to talk to a customer service person on the phone tomorrow at 11am. You were right about the fine print of course. I don't know how you found all that info about how many websites there are but if you are right which I believe you are, then by definition there never was a chance for my site to be 'optimized", was there? The contract calls for optimization. If I can show breach of contract perhaps that would give me some leverage? Do you think there is anything to go on? Do you have any suggestions as to what questions I should ask this guy? I am going to report this to the association you told me about first thing in the morning.
Thanks so much for your input.
I can't thank you enough for your valuable info and tips. Of course I know getting the money back would be a very long shot, but I guess I have to do whatever I can and at least try and shut them down if they are criminals. I have access to a law firm through prepaid legal. Would you allow me to share our correspondence with them? Of course I would not do that without your permission.
In any case I will definitely keep you posted and I thank you for your interest.
Again, many thanks
Reply:That is OK.
By-the-way, I found this affiliates of XLPharmacy ripoff report online: http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/0/258/RipOff0258613.htm
From ML: Thanks for your permission! This ripoff report was filed in July. Think how many of us there must be! It's a very small consolation, but it feels better knowing there are others. I would imagine that sites like this would be monitored by some law enforcement agency. So why haven't they been shut down already? Seems strange, don't you think?.
A word of warning for both the affiliates and the consumer. When dealing with Canadian pharmacies online and buying prescriptions or affiliate selling of discount prescription drugs, be sure you know who you are dealing with.
Find out more about internet ethics and ethical business marketing and advertising today.