So I received an email today from The LIMU Company asking if I was interested in becoming one of their sellers. Of course, this in itself took a fair deal of coercion to even reveal the name of the company.
That alone was a huge red flag, but I wanted to know more. As it turns out, they're just another pyramid-scheme scam. That should come as no surprise.
But what cemented that fact was how well they addressed their search engine marketing (SEM).
Some Super(Villainous) Food
I heavily suspected they were a scam by just how secretive they were being in their emails. But I wanted to see just what I could learn. Once I got the name of this LIMU company I immediately started looking them up on Google to see their website and what had been written about them.
As expected, their website and some press releases came up, filled to the brim with the standard pitches and speals. Nothing new there.
My next search query was going to be "LIMU Company scam" to quickly find any scam reviews or mentions. But I didn't even have to type that out, as that phrase was already among Google's recommended search terms.
If that was a common search phrase, then that pointed to the even greater chance that this was a scam. I clicked on that search query, curious to see what I'd find.
Sure enough, there were several review sites and blogs all talking about this company as a scam. But when I decided to read up on this I was confronted by content that wasn't quite what I anticipated:
Congrats on finding this LIMU Scam Review. You are researching the company because you are considering joining the company and wanted to do some last minute research before you spend your money. I surely encourage you to take a couple minutes to go over the info in this review so you can make a educated decision about the LIMU Opportunity. You will also determine that the LIMU Scam rumors are completely false.
Not a scam? You don't say...
The rest of the article proceeded to outline more about this LIMU Company. Their products, "Prosperity Plan" and general history. And yet, even a cursory glance at this "Prosperity Plan" plainly stated that this was pretty much a pyramid scheme.
I clicked on other reviews and to my chagrin saw similar articles, all written under the same guise and premise, covering all the same points.
C-plus For Effort, F for Intent
But what really struck me was the writing of these articles. In every paragraph and sub-header was the phrase "LIMU Company Scam", of course written to be dissuading of that notion, but nonetheless containing those keywords.
So why is this important?
Well, while it's a grossly obvious way of doing it, looks like this LIMU Company at least knows how keywords work in regards to SEM. It's almost genius, purposely seeding all these articles with the search-phrase that they anticipated their victims would be using during their own investigations.
The LIMU people must have hoped that after seeing all these blog postings and "reviews" dismissing any and all notions of the company being a scam would dispel any such suspicions and earn them more sign-ups.
And they guaranteed that these articles and posts would appear in search results because they plastered them all over with that exact search phrase. There's practically no way a search engine wouldn't display those web pages. Clearly the articles in those search results must be relevant since they have the searched-for phrase written all over the place.
Except when you manhandle a phrase into an article so many times it stands out like a sore thumb. And then it looks clearly fake and artificial.
Also when every one of those articles across different search results all say pretty much the same thing with no difference of opinion it just looks a tad like something orchestrated.
The Proof Is In the (Crooked) Pudding
Like I said, almost genius. If it had been completely I'd be writing now about the glories of my new "entrepreneurial opportunities."
But the final moral of the story is that keywords work. Just don't be so obviously crass about them.
Have you ever dealt with scammers who've employed similar strategies? If so, relate your experiences in the comments below.