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Are You Trustworthy?

There has been a pretty clear line drawn across the Internet Marketing industry lately. This line divides the ethical marketers from the snakes. You know, the scammers with all the hypey “auto pilot one click instant traffic riches.” The industry has had it, and many marketers have been very vocal about this recently. It appears that the scammers have simply pushed the envelope too far.

For years we’ve seen digital “product launches”… we’ve all become accustomed to it, a few pre-launch videos, maybe a free giveaway and then the big “reveal.” It’s all good and in many cases very useful stuff, at the very least its educational and entertaining. But lately, there have been quite a few “launches” that spewed outright lies on the industry. Outrageous claims, fictitious product creators portrayed by paid actors, fabricated and doctored images to serve as income proof for a product that can’t do what it claims or might not even exist.

Marketers and consumers from every niche have been speaking out more and more against the snakes and scammers. The top industry forums are full of threads about these crappy products and the snakes that make them. Bloggers have gone crazy putting these guys on blast and Facebook has been buzzing for months about it. There are hundreds of Youtube videos where marketers and consumers of digital info products and software are speaking their minds. I guess the final straw has broken the camel’s back.

The public outcry was heard loud and clear by a select group of ethical marketers that have banded together to create the first website to unify the good guys and hold marketers accountable for their actions. The website is called IMTrustWorthy.com and it has several purposes for both internet marketers and consumers of digital products. The members have all agreed to abide by the IMTrustWorthy “Prudent Practices” of Internet marketing. This is a list of 12 rules that help protect consumers from fraud and hold the marketer to a high standard of commerce.

First off, IMTrustWorthy provides a “seal” image with your unique license number digitally imprinted. The seal code can be placed on your website for the world to see that you are a registered member of IMTrustWorthy. When a visitor clicks on the seal a window pops open with the marketer’s name, and rating. The window may also contain comments from other IMTrustWorthy members regarding the character and trustworthiness of the marketer in question.

A member’s rating is determined by an algorithm that takes the positive and negative feedback left on their site into high consideration. This is a lot like the feedback rating in eBay except here the feedback is demonstrated by 5 stars and the comments are displayed on the marketer’s profile page. This is so that a potential customer or JV can look at what other members are saying rather than just having to take the endorsement of the company that sold the seal. In other words, you can’t just “buy” your trustworthiness.

That being said, there is also a “Premier” membership available for $17 per month. The premier members have some additional features inside the members area, they get a multi-site license which enables them to use the seal on as many sites as they own. Also, they get access to a “Seal Generator”, this is a software that lets you create seals in all sorts of shapes and sizes. Premier members also get to load a banner and link for their site which rotates in the website and can potentially bring consumers back to their offer. Over all this is a pretty good value for only $17 when you consider the prices that those “other” seal companies out there charge.

One of the things that you’ll like the most about IMTrustWorthy is the social aspect and the ability to meet other GOOD guys. The website has a “JV WALL” this is basically a communication page where you can comment on the threads and connect with other marketers. There is also an internal messaging system. It’s no Facebook, (then again who needs another Facebook) but it is well suited to help marketers create joint venture partnerships and affiliations with other IMTrustWorthy members.

I think it’s about time that we band together and separate ourselves from the snakes and the scammers. All in all this website is a WIN for the good guys. Sure, there will be scammers that try to brandish the IMTrustWorthy seal, but the other members will quickly make that known in the comments and their rating will drop. IMTrustWorthy doesn’t actually rate the marketers, the members do. If you ask me, that’s a pretty fair shake and only the scammers need to be afraid. I suggest you create a free account and check it out for yourself.

Google +1 Button – What it Means to You

Are You Getting the Benefit of the Google +1 Button?

Google has been working on the +1 button, and in the last month or so it has changed character.  It used to just add a count on your profile, where nobody saw it, but it’s now similar to the FacebookLike” button, which is what I suspect Google had in mind all along.  So what does this mean to you?

The big benefit I see in the +1 button is the ability to share content with specific groups of people, using Google Plus‘s “Circles”.  One of the frustrations I have found in Facebook is that this capability, although it exists, is not easy to implement.  I have over 4,000 “friends” on Facebook, and clearly not all of them are interested in the same topics.

Let’s suppose I’m working with Google Plus and have three circles: “Friends and Family”, “Colleagues” and “Internet Marketers“.  If my dog gets fleas I might choose to tell my friends and family, and perhaps my colleagues, but it’s doubtful if any internet marketing friends would find that very interesting unless they happen to be marketing flea powder.  (As it happens, I don’t have a dog, so please don’t inundate me with anti-flea information!)

On the other hand, if I have just found a new web hosting package that I like, most of my friends and family won’t be remotely interested, but my colleagues and internet marketers may be.  Do you see how neat this can be for segmenting your market and avoiding spamming family and friends?  I really wish this was as easy to do with Facebook.

What is the Benefit of the Google +1 Button?

You guessed it!  Google uses the +1 ratings to help rank websites.  Of course, it’s not all they use, but it can certainly help your site to get better SEO rankings and hence more traffic.

Here is a video from Google explaining how you can use this new capability:

Try it out now by “+1“ing this article!

PS: If you figure out how to join the preview group, let me know! Google has not released the new capability to the rest of the world yet :-(