I earn some pretty decent money from home most months (well, except last month, which was pathetic, ouch!). A fair bit of it comes from Google AdSense, which can be a pretty good program or a really lousy earner, depending on a lot of factors. That’s why all these ads proclaiming “Google Pays Me $(large amount of money) Per Day/Week/Whatever” drive me nuts.

Fake AdSenseI know it’s not that simple. But I had to look at the program’s page, just to see what’s going on with it.

Nope, not going to buy it. I really don’t like the looks of it.

First of all, make sure you look at lots of these ads and the sites they lead to. Yes, sites, plural, as each ad will lead to a different site. They’re all the same, just with different names and your city automatically entered into it by a script. Sometimes you’ll even see the same photos appear under different names. There are hundreds of these sites out there, apparently.

Some details they have flat wrong. They’re talking about checks from Google, then they say pay is weekly. Wrong. Google pays monthly. Then they even say the first check should be on its way within 48 hours. Someone is seriously mixed up here.

Google isn’t paying you as such for the links you post either. You’re getting paid when people click on those links, and you’d better not expect $5-$30 per click. Individual ads may eventually add up to that, but getting paid that high on a single click is quite rare.

They’re promoting two programs. Nope, not going to link them. Both are what are called forced continuity programs.

They may offer their products on either a free trial basis or for a small fee, say $3. However, you have 7 days from the time you order to cancel, or you get hit with a larger fee, which recurs monthly. They do have this listed in the Terms and Conditions, which is why it always pays to read these things. They’re sending a physical product by mail in this case, so 7 days after you place your order is hardly any time at all.

Their sites also mention being talked about on various news sources.

Know what? I never trust that if you haven’t linked to the story about your business so I can read it for myself. If a major news site referenced my business in a positive way, you’d better believe I’d be linking.

The “blog” pages promoting this have a variety of comments at the end, but if you take a look at least some of the comments will be the same. Comments are disabled due to spam. I guess the poor folks never heard of Akismet.

They also show all these wonderful pictures and tell a great story of rapid progress to amazing earnings.

I don’t care if it’s the best system on the planet. Most people will not be able to achieve such earnings. Doubly so in such a short time. It’s an ugly truth that most home businesses fail. Some people will do amazingly well, more will do adequately, but for a wide range of reasons many people just won’t succeed at all.

Not to mention, most are nearly impossible to cancel. They don’t want you to be able to cancel easily, after all.

These sites that call themselves “Google (something or other)” are almost exclusively scams. It takes time to take them down, but almost nothing to put one up, which is why they will likely continue to pop up under a variety of names.

Yes, they will give you some information on how to start a home business earning money through AdSense. But with the quality of information on the sales page, I have a lot of doubts as to the quality of the rest of it.

These sites are so common right now that Google has even seen fit to comment on it in the AdSense blog, noting that they aren’t associated and you don’t have to pay anyone to join AdSense.

There’s a fascinating and very long thread on Scam.com about a very, very similar offer. Make sure you read the last few pages as well as the early parts. Things were good for a while, with an employee making sure people got their refunds and then… kaBOOM!

All this is just a part of why you should never assume that because an opportunity uses Google’s name or any other big company’s name that it is in any way legitimate or associated with that company. It’s easy to get a domain name with some other company’s name in it. Doesn’t mean anything, other than that the company is willing to risk having their domain taken for trademark infringement.

These are also the kinds of “opportunities” that the FTC is most likely to be watching out for. Fake blogs, hugely exaggerated earnings… they’re practically begging for trouble. Nothing of what their sites say is remotely likely for the usual buyer, no matter how hard they try.