In the quest to make money online, the concept of product launch jacking has become a popular way to turn a quick buck. Yes, launch jacking actually works. But there are some huge downsides to it.
What is Launch Jacking?
Product Launch: The debut of a product into the market. The product launch signifies the point at which consumers first have access to a new product. Business Dictionary
Hijack: Steal (goods) by seizing them in transit. Oxford Dictionary
When a person or company is coming out with a new product, launch jacking in a nutshell is stealing traffic that would normally go to the product creators domain. There are a few ways to get the job done, but what's happening is that people are writing reviews of the products before they come out.
Some people create a single website and write blog posts targeting these keywords, while other people buy up domains using the product name (or similar). For example, if I was putting out an PDF guide called New Fancy Traffic Method and my main domain was newfancytrafficmethod.com, people would buy
…and so on. There are thousands of possibilities. These types of sites are often one or two pages long, and bought for the sole purpose of selling copies of whatever is being sold.
An example of a successful launch jacker is Nancy Reviews. She ranks relatively well for her target keywords because even though what she writes is total BS, it's 100% original content.
The same goes for a site called http://bestwordpresspluginsnews.com/. I haven't explored his site as much, but this guy ranks very well for a lot of the stuff being sold on JV Zoo and JV Notify. From what I've seen, he doesn't write anything very interesting. It's just filler and fluff, and I imagine that the majority of his rankings come from aggressive backlinking campaigns.
Mentioning these sites is NOT an endorsement of these people, their blogs, or their strategies. They are show here for example only.
Is this what I do on One More Cup of Coffee? Absolutely not. I do a lot of reviews here, but I BUY what I review. If I don't, I make sure to include that in the review and provide some comments about why I didn't buy. Everything I write is my opinion, but it's an honest opinion supported by facts and research.
Is It Profitable?
Absolutely. This is why people are doing it.
The idea is that you don't really have to do a lot of work to profit. The owners of the product are doing their best to create “buzz” around the launch. Other people will be emailing their lists about this “game changer” and “never been done before thing”; but a percentage of the folks receiving these emails will Google reviews before they buy.
If you are positioned within the top 10 results (especially top 3) and have a positive review, you will not only get tons of traffic to your site, a large portion of these visits will convert to sales.
Someone has already told them it's awesome. Now you're confirming it. Money in the bank for all parties involved.
How To Rank
Ranking for a product that's about to launch has easy aspects and difficult ones.
The easy part is that whatever is being sold often has a unique name. The easiest ones are going to be ones that have completely made up names like Bro-tastic Money Finder X. There's simply nothing else called that, so a post or domain with those words in it will rank relatively fast and well.
Not only that, but there are going to be tons of ways to rank for it.
- Bro-tastic Money Finder X Review
- Bro-tastic Money Finder X Scam
- Is Bro-tastic Money Finder X Legit?
…and so on. These are all common questions that are asked by potential buyers, and the fact is that NO ONE IN THE ENTIRE WORLD has written anything about it before. You might be the first!
The difficult part is that there are thousands of other internet marketing plebs that are looking for easy pickings and low hanging fruit. People watch launches from digital info product launch sites like JV Zoo, JV Notify, Clickbank, Warrior Forums, and others like hawks. The minute these things go live, people start buying domains and fire up their backlink software.
The competition is stiff.
Now I can't say exactly what each person does, but it's only logical that these guys must be sending massive amounts of spam out to gain low-quality backlinks to their domains. If you have an established website, there's a possibility that you have some authority, but if you are writing fake reviews, I doubt that a lot of folks will naturally link to you.
Comment links, article spinning, link software, blog networks, and buying backlinks are some of the methods I'm sure are used. Backlinking used to be a legit way to gain rank in the search engines, but since recent Google algorithm changes, most legit marketers have shied away from these types of ranking methods and opted for focusing on content + engagement.
SEO and ranking strategy is a discussion for another time, but I just mean to emphasize that these guys are ranking not based on merit, but on the efficiency of their spam-bots.
What Are The Long Term Prospects?
I hit on two points that I'd like to talk a bit more about: fake reviews and low-quality backlinks.
Fake Reviews Won't Get You Any Fans
If you are writing reviews of products BEFORE you try them, then your only source of information is going to be the sales page. I do not have a problem with writing reviews of things you don't own, so long as you have a legitimate source of information for your research.
The best of these sites write unique content that offers some opinion, but they unanimously recommend these products and even offer fake screenshots of earnings and other falsified “proof” that it works. If you've seen a few product launch jackers, you can spot a fake from a mile away. But these guys are not targeting seasoned marketers, they are targeting newbies that don't know any better.
Some of the worst sites simply copy/paste content from the sales page, or put it through an article spinner to trick search engines into thinking it's unique content. Much of it is barely legible. It's not meant to be read. It's mean to be a vehicle for their affiliate link at the end of the page.
Low Quality Backlinks Spell “Penalty”
Benjamin Graham said of the stock market that in the short term, the markets are a voting machine, and in the long term they are a weighing machine.
I believe the same is true of search engines.
In the short term, you can get 2000 backlinks from who-cares-where and Google will think you've got an awesome site. It doesn't matter that you just bought the domain yesterday and only have two pages on it. Wow, you're popular!
But in the long term, ie maybe a few weeks or months later, the true nature of what you are will become apparent. Google is a machine, but it's not a dumb machine. (Bing is pretty dumb and I see crap domains listed there all the time.)
So whatever you choose to rank for, you are going to have to spend time and money to boost your site. Eventually, you'll get hit with an algorithmic or manual penalty, and the domain will be worthless.
The Main Problem With Product Launch Jacking
At this point, you are thinking one of two things. Either, “Wow, it sounds like I can make some money doing this!”, or “What about the guy who's actually buying the product?”
Let's hope you're voice #2
The real losers in the transaction is the buyer. Most of the products with hyped launches, prizes, competitions, etc are pure trash. Serial product creators (as I call them) come out with a new thing every couple of months.
For those in the JV (joint venture) world, this is business as usual. But many buyers are unaware of what's happening behind the scenes.
Yes, you can make some money doing this, but at what expense? From a moral standpoint, your business will be to write fake reviews and take peoples money by selling them something you do not know about. Is this how you want to earn your living?
From a practical standpoint, the refund rate for this type of junk is super high, so you can expect a big chunk of your earnings to slowly trickle out as disappointed buyers wise up to your scheme. So you'd better get a pen name because people will start writing complaint reports about you.
A Better Alternative
Product launch jacking is a strategy to make money online, but it's not for me. I think it's just plain dishonest.
Even if you don't care for my moral judgement on the folks that do this kind of stuff, from a practical standpoint, it doesn't make much sense.
Learning how to do this effectively takes time and money. Then, once the release party is over and every goes home, your revenue stream dies. Now you have to start over again.
So why on Earth would you spend the time, money, and effort to create a bunch of trashy sites earning money in a dishonest way when you could spend that same time, money, and effort to actually help people find legit information?
If you like the “make money” niche and want to do product reviews, do it! But be honest and helpful. Don't recommend something just because the sales video showed screen shots of a “bank account” as proof. Don't call it a “revolutionary new system” unless you actually know what it does.
I do lots of reviews of “make money” products. I'm not saying you can't do it. But actually buy the product or get a review copy and give your honest opinion. I tend to be critical, but you can be more positive if you want. Whatever you do, make sure you can back up your findings with insight, not just regurgitation of a sales page.
The income earned from a site like this will be more stable, and you will actually gain authority with time. Authority equals better rank, and better rank equals more income.
What do you think?
Did I hit the nail on the head or am I riding too high on my horse here?
I shared this on Google+ and Jay Gumbs of amvsmlm.com had some really interesting things to share.