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Identify the Next Pyramid Scam by Using the Google Search Like an SEO Expert
Andreas Batsis / Sunday, August 4, 2013 / Categories: Inbound Marketing, Problem Solving

Identify the Next Pyramid Scam by Using the Google Search Like an SEO Expert

Internet is a gift. It is a two way information channel in the sense that anything posted is strongly filtered and sooner or later all scams are exposed. Whenever someone is to setup the next Pyramid - Ponzi Scheme, he has one more trouble to overcome; internet detectives! Having to deal with this specific problem, the next pyramid strategists have to create many, or let me rephrase that, a tone of articles regarding the next pyramid business model as well as articles explaining how the next pyramid is not a scam but a true and easy source of passive income. Let’s take Rippln for example. Who hasn’t heard about the miraculous social network – mobile app that is going to make a tone of money for the early adopters of the mobile sharing? When searching Google for "Rippln review" or "Rippln scam" (review and scam are the most common words for such searches) you will get articles that are mostly positive about the Rippln phenomenon. This happens just for the aforementioned reason. Rippln headquarters has setup the scenes and filled up the internet with lots of articles supporting their claims.

In this particular post Rippln will serve as a pilot. I won’t get in the process of explaining who the guys behind Rippln are and what is wrong with its business model. Maybe I will do so in another post. Instead I will use Google search results to show that it is highly probable that Rippln is the next mega scam.

The Search Results

The road to the truth is really simple. We have to identify all the search results in the top 100 that come from sites with high authority. The authority map of the top 100 SERP will then show if the search results were manipulated by a well organized pyramid. The index that we are going to use is the famous Google Page Rank (PR) with a scale from 0 to 10. And here is the PR meaning in simple terms:

  • PR N/A: The website does not have a PR value and it is not evaluated yet. This is either a new site or a site with no particular content. There is always the possibility that the site has been penalized.
  • PR 0: The website has been evaluated but is not listed according to the Page Rank algorithm.
  • PR 1-2: No particular authority or popularity. This does not necessarily mean that the site or the content is bad. We just can’t be sure.
  • PR 3-4: Ata boy! Values 3 and 4 indicate good sites in general.
  • PR >4: These are sites that are most popular than the majority of the others. The higher the PR, the higher the authority!

So this is what we are going to do...

We are going to get the first 100 results in Google and sort them on Google Page Rank.

Follow the next steps:

1. Install SEOquake on Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome.

2. Click on the SEOquake button to enable it.


3. Visit Google and perform the desired search. Let’s say "Rippln scam".

4. Click the Settings symbol > Search Settings in the upper right corner of Google.


5. Disable Google Instant and set the results per page to 100.


6. Click Save and return to the search results.

7. Wait for the SERP to load. This could take up to a minute since we are waiting for 100 results and all the necessary information asked by the SEOquake plugin.

8. Sort on Page Rank in descending order.


Evaluating the SERP

Read the articles with Page Rank 3 and above. Normally there won’t be lots of them. But the truth is that if those articles exist, they will tell us the truth about the business model we are seeking.

If the top 100 results are mostly PR 0 or PR N/A, with very few exceptions of PR 1 or 2, then it is the time to get suspicious without even reading a single article.

In Rippln’s case, there is only a PR 0 website and 99 PR N/A websites in the top 100. The answer is obvious! The business model that we investigate is a total scam. And this particular scam has worked hard to fortify against the relevant searches.


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