I Do Not Recommend This

Last week (could have been the week before), a get rich quick e book bought a Google Sitematch ad on the blog. Normally, I don’t have problem with Sitematch advertisers but this advertiser used the headline “John Chow Recommends This”. I emailed the advertiser informing them that I do not endorse their product and told them to change the headline or I would block them. After I sent the email, I blocked them anyway because I was pissed that they had used my name to make readers think I endorse their product.

They reply back within 20 minutes saying they were sorry, that they were doing some ad testing and the campaign has been deleted. I thought about releasing the block but decided to keep it on. My feeling was that anyone who would use your name without asking can’t be on the level.

Today I see another Sitematch Google ad with the headline “John’s Recommendation”. This time it leads to a different URL but the sale page is the same. A WHOIS showed the registrant is hiding behind a private registration service. The domain was registered on May 29.

If you see any Google ad that claims I recommend anything, I don’t. If I recommend anything, I will make a post about it. I don’t know what the two “Internet Programmers” were thinking when they advertised on my blog. But the fact that they tried to do the ad again after emailing me saying they won’t tells me they are dishonest marketers and their system is nothing but a scam. Their ads have been blocked.

60 thoughts on “I Do Not Recommend This”

  1. Rea Maor says:

    You should be flattered,
    your name is like Gold these days, and people will kill each other
    to have you recommend their products.

    1. Grace says:

      I think he knows… it gets annoying.

      1. AndyDang says:

        Those are some bad apples. Sorry to hear about that John, but I think there’s only more to come as you get bigger.

      2. Yeah, they may use his name for promoting illegal stuff.

      3. Steven says:

        Precisely as Grace said, John knows and there simply is nothing to be flattered about.

      4. Katana says:

        This should be pertained to fraud and google should be notified about this.

        1. Marc says:

          Agreed. I’m sure they would ban an account that was behaving inappropriately.

    2. kenny says:

      As I read this post, there is another “John’s Recommendation” ad running.

      1. Kumiko says:

        I’ve got one too! I clicked it just to make JC money!

        1. John Chow says:

          These are SiteMatch ads. They are CPM based. Clicking on it doesn’t cost the scammers anything. They pay just for it to load.

          1. Kumiko says:

            Ok, I’ll just hit refresh a few thousand times next time!

          2. Mubin says:

            Thats not cool

          3. Babak says:

            how do you block individual sitematch ads? there’s one specific one I’d like to block on my blog. Thanks in advance

          4. John Chow says:

            You enter the URL you want to block into the AdSense competitive ad filter. It takes up to 12 hours to take effect.

          5. Babak says:

            ah, ok. I thought there was another way just for the sitematch ads.

    3. That is part of the price John must pay for his fame on the ‘Make money online’ niche 🙁

  2. Knuckles10 says:

    Im getting this ad right now on this post:

    John Chow Top Pick
    Get Your Own Turnkey Autopilot Money Machine Here

    And goes to the page:

    Im assuming this is one of the ads your talking about?

    1. Grace says:

      I’m getting
      “John’s Recommendation
      You can start making $80 million+…”

    2. I’m seeing the same ad as above John.

      ➡ Don

      1. John Chow says:

        Added them to the blocked list as well. Damn scammers!

        1. AndyDang says:

          Hopefully we’ll see less scamming, I heard on NPR that they just put away one of the biggest email scammers.

    3. Manthem says:

      I’m seeing the same ad at the top of the page as well.

  3. Grace says:

    You mean the XtremeMillions website? That’s the ad displaying right now… looks like you still hadn’t blocked it… (Or they’d changed it…)

    1. John Chow says:

      It takes up to 12 hours before the block kicks in.

      1. Ankur says:

        Hey john, i have a very good solution. Mail google and let them scratch their brains. What the hell do they get commissions for?

        If they dont reply favourably,

        Just remind them you are the Engadget of Webmasters 😈

      2. … and in those 12 hours, a lot of damage would have been done. they’re smart Alec’s. They multiply like microbes, as you block them, they reproduce beyond your mopping efforts. God help you John 😉 .


    Build it from the ground up like everyone else does.

    Way to go John! I would be pissed too.


    1. Wahlau.NET says:

      They just stink don’t they?

      But it is just typical for people trying to make money out of the famous people

  5. Have you tried reporting them to Adsense team…? That might get their account suspended… it’s deceitful advertising.

    Kenneth 😯

  6. Emmet says:

    Well I think it’s pretty stupid of them to keep advertising on your site if you are publicly saying you don’t endorse them. Now people can just press the ad and cost them money, while having no intention of purchasing their bogus product. Go John Chow!

  7. Chicago 2016 says:

    Man, you’re worthy of a Google ad scam. Go you!

  8. InvestMe says:

    thanks john for the info. 🙂

  9. Tim Spangler says:

    I saw one of these earlier tonight and figured that you wouldn’t approve of such a thing. Glad to see you standing up for your good name – after all, the best e-book is your free e-book!

  10. Zac Johnson says:

    I’m also seeing this one…

    John Chow Top Pick
    Newbie Cash Machine. Finally Even Newbies Can Make Money

  11. Well, if they wanted to catch John’s readers attention, they sure got it. In the worst possible way.

  12. Ulchie says:

    I’m still seeing the Johns Recommendation from ExtremeMillions.com

  13. Aaron Cook says:

    Damn scammers. Did you alert Google? It’d be nice if they lost their AdWords account for that. It’s amazing they could be so stupid as to even attempt that.

    I’ll bet their ad is getting them a lot of clicks and NO conversions! Ha, that’s just what they deserve. 👿

  14. Katana says:

    I guess you have reached celebrity status on the internet John Chow. Can’t believe I was still reading a relatively unknown blog back in the days when I found this site on digg hehe.

  15. I’ve seen these ads dominate your site for the past few weeks. I believe there are more than two of them.

  16. Rhys says:

    How about ads that say “John Chow thinks this product sucks”? 😉

  17. Mike Zak says:

    Can’t you try e-mail Adsense, and request them to block your name being used in ads, the same as they block eBay, and some other names?

  18. I see “John Chow Uses Outpost Earth Maybe You Should Too.” Rhys’s suggestion ain’t that bad though LOL.

    1. John Chow says:

      That one is real. I did review of them a few months back.

      1. I wasn’t probably around the time that post came out. See, now I’m confused; I can’t tell the difference anymore. 😕 I hope everything gets sorted out with the Google Sitematch ads.

        1. Ankur says:

          Ya John, even if you search the blog, there are no results 😐

        2. John Chow says:

          If you search my name on Outpost-Earth, you’ll see I am on there and I use their service.

  19. Vishal says:

    That is really a bad thing they just want to sell their product with your goodwill. It’s a bad thing to do. You should never allow these culprits to post ad on your site for readers as well as your sake. Good thing you posted soon

  20. Ankur says:

    John, maybe you could add a endorsements page to let users verify if they are telling the truth. But, you will need some 😈 scheme though!

  21. I hope to one day be as popular as you, so bogus ads will appear announcing:

    “As recommended by the Big Cajun Man…”

    and then I will block the scamming slugs!!! 👿


    1. Ankur says:

      Best of luck! And you can sure get there, your post on “wife’s value” is a must read!

  22. I don’t mean to go off-track here, but has anybody noticed that little smiley at the bottom of the page? It’s cute (but it creeps me out a little, too) LOL.

    1. Ankur says:

      Thats the Stats counter from wordpress.com , like the little box of sitemeter

    2. Erik says:

      I thought I was the only one 😯

  23. Next thing you know… we’ll see John Chow recommends snakes in your trouser for entertain purposes ads

  24. Amazing how many thought think these guys are ok and that the phony use of John’s name is ok, just because he happened to have become popular.

    This is the number one thing that puts me off from a lot of Internet plans and adventures … it seems to be such a repository of rude people.

    If you intend to use someone’s name you need to get their permission first … no matter if their blog income is $1 a month or $100,000.

    Try making a phony post or buying a Google ad allegeing that Britney Spears or Paris Hilton endorses your product and see how long it takes their lawyers to C&D you … it really and truly shouldn’t have to be that way.

    From a practical marketing standpoint this is dumb also … if I see an ad that says John or Darren or some other “hot property” endorses something and I do _not_ also see a link so I can read what the personality actually said I am going to consign that advertiser to my “spammer ignore” folder without even bothering to read any further. Could be a good way to kill your product as well as displaying your rudeness.

  25. Sadie says:

    I agree, it is fraud, and there should be a way to stop unauthorized use of his name, and civil and criminal charges should be made.

    John, copyright your name!

    I read that Rudy Giuliani did, before he began campaigning for president, so no competitor could use his name in mud slinging ad.

  26. Kevin says:

    i can understand your frustration about this – as someone said, i guess its a form of flattery however it cant be good for people to be using your name as an endorsement without your knowledge

  27. Johnny Cash says:

    I pity the guy who has the Google Ad on this post.

    Your title says, “I did not recommend this”, and his ad shows right there, even though you are not talking about his post.

  28. Erik says:

    I’ve been seeing those too.. but I rarely if ever click Adsense ads no matter how interested I am. I feel…. used =P.

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