Over the years, Matt Cutts has heard many brilliant ideas for Internet marketing, but he has come across very bad suggestions as well. This video is about a terrible advice given at a search conference he attended. The speaker encouraged people to conduct what essentially amounts to consumer deception: inventing multiple fake online personalities to help push a product.

The scheme involves having several of these non-existent fans comment on a related blog entry to say how great the product is. They may even talk among themselves to reinforce each other’s assertions, though in reality it’s just one marketer playing with “sock puppets”. These fake fans could also be used for glowing product reviews and community board recommendations. Those who are conducting research about the product may see these posts and be fooled into thinking that there is a groundswell of support at the grassroots level, despite it all being a big lie.

Aside from being morally questionable, this type of promotion can lead to serious legal consequences. Companies have been forced to pay millions in court because of this behavior. Matt asks marketers to stick to respectable strategies and not do anything that they would be ashamed of.

Video Link:
Sock puppet marketing –