June 9, 2021
3 mins read

Ads on YouTube that lead to fake pages

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Photo by Artem Beliaikin on Pexels.com

Ads on Youtube are a good way to promote your business, your company or… your scam. If you are familiar with the Youtube platform you will have noticed the constant hammering of advertising. It is striking how many ads systematically violate the terms of use that Youtube itself imposes on those ads.

There are two solutions to avoid these ads on Youtube:

  • Join the Youtube program without ads (never!).
  • Or systematically report all ads that allegedly violate policies.

A YouTuber cannot choose which ads appear on their channel. This video from the Enjoy english with Mrs. A channel shows an advertisement for Pattern trader pro as seen in Fig. 1. Obviously she, Mrs A, hasn’t chosen that ad for me, it’s been youtube’s algorithm.

anuncios en youtube
Figure 1. Window for reporting an ad

The algorithm that only thinks about money

It is noteworthy that being a platform practically governed by algorithms, the algorithm that reviews these ads must have missed class on the day it was explained that charlatans and scams should not be given a go-ahead.

And I understand that there is not a person who reviews all the paid advertising videos that are uploaded to the platform. It is an algorithm programmed for that whoever performs that function.

A few days ago I reported a video as irrelevant. The next day I watched another different video again but from the same website I had seen the day before. I reported it again as irrelevant. The issue is that if a website uploads for example 5 different videos (with different actors) that promote it, each video you view you can stop watching, but each video separately. If they are different videos, even if they lead to the same landing page (arrival page for you to register for something), you should youtube not allow you to watch them. Apparently the algorithm takes note of your complaint but you do not stop watching videos from a domain, but by individual video.

Suspiciously positive testimonials

Well, to document myself I have gone to one of those web pages which has a careful presentation. The SEO of the page is pretty well worked out. It’s all an elaborate process to make its smoke-made content believable.

It is also noteworthy that testimonials are always positive and everything is 5 stars. There is no one dissatisfied (Fig. 2), not least because no one exists.

anuncios en youtube
Figure 2. Everyone is happy

The lovely Bernarda Leandra from Granada says she only invested 250€ and got thousands of euros, we don’t know how many. That image is taken from an image bank. If we google images we see that Bernarda calls himself Alvin Davenport in other countries and despite his young age has wrinkle problems.

google imágenes
Figure 3. Google images by uploading an image

Following one of the pages we arrive that her name is Tamara of 29 although she has been worried since the age of 23 about wrinkles. I understand that those pages are as fake as the one I’m on after clicking on an ad.

In Bing images the result is the one you can see in Figure 4.

bing imágenes
Figure 4. Bernarda has twin sisters all over the planet

Usage policies copied and pasted from another site

Those pages have their own terms of use policies or anti-spam policy to somehow show their “transparency”. The information it displays is copied and pasted from pages that provide those same policies. They just have to go to those pages put what they want and voila, they already have their policies. For example, we can go to the https://www.lawinsider.com page and there look for what we want, the type of contract we need.

The website I’m analyzing doesn’t take much care of its terms of use and vilely copies and pastes the terms, total… it is a pretence as can be seen in Fig 4.

Figure 5. The terms of use of a website called … web page

Give me your data to send you spam

The arrival page if we click on the ad first displays a form for victims to put their name, email and mobile number. DO NOT fill out this data ever. You will enter a spam network and it is likely that you will get messages with viruses, malware, etc.


How to report an ad

If an ad you see on Youtube you consider to be inappropriate you can report it at the following link https://support.google.com/ads/contact/vio_other_aw_policy. The more information you get the better. We will all browse safer and stop seeing these cheat ads.

I understand that in case of reporting an advertisement it is reviewed and that ad can be disabled and not seen by anyone else. The more we interact to limit the spread of these ads the better.

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Avelino Dominguez

👨🏻‍🔬 Biologist 👨🏻‍🎓 Teacher 👨🏻‍💻 Technologist 📊 Statistician 🕸 #SEO #SocialNetwork #Web #Data ♟Chess 🐙 Galician


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