Health scams on the web


In my last post I discussed just how bigger problem snakeoil is online for the health industry with internet marketers posing as medical professionals and physiotherapists to cunningly persuade consumers to buy their products, and the problem is getting much worse with more and more illegal unlicensed pharmacy websites springing up selling fake and potentially dangerous drugs on the internet.

To gain traffic and customers these online pharmacy will use search engines to do so. Despite search engines such as google cracking down on spam and these kind of websites the spammers will use an exploit in the way search engines rank sites called churn and burn, which involves the spammers creating a quick new website which can easily be replaced and by spamming the website quickly often with hacked links from reputable websites means the illegal pharmacy website can quickly gain placement and visibility in the search results. Often the spammer will create thousands of illegal pharmacy website at a time with a simple press of a button. The idea of churn and burn is that if the website does get penalized or deindexed by the search engine it is quickly replaced. Spamming their Illgeal pharmacy websites to the top of search engine results is becoming more and more of a problem.

In other cases scammers will try to build a website which looks official and will naturally rank in the search engines and will not get penalized however they will usually have a blog full of bad health advise advising people that the only way to help cure their condition is through using or wearing their products which usually cost extortionate prices. With the crack down google and other search engines are doing on websites they deem as spam means that only the best websites that know a lot about internet marketing and seo can rank high and not real health experts. For example in the “physio” niche their is one company that has no real medical experts or real knowledge of physiotherapy and in actual fact runs another home improvements and DIY business as well which is dominant for high traffic physio and product keywords for instance “insoles” and “how to treat a broken leg” offering people their products claiming to be experts in the field of physiotherapy when in actual fact they are not. Because they have a well designed website with seemingly well written health advice (however most of what what they write is snake oil and just promotes their products at the end of the day) people believe them and buy their products. Looking at search engine traffic for their keywords it is evident that this physio website rakes in millions from selling products from insoles to knee supports. Their are other business also exploiting the physio world and trying to persuade people to buy their products with fake and generalized medical advise. It looks as though the problem is getting worse.

If you are looking for real medical advise then it is best to get it from medically qualified experts that know what they are talking about rather than knowing about seo and how to market their business. There are many that you can find out, for example I talked about physiotherapy above, well a good site I found was nuovahealth that is run qualified health experts rather than marketers.


  1. I agree with this especially for the insoles scammers, I find that their is a lot of snakeoil about “custom insoles which cost 10x the price of normal insoles but if you look on the nhs website and other medical research sites they have already proven that their is no real benefit from wearing custom insoles rather than just some normal orthotic insoles yet website are still trying to get people to buy them and actually lie, saying they are much better when they are not.. unfortunately I fell for this kind of thing and bought some myself and they actually proved to hurt my feet than help them!