Ethics In Online Marketing – Can I Trust This Marketer?

About a year back, I was impressed by the offer of one established internet marketer who styled himself as an search engine optimisation expert and was offerring a mentoring program on website creation and promotion for Adsense, for an entire year, with a full return of payment guarantee if his services were unsatisfactory within the 12 months.

Since he belonged to a member of an established forum and was an active member who had posted well over 1,000 forum posts he was not someone who was a newbie or unknown.

I ran a check on him for his experience and discovered he had made numerous other contributions as articles to some online web sites.

Here was a model online marketer who was keen to help others succeed online. Like many others who joined him on his offer, and who paid his susbcription fees for the mentoring regularly, I was shocked and dismayed that this established online marketer “disappeared” suddenly one day, together with his hosting facility, so that we lost not only our websites hosted with him, but also out trust in him.

Of course, this incident dented the trust of many who believe in the whole community called the internet and many of its operators…the online marketers.

Is it really a wild jungle out there? Where are the ethics that rule the community? What is in place to ensure guarantees made are to be fulfilled?

Without a stated code, the internet community is self-regulating to a great extent where users need to apply caution and to check the background of any online marketer thoroughly before hand.

Run a search of the person you wish to check by putting his name into the major search engines such as Google search and check for any reported occurrences of fraud, scam or complaints. Check his name against any forum on the internet, again using search engines, to make sure there are no grouses in any forum relating to the marketer. Also ask opinions of others on the program he is promoting. Form a reasonable opinion of the marketer and his programs.

Although doing so cannot guarantee you that the marketer will not disappear, you will have removed a large part of the possibility that he will abscond without fulfilling his commitments to you.

In my particular case, there was really no warning that this marketer would disappear without a word and without a trace. All I knew was that he had “retired” to an island somewhere in the far east, with a satellite dish hooked up and wired up to the internet and enjoying himself on the tropical beach.

But then we know, his entire online career is already gone to the dogs. Unless he resurfaces, and adopt a psuedonym or another identity, he cannot hope to find others believing him or his name.

An online marketer is as good as his name. His name is his reputation, and when he has a bad record, he cannot command any trust from wary buyers.

Is there any ethical code on the internet? Until there is, it is to our best interests to be just extra careful in vetting any claims from any online marketer, and be safe rather than to be sorry.

Peter Lim writes often on internet marketing topics and provide free resources for niche marketing at He researches often into these niche markets and put up the best ideas on the website for free referral by the online community.