NetPhrases: is this for real? claims to be able to sell you the exclusive rights to a specific search engine phrase, say for one year. When users enter this exact phrase in a search engine, a huge frame would appear like a top banner above the search results containing a preview of your website. It is said to work across all major search engines, not just Google, and with the latest versions of IE and FF.

Sounds almost too good to be true. I also wonder how this could be technically possible? unless it would perhaps work via certain browser toolbars? Any ideas or experiences?

We all agreed with Jeff’s post that it was a load of rubbish, with a side order of “Are people really gullible enough to fall for this obvious scam?”

I came across this thread while trying to find out some info about this. Oddly this is the only thing out there about it.

So the only two people who know anything about this service have join dates of 2010 and 1-2 posts in this thread…


I wonder WHY.

I suggest asking for hardcore references of companies that are or have used this service before even thinking about sending them 2 grand for anything and if they can’t provide any then run like the wind.

It’s a load of rubbish. Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc are not going to allow anyone to control what their website looks like. After all, it’s how they make money.

If it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is.

Here is what is happening with netphrases:

  1. They are not part of any browser or search engine. They are an Add On to browsers that undoubtedly is installed in the middle of some freeware installations, without the user actually understanding that is happening.

  2. The Add On is adware. They widely blog it as a “major browser upgrade”. It is not. It is ADWARE.

  3. They will indeed get your web site exposure to all of the people that currently have their adware installed. I have a colleague who is getting 7000 visitors to his web site per month after buying a keyword from this company.

I have two concerns:

  1. They are obviously impinging on search engines’ sponsored results. It is entirely conceivable that at some point sites which buy keywords from netphrases could be singled out and banned from the organic results on search engines … especially search engines who sell their own ads.

  2. They may at some point be wiped out by anti-adware software that will automatically identify them and remove them as a browser add on. This may already be happening.

So your traffic will come from the subset of computer users who install freeware, are not careful about what’s going on when they install freeware, and are not savvy enough to run anti-adware checking. Still, that’s a lot of people.

Considering this as a traffic and revenue source is legitimate. However, you need to understand that this is pretty much “Black Hat” advertising, and you could face consequences somewhere down the road for having engaged this service … including having your traffic stop on a dime if browsers, browser updates, or a number of other things stop the Add On from working. The worst case is that you get banned from organic searches, and their add on gets shut down. That is not an unlikely scenario, and in that case your internet business just died.

This clarifies a lot, thanks vranger.