Three years ago the giant internet reality show content farm WetPaint was purchased by mobile App company Viggle which is a company that allows people to earn “rewards” for using their entertainment app. And despite the declining quality of their content, WetPaint is celebrating some explosive growth—52 % Year-over-Year Revenue Growth and 116% Increase in Net Registered Users.
But 52% growth is easy when you employ black hat SEO techniques with total impunity from Google and when you flat out lie to customers about what you will give them if they frequent your site.
The big question is why did Google allow WetPaint to grow to this point given their long history of horrible content, and allegations of content theft and schemes like unnatural linking and changing dates on news articles and NOW a HORRIBLE mobile app that appears to be defrauding customers to top it all off?
Google continues to assert that “content is king”, yet this site which is a self-proclaimed content farm continues to rise to the top of the SERPS despite being filled with inaccuracies, misspellings, grammatical errors, unnatural links, stealing from other bloggers and worst of all non-existent content.
We showed several examples of WetPaint engaging in some really shady behavior like stories which promise to answer a question in the title and then give the reader nothing, giving the actual sources of their news stories “no follow” links so they outrank the sites they are stealing from. And now, in keeping in line with their long long track record of shady-ness and making millions by pretending to offer customers one thing and actually giving them nothing, an App that does the same.
So anyway Viggle aka WetPaint just launched an app which allows you to get “rewards” for reading their ‘nontent’. And as you might expect the reviews are not good.
Here are some of the comments I found:
“What nobody seems to see is that the Viggle TOS states “Additionally, points need to be redeemed within twelve (12) months from when they were obtained or they may be forfeited.” What this means is that in order to obtain the points required for the cruise, (4,000,000 last I checked) within 12 months a person would have to earn an average of 11,000 points every day. Trip impossible – from what I’ve seen.”
“Viggle does not work! All I got out of this is constant marketing emails with offers I can only get if I buy something. These crooks should be fined and/or imprisoned!”
Here’s a post from an unhappy customer which aligns with countless other reviews.
And a comment:
“Once a day they put up a certain amount of one gift card, like Sephora, Best Buy, Chili’s, etc. and they don’t tell you the time or how many are available, and it’s your responsibility to look for it. They announce it on Facebook the day before and don’t tell you the time. You have to check to see if it’s available and if it is, then you can get it if it’s still available. SUPER discouraging, SUPER dumb and I’m REALLY over Viggle. ”
And here are a slew of bad reviews for the App. As a side note the “good” reviews look like they were all written by Viggle empoyees.
“The app frequently does not credit my account with points after I have watched and logged into a show. I have contacted customer service, but they were unhelpful and would not credit my account.”
“Won’t even give me my bonus points for my check ins!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”
“I remember when viggle was”nt a cheapskate but now it got worse. Horrible app to earn gift cards, they just keep on rising the prices for the rewards.”
“Used to be able to get 18,000 points very easily in a week. This app slowly deteriorated and now it’s awful. I mean the whole point of the app is to earn rewards! & they’re making it very difficult. It was fine a month go but now, 62,000 points for a $25 gift card is absurd. Goodbye viggle.”
“This is by far the worse app i had it used to be the best at one point but since everything has gone up and points down viggle is not longer of any of my interest. I have 26500 points an it doesnt let mme cash in fr my rewards. Be aware they are crooks. Not recommended. You have been advised.”
“I would have hoped that Viggle would take customer feedback as constructive criticism to improve their product. Instead, Viggle’s Customer Support main role seems to be to turn their customers away by quoting rules from their policy instead of listening to individual situations. Viggle has the potential to be a great app. The concept is very appealing; however, when the app does not perform as promoted, you begin to feel disillusioned. And when their “customer support” makes you feel like you are erroneously using the app, you then feel exhausted. At this point, using the app is no longer fun, but rather a source of unnecessary frustration.”
So why is horrible content king? Why is WetPaint enjoying explosive growth? I suggested that Google was being biased in putting WetPaint at the top of the SERPS since Google actually owned WetPaint via AOL. And they also keep putting their pal the Inquisitr at the top of the cue who engages in unnatural linking with WP.
I suspect Google is well aware of the low quality content and is ignoring it for a reason…money. But seriously how much bigger is a sleazy company like this going to get? After all DemandMedia got bigger than the New York Times content farming. The sky is the limit until Google starts enforning their own policies and cracking down on internet parasites like this.
I hope that more people will demand Google put this site in its proper place in the SERPS….at the bottom.
BTW check out reviews from ex employees of WetPaint aka Viggle….they are priceless!!
UPDATE Jan 08, 2015: WetPaint aka Viggles stock price at 24 cents!!! I guess investors are figuring out what crap this app is.