Lots of talk today about fans of Miley Cyrus (or their parents!) getting ripped off by fake ticket sites as they desperately try to secure seats for their kids. The usual rules apply when buying anything online:
- Only buy from secure “https” URL’s.
- Only buy from well known sites.
- Don’t buy tickets from an untrusted or unknown source no matter how pro it looks.
- Ticketmaster.ie is the only place you should really be buying tickets from for major gigs in Ireland.
- Visit the Ticketmaster.ie site only by typing it in your browser as opposed to clicking a link in an email or search result.
However, there is another issue here and one that I was reading about only yesterday – SEO is dead, long live SEO in which the author talks about Google turning a blind eye to cynical and possibly illegal practices whereby companies buy links and use dirty tricks to get themselves up the search engine results at the expense of more honest companies who use traditional SEO methods.
What happens in our problem above is that people Google “Miley Cyrus Tickets” or whatever and as well as the legitimate sites coming up in results, you also see a number of fake or “phishing” sites that may only just have been put up a few weeks ago or may even be using Google AdWords to get to the top of the pile.
The question is, should the search engines be doing more to vet or block out these kinds of sites and by doing so wrestle control of the web and safe browsing back from these criminals?
I think so..