In a recent working capital financing article, we described the increasing use of fake content about commercial loans throughout the internet community. In the earlier AEX Commercial Financing report, we provided practical suggestions for avoiding publishers of fictitious information about business cash advances and commercial mortgages. We are providing more detailed suggestions for avoiding this growing problem in the discussion below.
The use of reputable publication sites is one of the most effective ways to avoid fake commercial financing articles. These trusted sites will employ their best efforts to eliminate articles for which the author does not have ownership rights. The best of these high-quality and responsible sites will require review of articles by a human editor prior to publication. Most of these websites will provide detailed contact information for the author. Some especially-thorough sites require authors to submit sample articles to demonstrate effective writing capabilities before publication.
For articles not published on an established site, some detective work might be necessary. The absence of detailed contact information can indicate that the site is more interested in having visitors click on advertising links rather than facilitating getting in touch with someone associated with the website. The worst offenders will typically steal content previously published on trusted sites such as those described above and remove the resource box (thus eliminating contact information for the author).
The best indicator of questionable content on these ethically-challenged sites is often the prominence of articles which do not always make sense if you read them closely. This occurs because many such sites use software to scour the internet and to publish an article based on some random combination from a variety of sources. The resulting content provides selected keywords which is designed to bring search engine traffic even if the content itself does not make much sense. For these questionable sites, unintelligible articles often mean that a visitor is more likely to click on a paid link that appears to be relevant to their own keyword search. In other words, most of these low-value sites actually prefer that the content itself will not make sense to a reader because their game plan depends on visitors clicking on paid advertising links.
There are currently many commercial financing sites which provide only their contact information along with an article originally published elsewhere by an expert for commercial loans. These sites will remove the legitimate resource box for the actual article and represent the work as their own. There are several strategies which can help with this situation.
First, use a prominent search engine to perform your own review of other business financing articles published by the author. If articles can only be found on the one website, at a minimum this suggests that the author is certainly not a commercial loans expert. This is in itself an important finding, because business cash advances and commercial real estate loans are more complex than they might appear, and most business owners simply cannot afford to work with inexperienced working capital advisors.
Second, a detailed conversation with the indicated author will be informative. Ask about where other small business loans articles they have published can be found on the internet. The critical importance of such interactive discussions between business financing advisors and business borrowers cannot be emphasized enough since business owners will eventually need very personalized help with their working capital cash management. The likelihood of getting such individualized attention from this particular source will be obvious after a candid discussion.
Third, we previously recommended the use of established article websites. Many of these are now providing an author widget which is very helpful in providing a practical overview of work published by a specific author. Those sites without such a widget are likely to provide a summary index of articles by each author. The widgets or other summaries will quickly demonstrate how many articles a particular author has written. An author well-versed in commercial financing is likely to have published articles about topics such as credit card processing, SBA loans and business opportunity financing. It is suggested that commercial borrowers review a few pertinent articles in their entirety to help determine whether the author is a commercial loan expert that appears to be capable of helping with their specific business financing situation.