Entrepreneur: How Knockoffs Put Me Out of Business

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RUSH: No, no, no, no. We want to blanket the United States in honor of Betsy Ross. We want to blanket the country with Stand Up for Betsy Ross T-shirts. And the best way, the only way to get a real one is at RushLimbaugh.com, and, once you’re there, find the “Store” tab. There is a specific URL for the store, but it’s much longer than RushLimbaugh.com. Just go there and you’ll be up and running.

Here’s Andrew in Tulsa. Great to have you, sir. Glad you waited. Hi.

CALLER: Awesome. Hey, Rush, good to talk to you.

RUSH: Thank you very much.

CALLER: I wanted to talk about the Stand Up for Betsy Ross T-shirts and now knockoffs can actually easily destroy a small business. It’s something that happened in my business and it forced me to close earlier this month.

RUSH: Explain how.

CALLER: Yes. So if you create a knockoff, e-commerce platforms like Shopify let users import thousands of fake reviews just via a spreadsheet, and those reviews aren’t validated like they are on Amazon. And then Google blindly indexes those reviews and up-ranks the site for having what’s called user generated content. If you want to become number one on Google, upload a few thousand fake reviews, and Google does the rest. That happened to me. A rich guy in California did it to me, outranked me on Google, and I went from being a viral company two years ago to having to close my doors this month.

RUSH: And right there in the mix is Google with a bunch of phony reviews and phony popularity ratings.

CALLER: It’s a rampant issue all over on the internet and —

RUSH: I know. And sending people to fraudulent sites and fraudulent places. I’m sorry that happened to you. I totally understand it, seeing what’s happening here, 200-plus knockoffs, and one of them now charging $1,500, unbeknownst to customers, who are probably being steered to these fraudulent places in the way you describe.

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