Dear Motley Fool: Please Stop Spamming Yahoo Finance

Dear Motley Fool,

Please stop spamming Yahoo Finance.  For every 5 Motley Fool articles Yahoo links to in the Headlines section, I estimate 2 or 3 of them are a thinly veiled landing page for you to sell a newsletter subscription.  I don’t have a problem with the pitch, just the disguising of that pitch in the form of a fake article and the sheer volume of these offensively stupid links.  Oh, and also the jester motif was never hip or funny.

Sincerely,

Everyone

It had to be said.

How many times have you been browsing the recent news for a stock on Yahoo Finance and come across a a click-baiting headline like this?:

The One Stock You Must Own Now

The Greatest Stocks On Earth

This Sector Will Make You Rich

The Highest Possible Returns Period

Super Stocks You Must Learn About

The Next Home Run Stock

The Next Grand Slam Stock

The Next Hole-In-One Stock

The Next Stock That Cleans Your House and Then Sleeps With You

The Secret Investment Strategy That Always Works

The Stock That Could Change Your Life

Bill Gates’ ATM Card PIN Number

(okay, one or two of those was an exaggeration, but just barely)

So you click one of those links and instead of an article, you’ll get two or three generic sentences about investing that have absolutely zero value,  followed by something like this:

To read more about stocks that meet our criteria, click here for a free 30 Day Trial of the Hidden Gems Newsletter.

In fact, here’s a screen shot from one of their “articles”…

Motley Pitch

In no way, shape or form do any of these links warrant inclusion under the headlines section of Yahoo Finance as they do not constitute news of any kind.  I can only conclude that either Yahoo is being paid for this placement or is itself being tricked like everyone else who ever clicks one of these links.

This is not to say that Motley Fool doesn’t write real articles, but heaven forbid you should ever actually catch yourself reading one of those!  They are actually worse than the spam.

If I accidentally read one more piece of drivel by Rick Aristotle Munarriz about Krispy Kreme Donuts or Tivo, I’ll scratch my own eyes out one at a time.  I don’t know what this guy’s deal is, he seems to be one of those “buy brands you know” investors.  I’ll give him this – it must take quite a bit of mental fortitude to write so prolifically about Crocs and Netflix every day of the week…my hat is off to you, sir.

I have no opinion about whatever the track record is for Motley Fool’s newsletters, so this discussion is not about anyone’s performance. For all I know, these guys could be Buffett-caliber stock pickers, but frankly, I don’t really care.

Today I’m making a simple request, which will most likely fall on deaf (oops, in their corny vernacular, that would be Foolish) ears. 

These guys with the dopey hats want to sell newsletters, fine.  Everybody’s gotta make a living, I respect that.  But do us all a favor and buy a banner ad, stop spamming the most visited finance portal on the web, you’re wasting all of our time.

What's been said:

Discussions found on the web
  1. David Merkel commented on Oct 29

    You are right, that had to be said. Even what little commentary they give varies little from piece to piece. They recycle a lot.

    TRB: I’m convinced there’s a Foolputer somewhere spitting this stuff out around the clock under 800 different ticker symbols. Yahoo should end it.

  2. John (aka The Masked Financier) commented on Oct 29

    Joshua,
    Great work on the site, and particularly on this post.
    I can’t understand how Motley Fool and sites like it get away with promotional methods that would get a hedge fund manager or mutual fund a lengthy jail sentence.
    However, on a similar subject I would be interested in your view (and that of your commenters) on the type of Adwords and Adsense spam that is promoted by “do no evil” Google. An unfortunate example here is on your very own site – I cycled through the Adwords to reach this impeccably worded (and spelt) spam, oops I meant advertisement – “ABTGwas one of our Alert; This penny Stock soar 400% Join today for Free to profit.”.
    This spam leads to the improbably named site – MonsterStox – http://www.monsterstox.com/.
    In my opinion, Google should adopt the same approach with these ads as is taken with ads for dodgy pharmaceutical products – because they are nearly as dangerous.
    Look forward to thoughts.
    Keep up the good work.
    John (aka The Masked Financier)

    TRB: thx John!

  3. John (aka The Masked Financier) commented on Oct 29

    Joshua,
    Great work on the site, and particularly on this post.
    I can’t understand how Motley Fool and sites like it get away with promotional methods that would get a hedge fund manager or mutual fund a lengthy jail sentence.
    However, on a similar subject I would be interested in your view (and that of your commenters) on the type of Adwords and Adsense spam that is promoted by “do no evil” Google. An unfortunate example here is on your very own site – I cycled through the Adwords to reach this impeccably worded (and spelt) spam, oops I meant advertisement – “ABTGwas one of our Alert; This penny Stock soar 400% Join today for Free to profit.”.
    This spam leads to the improbably named site – MonsterStox – http://www.monsterstox.com/.
    In my opinion, Google should adopt the same approach with these ads as is taken with ads for dodgy pharmaceutical products – because they are nearly as dangerous.
    Look forward to thoughts.
    Keep up the good work.
    John (aka The Masked Financier)

    TRB: thx John!

  4. pdmoney commented on Oct 29

    Luckily, Yahoo Finance allows FILTERING of “news” providers.. MF long ago filtered out!

  5. pdmoney commented on Oct 29

    Luckily, Yahoo Finance allows FILTERING of “news” providers.. MF long ago filtered out!

  6. Pat Shuff commented on Oct 30

    They are apparently paid to spam touts
    on Yahoo Finance. Penn West and Silvercorp
    are ‘showcased’ picks ad infinitum, emphasis on ad. Penn West in particular has been an unmitigated disaster. YF needs some strong disinfectant.

  7. Pat Shuff commented on Oct 30

    They are apparently paid to spam touts
    on Yahoo Finance. Penn West and Silvercorp
    are ‘showcased’ picks ad infinitum, emphasis on ad. Penn West in particular has been an unmitigated disaster. YF needs some strong disinfectant.

  8. Basant commented on Oct 31

    I just don’t click on the article if it is from ‘motley-fool’. They already fooled so many so many times. Too much exposure kills everything….. At one point I thought of subscribing but then I felt too much pressured.

  9. Basant commented on Oct 31

    I just don’t click on the article if it is from ‘motley-fool’. They already fooled so many so many times. Too much exposure kills everything….. At one point I thought of subscribing but then I felt too much pressured.

  10. greenbackd commented on Nov 01

    “If I accidentally read one more piece of drivel by Rick Aristotle Munarriz about Krispy Kreme Donuts or Tivo, I’ll scratch my own eyes out one at a time. I don’t know what this guy’s deal is, he seems to be one of those “buy brands you know” investors. I’ll give him this – it must take quite a bit of mental fortitude to write so prolifically about Crocs and Netflix every day of the week…my hat is off to you, sir.”

    Dead right. Reformed, my hat is off to you, sir.

    TRB: Thx Greenback’d! Someone had to say it, I’m usually the one who opens his big mouth. lol.

  11. greenbackd commented on Nov 01

    “If I accidentally read one more piece of drivel by Rick Aristotle Munarriz about Krispy Kreme Donuts or Tivo, I’ll scratch my own eyes out one at a time. I don’t know what this guy’s deal is, he seems to be one of those “buy brands you know” investors. I’ll give him this – it must take quite a bit of mental fortitude to write so prolifically about Crocs and Netflix every day of the week…my hat is off to you, sir.”

    Dead right. Reformed, my hat is off to you, sir.

    TRB: Thx Greenback’d! Someone had to say it, I’m usually the one who opens his big mouth. lol.