Buy Viagra online?

Working in webspam, we sometimes use the phrase “buy Viagra online” as an example of a search query that might be spammy. That’s why I noticed and remembered the 2013 announcement that you can officially buy Viagra online.

As this Time article points out, you’ve actually been able to buy Viagra online through legitimate pharmacy websites for quite some time. In May of 2013, Pfizer announced the process would become more direct through a collaboration with CVS.

What about “generic Viagra”?

To the best of my knowledge, some patents on Viagra haven’t expired in the US. Consequently, a generic version of Viagra has not yet been approved in the US. So I believe there’s no exact thing as “generic viagra” in the United States.

Interestingly, there is a drug called Revatio which is also sildenafil. The patent for Revatio expired in 2012 and so there are generic versions of Revatio. Revatio is intended to treat pulmonary arterial hypertension, but your doctor could legally prescribe generic Revatio for an “off label” usage.

It’s even more interesting to read about generic Viagra in other countries. For example, Canada invalidated Pfizer’s patent on Viagra, so there is a generic version of Viagra in Canada. Likewise, the patent on Viagra has expired in many countries in Europe. It also looks like India makes a generic version of Viagra. However, at least in the US it appears that there’s still not a generic version.

What about “herbal Viagra”?

I believe “Viagra” is a brand name, so it’s not correct to refer to “herbal Viagra.” The term may be internet slang for wide variety of different things, but it’s not Viagra as such. As a result, you should do your research and exercise caution with anything that claims to be “herbal Viagra.”

What about Cialis?

As long as I was doing this research, I was curious about the situation with Cialis, which is a similar drug to Viagra. In case you were wondering about how to buy cialis online, you can find official information about that here. It looks like if you get a prescription, then you can order official Cialis from legitimate online pharmacies.

If you see something that I got wrong, please let me know.

32 Responses to Buy Viagra online? (Leave a comment)

  1. Brad

    Is this a paid post? #justsaying

  2. I have book marked this page! Not because I need Vitamin V, but I want to check a Google search in a couple of months and see if you get a good ranking 🙂

  3. Reminds me of my Noogler days.

  4. I agree with you about the “herbal viagra” term. Viagra is a brand! Alternative Medicine is another thing…

  5. Praveen Ravindran

    If “Viagra” is a brand name they should have sued lots of companies using the name with different variations.

  6. Interesting read, I don’t think you can call yourself a webmaster if you haven’t had your site spammed with “generic” viagra or cialis links. Thankfully it is easy to automatically remove it, and it isn’t set to auto-approve. Though I tend to find the fake stores are the biggest spammers these days, checking my spam comments brings up thousands of unreadable comments about beats by dre, michael kors, louis vuitton, and all that stuff.

  7. I’ve wondered for a while if we need a quality, Wiki-like site specifically for legitimate questions like this that are too filled with webspam and SEO that crowd out real answers. E.g. erectile dysfunction, mesothelioma, Lasik, etc.

  8. Thanks for the indepth article – I find that buy viagara spam has reduced, with other variants increasing like comment and email spam about Louis Vuitton bags and Cialis and genital enlargement. Also, there’s a ton of diet and acai berry type spam – but most of that comes in as email spam. Most of the spam I see on my blog is about knock-off designer goods (Louis Vuitton bags).

    Would be great if there was a way to put the amount of resources and CPU usage that spammers expend to better use – like using their time on your site to run a computation / folding@Home

  9. So ah interesting topic matt and kinda a refreshing change but I wonder how many spam filters will get confused when people start sharing this post…

    If you want to retire early just add some Adsense banners or affiliate links to this post… 😉

  10. Alec

    Can a single page rank for such a competitive term when the website it’s on (although authoritative) has no relevance or even close connection to the topic of that page?

  11. I live in the U.S. (Ohio) and I decided to run that query through Google.

    A screenshot of that search can be viewed here http://screencast.com/t/Pr838TSxX0cr
    The first few results are decent; the last few results (on Page 1), not so much.

    The result from canannabor(dot)org openly states that they ship without a prescription (illegal) and all the ‘add to cart’ links (I tried 4) lead to 404 pages.

    The result from spot-hogg(dot)com redirects to other domains with an affiliate ID appended in a query string (2 clicks, 2 different domains). I didn’t check the headers but the redirects are apparent (a doorway page/sneaky redirects).

    The result from wjth(dot)com is…I’m not sure…it’s almost an iframe, the page doesn’t match the result and the base href='http://www.rx-pills.com/?remote_ip=75.118.100.60' is set to a different domain (as are all the links on the page).

    The result from maps(dot)org seems to be the the work of a hacker (the page has been removed and is now a 404 error but that type of page is inconsistent with what MAPS does).

    I’d hope these results change a lot (as the spam gets removed) but I have no idea so I did a screenflow video of most of those results visible here: http://screencast.com/t/O8JiBiadups

    What’s your take on those results?

    If I were trying to combat webspam I’m not sure how exactly I’d do it but with at least 2 of those results, the page I landed on did not match the page that the results showed and I’d think that would be fairly simple to detect (and penalize).

    I’d assume they must be using a user agent redirect for Googlebot (and it seems to be working at fooling it).

    Do you ever run the spammiest queries you can think of (like this one) and see what turns up when trying to figure out how to address webspam programmatically?

    • Adam, there’s a lot of nuances here and I don’t really want to get into a webspam discussion. The webspam team absolutely does study what’s going on in the search results to spot new trends and prioritize projects.

      One unexpected tidbit is that fewer actual people search for “buy viagra online” or “how to buy viagra online” than you’d think. I think a lot of the traffic for that query is actually scrapers and bots.

  12. Pedro de Castro

    “Herbal Viagra” is of course deliberately ambiguous. I’d like an “herbal Viagra,” which would stiffen my tomato plants…

  13. I found some similarities in the core ways we approach algorithms for identifying spam. I also saw some new ideas that I can’t wait to implement. Thanks for the ideas.

    p.s. When first I saw the post title on the blog index, I thought a contributor account was seized by a spammer.. xD

  14. Hi Matt,

    I see 4 options here:
    1) You got hacked
    2) You must go back on vacations
    3) Your job description has changed
    4) You now work for Pfizer

    Please, make a pick!

    Best,
    jhb

  15. Though I tend to find the fake stores are the biggest spammers these days, checking my spam comments brings up thousands of unreadable comments about beats by dre, michael kors, louis vuitton, and all that stuff…

  16. I have a sexy young friend who started needing Viagra after contracting mesothelioma. His cheap health insurance pays for it, so he hasn’t needed a payday loan to keep paying his low-rate mortgage.

  17. isn’t a lot of the “buy *insert generic product name here* keywords spammy because affiliates tend to rank on them for the sake of selling products through their amazon affiliate links? I think there should be more of a focus on CTA based keywords and more governance related to those search results.

  18. Marek Andreansky

    Are you testing how will your search algorithms analyze this article and how high will it get placed in search results? It seems to me that way – publish a valid article about the search query on a reputable site that has a high rank and see what happens – easiest method of doing research.

    Hope the results help you in making the web a better place 🙂

  19. Matt,

    I know that I am not the only one that is looking at this point and thinking that we know what you are up to. We have worked hard to obtain our strong position for the term ‘buy viagra online’ as this is what our customers are searching for and you are once again looking to derail companies such as ourselves in our fight against our competitors with the sole aim of playing god.

    Clearly you are testing something and we are going to see a quick raise of power of your blog in the search engine results, meaning that we are going to have to increase our Adwords spend and line Google’s greedy pockets.

    I for one have to say that I think that it is unethical and completely against what a search engine insider should be doing.

    Back to having to counter the rush of movement that your site is now going to receive, at our expense.

  20. Aaron Shear

    LOL, is it still a GROWING problem? 😉

  21. Hi Matt,

    Will you tell us what this was about?

    Regards
    Steve

  22. Alex

    Imagine if Matt got penalized, or actually started ranking for buy viagra online.

  23. Very good information on viagra. thank you very much

  24. Garry

    I know of a guy who tried Viagra, didnt have any water to swallow it so he developed a stiff neck.

    Seriously though, Matt ..looking forward to your next post on buying marijuana online

    #just saying lol

  25. I bet http://www.viagra.com had an office party when that link appeared!

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