By Amy E. Feldman

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – According to the website, 40 million Americans have registered with online dating sites. What do you need to know about the marketing of those sites?

In addition to the biggest generic dating sites that serve all singles like, e-Harmony, and so on, there have been a lot of new websites designed for a particular segment of singles: Christian dating sites, Jewish dating sites, African American dating sites. Are they really different than others?

The jaded (not J-dated) among us will know what you would find out if you look at the small print: the focus of these dating sites is advertised differently – they’re what is known as “niche” markets. They are trying to attract a different audience but they are run by EXACTLY the same people.

One of the biggest corporations in the market owns 30 niche-focused online properties designed to build community, including more than 20 online personals sites such as JDate®.com, ChristianMingle®.com, SilverSingles®.com and®.”

So the lesson isn’t not to go on line to find love – it’s just that while many of these sites have words that seem really inspirational (and they may be) about being a good Christian in the modern world, or dating within the Jewish community or other tips and advice for older daters, etc., let’s not to forget that these are website owners who have found a successful formula and are using good buzz words.

The same advice that holds true for other sites holds true for these, even though they try to seem different: DON’T BE FOOLED BY THE MARKETING.

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