If you own or manage a domain you need to read this.
I manage quite a few domains and, as such, see a fair number of domain communications each month. One recent e mail stood out. There was something about it that wasn’t quite right.
- It had no letter head or logo and the sender was not who I have my domains registered with. In fact the layout and style of the message is deliberately ‘vanilla’.
- Whilst this domain is up for renewal this year, I knew it was in October and not the Spring when the renewal was due.
- The wording was both very lengthy and hard to understand. Again a deliberate ploy to confuse anyone that receives such a mail that it really needs to be acted upon.
- The incentive to “Buy Now” seemed just a bit too forceful and smacked of a con.
So what is it?
Well it isn’t a domain renewal notice even though it has a domain name, a duration of service and even a start date. It is an offer to buy “Domain SEO Service” and “to purchase a search engine traffic generator”.
No clear details are given on what these products will do for your website. The one thing that is clear is that Google takes an incredibly dim view of attempts to artificially increase a sites ranking in the search results. So much so, that sites have been penalised and in some cases banned when it has been discovered they have tried to manipulate the Google search results.
It is not worth the risk.
You do not need to pay to have your domain name submitted to and indexed by the search engines. This could be the worst $75 you might ever spend.
You DO need to engage someone to help you optimse the content of your site and effectively focus it around your chosen keyword(s). Your web designer should be able to advise on how best to go about doing this.
This Domain SEO Service Expiration Notice is a very clever and cynical scam. It deliberately creates a sense of apparent urgency around the renewal of a service and hopes that the recipient either is in too much of a hurry to read it or not knowledgeable enough to know that it is unnecessary. The originators know that in many small and medium sized businesses, the staff are working flat out and spending 5 – 10 minutes trying to work out whether something is genuine, is time they simply do not have.
If / when you get your domain renewal notice in the mail, or something that looks like one; read it very carefully before acting upon it. It may not be quite what it seems.
Nick has web design experience spanning two centuries (well his first page was in 1998)! He is passionate about helping smaller businesses and new ventures make their mark on the web. As well as a web designer he has spent time as a management consultant and business coach and brings these skills to help customers excel. When not designing websites he is likely to be in the mountains be it skiing, climbing or just taking photos of awe inspiring scenery.