I love the Internet. I hate the Internet. You probably know what I’m talking about.
Today I want to share three ACTIVE Internet marketing scams.
Unfortunately, you really have to be on your guard to avoid getting pinched by unscrupulous companies these days.
(1) “We’ll Help You Claim Your Google Business Listing”
Hang up the phone if anyone contacts you and wants to charge you to claim your Google My Business listing (formerly known as Google My Places / Google Maps). In this case, it was My Business Score (http://www.mybusinessscore.net/).
A client of mine took the bait this past week when a slick salesperson scared him by saying “You need to claim your listing” and “No one can find you at Google until you do.”
Unfortunately, my client got scammed and is $400 lighter.
Google does NOT charge to claim your Google My Business listing. You can do it yourself, and you should, and it’s absolutely free.
(2) “We’ll Submit Your Website to 500 Search Engines”
This one is as old as the Internet and I can’t believe people still go for it. There is no need to “submit” your website to any search engine that is worth being listed in.
I recently helped launch a new WordPress website, installed a sitemap, and the new pages were showing up listed in Google in less than 24 hours!
The best way to tell Google about your website and get its pages indexed is by using a sitemap, and then registering the sitemap through the Google Search Console. If you go through the Google documentation about such things this is what they recommend.
Alternatively, and most Internet marketing professionals agree less effective, is a notification via this link: https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/submit-url
(3) “Your Website Is Infected with Malware”
This one almost got me this past week. I got an email from my domain registrar, Go Daddy, that one of my sites was “being blacklisted” by Norton Security. The reason it was “blacklisted” was that it was “infected with malware.” The email from Go Daddy also implied that Google had tagged my website with a warning.
So I called Go Daddy and of course they immediately gave me the classic Go Daddy run-around that ALWAYS leads to trying to sell me something.
I don’t host my websites at Go Daddy for about 100 reasons, this being one of them. I’m also moving my domain registrations to Google Domains (domains.google.com), again for about 100 reasons, but top of my list that Go Daddy is just scummy and takes advantage of people who don’t understand something.
The warning was total BS. I ran my site through the Securi Malware Detection tool and it came out clean. https://sitecheck.sucuri.net/
Just to double-check I used another scanning tool from Quitter: https://quttera.com/website-malware-scanner
I know it’s impossible to stay on top of all this stuff, but now you know a bit more than maybe you did before.
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Chris Jaeger produces the BOOK MORE WEDDINGS NEWSLETTER and is the Founder and Director of the INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF WEDDING INDUSTRY PROFESSIONALS (IAWIP). He is a wedding industry marketing veteran with more than 20 years of experience marketing to brides and grooms.