Or is it?
I received the following email entitled Final Reminder houseofprayerforallnations.org Expiration SEO. Within the email when you open it is this message which all looks official.
This is a scam that seems to be prevalent for domains ending in .com or .org , they are sent out around the time they are coming up for renewal. It relies on the fact that the person it is sent to is not wholly up to speed with how their domain name is managed or whether they need SEO, it implies I have already got SEO and it is about to expire which is not the case at all. I see these a lot with the organisations I am looking after. It pretends to hide behind US regulations claiming I have signed up to an account with them which I haven’t. They have got my details from the domain name registration.
How does it work?
It is relying on you assuming that this is to do with the renewal of your domain name. Let’s face it, you probably forgot about it, the message says your account is pending cancellation. You panic, make a payment. But read the small print.
It is for SEO (Search Engine Optimisation), and claims that if I fail to act my customers may not locate me. It is nothing to do with domain renewal.
What is SEO?
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation, it is used to optimise the content in your website in such a way that certain keywords that relate to your core business will occur more frequently than other words. Search engines will index your site and will then identify those keywords with your website, it will then begin to come up in searches. I am over simplifying this. While there are legitimate organisations that do this work, there are many more that operate scams around the area of SEO and driving traffic to your website. Be careful about any unsolicited claim to “help you get more clients”.
One of the problems with this area is it is not that easy to measure. While your site may get more hits, it may just be people or bots visiting it. Did your business increase? That is really the goal you are trying to achieve.
Always read the small print
Right at the bottom of the email in pale grey small text these claims are made:
“You have received this message because you elected to receive special notification offers. If you no longer wish to receive our notifications, please unsubscribe here or mail a written request to Domain SEO Service Registration Corp. Miami Beach, FL33139. …… We are a search engine optimisation company. We do not register or renew domain names. We sell traffic generator software. This message is CAN-SPAM compliant. THIS IS NOT A BILL OR AN INVOICE, THIS IS A SEO PURCHASE OFFER…. We have distinctly mentioned the source mail-id of this email and also disclosed our subject line. They are in no way misleading.”
So they are selling SEO, and I never subscribed, I don’t have an account with them either, and I don’t need it!
Do you need SEO?
I have put 150 charities on page one of google searches. The charities never paid a penny for this, it was not done through adwords either. There are some tricks, most developers know what they are. True SEO requires someone to manipulate the content in the website, so they would need to have editing control on the website. I suspect that if Domain SEO Service Registration Corp do anything, it is an entry in a directory only and connected to search engines which you can do yourself through Attracta.com at no cost.
It is not in the strictest sense illegal, so they can get away with doing this, it is probably not CAN-SPAM compliant, I never subscribed, but I do know where they got my details from. There is no website that I have located for this entity, and it appears through other sources on the internet, that this organisation uses a number of different sending domains to get their mail out.
If only 5% of recipients responded to their “Final Notice” that is a significant source of income for doing very little.
Save your money, send it to the spam bin.