<heavy sarcasm>I was delighted </heavy sarcasm> to receive my reminder from Internet Register Ireland this morning dated Dezember 2009 [sic.] as it reminds me that it’s time for me to warn you all to beware these scammers. We’re obviously not alone as there has been an increase in trackbacks and comments on our original post on this matter. As one of our commenters points out at least it’s on Recycled Paper (you gotta love those Germans! 🙂 ) and this is what you should do with this letter on receipt: recycle it.
If you ever receive a letter or an email inviting you to join a directory, do a link exchange or other such activities always, always do a search about the company. Don’t just visit their site: it may look fine to you, it may even look spectacular but all that glisters is not gold. You may do a search and find mixed reviews on blogs and discussion forums or other social media. These reviews may or may not help you decide. Remember what these sites are offering you is exposure so you need to find out what kind of exposure you will be getting from them for your money and they should be prepared to use all the stats in their power to convince you. However you can also check how their site measures up on sites like Alexa.com, which is okay. (Know of other similar services? Please leave a comment below!) You can check out their Page Rank but more importantly brush up your understanding of how Search Engine Optimization works. There are stacks and stacks of resources out there – not least from Google Webmaster Central itself. If you owned a shop in a shopping centre or were attending a tradefair you would do everything in your power to make your shop/ stand em stand out from the others around you. Search Engine Optimisation, Search Engine Marketing and canny use of Social Media can get you noticed too. We run training events on all of these topics and plan to roll out lots of them in 2010.
For your information I am including a scan of the letter so you know what to keep an eye out for.