So often we hear about Internet Scams directed at consumers, especially seniors, that we seem to forget small business are also a target for these would be thieves. One scam that seems to be making its way around is the directory scam.
Scammers will call local businesses claiming to update their company’s entry in an online directory. Meanwhile, the company gets billed thousands for listings or ads that they didn’t want or need.
Another scam is when so called “search engine optimization” companies will call small businesses promising them “top” listing in Google. Sometimes, these companies will misrepresent themselves as calling from Google or Yahoo. First, any company who claims they can get you top listing is a lying. Even Google can’t do that. Second, Google and Yahoo typically don’t cold call businesses they don’t have an established relationship with. Many times, when Google or Yahoo offer a new product and you are a USER of their products such as adwords, analytics, or mail, they will email you at the email address you signed up. This email may have a link to their site. Look at the web address carefully to make sure you’re actually on a yahoo.com or google.com website address. Also they would never call you promising to get you listed.
Most of the time these obscure companies will promise you listings but the listings are only for obscure search terms. Save your money, develop great content and submit your sitemap using Google Webmaster Tools. If you’re a local business, make sure you add your listing to google maps and pages. If you’re looking to increase your online presence, do you homework. Talk to your web designer and other small business to see who they recommend. Check them out of the Better Business Bureau’s website as well as in search engines to see if there are complaints about them. Remember, it takes time and there are no quick fixes.
If you’re looking for ways to improve your website’s performance, give Tiny Stars Creative a call at 425-243-4176. We can evaluate your website and its rankings to determine your best course of action.