There is a special circle of hell reserved for people who send emails like the one reproduced at right. These are the scary-looking “NOTICES” that take advantage of a business person’s unfamiliarity with the technical terms of the Internet. The messages try to get an unsuspecting website owner to buy a horribly overpriced, maybe worthless, service.
This particular email was sent to me on January 17th asking me to reply by January 18th. The sender is creating a false sense of urgency to get me to act before I figured out what I was doing.
The formatted electronic letter says it’s a “Domain Service Notice”. It looks like the senders are trying to trick you into thinking that you need to renew your site’s domain name registration. Domain name registration is a real service. Domain name registration is what records you as the owner of your www.ozdachs.biz and tells everyone on the Internet where to go to see the site. Domain name registration for .com domains currently costs under $20/year from reputable registrars.
This message is not selling domain name registration. They are offering “Domain name search engine registration.” I don’t know what that is.
I suspect that it is a made up product with no commerical value for your website.
You don’t have to register your domain with places like Google or Bing. Those search engines find and read all of the pages of your site and put you in search results for free. You can submit your site to Google, but that really isn’t necessary. Google will find your site through in-coming links from other sites it knows about. (You have to make sure that your site gets pointed to, but that isn’t difficult. Writing a public post on Facebook or in a blog like this is enough!)
At most, you might submit a new website to the major search engines to try to kick-start its visibility. Most experts don’t think you need to do this, but the search engines generally let you tell them about your site. For free.
In any case, I cannot think of a reason why you would need to submit your site more than one time, when it is new. Google and the other search engines regularly revisit the sites they’ve found to process and reindex the new content that’s published.
This come-on letter offers you a one-year “registration” for $75. The senders say their “best value” is a lifetime service for $499. I have no idea what you get for multiple years of the service.
Unfortunately some people will fall for this urgent-sounding pitch. Its wording is carefully legal: it says straight out that it’s not an invoice and you are under no obligation to pay. But, the message is skillfully formatted and it looks so official!
Luckily this sleazy message came directly to me because I am listed on the real, official domain registration for a client. My client didn’t have to panic, and he didn’t waste his money. I know what to do with offers like this: trash them!
If you have any questions about you get in your email or USPS box, talk to me or your webmaster. Don’t pay for a service you don’t understand!