Jul 30, 2011

Google +1 What Is It and Why Should I care?

One of the newest offerings by Google is something called +1.  The PLUS ONE button can be found on web pages (especially next to certain advertisements and other features) and we will ''soon'' see these on millions of websites.

Similar to the Facebook LIKE button endorsement, when users click on the +1 button it adds that ad, web page, feature, company, product, brand, etc. to "the social network".  We're not talking about your Facebook or Twitter, but to "THE" social network - all the ways we're connected to others we interact with on the internet.

Remember that effective Web Marketing is all basically about two things:
  1. BUILD IT: Designing & Developing (or re-designing/re-developing) a professional looking, well "search engine optimized", well organized, informative website... that attracts visitors... and keeps them interested enough to take a ''buying action'' (bookmark, phone call, email, quote request or places an order)... before they hit the back button
  2. MAKE THEM COME: Promoting your website online (and offline)... so that your website becomes easier and easier to find over time... by people (qualified prospects) searching for your products and services

A key component of the PROMOTE part of the process is driving qualified prospects to your website, and that's where +1 can help.

When a person is logged into their Google account (everyone should have one), and begins doing a search on Google, any site they (PLUS those in their network!) have ever added via +1, will now become part of the Google search "algorithm" and their "personalized search function".  Your searching experience will be enhanced because you'll see "who in your network has plussed what" and be able to take advantage of the approval (of others that you known & trust) when considering what to click on in the SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages).  With +1, Google is adding a powerful social element into their searches!

The value /benefit to Cole WebMarketing clients and other website owners doesn't just stop here. +1 will also impact Google AdWords PPC (pay per click) Google AdWord advertisers.

Soon, +1 will also start showing up on Google AdWords listings. A click on a +1 button will NOT count as a click on paid keyword/keyphrase ads, so clicks will not cost you any extra money. As most of us know, Google seems to love giving us "more for nothing"! Google AdWord advertisers will be able to see which ads are getting the most +1 clicks and be able to obtain other useful web marketing data via their free Google Analytics reports.

This new +1 feature certainly will probably very quickly become a "learned convention" by website users and adding +1 to your website pages should be considered a web development "industry best practices" addition.

Want to TRY IT OUT?
Simply click the PLUS ONE button under this blog post!

Like everything on the web, change happens every second, so keep we encourage you keep updated about Google +1 (and many other web marketing tools & tactics) by clicking the ''follow this blog" (upper right).

See the value in adding PLUS ONE to your website?  If you currently have a "Website by Cole WebMarketing" (or if you'd like us to design & develop a brand new site and include +1 to your site), please call us at 704-503-7069 or visit ColeWebMarketing.com

Jul 29, 2011

Own a Domain? Watch out for Domain Registry of America!

new blog post coming soon. 

I'll be specifically warning people to watch out for anything coming in the mail (snail or email) from Domain Registry of America (aka Domain Renewal Group). Their mailings can easily trick unsuspecting domain owners into transferring their domain over to the control of DRA. Once transferred, it's not easy for the owners to regain control and hefty penalties can add up quickly and can cost the owner hundreds of dollars to rescue their domain, held "hostage" by DRA.

Domain slamming (also known as unauthorized transfers or domain name registration scams) is a scam in which the offending domain name registrar attempts to trick domain owners into switching from their existing registrar to theirs, under the pretense that the customer is simply renewing their subscription to their current registrar. The term derives from telephone slamming.

Domain Slamming has been going on for years, but one particular company (DRA) continues to stand out.  DRA was sued by a major (legitimate) domain name registrar, claiming the company illegally lured away thousands of customers by tricking them into transferring their domains.

I just Googled - domain registry of america - and Google's drop down "popular/related search suggestions" included the words scam, refund and complaints added onto their name.  THAT alone should make you suspicious!

In 2009, the Advertising Standards Authority issued an Adjudication on Domain Registry of America.  The ASA noted the mailing was headed "Domain Name Expiration Notice" and closely resembled a bill, including a credit card payment slip, and considered recipients were likely to infer that their domain name had been transferred to DRG and a renewal payment was now required.  

to be continued...