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Sunday, March 23, 2014

Scram from the Scammers!

The Internet is an amazing tool. But we are sure that you are aware that are are those out there trying to steal your wealth through a variety of scams. We have some simple rules to avoid being scammed.

1. Do not pay any company except MattsonExpress (Pete Mattson) for any web services unless we have reviewed such a service and given you our blessing.  For the majority of our clients we provide 100% of all web services they need.

 We bill our web site services using an invoice that looks like this.  Invoices from any other company will not look like this.

And our statement uses the same email address, logo and bank address. By the way please pay by statement. We will send new invoices every week. The statement will be an accumulation of all invoices due.

2. If you are approached for any web service either by phone, email or in person, contract us immediately.  We will review the service at no charge. Either we provide this service already or we can analyse what is being offered and let you know if it is a worthwhile service.  If we offer a new service by email, we would never billed for it without a verbal confirmation followed up by a confirmation email.

3. For all our clients we provide:
a) Hosting service including email accounts
b) Free domain name renewals
c) Basic SEO services
d) Optional Google Plus (Google Places) Listings
e) Submission to Google, Yahoo and Bing search engines 

Here are some scams that we are aware of

A) Offers for hosting or email service. You already receive this from us.

B) Offers to renew your domain name, usually for about $35 / year.  This only costs about $12 and we provide this free.  The main reason we do it for free is so you never receive a legitimate invoice from any web service company other than MattsonExpress.

C) SEO services.
 i) Basic SEO. Only MattsonExpress can modify your web site pages and database. Therefore no other company can provide the "On page SEO". Note that you own your pages, images, content and data. At any time you can use your username and password to access these files as we do. 
ii) There are hundreds of "SEO experts" that claim to get your site on top of page one.  If you feel anyone is offering a legitimate service, then we want to talk with them.  There are legit SEOs. But for every one that is legit, there are probably a few dozen who will take your money and provided little or nothing in return.
iii) A classic SEO scam is to try to sell you "inbound links" to your site.  The more links to your site from related sites, the better you will rank with search engines. But scammers will  sell you hundreds or thousands of links from unrelated sites, e.g. A Vaccum Cleaner store linking to your RV Park.  In the short run, this can at times improve your rank. But then when Google crawlers determine you are linked to from "link farms", they will trash your ranking and it might be months before you return to your previous page ranking.

D) A Google Plus listing (formerly Google Places) are those free Google listings that show your business on a map.  A view may search for "Bend Orgeon RV Park" would yield this display.
Google may have already listed your company.  If you prove you own the company then you are allowed to enhance the listing with accurate information (Google's data may be wrong) and photos. We provide this service and since we already have your copy and photos, we can do this faster than anyone. And Google does not charge anything to host your listing.

E) Submission to directories. This is old school.  It used to notify Google and other search engines that your site is up and running and should be indexed. But today the web crawlers are so fast and up to date that you don't need to submit your sites. We still do as it only takes a few minutes. Do not pay for this!

Recap: To avoid getting scammed:
1) Pay only MattsonExpress for current web services.
2) Have us review any new service you are offered.
3) Know that we already provide most services and add more every year.

Thank you for your patronage.

Pete & Ellen Mattson