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Saturday, March 29, 2014

Domain Names Explained

Domain Names: All web sites have a domain name and it is unique throughout the world. UsaMotorHost.com is a example of a domain name. Today it cost about $12.00 to obtain the name and must be renewed every year.

We pay for the domain name for our hosting clients. Why? To avoid your company being scammed. Our clients receive ALL web services from us.  Therefore, you should never pay any other company for any web service without first contacting us for approval.  Every year we receive an email telling us that your domain name will expire. It comes from our host company. We know them and they know us.  We expect the email and pay the renewal fee.

All domain names are public knowledge. Thus many unscrupulous companies will broadcast emails to millions of companies, telling them that their domain name renewal is due.  Most of these will ask for $35 for the renewal.  Your company staff will see these emails and might just automatically pay it knowing that keeping the name is important.  Sadly, you would have just paid the wrong company and overpaid at that!

We repeat that you should only pay MattsonExpress.com (parent company of UsaMotorHost.com) for web services.

IP Addresses: In reality your web site is found by its IP address, e.g. 208.180.26.21.  This IP points to the physical location of the host company.  To find an IP address there are millions of Domain Name Servers. These computer servers have all of the world's domain names and the associated IP address.  When a user requests a specific domain name these DNS servers look up the name and hand back the IP address. The user's browser then uses the IP address to find the host computer.  If your host company changes, it can take 24 to 72 hours for the DNS servers to have the new IP address.  This is why your new site may take a few days to be seen.

Multiple Domain Names: Suppose your domain name is Number1PropertyRentals.com.  But you also do property sales.  Will you get more traffic by having the second domain name Number1PropertySales.com pointing to your web site. No, most likely not.  Using keywords in your domain can affect web site ranking. But the current wisdom is that the keyword must be first.  So "sales" being on the end of the domain name will probably not be of value.

Which is better, Number1PropertyRentals.com or N1PR.com? The first as it has the keyword "property". However, you might want to purchase N1PR.com as well.  Being shorter it will be quicker to communicate verbally or on a business card.  Or you might also want NumberOnePropertyRentals.com as then you don't need to spell the domain as "Number, then the digit 1, Property Rentals.com".  An entirely better name would have started with the keywords "PropertyRentals".  It is getting very tough to pick a good and short name, good luck.




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