Watch out for the Internet Carpetbaggers

by Tom Snyder on Aug 17, 1998

(originally published when Trivera was named “Websight Solutions.”

Hardly a day goes by that we’re not receiving a letter, brochure or email from someone who has an “opportunity” for us to enhance our presence on the Web. From out-of-town companies that have rented a meeting room at a local hotel to explain to us their “vast” understanding of internet marketing, to “virtual” companies with nothing more than email addresses and post office boxes that supposedly can improve our standing in the search engines.

Not only are they coming directly to us, but now we’re also getting them from our own clients, who forward them and ask if it’s anything they should respond to.

While we are always happy to evaluate and make recommendations, here are a couple of rules of thumb that will save us both the time and hassle of dealing with stuff that will end up in your trash.

1.) While national conventions, and touring trade shows (like the recent ITEC convention here in Milwaukee) always present an excellent opportunity to gather information on our industry, avoid the “coming to your city for one day only” variety of scams.

These guys send out invitations in advance, inviting you to some sort of Internet Seminar.

These are almost always “hit and run” artists, and we’ve seen them all. An out of state company who panics an audience of people into putting $895 on a charge card to immediately register a domain name before someone else grabs it (something we do for $50). An internet shopping mall company that “rents” you space in their Web site for more than it would cost you to have us build and promote your own.

Our newsletter, and the advice of your Websight Solutions representative will provide you with all the information you need to take fullest advantage of the Web.

2.) Search engine submission companies are a different matter. The ones who promise you placement at the top of the search engines. As we’ve previously discussed, this is not a one-time thing. To take fullest advantage of search engine methodologies, your best is to continue to work with a company like Websight Solutions who will combine the best knowledge of current search engine methodologies along with our knowledge of your business to provide you with an ongoing strategy.

There are however another group of search engine submission companies. These are the “we’ll submit your site to 300 search engines for only $39.00” variety. While the vast majority of your search engine/index site-generated hits will always come from one of the big 7 (Yahoo, Infoseek, Excite, Hotbot, Alta Vista, Webcrawler and Lycos), you may be able to get a small number of hits from other smaller, industry-specific search engines. If $39 is a tiny amount of your total Web site promotional budget, and the company is willing to provide you with a list, guarantee submission and prove inclusion, then it may be worth it.

The bottom line on all of this is this: regardless of the claims and promises, work with someone you trust. An integral part of our the Websight Solutions Mission Statement is our constant effort to be people you can trust. If you ever have any questions on any opportunities, email or call us to help you sort it all out! If your Internet “guru” has blown through town on an International tour, who will you be able to call when you have a question?

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