Beware! – Scam from ‘Domain Name Registry of America’

I returned home from work yesterday to find a letter from the 'Domain Name Registry of America' advising me that my domain name,, was about to expire and that I should renew it for the price of £18 with the Domain them. With a name like the Domain Name Registry of America I thought that they must be some official body for the registration of domain names but no, they are some scam merchant looking for people to TRANSFER domain names away from their existing supplier to them for an inflated price. I pay GoDaddy something like $7 per year (£4) and my domain doesn't even expire until September of 2005. I did a quick search on the Internet last night and found the following articles relating to this company: Wins Stay Against Domain Registry of America
Court bars Canadian domain slammer
Boycot Domain Registry of America
Domain Registry of America, again.
Domain Registry of America (at it again??)

Please inform your business colleagues and friends of this scam and feel free to link back in to this article.

Further use of the Google Toolbar

The Google Toolbar offers Internet Marketers a number of very useful tools. One of these is the ‘cached snapshot of page’ which can be found under the ‘page info’ button. This displays the page that Google has cached of your site on their database – not necessarily your current page - and it could help to inform you of why you’re not being picked up for certain words. By clicking on ‘backward links’ on the same menu, Google will tell you the number of links in to your Web site – don’t forget it is likely that many of these will be multiple links from the same Web site.

A9 – Amazon’s new Search Engine – Awesome!

Amazon has just launched the latest search engine, called A9, which provides users with search engine results and results from Amazon's 'Search Inside the Book™' technology. This technology provides users with results from Amazon itself and in some cases displays results from a given page in a book. The search engine results come from Google, which also provides sponsorhip links and Google Adwords. Much like Google and Yahoo! users can download the A9 toolbar:

The search toolbar features some nifty tools:
1. Search facility (Google and Amazon products)
2. The standard pop-up box blocker
3. Diary - so that you can leave notes on sites you have visited
4. Site history

One of the best tools is the site info button (a possible must-have toy) for Internet Marketers, which gives you information on where people who have visited the site you are viewing have also gone to (it uses Alexa technology) and some basic site stats. On viewing the Seth Godin blog, I was able to pick up the following site information:

At first glance this looks like a wonderful tool - anything that can utilise Google's search technology with enhanced features such as books and 'site info' can't be bad at all.

Message Boards and adverts

In a previous posting I spoke about the importance of using bulletin boards as a means of driving traffic to a Web site - Bulletin boards, newsgroups - a good source for targeted leads.

Tessa Wegert in an article on Clickz, titled On the Cheap: Message Board Ads, writes about how to use bulletin boards effectively for advertising, using the case of a business her brother developed a few years back as an example:

To assess their target market and determine how best to reach it through online advertising (without investing a bundle), the three partners spent hours surfing the Web daily. They spent much of their time on message boards and in online forums. There, automotive enthusiasts discuss their passion and compare notes on parts they'd appraised. The sites helped the group identify the demand for their products.

The great thing about message boards is that they can help you identify the right language to reach your target market, due to the fact that people on a particular forum will be talking about like-minded things. This article also describes how companies with lower budgets or those looking for channels to drive the main advertising push can use forums extremely effectively. She says that of the 20-odd message boards that they advertised on, only 1 failed to generate any sales for them.

Googlemania! – getting the lowdown on Google

Wired magazine this month offers visitors the chance to read articles from the March edition, which ran a special feature on Google, called Googlemania! The feature contains the following:

• Surviving IPO Fever
• It's an Ad, Ad, Ad, Ad World
• How to Speak Google
• Google's Open Source Idea Lab
• I'm Feeling Lucky
• How to Kill Google
• 4 Scenarios for the Future
• Redesigning the Interface
• The (Evil) Genius of Comment Spammers
• Google vs. Gates

Google’s Gmail in beta testing

Google's new Gmail e-mail system looks like it has started to raise a few eyebrows and speculation about what the future may hold. The new system is currently being beta tested, though this is what the service is likely to offer:

Gmail is a free, search-based webmail service that includes 1,000 megabytes (1 gigabyte) of storage. The backbone of Gmail is a powerful Google search engine that quickly recalls any message an account owner has ever sent or received. That means there's no need to file messages in order to find them again.

Pamela Parker in her article Google Gets E-Mail in Clickz believes that Microsoft could soon have something else to worry about, apart from search engine rankings. She says:

The move pits Google even more strongly against Yahoo! and Microsoft, both of which offer extremely popular free e-mail services. It also more firmly establishes Google as a portal, rather than simply a search destination.

One issue that Pamela says creates privacy problems for the new service, is the ability to generate AdWords, like the main search engine, which are relevant to each message. In short, Google's technology will be able to read the content of a message and provide an ad based on this.

For another take on Gmail, have a look at Google's big opportunity on Seth Godin's blog. It raises some interesting thoughts, too.

Search Engine Optimisation – Don’t Forget Design!

It's a given that the main goal of Internet Marketing is to drive traffic to your website. However, so many people neglect a critical element in the whole process, namely making sure that those who arrive at your website make the right call to action: be it buy, learn or contact. In order for them to do this the site must be stuctured in the right way, with ease of use and content being essential pre-requisites. Shari Thurow has written an interesting article on this subject, entitled Design Matters, which discusses the importance of making sure that you optimise your site not just for search engines but also for visitors. As Shari says:

Optimization is not only a marketing process. It's also a design and usability process.

Related Article
The Ten Most Violated Homepage Design Guidelines

25 Entrepreneurs we love (as seen by

As a way of celebrating 25 years of publishing, will publish a brief profile of 25 of their favourite entrepreneurs every day during the month of April. The first article looks at Sergey Brin & Larry Page of Google.

Looking at site statistics

Yesterday was the busiest day on my other Web site, Mad About Madrid, for many weeks. Ever since the dreadful bombings in Madrid a few weeks ago traffic has been down around 40% but is now starting to reach pre-attack levels. However, the reason for yesterday’s big spike in traffic was due to the memorial service held in Madrid’s Cathedral, the Almudena. Many people from all over the world heard or saw the news about this event on TV, radio and the press and so made a beeline to their search engine to find out more about this cathedral. As Mad About Madrid is number 1 on Google for these search words, many people clicked on the Almudena Cathedral link.

Using the statistics package that I have from Stat Counter, I have been checking the activity of the people coming in to the site, most who have come in have read the information and left. However, a small percentage have moved around the site and will hopefully be added to my 'returning visitor' list. This is a snapshot of how one referrer, from Italy navigated around the site. The final 3 results indicate that the person is carrying out a search using Google on the Mad About Madrid site.