If I sent you a letter saying you needed to pay $65 per year to get your house listed with the Post Office, would you pay it? No! You’d toss it in the trash and possibly file a complaint with the FTC.
If you have a website, chances are you’ve received a solicitation from Web Listings Inc. that is designed to trick you into thinking it’s an invoice.
So why do people pay them to submit their websites to search engines that already know they exist?
Look closely. If you read the fine print, it says, “This is not a bill. This is a solicitation.” A simple Google search for “Web Listings Inc.” turns up dozens of scam and fraud alerts. It’s common knowledge that search engines have no problem discovering new websites and crawling most types of content. Finally, the top-three search engines account for 95% of the search volume in the United States. There’s no need to submit to 20!
Lessons in Persuasion
So why do people still pay Web Listings Inc. to submit their websites to “20 established search engines”? I think it boils down to three reasons:
- People don’t read the fine print. It’s common practice to hide the true terms of a deal in small print.
- People don’t research a company properly before doing business with them. It looks official, so it must be legitimate, right?
- People are motivated by fear of losing their visibility in search engines. Fear of loss is a more powerful motivator than potential gain.
Why I Hate This
It deepens the distrust people have for SEO and our industry in general. It wastes small businesses’ hard-earned money. It adds absolutely no value to a website or business. It preys on people’s fears.
I also hate this because it’s apparent that enough people are still falling for it to remain profitable, and probably wildly so.
Please, research a company before you send them money. Read the fine print. Ask around.
If you still need help, Google it. I’m sure you’ll find a helpful answer from somebody that didn’t pay $65 a year to have their site listed there.