Avoiding Online Spammers: Web Listings, Inc. Letters Circulating

Spam. It’s an internet marketers worst nightmare.

By definition, spam is when a person, business or organization sends the same message indiscriminately to large numbers of recipients on the Internet. Usually these letters are to either trick you into paying for something you don’t need or to sell you something you don’t understand.

This morning in the mail, Old Town Media received the following fake invoice (which I am sure many, many other people also received):

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We usually know when these letters, made to look like invoices, start circulating because our clients will pick up the phone and call us to confirm their legitimacy.

While it looks like it might be a legitimate invoice, if you read closely it reads, “This Website Listing offer is provided to millions of websites throughout the United States to enhance their website exposure. THIS IS NOT A BILL. THIS IS A SOLICITATION.”

Companies and solicitations such as this one from Web Listings Inc. hurt the reputation of online marketers because what they offer is not a valid SEO solution. They claim that they will list your site on 20 listings online, however they do not list where. The most powerful listings for your business online are going to be sites like Yelp and Google+… both of which you cannot claim without having proof of representation for that business (like getting a PIN off of a postcard in the mail or providing a utility bill).

The next time you receive an email, letter or Facebook/LinkedIn message from some marketer from who-knows-where trying to sell you first page rankings, do your research and read the fine print.

Don’t be scared into paying a fake invoice from a company that makes money off of misinformed business owners.