So I received a letter from a company called “Website Listing Services” in the mail a couple of weeks ago, requesting that I make a payment of $65 for “special search engine listings”. So I ignored it and threw it in the trash.

It wasn’t the first time they sent me something either, it happened once before.

Now, just yesterday, I received even another piece of mail requesting the same amount of money for another listing. Persistent little bastards they are. Here’s just a snippet of the supposed “Listing” includes (taken straight from the letter, word-for-word):

Domain name submission with up to 8 keywords / phrases to 20 established search engines

Initial search engine position and ranking report sent to you via e-mail

Quarterly search engine position and ranking reports sent to you via e-mail

“Up to 8 Keywords / phrases” for only $65, boy, what a BARGAIN (not). I don’t know what they mean by “20 established Search Engines” either, but it sure doesn’t develop a trustworthy stance in my eyes. Search Engines don’t work that way.

Apparently they keep all their “records” at web-listings.net (the company’s website). Be sure to take a look at what I found on their FAQ page:

What are ‘meta tags’?

The meta tag in HTML is not a required tag when you’re creating your web pages. The meta tag is used by search engines to allow them to more accurately list your site in their indexes. While modern search engines mostly look at the content of your pages, meta tags are still sometimes important for ensuring that the search engine properly classifies your site. For assistance in generating your meta tags, see one of the many free online meta tag generators like this one or this one.

What is this, 1998?!? What major SE has used them recently?

Don’t they know how Search Engines operate? Major, “established” ones such as Google have thousands of datacenters they use to display their results to users. What one person sees in their results is NOT what someone else sees, and on top of that, rankings fluctuate, meaning they don’t stay the same forever. New sites come up with better page content for targeted queries all the time.

Something else also smells fishy here, as I don’t know how they received my actual U.S. Address. And I don’t remember giving it out to anyone. The only possible way they could have obtained is through accessing my whois information.

This is the third letter I’ve received from “Web Listings Inc.” And I have more than a suspicion that they’re attempting to scam me, given the ridiculous “Services” they offer, along with the unprofessional approach they’ve taken towards me and my website. They even make special note in the letter to only send checks, and they highlight the point “DO NOT SEND CASH”, hmmmm, wonder why?

SEO / SEM Companies should be contacted by their Potential Clients, not the other way around!

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