[This article is originally published in searchengineland.com written by Amy Gesenhues - Uploaded by AIRS Member: Rene Meyer]

Google announced today that it is changing the way it labels country services on the mobile web, Google app for iOS and desktop Search and Maps.

According to Google, one in five searches is now location-related. To make search results more relevant, Google says the country of service will no longer be indicated by the country code top-level domain name (ccTLD) such as “google.co.uk” for the UK or “google.com.br” for Brazil, but instead will default to the country where the user is performing the search.

From the Google Search Blog:

  • So if you live in Australia, you’ll automatically receive the country service for Australia, but when you travel to New Zealand, your results will switch automatically to the country service for New Zealand. Upon return to Australia, you will seamlessly revert back to the Australian country service.

google search countryGoogle says that typing the relevant ccTLD into a browser will no longer return various country services. Instead, users must go into their settings and select the correct country service if they don’t see the country they want while browsing.

“This preference should be managed directly in settings. In addition, at the bottom of the search results page, you can clearly see which country service you are currently using,” writes Google.

Google says this latest update will improve the search experience by automatically providing users “… the most useful information based on your search query and other context, including location.”

Categorized in Search Engine

If, like me and my clients, you ever receive an email about a domain name expiration, proceed with great suspicion — because many of these "notices" are a sham. They're designed to sell you services you don't need or to trick you into transferring your domain name to another registrar.

Usually, the emails can safely be ignored.

Here's an example:

As shown in the image above, an important-looking email from "Domain Service" refers to a specific domain name in the subject line. The body of the email states that it is an "EXPIRATION NOTICE." However, the finer print states that the expiration is not for the domain name registration itself but instead for "search engine optimization submission" — services that the recipient of the email has never purchased (and probably doesn't want).

Many recipients of these emails likely click the payment link thinking they should do so to ensure that their domain names don't expire.

While this is obviously misleading, it isn't new.

In 2010, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission warned about these frauds in a press release titled "FTC Halts Cross Border Domain Name Registration Scam." The FTC said:

The Federal Trade Commission has permanently halted the operations of Canadian con artists who allegedly posed as domain name registrars and convinced thousands of U.S. consumers, small businesses and non-profit organizations to pay bogus bills by leading them to believe they would lose their Web site addresses unless they paid. Settlement and default judgment orders signed by the court will bar the deceptive practices in the future.
In June 2008, the FTC charged Toronto-based Internet Listing Service with sending fake invoices to small businesses and others, listing the existing domain name of the consumer's Web site or a slight variation on the domain name, such as substituting ".org" for ".com." The invoices appeared to come from the businesses' existing domain name registrar and instructed them to pay for an annual "WEBSITE ADDRESS LISTING." The invoices also claimed to include a search engine optimization service. Most consumers who received the "invoices" were led to believe that they had to pay them to maintain their registrations of domain names. Other consumers were induced to pay based on Internet Listing Service's claims that its "Search Optimization" service would "direct mass traffic" to their sites and that their "proven search engine listing service" would result in "a substantial increase in traffic."The FTC's complaint charged that most consumers who paid the defendants' invoices did not receive any domain name registration services and that the "search optimization" service did not result in increased traffic to the consumers' Web sites.

And, in 2014, ICANN issued a similar warning, "Be Careful What You Click: Alert of New Fraudulent Domain Renewal Emails." In its alert, ICANN said:

Recently, online scammers have targeted domain name registrants with a registration renewal scam in order to fraudulently obtain financial information. The scam unfolds as follows. The scammer sends an email to a domain registrant that offers an opportunity to renew a registration, and encourages the email recipient to "click here" to renew online at attractively low rates. These emails appear to be sent by ICANN. The scammers even lift ICANN's branding and logo and include these in both the body of the email message and at the fake renewal web page, where the scammers will collect any credit card or personal information that victims of the scam submit.

Here are some simple steps to avoid falling for these types of scams:

  • Check your domain name registrations to ensure that the email contacts in the "whois” records are accurate and that, in the case of domain names owned and used by companies, only current personnel educated about the domain name system are listed as contacts (because the fraudsters send their notices to contacts in the whois records).
  • Don't click on any links in a suspicious email about a domain name "expiration." These links typically contain tracking technology that enable the sender to identify the simple fact that you have clicked — which could increase the likelihood you will receive further notices or spam.
  • If you are truly concerned that a notice may be legitimate or that your domain name may be at risk of expiring, simply check its expiration date in the whois record. Then, confirm with your current registrar that the domain name is set to auto-renew (if desired) and that your payment information is accurate. If you plan to keep the domain name for a long time, consider renewing it for the longest possible term (often 10 years).
  • Set your domain name's lock status (at your registrar) to help prevent unauthorized transfers. To see whether your domain name is locked, look for a status such as "clientTransferProhibited" in the whois record.
  • And, of course, simply delete any suspicious "expiration" emails.

Author:  Doug Isenberg

Source:  http://www.circleid.com/

Categorized in Internet Privacy

 

The domain name of your website needs to be catchy and descriptive of the content that one would find by visiting. It needs to be memorable and easy to type by even the most novice of Internet users. Although you might have the perfect name for your site in mind, there are several ways that it could be detrimental to your purposes. Once you pay to register a domain, there may be no going back. What can you do to avoid making mistakes when registering a domain?

Things to avoid when registering domain names

Depending on how long you pay for the registration of your domain, it may be the name of your website for several years. In most cases, you may not be able to change this once it has been registered. Pay attention to how you’re setting up your website in order to avoid embarrassments or errors.

Too long to type

You don’t want a domain name that takes too long to type. Even if your company has an excessively long name, it would be better to condense it for Internet use. For example, a company named “Bob’s Coffee House and Internet Cafe” would be considered too long. This could be condensed in ways such as, “BobsCoffee.com” or abbreviations such as, “BCIC.com.” Once visitors are on the website, you can then have the full name of the company displayed.

Play on words

Some domain names have innocent enough intentions. However, domains don’t normally separate specific words in order to promote the site. Some names can be assumed to mean one thing and not something else. For example, a website for pens, named “penisland.com” could be viewed as something less innocent. The popular tech-help website of “ExpertsExchange.com” can also be misread as something else entirely. In some cases, a play on words such as this may not be realized until much later. If you can avoid such word play, it may be better for your site.

Improper TLD extension

The Top Level Domain extensions are also important when considering the name. Although the most common TLDs end with .com, .net or .org, there is currently a wide list to choose from. Some extensions have specific requirements such as living in Asian countries when registering .asia names. Many people associate the extension with what the website delivers. For example, .org is usually associated with organizations and non-profit establishments while .gov is associated with government websites.

Names which are too focused

Generalizing what your business does may be more pertinent for those looking for your content. For example: If you serve award winning chicken at your restaurant, you may be tempted to use “BestChicken.com.” However, you then alienate those individuals looking for the steak and other foods you may serve. Not everyone likes the taste of chicken and someone may be looking for information regarding steak. If you serve many different foods, a better domain name would be, “CookedDelicacies.com.” Although, it may be better if you could use the restaurant’s name as it will help in online branding and marketing.

Brainstorm other ideas

Before you’re ready to register a domain, brainstorm and come up with different variants. This will help in case the name you’re looking for is unavailable. Many people have spent quite a bit of time looking at the computer screen as they try to come up with a name that hasn’t been taken yet. This is where a thesaurus can come into use as you find similar words in order to create a unique site. Having a short list such as this could save you a lot of time while helping you find the names you want to use instead of automated suggestions.

Spellcheck

Before you submit your order to register a name you want to use, always spellcheck. All too often, website owners will submit an order and register a name that has been misspelled. While some people will simply use the domain name anyway, others may be more inclined to make another purchase to get the name they want. Instead of owning a single domain, these individuals now have two. Take a moment and make sure the name is exactly how you want it spelled.

Hyphens

Although domain names can use hyphens, it’s best if you could avoid these at all costs. Many professionals believe that a hyphen makes the site look cheap and unorganized. There have also been studies performed where hyphenating the domain name to accentuate keywords had no real effect in search engines. In fact, these sites performed poorly against sites with the same name without a hyphen.

What to look for when setting up a domain name

By taking some time and planning out the strategy of your website before registering a domain name, you can optimize the chances for future success. From the marketing aspect of your site to using specific keywords, it can all play into how well the site will perform.

Social marketing

If you could match your website to a social media handle, you can begin to create an even flow of cross marketing. For example, the Twitter handle “@google” is related to the popular search engine “google.com.” Matching the social media aspect to your website may help strengthen the online reputation of your site.

Keywords

Try to use at least one keyword in your domain that refers to what you’re trying to accomplish. Although it may not play a part in optimization techniques, it can still help people identify your content. It helps visitors relate what to expect within your site. A domain named, “ChadsFishEmporium.com” would prompt potential visitors to believe that it’s a website related to fish. Would you trust a site named “Fax.com” or “CarFax.com” when looking for automobile information?

Site preservation

People will often use the TLD extension of a site in order to ride on the coattails of the success of someone else. Instead of .com, someone could use your site’s name using a .net. If an unsuspecting visitor uses the .net extension instead of your .com, the other website owner could steal your traffic. This is why many people will purchase various extensions and have them redirected to the primary website.

For example, “google.net” is automatically redirected to “google.com” when someone types it into their browser. Many website owners don’t put much thought into protecting their sites from such extension hijacking. If you can afford to do so, buying your domains with those various TLDs can help protect your site from those looking to cash in on your success.

The integrity of your domain name will play a prominent role in how well the site will perform on the Internet. Take the time to develop a domain name that is effective and logical for what you wish to accomplish. It will directly affect your online reputation.

Source:  http://internet.com/domains/registering-a-domain-name-mistakes-not-to-make/

 

Categorized in Internet Ethics

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