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Month: October 2011

Beware internet millionaires in sheep’s clothing

House of cards - get rich quick internet scamsI remember during the heady days of the dotcom bubble, in 2000, being in a meeting where we were discussing the rapid decline in valuations of dotcom companies. The over-valuation of made investors doubt how companies could be valued so high without revenues or guaranteed future income, and suddenly they were looking at internet companies like real businesses.

The bubble burst quickly, just like the current global recession was caused by people realising the financial system was a house of cards based on credit and imaginary money that could not possibly all be paid back.

Do you give a XXX about your brand?

Is it porn or innocent?
Is it porn or innocent? See link at the bottom.

The domain name industry is about to see another gold rush, with domain registrars making a fortune out of brand owners’ fear of being associated with porn. I am pulling no punches in my criticism of this legal tomfoolery.

I am talking about the .XXX top level domain (TLD) launch, which is designed to make adult websites more easy to spot. The idea is simple, if you run a porn site, instead of being, you need to become You pay somewhere between £129 and £199 to register your .XXX domain, then in future the lowly internet user will be able to tell the difference between a porn site and a non porn site.

Had a bad review? Why not sue?

Portugal beachI’ve written before about the dangers of calling in the lawyers when someone writes something negative about your company. Another example of this is about to play itself out in the form of KBS Property Investments vs Expats Portugal.

The latter is a forum for English speakers who live in or love Portugal, KBS Property Investments is a company run by Khes Smedley in Rochdale that specialises in selling property in the Algarve. More than 12 months ago a person posted on Expats Portugal about their experience of KBS, whose business model includes free flights to the Algarve for prospective buyers with a “no obligation” promise. The disgruntled poster complained that KBS did fly him to Portugal but then the hotel asked him to pay his bill. He said he argued that this was supposed to be paid for by KBS but paid the bill anyway so as not to create a fuss.

Two secs sells – do you have the immediacy factor?

Give your designs the two second testImmediacy is an important concept for any piece of marketing – whether it’s a magazine advertisement, a website or a shop window. Visitors must be able to understand immediately (within two seconds) what they are looking at. Think about it – as you go through your daily life you go past shop windows, you see newspaper and magazine covers, you look at product packaging and more. All the time, your brain is able to recognise what things are based on recognisable shapes, logos or hierarchical layouts.

How to see who +1s your site

Google Webmasters menuIf you are a website manager you probably already know about the Google Webmasters service. Similar to Google Analytics, the Webmasters service displays useful information about the keywords on your site and the keywords that cause people to land on your site. It also shows other pages in the Google index that link to you, as well as some very useful information about search volumes, positions and clicks.