There are many scams that go around on the internet and via email but one of the most prevalent is the Search Engine Submission Scam.
To save you time reading this whole article the basic rule of thumb is: You do not need to pay anyone to submit your domain name to the search engines.
Here is how the scam works
Many owners of newly registered domain names will, usually within a day or two of registering their domain name, receive a strongly worded email / emails warning them that they must submit their new domain name to the search engines such as Google, Yahoo and Bing. These emails are usually worded in such a way that they make you think this is something you MUST do right now or you may lose out.
When you click on the link in the email you are then taken to a page that tells you with even more urgency how important it is to submit your domain name to the search engines and at this point you are usually invited to fill in a form and then pay a fee, anything from $90 to several hundred dollars for something that can be done for free!
Where do the scammers and spammers get your details?
When you register a domain name, unless you select various privacy options during the registration process, your details become part of the publicly accessible whois database, examples here and here. The whois database shows info on every domain name registered. There are also publicly available lists of newly registered domain names which are constantly updated. This is where the scammers and spammers get your initial contact details. They know you probably need a website, they know you have a new domain name and they know they can probably take advantage of you.
It’s a scam, it is not something you need to pay for!
An important point to be aware of is that there is absolutely no point in submitting a newly registered domain name to the search engines as usually a newly registered domain name will just point to your registrars holding page and there is absolutely no value to you in the search engines listing your domain name with your registrars holding page, all that will do is promote your registrars holding page rather than promoting your potential new website for which you have registered the domain name.
But even more important than that is that you do not need to pay to
have your domain name picked up by the major search engines.
If you are having your website built by a professional website designer, any web designer worth their money will submit your site to the major search engines during the process of building / promoting your website. In all honesty if your website designer does not do this as part of the process they are doing you a huge injustice, after all what is the point of having a website developed that is not optimised and that is not listed in the search engines, it is like having a shop with blacked out windows that constantly says closed on the door.
If you choose to build your own website you can submit your site to the major search engines yourself, there is lots of info on the internet on how to do this for FREE without having to pay a scammer to do it for you. For example you can submit your website to the Bing search engine here .
As a website designer I would obviously recommend getting your website designer to do this for you as often they will promote your site in many other ways such as on the social networks, free ads sites, google webmaster tools etc etc plus they will build in important elements such as sitemap’s etc.
If you get an email within a few hours or a few days of registering a new domain name and it’s from an organisation offering to submit your domain name to the search engines for a fee it is best just to delete it and talk to your website designer about the SEO options available to you. To save you from being contacted in the first place it is best to select the relevent privacy options during the registration process which will prevent your details being available to the scammers and spammers in the first place.