In This Issue:
We'd like to congratulate Peach Country RV Park for being the winner of this month's free site hosting. At the beginning of each month we will call up our own site's homepage. Whomever's site is the featured site when the page loads will get FREE hosting of one domain for one month. It's just our way of saying thank you.
1. Black Friday/Cyber Monday Specials
This time of year, online scams use a variety of lures to get unsuspecting buyers to click on links or open attachments. Bad guys build complete copies of well-known sites, send e-mails promoting great deals, sell products and take credit card information – but never deliver the goods. Sites that seem to have incredible discounts should be a red flag. Remember that when a "special offer" is too good to be true, it usually is. For instance, never click on links in e-mails with very deep discount offers for watches, phones or tablets. Go to the Web site yourself through your browser and check if that offer is legit.
2. Complimentary Vouchers or Gift Cards
A popular holiday scam is big discounts on gift cards. Don't fall for offers from retailers or social media posts that offer phony vouchers or (Starbucks) gift cards paired with special promotions or contests. Some posts or e-mails even appear to be shared by a friend (who may have been hacked). Develop a healthy dose of skepticism and "Think Before You Click" on offers or attachments with any gift cards or vouchers!
3. Bogus Shipping Notices From UPS and FedEx
You are going to see e-mails supposedly from UPS and FedEx in your inbox that claim your package has a problem and/or could not be delivered. Many of these are phishing attacks that try to make you click on a link or open an attachment. However, what happens when you do that is that your computer gets infected with a virus or even ransomware, which holds all your files hostage until you pay 500 dollars in ransom.
4. Holiday Refund Scams
These e-mails seem to come from retail chains or e-commerce companies such as Amazon or eBay claiming there's a "wrong transaction" and prompt you to click the refund link. However, when you do that and are asked to fill out a form, the personal information you give out will be sold to cyber criminals who use it against you. Oh, and never, never, never pay online with a debit card, only use credit cards. Why? if the debit card gets compromised, the bad guys can empty your bank account quickly.
5. Phishing on the Dark Side
A new phishing e-mail has begun circulating that tricks people into thinking they could win movie tickets for the highly-anticipated film, "Star Wars: The Force Awakens," due out on Dec. 18. However, the e-mail is a phishing attack. Leading up to the film’s release, and shortly after, you need to watch out for this social engineering attack and not fall for the scam. Stay safe online!
As the year closes it may be a good time to review your site and make sure it presents as a high quality site. If not, send us the updates to your site and we'll make the changes for you quickly.
According to Google's quality guidelines, the following
makes a high quality Web site:
Good content - High quality pages are pages that contain "a satisfying amount of high quality main content". Creating high quality content takes a significant amount of at least one of the following: time, effort, expertise, or talent/skill. The amount of content necessary for the page to be satisfying depends on the topic and purpose of the page. A high quality page on a broad topic with a lot of available information will have more content than a high quality page on a more narrow topic.
No technical errors - How frequently a Web site should be updated depends on its purpose. However, all high quality Web sites are well cared for, maintained, and updated appropriately. Google checks that: links should work, images should load, content should be added and updated over time, etc.
The site should have a high level of expertise/authoritativeness/trustworthiness - High quality pages and Web sites need enough expertise to be authoritative and trustworthy on their topic. The term "expert" can be used for Web sites of all types, including gossip Web sites, fashion Web sites, humor Web sites, etc. Google explicitly states that they also value "everyday expertise" that is based on life experience. A Web site should not be penalized for not having formal education or training.
The Web site should offer a satisfying amount of Web site information - Do not hide your contact information. Google wants to see 'About Us' information, contact or customer service information and, if necessary, information about who is responsible for the content and maintenance of the Web site.
How To Handle a Negative Online Review
Your response to the unhappy customer should be sincere and not defensive. Oftentimes, simply apologizing and thanking the customer for taking the time to share their issues can go a long way. Many business owners have found that a simple “I’m sorry” can make a big difference in person, and the same holds true online.
You should reply to the review and identify yourself. Using a pseudonym or having friends post in the businesses defense is not recommended. It is also suggested that a reply such as “My name is X and I am the owner of [insert name.] I was sorry to hear about your mixed experience the other night, and want to invite you back on us to show you we're serious about good customer service.” Include any specifics about their complaint and any ways you are going to fix the issues. Include your name and phone number in the response and invite the reviewer to give you a call to discuss further.
If the reviewer’s comments are inaccurate, you should carefully and factually respond with your side of the story. If the review is incorrect, or states erroneous information, it is your responsibility to make sure that you inform the guest (and others who may see the review).
Remember to be patient, and let your feelings settle before making any response publicly or privately. Keep it professional!