We have had a new (to us) scam brought to our attention by a vigilant client. The scam arrives by email in the form of an “invoice” for “search engine registration” for a domain that you are a contact for, and will be sent to the email address of one or all of the registered contacts for the domain. At this time we have seen only one email and so we only have one example to go by, but it’s quite normal for the text and presentation of such emails to change slightly. You may even receive such so-called invoices, notifications, notices, courtesy reminders, etc. via postal mail as well or instead. Sometimes, despite the overall presentation that clearly makes the solicitation look just like an invoice (complete with an invoice number), they include (as in this case) the sentence, “This notice is not an invoice” (or something similar), just to stay barely on the right side of the law.
The fact is, there is no such thing as “search engine registration”. Many years ago (in Internet time) there was such a thing, but nowadays search engines will find and index your site within a matter of hours, as long as it’s public and linked to from at least one public page on the Web, or if it’s on a newly-registered domain. There are, of course, nuances to improving where your website ranks in the search engines, but the basic fact is you do not need to pay anyone for “search engine registration”.
Please remember to check, or have accounting staff check, such “invoices” very carefully before paying them. If you ever have any concerns about what appears to be a confusing, unusual, unexpected or otherwise questionable invoice related to your domains or hosting, please contact NinerNet support and we will be pleased to help you out.