I’ve had a lot of requests regarding spotting the difference between a legitimate websites and a scam websites.
First of all, why would you need to know this? Well it could be for a number of reasons for example you might be contacted by a company offering a service and you may need to check there website for credentials. Or you may be a company that wishes to avoid looking like a scam website.
Either way, here are the main issues that need to be looked into when checking out the legitimacy of a company.
Is the website poorly constructed?
You need to look out for the structure and not the colour and attractiveness of a few buttons. E.G is the page layout organised? Or does it have stuff scattered everywhere?
If the layout is organise you should be able to notice a pattern whereby the content is aligned appropriately in columns of 3 or 2 or sometimes even 1, but if you find that pictures and text are scattered everywhere then it might be a sign of a quickly and poorly constructed website attempting to scam its clients.
Some websites due to their old age may have a dated design so it’s worth noting how old a website is before jumping to conclusions. To find out how old a website is simply read the next point.
How old is the website?
If you have been contacted by a website, ask them how long they have been in the industry. Sometimes they tell you “we’ve been doing this for over ten years” and so on. Then simply go to this website http://www.whois.net/ and type in the URL. You should have a list of information about their website including their registration address although sometimes that may be hidden. However it will most definitely reveal the date of which the website was created.
If you find that the company hasn’t been active longer then they say they have, clearly they have been lying to you, so would you trust this company? Some companies are also aware of this and tell you that this is a new website and that they had a website previously. If this happens then simply ask them to show you that website and re-do the same steps I have mentioned here. You may ask yourself, why would they create a new website if they had one before? Are they trying to hide something? If all of this applies to you and the service they provide also sounds too good to be true, then I’m 99.9% sure it is! GET OUT FAST!
Does Google trust it?
Some websites look very professional, and have been active for a long time, but looks can flatter to deceive and age is nothing but a number if Google itself doesn’t trust it! To find out Google’s opinion of a website you need to go to the following website http://www.prchecker.info/check_page_rank.php and enter in the URL of the website you wish to check. It will then reveal the rank of the page in the eyes of Google on a scale of 1-10. If the websites rank is only 1 or bellow, then the website clearly hasn’t had an SEO service which isn’t a good sign as all the big companies will do SEO for their websites. The only time you should find a website ranked 1 is when a website is younger than 6 months, again you can use the “http://www.whois.net/” website to find out the age. The ideal page rank should be at least a pr 2 if younger than a year but preferable 3 and above, especially if it’s older than a year!
If you’re an internet user who wanted to know how to identify frauds from realists than the above should be a very useful bit of info for you to use.
If however you plan on creating a website for your company then the above should highlight the main issues which you must avoid. The web designers At WebArtistUK not only design websites but also market and advice their clients to ensure all of the above criteria is addressed.