Alan

Plagiarism in Lanzarote

Seems I spend a lot of time on this topic – and I suppose the upside of it is that plagiarism is a form of flattery – but hell, it is annoying when we put so much work and time into our business and our website content.

It’s a small island – so plagiarism isn’t that hard to stumble on here…

This one completely takes the biscuit for bare faced cheek – it’s lazy, it’s unprofessional and frankly – pathetic. (I’ve twice contacted the site owner without a response…) Continue reading

The Lanzarote Society

Today we got spammed – nothing new about that in Lanzarote, or anywhere else with the address lanzarotesociety-dot-com… We also had some complaints, and questions from clients – relating mostly to the fact that they had used the address elle@ as their Playa Blanca contact. Our clients were questioning whether we were involved in any way. We decided to do some digging.

Before I go any further with the results of that digging, let me state categorically we have not, will not, and will not ever have any dealings with the site or those behind it.

Apart from being a really shabbily designed website, it;

  • gives no indication of its owners
  • is selling membership to unwitting tourists who might want to ‘feel part of the island’
  • it claims to be non-profit making (sic!)
  • offers people the opportunity to work for them for the investment of £2000
  • the whole thing stinks…

The whole site and its related domains are written in a style of language many reading this will be familiar with… It includes the phrase “Simon says” throughout…

Yes, you guessed it. It’s an old favourite – it’s the inimitable Simon Harris again. Simon and Jenny Harris and Quills Wills may be down and unable to trade here (his words on the Gazette forum as I recall), but it seems they are not out.

The evidence?

The name of the domain owner – Melanie Ross (click on her name for the Google search which demonstrates clear link)

Companies House information…

LANZAROTE SOCIETY MANAGEMENT LIMITED
HARBRO HOUSE
CROWN LANE
DENBIGH
LL16 3SY
Company No. 06661107

and…..

THE QUILL GROUP (1986) LLP
HARBRO HOUSE
CROWN LANE
DENBIGH
DENBIGHSHIRE
LL16 3SY
Company No. OC328567

The same address is also the Registered Office of… THE QUILL GROUP COMPANY SECRETARY LLP
and THE QUILL GROUP TREASURER LLP

There’s plenty more where that came from – but I think you’ll agree it’s pretty clear as to who is pulling the strings on this baby! Of course, I have emailed and asked that any links they have included on there to our sites be removed – we have absolutely NO association with this venture.

The really worrying thing is that on the site it says that one of their aims is to represent the island and it businesses… Think about that one!

A note to tourists who may be reading this at this point – there are many good sites in addition to our own Lanzarote Nightlife if you are looking for information on the island – just Google, you’ll find plenty. And you certainly don’t have to pay to feel a part of the community – you are always welcome on sites like our own forum at Canary Nightlife, the forums on Discover Lanzarote and at the Gazette.

Now, of course, I’m not saying Simon Harris is a conman – I do however have an opinion based on all I’ve seen and read about him. What I would strongly urge anyone who is reading this – if you are thinking about doing business with him, or any of his companies, make sure you do thorough research – hopefully there’s enough in this post to get you started. That research may end up saving you thousands…

Caveat Emptor….

Typos can be good!

A few days ago we stumbled on a number one position on Google for one of our sites. More by good luck than planning in this case, the number one position was for a phrase very relevant to the site in question – but it was a typo – and a VERY common misspelling…

Should you find this at any time – don’t fix it – this is a good thing. Your site will no doubt have your search terms duplicated elsewhere, so no need to worry.

Don’t be afraid also to include common misspellings within you keywords and descriptions. Find a really common one and it can work very well for you…

The importance of marketing in the credit crunch…

I read an advert in a magazine recently. An ad stating why you should continue advertising during a recession… The key phrases used in the ad were;

  1. The golden rule is to stay in touch with your customers
  2. If you are inconsistent they won’t trust you
  3. If they can’t find you they will go to your competitor
  4. And if they forget who you are, you’ll have to start all over again

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Press articles

Spain magazineHaving previously owned a PR company and being in the marketing business for many years, I still get a joy out of seeing stuff in print! In this digital age some might see it as a little ‘old fashioned’ – but there’s still nothing like holding a paper magazine sometimes…

This recent article about us was in the April edition of ‘Spain’ magazine back in the UK.

There are of course business benefits to us from press articles…

  • they add credibility
  • they have the potential to bring in business (this one brought us an SEO client)
  • they may create additional website traffic – the Canary Nightlife and Gandy-Draper sites saw additional traffic throughout the circulation period
  • our clients see that actively marketing ourselves and our sites s in turn driving traffic to their advertising with us and their own websites

We were approached to do this article after an article about Elle in the expat section of ‘The Sun’ website.

Watch this space – we may have another on coming up soon…

Google AdSense – how closely targetted is it?

On a lighter note than usual – it brought a smile to my face recently when I was working on a domain of ours which includes the word EARTH…

In adding some AdSense to the site and whilst testing without any content up on the right hand side pops something like… “Visiting Earth – For all you need to know visit Trip Advisor for everything you need to know about Earth”.

Perhaps they see the advantage of targetting any aliens about to visit and looking for reviews of hotels they can rest up in before the invasion? 🙂

More copyright theft…

Yacht charter LanzaroteSeems they are at it again…

I know, I´ve been talking about this a lot recently – but it’s an important issue. Today, eagle eyed Sally from Sail Lanzarote S.L. spotted in her stats some suspicious activity, and asked us to look into it… This afternoon she came back with a web address – which she again found in the stats – that had clearly plagiarized their website.

They had downloaded the site using FrontPage and changed the images and made minor alterations to the text. It was a clear breach of copyright – all our sites and those of our clients carry a copyright warning.

So, on this page are the two screens grabs for you to compare…

Was the site copied? We reckon clearly, and as every occasion in these circumstances we were prepared to go as far as legal action to deal with this if necessary.

Yacht charter Gran CanariaWhilst we find it somewhat flattering that people like our work enough to copy it, and it also being a testament to Sally and Paul’s writing skills – it is not acceptable to steal copyrighted materials, so we took action.

Here’s the email we sent…

You have blatantly copied a website designed for one of our clients www.saillanzarote.com – in addition to copying much of the text you have also copied the web page design for which our client paid for. The original site has a clear copyright notice which you have breached.

In addition to being unprofessional, lazy and ill mannered, to steal text and design in this manner is a breach of international copyright law as outlined under the Berne Convention.

May I suggest very strongly you remove this text immediately and desist from using the original design or we and or our clients (a registered Spanish S.L. company) will no option other than to pursue any means available to us to have it removed. In addition to facing possible action from our lawyer in La Palma, we fully intend to bring your illegal actions to the attention of Google, your hosts, the SE domain registrar, and to the attention of the general public via any and all online media available to us.

I expect the content to be removed within 24 hours and an apology to my client for your blatant abuse of their hard work and investment of time and money spent on their business. Please, make no mistake that action will be taken if you do not comply within 24 hours this is not an idle threat.

At the time of writing  the pages have now been removed (or possibly renamed – so we will be checking in the future) – so no need for me to name names. 

It will be interested to see if the apology is also forthcoming? We’ll keep you posted…

Adbeans – an alternative to Google AdSense

Just recently we’ve started adding some ads (in addition to AdSense) to a couple of our sites through AdBeans. They approached us with a particular site in mind – we were hitting an audience they wanted.

It’s a nice little system for generating a bit of extra income from your website.

As opposed to AdSense, Adbeans the monthly value of the ads for your website based on a number of criteria, and then sell the space on your behalf. All you need to do is add a bit of code – or if you are using blog software it can usually be added with a download. We had a few problems on one of our sites – but their support was fantastic! The ads are easily made to fit your site content – if you look to the bottom of the left column you can see the ads that appear on this site.

You decide how many ads to show and on what pages – and you can also veto any specific ads if you feel they are not right for your site. Not that we have needed to – the ads assigned to our account appear to have been well selected.

Let´s be honest the AdBeans website isn’t great – it sort of looks a bit unfinished – but the emphasis is on functinality rather than promotion. But take our word for it – their system works fine once you are registered and is bringing us a nice little side income.

Your not going to make a fortune using them – but it is guaranteed income rather than pay per click. The big difference is AdBeans is not their just, or maybe in some cases not at all for the click through. It is their to support the SEO activities of their clients – it’s about creating quality inbound links.

It is certainly worth signing up to AdBeans to see what it can do for you.

Interested in finding out about other affiliate programs? Take a look at the affiliate marketing category.

Theft of copyright content

Copyright symbolIt may surprise some people on Lanzarote and the Canary Islands (given how common Coyright Infringement is in the region), but International Copyright Law (see the Berne Convention) still applies as much here as it does anywhere else in the world. We constantly monitor the Internet  to protect our Copyrighted text, images and other intellectual property, on ours and our clients sites, to ensure it is not being used without our authority by other websites.

Only yesterday we had three instances of this…

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