Receivable/Accounts - Information for Credit and Collection Issues

Friday, May 24, 2019

Collections & Social Media - Part II - The Internet Is Really Big

Space is big. You just won't believe how vastly, hugely, mind-bogglingly big it is. I mean, you may think it's a long way down the road to the drug store, but that's just peanuts to space. -- Douglas Adams, Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy.

So, you think it’s easy to go to Google, look up ‘fluffy unicorns dancing on rainbows’.  But it’s not.  Setting up a website is easy, having people come to it isn’t.  You think that Linkedin or Facebook are easy to use and connect with other people, but they aren’t.  Let’s talk about how the internet works, and your very, very small part in managing it.

How Many Websites Are There?

Well, without getting too technical, most websites point to a server, which has an IP address.  It might look like (this is the IP address for by the way).  Each of these numbers run from 1 to 255.

So, if you take 255 x 255 x 255 x 255, you get 4,228,250,625 … 4.3 billion possible addresses.  Now some websites like Facebook use multiple servers with different IP addresses to manage the load of all of us checking our phones for pictures of cats, and some websites share a server with IP addresses.  But right now, almost all of the standard IP addresses are gone, and there are 1.9 billion websites on the internet right now.

But no one can remember  So we have domain names like … it points to an IP address.

So in short, there are a lot of websites out there.

How Do I Find A Website?

That’s the trick, right?  If you have someone’s business card with you can go to their website and learn about their services, but what if you don’t know where to specifically go?

As long as the internet has existed, there have been search engines.  In the early days it was AltaVisa and WebCrawler, and now Google is a verb and Bing is a distant second.  But they all work the same way – they have programs that reach out to all the websites, try to pick up on key words based on algorithms, and give you results back based on the quality of the contents of the website.

And for as long as there have been search engines, there have been people trying to climb to the top of the list of results.  It’s called ‘Search Engine Optimization’ (or SEO).  Because people have tried to game the system, search engines are very cagy about what makes a good website, and there are full time jobs of people trying to decipher the latest Google algorithm (if you are interested, here’s a log -
What you do need to know is when you build a website, keep in mind that people type in ‘key words’ to search engines and if your website reliably matches those key words, your website will come up.  Your website’s ‘reputation’ is based on other reliable websites linking to you as a reference, you have content that is meaningful, and you’ve named your URL, headers, and pictures properly.  If you want to see a good website that analyzes your website, and tells you why other websites come up before yours, go to

What If I Use Someone Else’s Platform To Promote My Site?

This happens all the time.  It can be direct, like copying your website link and pasting it into a post on Facebook or Twitter, or it can be subtle, like building your website on Weebly.   This blog is built on Blogger, which is a product of Google, for example.

The great news is that you can leverage thousands (or millions) of people who already know how to access Linkedin, or there are mobile apps that access these platforms.  With a click of a button, I can share this blog on Linkedin, and have hundreds of views by the end of the day, that I would not have without cross-posting.

The not so great news is these massive Social Media platforms get to dictate how their platform is used, and the content you post there is out of their control.  Facebook can remove ‘questionable content’, Linkedin posts or blogs cannot be searched by Google, and are only visible to folks on the Linkedin Platform.  If you are a consumer hosting something on Google+ site, Google can just pull the plug and kill all your content.

Remember each platform has it’s own purpose and drive, and while leveraging them to promote your content might be easy, remember they have their own motivations and they may not line up with yours now or in the future,.

So What Does This All Have To Do With Credit And Collections?

Well, a lot.  Thousands of angry customers might google ‘Collection Agency Scare Tactics’ or ‘Is My Enercare Bill Legitimate?’ or ‘Kingston Data & Credit’.  Put yourself in your customer’s shoes, and try it yourself – what comes up?  What site is at the top?  Are you part of the conversation, and do you make it easy for consumers to find you?

When we started our company, Cheryl Fraser was a collector in our office and her direct line was 226-499-7863.  If you had Googled that telephone number five years ago, the top result was a website called and it was filled with consumer comments wondering if it was a hoax.  By building a specific staff page for Cheryl with the right words, now if you Google that number, our company comes up as the top result, which gives Cheryl legitimacy and a call to action to have people reach out to her.

No one wants to be in collections, and no one likes getting collection calls, but if you can make people’s life easier by giving them a website to go to, to make a payment, email a question, start a chat box with a staff member, or give a list of Frequently Asked Questions, you can create a public impression on how you are going to treat people, deal with their concerns, and arrange payment with them.

Since Google is a verb now, our company has put in a great deal of effort to acquire Google business reviews – not just from clients, but from consumers or companies that we have collected from.  If you go to,-80.3597817,17z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m7!3m6!1s0x0:0xb90c53beee1b6b38!8m2!3d43.403302!4d-80.357593!9m1!1b1 you can see our reviews that give our company legitimacy to consumers.  We have little control over what gets written, but if the majority are positive, as they are, it encourages others to give us the benefit of the doubt – clients and consumers!


So, that’s the wide world web and your place in it, and a little bit on what you can do to be heard.  If you have information you want to share or have questions (or want to see the Google Analytics on this post), feel free to reach out.  Next blog, Part III will be on Social Media Platforms …

Thanks kindly,

Blair DeMarco-Wettlaufer
KINGSTON Data & Credit
Cambridge, Ontario

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