Offline Links Count, too!

This will be a short post (I hope!).  Just a few days ago I returned from some fun in New England, and I was thinking about returning into the mountains of New Hampshire or upstate New York.

So it was with more interest than usual (I didn’t rip it up) that I opened a flyer that read”VOUS venez peut-être de GAGNER un des six forfaits escapade à Lake Placid”.  This delightful and hopeful notice was followed by a website address where I could enter a code to verify that I had indeed won a package to lake Placid: www.LakePlacid/WIN .

So I did.

Or, at least, I tried.

I tried again. 

And again. 

I tried adding .php and .html and .asp … all to no avail.  many people would have given up at this point, or much earlier, but I have a stubborn streak that you really don’t want to catch from me, and finally I figured out what was wrong; they had forgotten to print the .com in the URL.  I knew what to look for, and still it took me a while.  How many people would not have known that a URL is invalid without a TLD?  How many people would have given up without even trying to fix the URL? And most importantly, how much money did the Lake Placid Essex County Visitors Bureau invest in designing and mailing these brochures that were missing four crucial characters?  It is a mistake I am sure they will not let happen again.

When building links, one of the points that even the legions of outsourcing link-builders in India will focus on is that they will make sure to post the correct URL without typos.  Your offline link-building is just as crucial.  In fact, a typo in one online link doesn’t matter too much.  A typo in a pamphlet that hundreds or thousands of people will read matters much more.

By the way, I did not win that package…but I should get an A for effort.  And if nobody else figured out the correct URL, maybe the Lake Placid Essex County Visitors Bureau will award me the prize by default and I’ll get to do some 46er trekking.


  1. I worked in a real estate office for a long time and NAR preaches to the agents the importance of those offline links and getting people to your site. You should always make sure the address is easy to type and gets them where they need to go.

  2. Hehe, David. You’ve the point here and guessed what! I’m also the idiot that have printed my business card with the wrong email address and this really hurt me a lot lol

    At least, I’ve learned the lesson and will at least double or triple checked, each time I sent something for printing…

  3. I hope Lake Placid Essex County Visitors Bureau would stumble upon your post here and do the necessary correction. What a waste of money for them to have printed out those promotional materials with an obvious typo. Maybe its proofreader or graphic artist wasn’t Internet savvy. For people who are really into the world wide web stuff, it is almost impossible to miss the .com TLD.

  4. @ wilson Glad you shared. Not many people would be willing to admit to such a mistake, but most of us have made it at some point. I consider myself a very good writer, but I am a notorious speller.

  5. @Sunglasses You are right. In fact, I should maybe let them know.

  6. Yes in the world of code and scripts it is not forgiving. hours of work thwarted by one simple mistake. double checking and proof reading aren’t around cause people are bored.

  7. Proofreading everthing is a good habit a picked a long time ago and it has saved my ass on many occassions,

  8. Why did not you win that contest?! You probably were only person entering! 🙂

  9. Saaay…I wonder why I didn't. It would have been a great prize to win, since we are thinking of going around there for a long weekend next summer anyway.

  10. Yes, I have also noticed these kind of typos where it should not happen because hundreds and thousands of people read and follow. Well, best of luck for your next upcoming package winning effort.

  11. Interesting story. I've immediately figured out what was wrong. I guess the people who were making those flyers surf the Internet very rarely or don't do surfing at all because before publishing the flyer every Internet-educated person would have spotted the obvious mistake.
    So the moral here is: get the professionals to have the work done properly.

  12. I am really surprised most people wouldn't realise that? I wonder how many levels of red tape this went through before it got published. I would say that my proof reading has got better, but that is one serious school boy error.

  13. This is an easy mistake to make and I've seen it myself a few times too. This just stresses the importance of double (and triple) checking your work before you send it out. As you said, this must have cost them a lot of money and a lot of potential business. Always proofread everything you publish, it's the first rule in the book but also it's the mistake people make the most. I admire your persistence though!