Hello everyone! This is my first article of what will be a series of articles to help you make an informed decision on products and services that you can get online.
I enjoy trying out new programs, and while casually surfing, I came across a sales page for a registry cleaner. The website itself was a one page amateurish flyer that’s trying to sell you this registry cleaner that I had never heard of before. After a while, I had seen a whole bunch of registry cleaner sales pages. Some of them – more seems to pop up by the minute – were what appeared to be a review site comparing 4-5 registry cleaners. These review pages all eventually come to a conclusion on which one is the best one, and has a purchase info of the “winner” at the bottom of the page. I personally thought there was no way people will be buying a software from an unknown so-called review websites, but seeing as how many were out there, it must be selling.
I looked into it a bit more out of curiosity. It’s not hard to find all these so-called review websites. If you do a Google search on “Registry Cleaner” or “Registry Cleaner Review” you get a results page that’s littered with these ads (disguised as review pages). Try a search.
It turns out all these registry cleaner ad pages are a result of make-money-online schemes. The authors of these websites obviously don’t know much about registry cleaners and even less about how to make a professional looking websites. They simply apply a sales page tactic that is so common in make-money-online industry. What they are essentially doing is “affiliate marketing”. They receive a commission for every sale that goes through their ads. They are simply out to make some money off of these softwares and are not trustable reviewers nor are they the software developer. They are following instructions from these online marketing “gurus” who advise them to make a review page instead of a sales page. Well, in the end, they are both sales pages.
A simple rule: Don’t trust a review site that’s entirely been created to promote one product.
I think this registry cleaner industry has grown in such a way due to people’s over-dependence on Google. You have a problem, you search on Google. Over the years, people have been told that many Windows problems arise from corrupt registry.
What is registry? Simply put it’s where all the installation information, paths, shortcuts, etc are stored in a Windows system. It is a database that stores Windows’ settings and options and is a vital part of Windows OS that connects everything together. more info
People started doing web searches on registry cleaners and these marketer are taking advantage of that. They have optimized their pages so that their page appears on the first results pages of search engines. The problem arises when solution-seekers base their decision on these review-wannabe pages that come up in the search results. They are misleading sales pages and you should not trust them.
I wonder why registry cleaners, instead of some other program, became so popular among marketers. Perhaps it’s because users don’t really know what the program’s actually doing. It’s easier to make a program that deals with a complicated aspect such as registry than to make a program that users can actually evaluate properly and make a judgment on its value. Perhaps it’s very easy to put together a registry cleaner. I don’t know the exact answer, but one thing’s for sure. Most of hundreds of registry cleaners out there are not worth your time and money.
Plus if you don’t know what you are doing, you can easily make things worse. You can read many horror stories that are out there. Once you see an error message or have a slow computer, and you don’t know what is causing the problem; don’t assume that a registry cleaner can fix your problems just because you heard it from some anonymous person on the web or worse yet from one of these fake reviews. The problem could be caused by a spyware, virus, or other malwares. Or you could be simply running too many start up programs.
One off-topic advise: don’t let programs launch at start up unless you really need it to.
Couple more bad things about these registry cleaners. They are usually very expensive. These unreliable programs ask for $40+. Very not worth it. Many say, “free scan”. But once you run it, it only tells you the problems you have and won’t let you fix them until you pay. Some even have subscription fees. It doesn’t even make sense to have subscription fees for a registry cleaner; it’s not a virus scanner that need definition updates. The point is that these programs are designed not with helping users as a priority but money grabbing as its number one priority. Money grabbing tactics are built into every step of the program experience.
Don’t trust a sales page disguised as a review site. It’s nothing but a flyer on the web. You can tell by its long one page design with a buy link plugged here and there. Try to stick to review websites that you know of. You can try CNET’s download.com, Softpedia.com to name a few. I am not trying to suggest that you only trust big name reviewers as there are plenty of smaller honest hardware and software reviewers doing fine reviews. In the end, you should be able to tell a difference between an honest reviewer and a sales man simply by their website’s presentation.
Don’t buy any registry cleaner. If you must, look for ones that have a several independent good reviews. There are non-scam useful cleaners out there. Registry mechanic, I believe has been around for a while. Personally, I don’t see the need to pay for any registry cleaner. I keep my computer clean and neat inside-out, so I don’t have many problems to begin with. But that’s now why I don’t need one. First, whether a registry cleaner noticeably improves your computer’s performance is debatable. Second, if you are looking for one due to constant error messages, BSODs (Blue Screen of Death), restarts, and etc, a registry cleaner probably cannot help you. It might, but not likely. You need bigger help, and I suggest you get a family or friend who knows what they are doing to help you. A clean reformat is always a solution :-) (if you must)
Get free cleaners. My favourite is CCleaner. It not only cleans registry, but cleans other temporary files and includes a few more nice tools. Some say a paid program is better than free ones because developers have the cash incentive to work harder, but I disagree. In many cases, a free software becomes very popular and many developers contribute to the program, and this free environment results in a great community support. More users mean more feedback that developers can use to improve their programs, and the snowball rolls on. some of my favourite softwares are all free.
CCleaner is not as powerful (as they openly admit) as some others when it comes to registry cleaning, but for many non-savvy users, this is exactly what you need. A safe cleaner. Rarely, will CCleaner break something important. i strongly recommend it.
Hope that helped you to be on the look out for a registry cleaner scams. Please leave a comment if you have questions or more recommendations.
*Disclaimer: I am not claiming that any particular site that is posted here is a scam or fraud. It is simply what I consider to be a rip-off or not a good value for your money.