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Thread: My competitor is cheating (grey/black hat SEO) - what should I do?

  1. #1
    Senior Member sarahswansea's Avatar
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    My competitor is cheating (grey/black hat SEO) - what should I do?

    I have a competitor who is keyword stuffing a particular phrase and submitting multiple low quality poorly spelled articles into spammy article directories. And Google put them at #1 or #2 for competitive searches they really don't deserve to rank for.

    Supposedly this is something Google seriously frowns on, but it seems to be working really well for my competitor.

    Long term I think I can beat them honestly just by being better, so I suppose this is good news.

    But it's really frustrating and I see it working for websites again and again despite all Google does to clamp down on it.

    Has the same happened to you? What would you do?

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  3. #2
    Unpaid WDF Intern TheGAME1264's Avatar
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    First of all, there's no such thing as "grey hat SEO". It's a euphemism for "I'm doing something that I know is unethical, but Google hasn't clamped down on it yet, so it's okay." People who use that term to describe their own practices do so with the intent to mislead others. It's white, or it's (more often than not) black. That's not on you, though...that's on the spin doctors who invented that phrase.

    Second, Google the search engine and Google the company are extremely complex beasts, with many engineers involved from all over the world. Suspecting that a site "ranks" for a particular factor, although very understandable, is usually wrong; it's more often than not a combination of a whole bunch of different things.

    Third: rank checking is useless, and has been for years now. The reason is very simple: Google doesn't present the same results to everyone all of the time for a search. Personalized search alone can present radically different results to different people, or even the same person using say two different browsers on the same device. What matters is referral traffic: are you getting the referral traffic you think you should be getting for a phrase or keyword?

    So to answer your question in a roundabout way: nothing. I worry more about what I'm doing and I truly don't give a rat's *** what any "competitors" are doing. The more I worry about them, the less I'm doing to help me and by extension my target market. I'd rather help me than think about them. I understand your frustration, though.
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    The Game has already given a good summary.

    If they are as you describe they won't last long anyway. You are best served by ignoring them. Continue building a quality site and build your own reputation within your niche and you will soon see how unimportant they are. So concentrate on your own business and don't worry about theirs.
    TheGAME1264 and bleau canon like this.

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    Senior Member Fireproofgfx's Avatar
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    Nicely said Game!
    TheGAME1264 likes this.

  6. #5
    Senior Member sarahswansea's Avatar
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    I've at least sent spam reports to Google with examples.

    Hopefully this might help in the short term.

    Long term I'm working with my client to produce content that will be genuinely shared by people so we'll earn the ranking honestly

  7. #6
    Unpaid WDF Intern TheGAME1264's Avatar
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    It probably won't, just so you've got a realistic expectation. Google generally doesn't punish manually...they tend to prefer doing things algorithmically as an algorithmic change can have a greater impact on search result quality than a manual action can. The problem with an algorithmic adjustment is that it takes longer in the short run, so that's why you probably won't see an impact.

    I bolded the word "generally" for a reason, because there obviously are exceptions. They prefer to go the algorithm route when possible, though.
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    i wouldnt be worried about it though it is just a matter of time google penalize them. just to what is right and no body can fault you for it. keep up the awesome white hat seo. it is super frustrating/tiring at first, but dont give up. look at long term goals rather than short term. DON'T BE MISLED BY THE DARK SIDE

  9. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by sarahswansea View Post
    I've at least sent spam reports to Google with examples.

    Hopefully this might help in the short term.

    Long term I'm working with my client to produce content that will be genuinely shared by people so we'll earn the ranking honestly
    With sometimes been left with nothing but to report those that have been unethical but I can't recall a time when i have seen something come of it. I can imagine it joining a long line of other sites that have been reported.

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    You don't need to worry about anything and do you white hat SEO as you are doing. I think, now they no longer be staying on top, Google will penalize them soon.


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