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Monday, May 26, 2008

Do You Report Your Competitors to Google?

Posted by @ 12:54 am

One of the hot topics in the blog community at the moment raises an interesting question about search engine competition and the practice of grey or blackhat SEO techniques in order to boost your rankings. Website owners have been divided over the question:

Do you report your competitors to Google if they’re using spam or blackhat SEO techniques?

There’s no doubt that as a small business owner, you always have to compete. Whether it’s online or offline, there is always going to be other businesses looking to grab their share of the marketplace.

Unfortunately, with the online world, this competition is not always fair. Some competitors may be using questionable SEO techniques to “cheat” their way to better rankings and get ahead without being caught by Google. In this case, your only defense is to report these competitors to Google and hope they take action.

There have been a couple of polls in recent weeks which have given completely different answers – so we decided to run our own. Let us know what you think by answering the poll below:

In the end, it all comes down to personal preference. Some people may argue that we should all be treated on a fair playing ground – so reporting spam is ok, while others say to focus on improving your own website, and let Google deal with people who try and game the system.

I’m not going to give my personal opinion here, but i’d love to hear what you all think. Answer the poll above and let us know what you would do via our blog comments!

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Matthew Elshaw Matt is a marketing professional at, an international search marketing firm. Matt's passion for online marketing began at university and has proved invaluable in steering product development and marketing initiatives at the company. Matt is a regular contributor to the ineedhits search marketing blog.

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Discussion (4 - comments)

When it comes down to the fact the my competition receives more bookings because they come up on the 1st page of the SERPs and my site comes up on the 2nd or 3rd page of the SERPs, that is where I draw the line. There are 2 competition cabin rental companies in the North Georgia Mountains that both have 5 lines of hidden Title Tags. I copied & pasted those hidden 5 Title Tag lines and reported those 2 websites to Google & Yahoo. Both Google and Yahoo have done nothing about it, which really makes steam come out of my ears. Both of those sites, because of their Blackhat SEO Techniques, receive more cabin rental bookings, therefore, they receive more income which could have come my way if they played the rules correctly. I don’t cheat and I play fair, I practice the appropriate SEO Techniques, don’t stab people in the back, and don’ get ahead like the cheaters and backstabbers in the world. I don’t appreciate negative business tactics and feel all websites who pull these black SEO Techniques, should be totally taken out of Google & Yahoo Search Engine Indexes for 6 months. Maybe negative attention like that will be what it takes to keep these webmasters in line. And Google & Yahoo should get in contact with those webmasters and tell them directly about the punishment to be received. Marian,

By Marian - May 27, 2008

I do report sites that are blatant about it… In our industry a site has hundreds of doorway pages, and redirects and quadruple bought CPC and so they are so Back Hat you know their 3.6 million (yes million) visits are brought on by this… (they take up anywhere from 3-6 results in the top ten on major keywords both organic and paid… Google seems not to notice… so though it may do little we report…

By Anonymous - May 28, 2008

I have reported several of my competitors for foul play, one I don’t know how has managed to get every single article published in a local paper as links: to date he has 26000 links that have nothing to do with his estate agency, another is linked to a blog on breast feeding and he sells as I do rural and rustic houses in the northwest of Spain, Others have paid links. So far I can’t see that anything has come out of it. I’ve worked hard and have 2,600 links that are related to my page and have done my own SEO, At this moment I am always on the first page of google in both Spanish and English and normally number one, I must admit it annoys me to see people close who don’t work at it as I do.
Mark Adkinson

By Mark Adkinson - April 28, 2009

Absolutely report them. I have a competitor against my painting company who is too cheap for AdWords, but has picked the closest street to our cities centre so he gets top listing on Google Maps. The address he picked in real life is an empty commercial lot!

By Dan - June 20, 2009

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