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What do you do when a competitor starts stealing our Business Name!
Competitors keyword words include clients Business Name.

 11:42 am on May 29, 2002 (gmt 0)

This is pathetic. This guy just can't hack it on his own.
Every since I took over this site, my clients competitor has been right on the our heels.

I change content, he changes content, I create links, he creates links, my client goes PPC, he goes PPC, but now this takes the cake.

This idiot and I do mean idiot, is using my clients business name in his meta tag keyword, he has used it 5 times in various arrangements of words.

At this point, hasn't he gone to far and wouldn't legeal action, or threat of it, be considered now?



 12:28 pm on May 29, 2002 (gmt 0)

Sparrow, threats can do wonders, but be careful they can also backfire.

If the name is trademarked you have a legal case. searchenginewatch has a number of documented cases where the legal owner of the trademark won.

Notwithstanding, there are different ways to look at this "conspiracy or opportunty." In one way he is promoting your client. You could even say he is referring to your client as the superior company. If the company is indeed using terms that can only be inferred as "your client" take a screen shot (for protection - code can change quickly).

Is this newsworthy? Does this help your client? Promote the referral your client deserve it!

How is the other company doing on your company's business name anyway?


 12:50 pm on May 29, 2002 (gmt 0)

I think this is a new addition. I periodically check his site due to previous attempts to pull traffic from my client. To thoroughly understand this idiot here's his dossier;

1) Worked for my client and talked about building a website 2 years ago with my client.
2) Went on vacation, came back and quit, 2 weeks later he had a website selling the exact same product of my client.
3)He basically stole the domain name from my client and made it his own.
4)Has continually bad mouth my client to potential customers, as described by these potential customers who end up at my client's store.

The list goes on.....competition is one thing, and for the most part all of us stand on our own 2 legs to do it, but this guy takes the cake.

I believe the name is trademarked, and I have already shot the page, I has hoping they had anonymous
FTP turned on so I could get a file date, but no such luck.

This is so aggrevating.


 1:11 pm on May 29, 2002 (gmt 0)

Remember, this is ultimately your clients business (both the site and the concern) and not yours. He/she or they should be awareness of any actions you take.


 1:22 pm on May 29, 2002 (gmt 0)

Yes, I realize that. I tend to get a little emotional, but unfortunately my client is worse than I am, I know what they will say as soon as I point it out to them.

I agree with you as to making this an opportunity and in most instances I would do just that. Unfortunately this individual could ultimately ruin my clients reputation by providing illegimate and poor quality material stating it is my clients material, when in deed it is not.

Ultimately it is not my decision to do anything, but it is my responsiblity to give my client guidance, and I guess that is why I started this thread. I NEED THE GUIDANCE FIRST! ;)


 3:06 pm on May 29, 2002 (gmt 0)

There have been legal cases both where keyword stuffed pages contained (c),tm,business names and they have both won and lost. Had to remove them and were let to keep them in.

Chances are unless he has a good laywer they will take them out. ;)


 3:44 pm on May 29, 2002 (gmt 0)

Ultimately it is not my decision to do anything, but it is my responsiblity to give my client guidance

Unless you're an attorney, i think you're putting a little too big a burden on your back. Your client has a potential legal issue with a competitor. That sounds like a job for an attorney, not a marketing or web consultant.

I know you're trying to give your client guidance, but...are you qualified? And I don't mean that in a derogatory way. Like Dirty Harry said - A man (or woman!) has got know his limitations!


 7:36 pm on May 29, 2002 (gmt 0)

Another spin on this is that the competitor is desperate. These are the actions of someone who needs to beat you but doesn't have the original thoughts to do so and in the long run it sounds like they will always be playing catch-up. If you can continue to provide good service and maintain good customer relations, you should win.

Having said that I have a few questions/assumptions:

1. Is the competitor in the same country?

2. What is the buyer behavior around your product or service. If it is a repeat business type of venture, I think you are in a stronger position than if it is something someone buys once.

3. Is there a service, or add on that you can get sole rights to? If you can do this you will start to pull away from them.

Good Luck,


 7:46 pm on May 29, 2002 (gmt 0)

You are right mardi_gras, by no means am I an attorney. I suppose what I am really trying to do is prepare him for hiring an attorney and the long and drawn out battle the could insue (I hate legal stuff).

What are his alternatives, most of you have been doing this stuff much longer than I have, and are considerably more knowledgeable about these situations than I am as well.

Does anybody have any other suggestions that may help remedy the situation.

Fathom has a point with turning this situation into a positive, my only doubt is his quality of work and the fact he also does replica work which he could try to pass off as original under my clients name.

Any help from the great "websters" would be really great.


 7:50 pm on May 31, 2002 (gmt 0)

My client had me send a letter requesting the removal of their name from the meta tags on his competitors site. It was a harsh letter indicating non-complinance would lead to legal action.

The competitor begrudgling did so and sent an email back blah, blah, etc.

I there thought that a letter thanking them for this deed was in order and wow the response back was even worse than the first mail. Asking me a number of questions, link how can I claim copyright infringement, why was I snooping around his site, and perhaps it was I looking to steal his material,
and I should apologize to him!

What does anyone here think I should do or respond.



 7:56 pm on May 31, 2002 (gmt 0)

If the offending material is gone, I don't see how you benefit from any further correspondence. I would ignore the e-mail (even though you're probably itching to get a smartly worded retort out ASAP :)).


 8:02 pm on May 31, 2002 (gmt 0)

how did you quess.

plus it leaves me a little cold and a tad bit scared that this idiot would try to do something to us.


 8:16 pm on May 31, 2002 (gmt 0)

plus it leaves me a little cold and a tad bit scared that this idiot would try to do something to us.

Which is probably exactly the reaction the idiot was hoping for. He pulled the offending material and now he is trying to save some pride by his challenging e-mail.

Don't give him the power to ruin your weekend :) He did what you wanted - that's what counts!


 9:28 pm on May 31, 2002 (gmt 0)

You don't need an attorney, you just need to learn how to do a little poison code cloaking It's a ton of fun, and it costs a lot less. :)


 9:33 pm on May 31, 2002 (gmt 0)

WebGuerilla, what is poison code cloaking?

Mardi_gras, you scare me, I've only been posting for a short time and you a;eady know me. I've been noticing some one hanging around my window is that you? :)

Boy your good!


 9:49 pm on May 31, 2002 (gmt 0)

Mardi_Gras is right. Don't let him spoil your weekend.

The only other comment is why would you send the letter instead of your client. You are putting yourself in the middle of two organizations/people who do not like each other.

Unless you want to defacto represent your client in a court if it comes to that, write the letter and let your client send it.

Drink a beer, watch a game and forget it.



 9:54 pm on May 31, 2002 (gmt 0)

I've been noticing some one hanging around my window is that you?

Innocent! :)


 9:58 pm on May 31, 2002 (gmt 0)

Forget it.

If he has used it five times, some engines may consider it spamming.

And second, if they know your company name, they probably won't be searching for you anyway (even if they do they'll normally hit the back button on anyone else's site).


 4:39 pm on Jun 1, 2002 (gmt 0)

Sparrow, reading the thread I can only second all the advice given and then stress the point: don't get pulled into a game played by an idiot, especially a professional idiot! He has far too much practice! ;)


 1:54 pm on Jun 5, 2002 (gmt 0)

Thanks everybody, never again will I do something like that, I may write the letter but client is going to send the letter, better yet, if the client wants it done, then they can have their lawyer do it.

P.S. this guy is so cheap, he prints his letter head paper on an inkjet!


 3:47 pm on Jun 10, 2002 (gmt 0)

what is poison code cloaking?

Check out the cloaking forum here: [webmasterworld.com...]

Basically, you can use cloaking software to present different pages to the search engines and human visitors. For "poison code cloaking", you would design a search engine-friendly page to show to the engines, and a non-friendly page to show to humans. When the competitor comes back to copy your page, he gets the non-friendly page. If he uses it, his rankings drop.

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