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Low quality links boosts competition - Can i do anything?

 11:24 am on Nov 6, 2012 (gmt 0)

Our main competitor ranks better than us and the only reason that this is happening is because he acquired hundreds of links from forums by putting a link in the signature.

What would you suggest?:

1. Do nothing and wait until Google fixes it? (We tried this for over a year, but no results)
2. Engage in the same tactics as the competitor no matter if Google approves or not?
3. Report to Google? (Is there a way to report this?)



 2:08 pm on Nov 6, 2012 (gmt 0)

Option #4 - Get creative and work at developing good quality backlinks for your site


 2:24 pm on Nov 6, 2012 (gmt 0)

how do you really know that's the reason. looking from the outside maybe that's all you can see, but he might have some great user enagement stats, loads of repeat visitors and bazillions of people bookmarking his site in their browsers. there's loads of stats like that, that you cannot know about.


 4:52 pm on Nov 6, 2012 (gmt 0)

what makes me believe that the reason is nothing but his backlinks is

1. Our site is much older than his and we have been ranking no1 for many years for the 2 most important keywords.
2. We write our own content which is valuable for our users and we do get normal backlinks to it.
3. Our site has 70+ pages of content while his has only 9
4. We have given a lot of weight on our onpage seo, while he still has subpages with the same title tag or with no alt attribute on images, no h1 tags, etc.
5. Out of nowhere he dominates the first place and he stays there for the last 9 months.

Wouldn't you come to the same conclusion as me?


 5:29 pm on Nov 6, 2012 (gmt 0)

The other thing is, while you consider them "low quality" obviously google currently has a different opinion. that's not to say they probably are low quality, it's just that the site's in question are designed correctly. Probably also have good inbound link counts and are likely very active (if the links are primarily forum links). therefore Google does find them "worthy" and not low quality. Remember it is an algo that determines the site's worth, not a human (although humans obviously have input).


 5:37 pm on Nov 6, 2012 (gmt 0)

It's not the site or forum itself that makes them low quality, but the fact that the forums are completely irrelevant to the site's topic. Also 80% of the forums has page rank<2 if that is of any importance.


 6:20 pm on Nov 6, 2012 (gmt 0)

In my experience, relevance isn't as important as everyone makes it out to be. I've done link building from some completely irrelevant sites with low PR and they've had a positive impact on rankings. It's not that I would recommend such a strategy - it was a test to see how Google would react and it did react positively.


 7:46 pm on Nov 6, 2012 (gmt 0)

5. Out of nowhere he dominates the first place and he stays there for the last 9 months.

maybe he's doing loads of marketing and paying for ads which is bringing in the traffic. if he's getting loads of traffic through other means then that might boost his ranking. it might also explain how he's come out of nowhere so quickly.


 8:09 pm on Nov 6, 2012 (gmt 0)

5. Out of nowhere he dominates the first place and he stays there for the last 9 months.

I have seen this first hand. this could also account for what you are seeing. A friend's website was NOWHERE to be found after months of link building.

After some research I determined it could be to duplicate content so I did a simple search on google. Grabbed a block of text from his site and searched it. There were 10's of thousands of other sites using the exact same text! He redid his website, moved hosting and rewrote content. in 7 days his site went from nowhere to page 1. This could be similar to what you are seeing.

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