brianmcc - 10:46 pm on Feb 21, 2013 (gmt 0)
Quick summary then you can skip to my longer description below if you want.
A competitor has 3 (possibly 4) ads for the same keyword. He is using what appear to be different sites, but once you google just a little bit, you realize he owns all of the 4 sites. At the very least, this is crowding other sites out from being able to bid effectively. More importantly, his sites are incredibly scammy (more info below) so he is really giving our industry a bad name. I'd hate to advertise myself next to him anyway!
So, quick question: how do I contact Google? How do I contact them without my message getting lost in the void? Also, SHOULD I contact them or will I just look like a sour grapes competitor?
So, as you can see from the dates on my profile, I used to run a company that did a lot of Adwords ads in the past. I left the company and the industry a few years ago.
This year I decided to come back, with a different company, but in the same niche. I of course thought of Adwords first, as I had basically built that 1st company entirely on the back of a successful adwords campaign.
What I discovered was the majority of the ads in our niche were for low cost/low quality... some of them scammy sites. I thought, "Gee, this niche really has gone to the dogs."
So I did some googling and sure enough, these were horrible sites, filled with RipOffReport posts and tons of Better Business Bureau complaints.
But it was in doing those RipoffReport and BBB searches that I made my discovery. Several of the RipOffReport complaints were "rebutted" by the same guy. Sure enough, the BBB listed him on multiple of these sites as the owner. Furthermore, when I went deeper into the sites in question (i.e., made an order) the order page took me to an SSL that had the same domain in common. Guess who owned the domain hosting the SSL? Our same guy. BBB also listed him as the owner of that domain/company.
So, this is bad for my new company and for my niche/industry in several ways.
1) I can't begin bidding for keywords because this guy is locking them up with multiple sites. They all look different, have slightly different pricing, but they are CLEARLY all "him" once you do the research.
2) All these sites are driving down the reputation of my niche. Forget about the low low cost... I can compete with that (though that is clearly part of his scam... why charge more when you can rope people in for less and then rip them off). The bigger problem is that he's polluted this entire niche. I'm not kidding you, one of his "sites" has BBB complaints into the hundreds.
How do I get in contact with Google in a meaningful way? Does anyone know of a complaint form or email address that I can direct a message to about a guy violating adwords policy? And I'm afraid that a standard "form" won't get any notice. I mean, I can provide screen shots, BBB reports, whois lookups, etc., etc. But a random form submission just feels like it will go out into the void.
And furthermore, how can I not look like another disgruntled competitor? I feel this is doing serious harm to this niche/industry/set of keywords. But if Google is happy taking his money, why would they listen to me?
Any and all advice is welcome.