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Competitor's Effective Techniques

How to counteract competitors techniques

4:02 am on Feb 10, 2004 (gmt 0)

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I have a competitor who's web designer is really starting to get on my nerves.

Two months ago, they shot to the top of the serps by using the following techniques:

repetitive keywords framing the top of their page, the bottom of their page, and then repeated again surrounding a link text filled spam box at the bottom of their page that you're not supposed to notice because you have to scroll down to see it. These are of course in a color that's not invisible, but very difficult to read, and very easy to not notice.

400 word marquee text in a little box filled with keywords in at least two places.

Now, our serps are not that competitive because we are a new kind of business. The thing that irks me is that these techniques are working and putting them above me in the rankings. I can't compete because I simply won't put the word '<statename>' in my web page 34 times. Another problem is that this web designer has of course put together a "national directory", where he's got a page for every state, even if he doesn't have any listings. All of the state pages have links to her sponsors - my competitors, even if they are not in that state. (A lot of "Coming Soon" like they are the next coming of mcdonald's).

I just noticed that the web designer is picking up more business from other similar providers and it's more and more of the same. Of course all of the sites link back to the web designer's page, where I've found that mine isn't the only industry being saturated with spam.

I was kicked out of the Serps with austin along with these guys, but now that we are coming back, I see that they are coming up above my site.

The thing is that they aren't using hidden text, just really hard to see text. I've reported spam to google, but no response as of yet. I'd rather not see my SERPs saturated with guys that use this web designer or his techniques, and what worries me more is that they are quite obvious and easy to repeat so this kind of a thing might start getting popular.

I've worked hard to get my site in the right order with good anchor text, farming links from good related pages, good keyword usage without making things unreadable, adding content regularly, etc. etc. but for some reason I'm falling short. I have more pages, come up higher in the allinurl, allintext, allinanchor queries. I've got a higher PR, but only on my main page as that's something new. (we started working hard on picking up links in january)

What can I do, other than spam fill my site as well? (something I don't want to do).

[edited by: Marcia at 9:51 am (utc) on Feb. 10, 2004]
[edit reason] made generic [/edit]

10:06 am on Feb 10, 2004 (gmt 0)

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>>34 times

A lot of sites with good rankings now may seem to have a number of occurences of the single words, but also notice how many occurences there are of the words together in the exact search phrase relative to the total amount of text on the page.

11:35 am on Feb 10, 2004 (gmt 0)

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What can I do, other than spam fill my site as well? (something I don't want to do).

How far did you fall in SERPs?

Have you considered that the keyword stuffing might be just a coincidence and its something else about this guys pages that is getting him ranked so highly. Or perhaps something that his site/pages has/have that yours does/do not have?

Sometimes the obvious thing is not the cause, just a coincidence!

Best wishes


2:54 pm on Feb 10, 2004 (gmt 0)

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I think you're on to something. My 3000 page site was also gone with Austin. I brought some of it back by reducing the keyword concentration and making sure keyword combinations were in the right order in the text.

Further research using low concentration keywords brought up sites above mine that had only one instance of each keyword in different areas, but all were in anchor text It's not how many keywords, but where are they located.

I added a different keyword to anchor text in my index two nights ago with no other changes and jumped from nowhere to the first page for searches including that word.

I have one competitor who was using the hidden keyword table CSS trick. It worked. Google picked keywords up from the table. He has removed it, but still ranks high, at least until the next index. He has a good page and still may be high in rankings without it.

This is happening so often, I believe the searches will find a way to discount it in their indexing.