Welcome to WebmasterWorld Guest from 54.211.136.250

Message Too Old, No Replies

How to deal with a competitor trying to destroy your Google rankings

   
3:32 pm on Dec 18, 2009 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



Recently we have been doing well in a very competitive market. We have seen several fly-by-night competitors skyrocket in front of us by spamming their urls to guestbook’s; sooner or later they get penalties. There have been allot of them that have been de-indexed and they keep trying to get in using their spammy techniques by adding their links to blogs and guestbook’s.

Now over the past month I have seen they have given up and are now trying to sabotage the rankings of the top 10 in Google for the same market. They basically grabbed the ten best ranked sites and are spamming our homepage links to hundreds of blogs and guestbooks. It’s not just our site but legit competitors with great content infront of us as well.

We have no control over this. We all know this leads to penalty but what does one do if you have no control? Any suggestions?

Thanks

6:09 pm on Dec 18, 2009 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member tedster is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



I would document what you've found and send a reconsideration request to alert Google. If there's a lot of information to document, put it up on a url somewhere and give the Reconsideration team a reference link instead of putting it all in the actual request.
5:03 pm on Dec 19, 2009 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



Tedster,

Yes, I am documented all the blogspot blogs they are spamming them on, but isn't it to soon to send a recon? We suffered an attack last month and I do not want to send in to many recon requests. Our rankings are still fine and this attempt to destroy our rankings just started the at the beginning of this month...

7:10 pm on Dec 19, 2009 (gmt 0)



This leads to penalties, despite Google's assurances. Document like tedster said, and just maybe send Google the info now. It will be there if you ever get e penalty.

On my field every single one on top has paid links, every single one! Go and compete against them

11:38 pm on Dec 19, 2009 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



Maximus12, how were you even able to find all of the spammy links in blogs and guestbooks? How did you know that's where you should start?

I'd thought Google had said there was no way someone could ruin your rankings. I guess they were wrong.

2:09 am on Dec 20, 2009 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



"I'd thought Google had said there was no way someone could ruin your rankings."

they changed this statement awhile back, essentially stating that it was very unlikely that a competitor could ruin rankings.

Placing tons of links on blogs and forums doesn't always lead to penalties. Often, it actually leads to great rankings, which is evident by some competitive inbound link analysis of websites in my genre. :)

7:20 pm on Dec 20, 2009 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



Dick,

I found all of the spammy links in WMT. We had about 302 inbound links to the homepage and within 1 week it went up to 708 with hundreds of them from "blogspot comments" linking to our homepage. Obviously a competitor took the top 10 sites in my field and spammed our homepage link out with the same anchor text to blogspot blogs.

I have documented all the backlinks and am still on the fence on whether I should send in recon or not. We have recovered from a penalty in the past and do not want to look like one of those sites that constantly sends in recon requests.

2:24 am on Dec 22, 2009 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



We had a similar problem a month or two ago and it took us around 10 days to recover (via WMT recon request) - if your site was mine I'd spend an extra time trying to document the thing as clearly and as short as possible, I'd build a page with the info and send a concise note and the link to G via WMT. I'd be proactive, there is nothing negative about - you are doing them a favor.
4:09 am on Dec 22, 2009 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



Another possibility... Blogs are notorious for having a blogroll of links on every page. If a blog decided to legitamately link to you, you could easily acquire 300 links if they had a 300 page blog.
4:16 am on Dec 22, 2009 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



IMO, you should send a properly documented recon as it would not harm.
4:26 am on Dec 22, 2009 (gmt 0)



Another possibility... Blogs are notorious for having a blogroll of links on every page. If a blog decided to legitamately link to you, you could easily acquire 300 links if they had a 300 page blog.

I have a feeling that Google checks the pages manually after coming up on the radar. Based on 5 seconds they decide: bought or..? A huge flaw in the system

4:31 am on Dec 22, 2009 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member tedster is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



From what I see these days, blogroll links don't count for very much - certainly not a multiple of a regular link. I don't think it even takes a manual look. The algorithm just collapses any run-of-site links down so they have nearly no effect.
4:46 am on Dec 22, 2009 (gmt 0)



Why the penalties then as soon as sitewides are in play Tedster?
6:03 am on Dec 22, 2009 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member tedster is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



The penalties don't always kick in. My guess is that it varies with the trust values assigned to the linking domain and the domain linked to.
6:30 am on Dec 22, 2009 (gmt 0)



The penalties don't always kick in. My guess is that it varies with the trust values assigned to the linking domain and the domain linked to.

I agree, it will take the entire world to googlebowl CNN, but most of us will cave in with a few 100 blog spam comments or sitewides. I have never heard of someone coming out of -50 on their own before 1-2 years have passed, it's manual as far as I can tell.

I have to also think if Brett all of the sudden decided to link 10 sites in every page, if those were were all movie related they would be OK. If one was movies, one ppoonr, two meds and other baby diapers then it might trigger something.

If he has 10 links to Star Trek and I'm one of them, Google can't really hold it against and IMO they will figure that the blog owner likes that niche. But then, who knows.

7:21 pm on Dec 22, 2009 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



I have never heard of someone coming out of -50 on their own before 1-2 years have passed, it's manual as far as I can tell.

Greetings! :)
-50 is a penalty for spammy links. That is for sure. Maybe for sth else, too. We've been spamming several websites with rotating links from copies of wikipedia, dmoz, autoblogs, autoforums, etc. anything that gets indexed for a few years. Worked like a charm until they caught us. Then, we got -50 across the board (penalties were coming at 1 site/week pace). We got rid of the spam links, sent reconsideration request in which we prayed the google gods and gave us time of 3 months before moving to new domains. 70% of sites got back after exactly 90 days from the penalty (they were coming back in weekly intervals). So basically, our -50 story was about spammy links and nothing else.

11:34 pm on Dec 22, 2009 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



So how can G decide who the real spammer is? I can in theory go out and spam away and then lay the blame on my competitor and plead innocent to Google. Of course I might have to be carefull about how my browser is configured as a I go about my deeds.
11:42 pm on Dec 22, 2009 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member wheel is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



So how can G decide who the real spammer is?

Why do you think they have to decide who the real spammer is? It's not a court of law. They can blow your domain out of the index, yawn, and carry on with their work.

Google's apparently stated that this can be done, but that it's difficult.

11:03 pm on Dec 23, 2009 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



Thanks for all the feedback everyone. I have still been documenting all the blogspot blogs (BTW it is only blogpsot blogs he is spamming on) these spammers have been spamming our link on. I do however think Google might be able to determine that it is a competitor trying to destroy rankings. My url is not the only one in the list this spammer is trying to de-face. He is using the top 10 domains in first page and spamming them all.

I will wait until caffeine is released and then possible send in a recon request to warn Google that someone is trying to deface our site and rankings...

7:21 am on Dec 24, 2009 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



Why the penalties then as soon as sitewides are in play Tedster?

Sometimes a large increase in blogroll links in my opinion can send a signal a website is purchasing links, especially if the originating websites show footprints of being active sellers.

To me, it is not necessarily the nature of the link (sitewide or not) as much as it is the nature of links, and the websites sending you the links.

Hopefully a proper reinclusion request will shore things up.

[edited by: Robert_Charlton at 7:38 am (utc) on Dec. 24, 2009]
[edit reason] fixed quote tag [/edit]

4:43 pm on Dec 24, 2009 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



max,

I believe I'm in the same boat as you. One week ago my site was -40 Penaltied on everything.
We've always been very certain everything we've done has been WHat. But looking at WMT I see that we have over 700 links from Kuwait, Turkey, all over the place. And mostly in a foreign language (Arabic I think).

And yes there seems to be the same 8-15 competitor sites included on these junk pages.

I have submitted the request to the reinclusion folks explaining that we have nothing to do with that. I pray it's enough. Our selling season starts Jan 1. And we cannot afford to lose more than a few weeks of no Google traffic.
Any other tips would be much appreciated.

8:47 pm on Dec 24, 2009 (gmt 0)



Bill,
since when have those links been there? I am curious how long did it take Google to 'do the math'

If the blog comments are nofollow, why would it lead o a penalty? And does it? Technically they aren't manipulating the Serps at all.

9:15 pm on Dec 24, 2009 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



Walkman,

Most if not all are not necessarily blogs...I think. (Again they're mostly in Arabic) They really look like link farms. With (now that I look at it more clearly) almost all the same exact sites/links.

They have been building up over about 3 years. I've noticed a few referring links in here and there. But I think it's ramped up in the last 6 months or so. Our niche is small but surprisingly competitive. Especially in the last 5 years or so since a very cocky "Google Stomper" has stuck his face in the mix.

And again. Let me restate. I/We have nothing to do with these sites.

[edited by: tedster at 9:35 pm (utc) on Dec. 24, 2009]

2:39 am on Dec 25, 2009 (gmt 0)



Bill, that is odd. I don't even know what the purpose would be since dozens of sites are mentioned there. Maybe to hurt the smaller ones? Is it even a legitimate list?
4:23 am on Dec 26, 2009 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



Walkman, I don't know. I haven't paid it much mind until now.

I cannot fathom what else sent Google to hit us with the -40 penalty. The weird thing was that it was for all 5 of my sites....even the other 4 (which honestly combined only get about 1/4 the traffic of my main). My main site is over 10 years old and the rest are 6,6,6, and 5 years old. Also FYI my other sites are only very loosely connected to each other. About 10% or less product overlap.
Hope you had a good holiday.

6:35 am on Dec 26, 2009 (gmt 0)



Bill, then there's something else at play if many sites were targeted.
7:09 pm on Dec 26, 2009 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Here's another thought, what if they are NOT trying to get your site penalized?

What if they are thinking that if their inbound link is found on pages that also include links to the top 10 for the keyword, then somehow that makes it look like they are in a good neighborhood?

They may not be after you... just a thought.

1:56 am on Dec 28, 2009 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Never happened to me but I'm seeing it more frequently in various industries. Not sure there is anything you can do though.
3:53 am on Dec 28, 2009 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



bears, is it a bad thing? Do you think G would be upset by it? Enough for a penalty? How could they it's out of our control.
It must be something else....I have no idea. Uuuhhgg!
4:35 am on Dec 28, 2009 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



Document what you see but you may find that it may increase your rankings especially if theyre using anchor text that you want to rank for. If your rankings drop, then submit a reconsideration request.

Hopefully you wont end up ranking for the following characters: ":)" or something of the sort.
This problem is becoming common and can easily be done to any website for under $50. Sad to say but similar stuff has happened to me in the past. I hope it doesnt affect your business! Wouldnt it be nice if everyone focused on their OWN websites?

This 32 message thread spans 2 pages: 32