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Competing against a spam network

Most of the sites in the SERPS have same owner and content

     

graeme_p

8:57 am on Apr 10, 2010 (gmt 0)

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The SERPS I am looking at are on the lines of "widgets in ruritania".

I am trying to SEO a weak site (as part of an overall reimplementation). The only possible advantage it has is that the owner's other site is already first for "widgets in elbonia" (and many visitors are might be interested in both).

The problem is that "widgets in ruritania" is dominated by a network of interlinked sites. They have the four or five (including one probably) of the top six results on Google, and five or six (including the probable) on Bing.

What can I/should I do, apart for submitting spam reports? Is there anything I can do myself? Anything of particular importance in competing in these circumstances?

idolw

7:28 am on Apr 11, 2010 (gmt 0)

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subitting spam report is the worst thing you can do - it is just not fair. probably all their sites are good enough to rank where they rank.

your best strategy is to fight your way up on fair play basis and not being an a$$hole.

tangor

8:04 pm on Apr 11, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Entering a saturated niche is difficult, not impossible. Ultimately a good back link profile will do wonders... it is obtaining them that is the difficult part. Offer a clean, good content site, get a few back links, and go from there.

Eventually one reaches a point of diminishing returns (ie. work expended for traffic/rank received). Most of the time that point becomes obvious and at that time one should move on to other things.

graeme_p

7:16 am on Apr 12, 2010 (gmt 0)

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submitting spam report is the worst thing you can do - it is just not fair. probably all their sites are good enough to rank where they rank.


Multiple sites with largely identical content all deserve to rank?

This is a comparison shopping type search. Multiple sites from the same intermediary reduces the choices people see.

It is deceptive, as most visitors will not realise all the sites belong to the same business.

What about their use of paid links, splogs, irrelevant link exchanges, etc?

The second biggest competitor in the niche has multiple sites, each targeting a different niche, each with different information on it, and the same design and logo so its completely clear you are dealing with the same business. That is fair enough.

@tangor, thanks for the encouragement. I was thinking on similar lines. The site will hopefully get a bit of a boost as I am reimplementing it and will improve on page SEO as part of that. From there, do a bit at a time and see how it goes.

idolw

12:51 pm on Apr 12, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Are you 100% sure the content is identical? We often look at others' sites and think they're same same, while they're not. Maybe Google found each site is actually different and that's why it displays them.
I, too, have a competitor who have spammed all our local playground with his main website's clones, but I have never thought of reporting him. That's how losers act. And it won't work, either without getting some decent backlinks.

I noticed network guys work on similar backlink profile or cross-link their sites. Quite often, a couple very good links can help. Perhaps you can try a press release to make it to the news sites and maybe a blogger or two write about you.

graeme_p

11:58 am on Apr 17, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Are you 100% sure the content is identical? We often look at others' sites and think they're same same, while they're not.

Yes, word for word identical text, in some cases with the same pictures. Essentially each of the smaller sites contains a subset of the main site.
I, too, have a competitor who have spammed all our local playground with his main website's clones, but I have never thought of reporting him. That's how losers act.

I disagree - they deserve it. Even if it does not help the site I am working on, it will still improve the SERPS for users.
 

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