View Full Version : Does reporting spam to Google work?
12-03-2004, 02:57 PM
I'm working with a customer and noticed that his competitor has mirror pages set up at different domains. All three sites that I've found (so far) are ranking in Google when you search for Product A. As far as I know, this is considered unethical, correct? The content on these pages are the same verbatim. Does it pay to fill out Google's form?
12-03-2004, 03:20 PM
The best possible response would be to settle in and create a site that blows all of them out of the water.
If it makes your client feel better to fill out the spam report, then do so, but tell him not to expect the Google SWAT team to run over and stomp on the competitor anytime soon. However, it can help them to create general algos to deal with sites, so by giving them examples you are helping indirectly.
My personal response used to be to do a report and then forget about it. But lately I've been skipping the reports (unless my client asks) and just focusing on my own site. The best way to deal with a cheater is by beating them by not cheating.
Besides, in the scenario you outline it's just a matter of time until the sites in question are dealt with anyway. I've noticed that in many cases (not all, but many) Google has a very slow trigger. Part of it is do to the ranking algo just taking that long to do anything, and part of it is (I suspect) giving people a little bit of leeway to fix an honest mistake before penalizing them.
For example, what if you had a site and were having ongoing issues with your ISP? So you make a copy of the site, get it up and running elsewhere (now you have a duplicate) then remove the other one. Might not be the best practice for doing that, but I've seen it done many times. In this case it would be wrong to have a hair trigger.
Just because someone gets away with it for a while doesn't mean they have not been noticed or that nothing is being done. Sometimes they are just on borrowed time.
It probably won't make a difference if you fill out the report, but either way make sure your client knows that the best way to the top is to climb there, not to try to drag down everyone above you. This is a very common pattern I've been noticing lately.
This post was a bit of a rant based on some other issues I've come across recently, so don't take it as pointed directly at you or your client - it's kind of generic :)
12-03-2004, 03:27 PM
no, it's pretty much what I figured. I know Google has a bazillion sites in its index so to find out these mirror sites might take a bit. Either way, I know that I'm at least doing my job by informing my client about their competitor. We are def. going to attack the problem by creating a content rich-relevant site for the end user, sticking by all those ethical practices. We've actually gotten great results (48 top 5 rankings with 15 keywords), this competitor just always seems to have a one-up on us.
Thanks for the response!
12-03-2004, 03:36 PM
An excellent, positive way to approach the issue - kudos!
12-04-2004, 10:52 PM
Does reporting spam to Google work? It's a another drop in the ocean of SERP quality.
Agree with mcanerin totally.