SEO Firms Don’t Tattle; they Target and Tackle!
Google’s Webmaster Help service is there to offer assistance to webmasters who legitimately need it, but many use the forum as a way to get Google’s attention and rat out their competitors. Sometimes, claims made in these competitor “reports” are accurate (albeit inappropriately reported), but the overwhelming majority are not. To the dismay of those who do this, Google does not often take the bait. Here is an example:
Webmaster Help Poster: My site is not ranking for my targeted keywords anymore. I think it is because my competitor at (insert competitor URL here) is spamming his site with the same keywords. Help!
Clearly, this poster wants somebody at Google to click the link, take note of the competitor’s spam-filled site/general shadiness, and promptly demote his rankings as punishment for his abhorrent, black hat SEO practices. But unfortunately for the poster, that is not what is likely to happen.
Here is an actual Google response to a similar post on the Webmaster Help thread:
It seems that this thread got started in a misleading way, which isn’t likely to give you much useful help…it seems a bit odd to solicit for help in improving that site. If instead you’d like to report it as spam, I’d recommend using the normal spam report form. If on the other hand, you’d like help to improve your own site (which is generally the better path), I’d recommend starting a thread specifically for your website, detailing the issues you’re seeing and the changes that you’ve made.
In other words, Google told the poster to:
- Report his competitor using the proper channels (the spam report form, not Webmaster Help), and…
- Worry about his own site from now on.
Using Google Webmaster Services Correctly
It seems unfair, doesn’t it? But the truth is, when your site is properly optimized, then the dishonest practices of your competitor should not really matter. Experienced SEO firms encounter these challenges every day, and they handle it by making their clients’ sites better rather than contacting Google to tattle on their clients’ competitors. In fact, the best SEOs utilize this forum to their greatest advantage by learning how to correct their own mistakes on their own site(s) from the forum admins and other reputable SEO specialists.
It’s tempting to blame others for your ranking misfortune, but by taking the reins of your own site and moving forward, you can still leave your competitors in the dust. If you aren’t sure how to start, locate a good SEO firm that can tackle this challenge.