Reporting competitors for spam at Google

October 30, 2010 4:56 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

1st of all we need to look at what you can report a competitor for at Google.

  • Hidden text or linksBecause Google cares so much about the content of the page people will add a bunch of content that would make a page ugly and sentences that are incoherent. Rather than show this content to the public they use Cascading Style Sheets(CSS) or JavaScript(JS) to hide the content. Google has done a good job catching this content on it’s own and not indexing information that is hidden before the page is done loading(aka the DOM is returned).Rather than hiding the text by using a display trick designers will use CSS to move the content above the viewable area of the page. This is much harder for Google to detect and when you report the problem it helps Google. A great way to see this is to view the web site in question with your browser. Now open a new browser tab and view the search in question at Google. You will see a link for cached below the Google result most of the time, click on that link. Google will show you a very basic view of the page. If you see additional content on the cached view then they are hiding content. Please take note that if it’s a small sentence or one link Google probably won’t care, but if it’s anymore than that you can report the site.
  • Misleading or repeated wordsThe issue of repeated words is easily detected by Google, but misleading words are really up to the users of Google to bring up.I have a great real life example that you see all the time in search results. There are a ton of Steam cleaning companies that are trying to pick up on the keywords for organic or green. They will advertise that they are an organic cleaner, when by all means they are putting a petroleum based cleaner on your carpet.

    check out this site, they are claiming organic carpet cleaning (misleading site). If you look around you will see this is not the case they actually are using a hypoallergenic petroleum based cleaner. This is very misleading to the consumer and should be reported to Google.

  • Page does not match Google’s descriptionThis is very easy to see. Most likely the website is writing a meta tag description that doesn’t match the content of the page or they are hiding content/links to make this happen.
  • Cloaked pageThis is basically a duplicate site, but done in the easiest possible way either using frames or JS that acts like frames. The JS code below will make a cloaked page of Google.

    if (parent.location.href == self.location.href) {
    if (window.location.replace)
    window.location.href = '';
  • Deceptive redirectsA deceptive redirect automatically redirects a user from the initial web page to a page with different content on it. People use these pages to get keywords at Google that don’t really relate to their site. Normally I see this done when a competitor is trying to get a keyword with another companies name or services in it.
  • Doorway pagesNormally a generic page that is used to get keywords or phrases at a search engines. When you come ot the page it links the user into the real site. I have seen doorway pages that were useful back in the day.A very cool site that had a doorway page for a long time is called They were like the MTV of the internet back in about 2000. They used a entrance page(on the same site) because they needed about 30 seconds to load the site in the background. For me that was a valid reason and good fix at the time. Today with much faster internet speeds a doorway page is not needed for the site.

    Since 2000 many people thought it would be more effective for them to make many doorway pages that link into a site. Normally using many different domains rather than the main site. These are the kind of sites I would report to Google for doorway pages, not a site with one single entrance page at the front.

  • Duplicate site or pagesNow you see Duplicate pages and sites also known as duplicate content as the major issue for Google to fight against. Google is doing a good job at catching this for the most part, but as Google gets smarter so do the spammers. I see this all the time where a competitor will use multiple sites and link them together making duplicate pages, but trying to change the content just enough for Google not to catch it.
  • Other (specify)Other can be used for many things, but most of all we use it for reporting false advertisement, hate, slander, vulgar language, adult content, copy right or trademark infringement.

In the webmaster tools at Google you will see the report spam link on the left side menu or you can follow this link and fill out the simple form on Google then you’re are all done. It can take a long time for Google to do anything so please be patient and don’t make multiple complaints on the same site or then your spamming Google too.

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