Underhanded SEO

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  • blaw

    I had a holding page up for a site while it was in development. The site went live and the owner searched Google for the company name.

    The results are the page title and description, but the URL is for another (unrelated) company.

    Checking the "cached" version of the page reveals that someone copied the logo from the holding page, the page title, and the metadata to a page on their site, then submitted it to, at least one, search engine.

    First, I don't understand the benefit of someone doing this.

    Second, can I assume that following general SEO protocol will have this squared away in relatively short order?

    Oh yeah, and "fuck you" to the cheating asshole that did that.

  • xicast0

    Is your content (logo, source code) currently active on the other site?

    If so, send a very clear Cease and Desist providing 10 days to perform or you will have no choice but to pursue any and all options of protecting your intellectual property. Don't threaten to sue. Just be clear that you intend to resolve this immediately.

    If it isn't online, send a request to Google requesting that they remove your source code/images from their cache at the URL provided. If possible, use the webmaster tools to submit the request. (http://google.com/webmaster/)

    If the cache is cleared up pretty quickly, become familiar with who the owner of the offending domain is. Use domaintools.com to keep track of his other stuff. He may not rip you off but in all likelihood he's going to do this again. At least this way you can make sure it isn't you.

    Sorry you got ripped. It happens a lot. In some sense it is a compliment, albeit an illegal one.

  • emecks0

    Neither of you is making much sense I'm afraid.

    With all respect xicast, your answer relates only to the "rip-off" element of what has happened and doesn't touch on the SEO aspect at all.

    1. Is the company name the same as the domainname??
    - if it is then don't worry at all, as soon as the site has content that
    gets indexed it will spank the imposter down the rankings pretty

    2. Have you submitted a sitemap to google?
    - this is what the best usage of your time with the google
    webmaster tools will be, writing an email will be time-consuming
    and bring relatively little, unless you are Matt Cutts' milkman or

    3. Does the site have a decent amount of content on it already?
    - more content you have better you get indexed as a rule of

    4. Have you got in-bound links for the site yet?
    - if not then make some :) post comments on relevant blogs,
    contact sites that are relevant to see about getting a link on

    If you do those steps you should have the problem resolved pretty quickly :)

  • blaw0

    Thanks for the time and the responses. I appreciate your help.

    The only question I still have is, does this mean I should stop putting up a holding page during development? I've always done that and included a relevant page title, description, etc.

    Perhaps leaving the title and metadata off until the site launches would be a good idea.

  • emecks0

    there's no right or wrong to it blaw....

    say for example it is a static site with 10 html pages in it that will not grow over time you are best either making only a holding page or not putting one up at all - the only benefit you will get is that it can be indexed prior to site launch.

    If on the other hand you have a site (about cars for example) which will grow and has a number of sections which you already know will have certain URLs pointing to the sections it can be a good idea to put up a holding page for each section with your main section level navigation in place - just the links that is, no styling or design would be needed at that stage. The benefit of this is that the site and each of its sections can be indexed prior to launch....

    • Again, great points. Thanks for sharing. BTW, a bit back you posted a link to FastStart SEO. It's proven to be a great resource.blaw
    • ...resource. So thanks for that, too.blaw