One of my clients — Mike Averbach of Averbach Mortgages has been targeted by several competitors using Black Hat SEO Tactics.
The reason they are targeting him is because Averbach Mortgages is one of Vancouver’s top mortgage brokerage firms and has many of the top keyword rankings for the Vancouver and surrounding areas.
The tactics have misfired, because Averbach consistently monitors his top Google rankings. A few days ago when he searched his own name, he found that a competitor was using “Mike Averbach” and several other terms as tags in his blog. The result was that the competitor’s name showed up linked to Mike’s name on page two of the Google rankings.
A second competitor has used Mike’s name and company name as keywords that are triggering Google paid ads.
The first black hat tactic is actually illegal in most US states and has been the focus of some very high profile legal cases. In Canada, civil law suits are quite different matter and since I’m not a lawyer I will “decline to comment.”
Illegal or not, using a competitor’s personal name or company name in tags or keyword metatags shows a lack of moral fiber. Attempting to steal a competitor’s hard earned traffic is simply a NO NO.
If you have found a competitor trying to steal YOUR traffic … what can you do?
1. Write a “cease and desist” letter. Sure you can send an email, but sending a hard copy is a good idea and registering your letter is an even better idea.
2. If you belong to a professional organization, let them know what is happening. They will probably get their ethics committee or board involved. This may involve an investigation and censure.
3. If that doesn’t produce results, get your lawyer to write a follow-up letter. This will probably do the trick by scaring the pants off the offender.
4. Your final recourse is a law suit.
What has Mike done?
There are NO good reasons to use Black Hat SEO techniques. There are literally dozens and dozens of ways to get traffic to your website. SEO, SEM, Internet marketing strategies, off-line marketing strategies and social media strategies are only a few of the ways you can build your business.
Give me a call at 604-899-9403 to discuss how I can help build YOUR business.