And why would those particular small gift basket sites be THE MOST RELEVANT for the phrase gift baskets, out of the hundreds of thousands of others? For them to even think they should be is kind of funny!
I think the point was, these "smaller" basket companies were
in the top 10 for their target search terms before Gift Baskets Inc. moved in with their questionable tactics (and I do agree with the complainers... the company may say it's just "good marketing" but from what I've read of what they're doing, it's Just Not Right, IMHO).
And from the way I read the article, I don't think the search terms in dispute were general terms like "gift baskets" (current ranking of sites for the general term notwithstanding). The one smaller company they quoted specifically mentioned that they hadn't sold one "fruit basket" in two months as a result of the dropoff in traffic. And the domains registered to Gift Baskets Inc include 1stfruitbaskets.com, for instance. I would suspect the problem is that Gift Baskets Inc has been targeting all sorts of "niche" phrases in the gift basket industry and knocking these smaller competitors -- who might very well be highly relevant for those specific terms -- out of the running.
The way I read it, it isn't so much that these smaller companies thought in the face of all evidence to the contrary that they should be
"more relevant" for general terms like "gift baskets", they apparently were
considered more relevant for their niche terms up until fairly recently, and it appears to have been the multiple duplicate-content domains of Gift Baskets Inc that shoved their sites down in the SERPs. And they're pissed off (as they should be, MHO). Ties in with the "are the bad guys winning at Google" discussion we had here, hmm?
Jill, if one of these "smaller" gift basket company had approached you to do SEO for them, would you have laughed them out of your office and told them that they didn't deserve to be in the top 10 because, due to their size, they couldn't possibly be the most relevant site for their chosen key phrases? I suspect not.
And even if one of the small-fry was
top 10 for "gift baskets", why not? SOMEBODY'S got to be on that first page, and I'd just as soon see 10 smaller companies than 10 bogus domains all owned by the same big company that's trying to fool me into thinking that they're separate sites. MHO, of course, YMMV.