We enjoy pretty good Google rankings with our keywords for our sites, often in the top 10, and also enjoyed excellent rank with our BridalTips consumer advocate site.
We especially had good ranking on Google for keywords related to Diamonds and engagement rings, often ranking 3,4,6, or 9 usually on the first page of Google results… that is until Google’s Jagger update, which sent nearly all of our rankings from top 10 down to about 600-1000 (we actually hunted down their exact positions!), while all the scammer web sites and DEAD LINKS remained at the top.
We knew we did nothing wrong and always used Google approved techniques: making our page human friendly, not chasing algorithms, and we don’t do link swaps. We suspect Google has erroneously punished our site for “duplicate content”, meaning our entire web site’s content appears in a cloaked fashion, on several other web sites, without our permission of course, and in violation of DMCA.
After intense research into what could have caused this plunge from glory, we discovered some unbelievable fraud going on:
In a nutshell, we found that dozens of fraudulent web sites are stealing entire web site contents from our web sites, (and yours too) and using it to spamdex Google and artificially improve their ranking, by cloaking the stolen html code and feeding it to search engine web crawlers.
This tricks the search engine into crawling the content on the scamming web site, when in fact it was stolen and fed to the crawler in a hidden manner probably using Javascipts and mini nets.
Your stolen content does not even appear anywhere on the visible pages of the scammer site. This way, the scammer sites get indexed at the top for free, using the hard work of webmasters who have already SEO'd their code.
Once you land on these scammer sites from the Google SERP, you find usually no useful content or navigation, just a stupid useless page displaying a handful of Google Adwords sponsored searches, and the only way off their page is to click on the Google Adwords advertisers on their site (or back button). Real quality traffic right? Wrong!
We made a short PowerPoint presentation about this as a resource to help other webmasters determine if the same scam is occurring to them. I hope it's ok to post it here, if not Jill can remove it, here is the link:
[Not ok. - Jill]
The PowerPoint presentation shows some good screen shots and live Google searches to demonstrate the fraud, and shows webmasters exactly how they are getting ripped off, and how Google AdWords advertisers are getting ripped
off. Once we showed some big name jewlery sites advertising on Adwords how they were victims of click fraud, they were fuming. We also immediately dropped all our PPC bids down across the board. On Google Adwords, we have not used the Content Network searches in years.
Here's what the powerpoint presentation contains:
• How fraud sites are running up phony Google AdWords pay per click
traffic, defrauding Google Adwords advertisers
• How fraud sites have stolen content from sites to rank high
on Google, and defraud other Adwords advertisers
• How to tell if your web site is a victim of these frauds
We have told Google about this numerous times in the past, but they have done nothing. In fact, since Jagger, we have noticed Google’s index has rapidly filled up with useless and fraudulent search results from spammers. Have you noticed lately it’s harder to find a good search on Google? Too many dead or off topic links? I hope they fix it soon!
Paul Bremmer from Bruce Clay, Inc. stated in Website Services magazine that pay per click fraud can be up to 40% for PPC ads. Yikes!
Edited by Jill, 17 March 2006 - 10:36 PM.