Q: just to clarify earlier question — if we aren’t necessariy doing those practices, but they compliain abt us, do we have any recourse?
Q: We have a competitor who will stop at nothing. If they decide to play nasty and rat us out to Google, once we receive that notification from webmaster tool, what can we do to resolve or rectify it? Is it a permanent label?
First and foremost, be sure to set up Google Webmaster Tools. This is the ONLY way you will be notified of a manual penalty, and it is the ONLY way you can respond. If you have a manual penalty against you, this will show up in the messages there. Read the penalty carefully; Google will tell you what you are doing that is in violation of its SEO policies, so the SEO tip is to a) set up Webmaster tools, and b) pay attention to what the messages are.
Then, if a competitor has complained, you can either a) remove / change the offending material or practice, or b) state your case to Google and explain why you think it is not correct. Google is judge, juror, and executioner here, so there is no real “recorse” other than pleading with Google to take your side. Google is a monopoly and it acts like one, unfortunately.
Finally, if you really want to fight fire with fire, you could create a negative SEO campaign against your competitor – ratting out its bad practices to Google as well via Webmaster tools (Google ‘Web Spam report.’). I don’t recommend this, however, as I generally feel it is better to be positive and focus on improving your own site rather than tearing down the work of others.
Got a question? Click this link to email Jason or call 888-993-1122. Dr. Jason McDonald is founder and Senior SEO / Social Media Director of the JM Internet Group. He teaches the SEO training classes for the group, and therefore provides most of the SEO tips for this blog. His goal with this blog is to provide an easy 'one-stop shop' for the busy marketer looking for tips, tricks, and secrets on how to get to the top of Google and Bing for free using proven SEO tactics. When not dreaming up SEO tips, Dr. McDonald lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with his wife, two dogs, a cat, four iguanas and twelve children (just kidding). Really you read down to the bio on this guy? Enjoy the blog.
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