Is Reporting A Client’s Competitor for Low Quality Links a Good Idea?

Jan 28, 2014

report spamIs it a good idea to call out a client’s competitor for having low quality links? While it may seem like a good strategy to shed light on shady practices that a client’s competitors are involved in, you may be better off not saying anything at all. What are the pros and cons of reporting a competitor for low quality links?

The Competition Might Not Rank for Certain Keywords

Google is constantly evaluating sites to see how a site attempts to rank for a certain keyword or phrase. If a site is linking to spam sites or is using traffic exchanges to gain traffic, it is unlikely that your client’s competition is going to be able to rank well for the words or phrases that it wants to rank for. This means that customers may not be able to find the competition if they tried looking for it. Therefore, it may be better to let the competition reap the rewards of its own arrogance or ignorance.

What Happens If Your Competitor Finds Out You Reported Them?

It is easy for a competitor to use blackhat or negative SEO strategies to get back at your client’s site. For example, a competitor could pay someone to click on their Adsense ads or write reviews that say bad things about your client’s company.

Although you can write to Google to tell them that someone is maliciously clicking on your client’s ads, it may not be enough to keep the account from getting banned. At best, you will have to disable ads from their site for the time being.

It will also take time to counter all the negative reviews that are being written about your client. Do you want to invest that time and energy on a company that could make it even harder for your site to survive?

Could the Links Infect a Computer or Hurt an Entire Network?

If you know that a competitor’s links are going to sites that infect computers with viruses, infect entire networks or steal confidential information, it may be your responsibility to report a competitor. Even if you become the target of retribution, you don’t want to run the risk of your client’s customers getting hurt because you didn’t say anything.

Will Action Be Forthcoming?

The final question that you have to ask yourself is if anything will come from reporting your competitor. While Google will take steps to label sites as dangerous or malicious, there is no guarantee that any such action will happen in your case. Therefore, you have to take a step back and think about whether your client gains any specific advantage from making a report.

Is reporting a client’s competitor for low quality links a good idea? The answer is that it depends on the situation. If your client trusts you to take such actions, then you should do so if you think it is warranted. However, if the client objects to such a maneuver, you have to respect his or her wishes.