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Google taking people to impersonator's website, instead of mine

Discussion in 'Google' started by JEET, Sep 6, 2020.

  1. #1
    Google taking people to impersonator's website, instead of mine

    I have a domain which is a combination of 2 words (like paypal is), and my domain is a known name in my niche.
    An year back or so, someone registered another domain, which has one part of my domain (the more popular part),
    and now whenever someone searches for that part of the domain, google shows them the impersonator's website on top, instead of mine.

    For example, if domain is "ABC XYZ dot com"
    These people registered "ABC" part in a different TLD.
    And now when someone searches "ABC something", expecting to reach my website,
    google shows them that impersonator's website...

    Until last month all these people were being taken to my website, which is how it should be.
    That is my brand name, people know it, and they are using it in search "expecting" to see results from my website...
    My company is registered in that name.

    Where can I make a complaint about this to google?
    Is there an official page where I can file a complaint to google about this?
    SEMrush
     
    JEET, Sep 6, 2020 IP
    SEMrush
  2. mmerlinn

    mmerlinn Prominent Member

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    #2
    Since they are using only PART of your name (unless that part is totally UNIQUE and a REGISTERED TRADEMARK), there may be nothing that you can do about it. Based on your example I seriously doubt that Google will do anything. I know that if I were running Google, I would do nothing. Why? Because there are thousands, maybe millions, of similar domain conflicts on the web and there is NO way that everyone can be made happy in the SERPS.

    That said, do whatever you can. YOU MIGHT GET LUCKY!
     
    mmerlinn, Sep 7, 2020 IP
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  3. JEET

    JEET Notable Member

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    #3
    I totally understand that millions of domains have similar names.
    But the thing is, when people enter that part of my domain in search, they are expecting to come to my website, not to others.
    It has been like this since 2012.

    Its like someone registers "youtube porn", and now whenever someone searches for "youtube", then google takes them to the porn site, instead of real youtube website...
     
    JEET, Sep 7, 2020 IP
  4. JEET

    JEET Notable Member

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    #4
    See here in this example, I searched for "tube"

    https://www.google.com/search?q=tube#spf=1599464594363

    And youtube is the first result,
    as expected.

    There are so many other websites using "tube" in their domains, including porn ones.
    But these are not shown when someone searches for "tube"...
    Suppose if google starts showing one of those porn ones above youtube...
    That is what is happening in my case.

    In my case, Its not a porn website, but another website using very similar domain to mine, and working in same niche...
    Their domain is registered just about an year back, obviously on purpose...
    Mine has been there since 2012.
    They are literally selling same service in my name...
     
    JEET, Sep 7, 2020 IP
  5. mmerlinn

    mmerlinn Prominent Member

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    #5
    I recognize that you have a serious problem. However, short of some legal issue (trademark, copyright, etc) I don't think you are going to get any satisfaction from Google or anyone else.

    I think you will need to figure out some way to convert this from lemons into lemonade. There has to be a way you can capitalize on this issue. I have no clue how, but I don't see any other option.
     
    mmerlinn, Sep 7, 2020 IP
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  6. JEET

    JEET Notable Member

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    #6
    I just registered the "dot online" version of the name myself. Will try and push this one up.
    Fingers crossed.
     
    JEET, Sep 7, 2020 IP
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  7. jose

    jose Well-Known Member

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    #7
    1. As for the legal issue, check whether your case may be a form of cybersquatting (or, in some countries, web parasitism).

    Probably no. However, it is worth checking out. Only people who know the real details of both domain names can answer the question.

    2. As for SEO, you should check the basic ranking factors of both sites and, more precisely, why Google ranks first the impersonator's website on your own keywords.

    Reasons may be:
    -- better content
    -- better backlinks !!!
    -- various other reasons. For instance, if your own domain name is an exact match domain (or EMD) that includes exactly the keywords you're targeting, Google does not like it very much.

    3. You stated also that the other website has another TLD. Be aware that Google does not rank sites in the same way in all countries. Geographic target in search console of a generic TLD or use of a country code top-level domain may lead to a better ranking in the selected country.
    .
     
    jose, Sep 19, 2020 IP
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  8. JEET

    JEET Notable Member

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    #8
    @jose
    Its a domain match problem.
    Their site has like 15 pages total, started this year.
    Mine has over quarter of a million pages, started in 2012.

    Google updated their algo this September, and since then they have started listing that other website for our brand name.
    Reason is, their domain, which is a copy of our brand name in a different TLD.
    Our domain is, our brand name plus another word (in dot com), because our brand domain was not available in dot com. So we added another word to our brand name and took this domain in dot com.

    Google has done this for 2 different but very very similar terms and is costing us a lot.
     
    JEET, Sep 20, 2020 IP
  9. jose

    jose Well-Known Member

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    #9
    You know your own case much better than we do.

    If it is pure domain match problem resulting from a algorithm update (like the November 2019 update https://twitter.com/searchliaison/status/1201549327144898567), there is little/nothing to do, except if it is a kind of cybersquatting (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cybersquatting).

    In case of cybersquatting, check if this Google's form may help you:
    https://support.google.com/legal/troubleshooter/1114905?hl=en

    However, it is worth also investigating possible additional factors. Amount of pages as well as their age are not really ranking criteria. With right content and appropriate backlinks (both major ranking criteria), a small site may rank better than an older site on 2 particular keywords.

    -------------

    Did you check whether Google ranks better the impersonator's website on your keywords in other country markets too? (SERP's change according to the country of the searcher). Use a Google rank checking tool.
     
    jose, Sep 21, 2020 IP
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  10. JEET

    JEET Notable Member

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    #10
    They got like 25 back links,
    I got somewhere in thousands built over years.
    Its an algo mess up, nothing else.
    Google changed or dropped some check, as a result this website came up from nowhere.
    It was not even there on deeper pages until September 4.
    I check search results very often for that brand name.
    I am the creator of that brand name, started it in 2012, and since then I was the one who stood there.
    Now these all sorts of crazy websites are coming up, using my name in their domains...

    Its like google decides to show "dom.in" on top when someone searched for "dominos"...
    or "you.top" on top when someone searched for "youtube..."
    Something similar is what they did in my case...

    Its like someone wore your face mask, and is now standing right next to you in public...
     
    JEET, Sep 22, 2020 IP