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A competitor is killing me and I can't figure it out….

Discussion in 'Black Hat SEO' started by TheMoneyHat, Apr 3, 2017.

  1. TheMoneyHat

    TheMoneyHat Newbie

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    Here's my problem:

    1. Competitor has a site with about 500 subdomains (it's a multisite) on the same topic (very competitive niche) - it's about 4 years old.

    2. The main site has great metrics and thousands of back links.

    3. All the subdomains are "unique sites" with unique urls, different admins and registrars.

    4. All the URL's have been mapped to the subdomains with the A Record

    5. The subdomains don't have good metrics (DA 1 etc) and no backlinks of any value

    6. All the subdomains have about 80% duplicate content (via copyscape). The only thing that changes is the name of the city.

    7. Each subdomain has about 30 to 80 pages of content

    8. All the subdomains offer the same service in different cites in the US.

    9. The subdomains come up in #1, #2 or #3 in most cities that I've checked for the top keywords in this niche.

    10. The subdomains beat out large competitors

    11. I have tested large cities (Tacoma WA) and smaller cities (Bakersfield CA) and it happens regardless of the size of the city (i.e. the results returned)


    MY QUESTION IS THIS:

    Would Google see this as one site? Doesn't make sense but I can't figure out how this site is getting it's subdomains ranked so highly.

    Any thoughts would be really appreciated -
     
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  2. ThopHayt

    ThopHayt Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    Depends what the other sites in the niche are doing. Is all this normal behavior?

    -ThopHayt
     
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  3. mudbutt

    mudbutt Jr. Executive VIP Jr. VIP

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    PM me the site

    -ThopHayt
     
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  4. TheMoneyHat

    TheMoneyHat Newbie

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    No sure what you mean. All the other results for the cities are one-offs or very large authority sites.
     
  5. ThopHayt

    ThopHayt Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    Are the other sites in the top 10 using non-unique content on multiple pages? Are others using this city by city cloning BS with their pages? In some niches, like real estate, I've seen this shit fly in Google in the past. So it depends if these things you listed are "common" for ranking sites in this niche to do. Just like how in the porn niche you can have the word penis in your content and its fine but if you are in the child care niche Google won't like that. If this competitor is the only one abusing this stuff then they probably have a massive hidden PBN or something you aren't catching.

    -ThopHayt
     
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  6. TheMoneyHat

    TheMoneyHat Newbie

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    Good question - I checked out the other sites in the search results and they are one-offs (or very authority sites) and no duplicate content.

    The main site has 1,632 unique links (copyblogger, entrepreneur, nielpatel are the top 3) - awesome links.

    QUESTIONS:

    1. Does the power of the main domain impact the subdomains (all mapped to unique URL's).

    2. Would the subdomains need their own PBN to get these rankings?

    3. What's the best back link checker to find a PBN?

    Thank for the help!
     
  7. Th3 Canadian 3h

    Th3 Canadian 3h Regular Member

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    I'm interested in this as well
     
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  8. drewp123

    drewp123 Junior Member

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    1. Indirectly. The subdomain starts off as an "average" domain, but gains authority more easily. I'm thinking of web 2.0s as my example paradigm.

    2. Not necessarily. If the main domain has authority and they sculpt their internal links. It would depend on how competitive your niche is, but if he's outranking competitors with links from Entrepreneur as you mentioned, then probably.

    3. No clue. A method I use is to use scrapebox. Scrape the top 500-1000 urls for your term. Check those URLs for links to your competitors domain. There have to be better methods, and i would love to hear about them if someone here cares to share :)
     
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  9. TheMoneyHat

    TheMoneyHat Newbie

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    Can you give me a bit more background on this? The subdomain gains more authority because is connected to the main domain?

    Thanks for you input btw -
     
  10. KHer0

    KHer0 Supreme Member

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    Google considers the domain as an authority in the Niches cuz of it's strong profile and covering the whole topic.

    Of course he is benefiting from the main domain, just we all benefit from wordpress subdomain. Remember about.com, it was dominating whole google with it's subdomains.

    Moreover, there is non-proved talks that local search are dealt with differently. No one can really give you exact reply without checking, but for straight answer, yes, the main domain is helping his subdomains.
     
  11. ttmschine

    ttmschine Regular Member

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    Please can you pm me the website - I've seen something similar recently in a specific niche, would like to compare them.
     
  12. blueberryim

    blueberryim Registered Member

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    I would like to try this with my sites too
     
  13. cursedbrain

    cursedbrain Junior Member

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    Hundred of subdomains with 80% duplicate content.. Looks like a sure way to get banned soon. For how long has your competitor been doing this?
     
  14. TheMoneyHat

    TheMoneyHat Newbie

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    The primary domain is from 2013 - very well optimized site -
     
  15. Th3 Canadian 3h

    Th3 Canadian 3h Regular Member

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    If I'm dealing with the same thing should i copy my competitor with the same pages with just location change on the page or write all new content for every page?
     
  16. TheMoneyHat

    TheMoneyHat Newbie

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    I'm going to try copying the structure and see what happens. Starting with one subdomain (city). I'll write my own content but add new subdomains with about 80% dup content. See what happens.

    Should have it up by next week. I'm going to work on getting it to rank on a medium keyword (competition, search etc).

    I'll post updates as it goes -
     
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  17. Th3 Canadian 3h

    Th3 Canadian 3h Regular Member

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    Nice I'll be reading that post
     
  18. what_hat?

    what_hat? Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    I'm also following the post, @TheMoneyHat , please do keep us updated
     
  19. Littlevt

    Littlevt Newbie

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    very clever strategy .. I'll be watching
     
  20. Littlevt

    Littlevt Newbie

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    this is obvious but , Is 2013 history based on posts or you checked wayback? i say this because this could have been created by software recently .
     
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