SitePoint Sponsor

User Tag List

Results 1 to 9 of 9
  1. #1
    SitePoint Zealot
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Posts
    153
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Dealing With A Spammy Competitor

    I'm a web designer/developer in a small town. A couple weeks ago I was looking through a list of businesses, deciding which ones I wanted to contact. In my search I came across a site for a local company that was filled with Lorum Ipsum text and had links to replica watch sites on it. I contacted the company to see
    if they needed some help. The lady I talked to told me that a certain local designer was working on it. When I mentioned the state of the site, she said "Yeah, I don't know why it's like that". She didn't want my help so I left.

    Today I decided to check out the site again. It's been changed to a "coming soon" page. That's good. Then I looked at the code. There are several links stuffed in an H1 tag that point to some replica watches site. They were positioned off the page. I went to the designer's portfolio and started visiting other client sites. Of the first 10 that I checked, all of them had some form of spammy code except one. Then I checked her own business website's code. No spammy links there.

    This designer has a lot of local clients. It's a small town. This means most of our local websites have this spam built in. This is a designer that still uses tables for all designs, uses javascript roll over images to make menus, and has had the same company website for over ten years. Clearly not someone that really cares about web design.

    I feel obligated to do something about this. I'm not sure what exactly. Any suggestions?


  2. #2
    SitePoint Wizard bronze trophy
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    2,673
    Mentioned
    10 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I feel obligated to do something about this. I'm not sure what exactly. Any suggestions?


    Yes, the only thing you can do - compete with him so you work towards taking control of most of the business in your town. He must be doing something right, find out how he managed to secure all these sites! Once you've worked that one out, formulate a plan to start becoming the 'go to guy' in your town instead of him. I would imagine the best way to become top dog in a small town is to network like crazy, which is what I suspect this guy did (either that or he's related to or friends with all his clients).

    Just remember that while his sites may turn your stomach, his clients may be happy and they may actually perform well. It's a tough sell trying to 'educate' someone who's perfectly content with what they've got. I certainly wouldn't suggest you ring people telling you think their site sucks It's certainly better if they come to you, which might happen if you create some very effective sites for other people in the town and start getting a buzz going about how successful your client's sites are. In the end, no client cares if their rollovers are css or js, but most care about how the site performs for their business.

  3. #3
    SitePoint Zealot
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Posts
    153
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Thanks for the reply.
    I should clear up that I'm not worried about losing business to this person. I'm pretty new to the game ( New business wise. I've been making websites for over 10 years), but things are picking up. I charge quite a bit more than this competitor, do much better work, and my clients have been happy so far.

    This concerns me at a community level, and a moral level. Either all of these sites have been hacked, or there is a designer that is adding spammy code to all their client sites. I feel like I either need to contact the designer and ask what's up with the links, or inform their clients. It seems like a slippery slope. I don't want to start some kind of war. I just want people to get good websites.


  4. #4
    SitePoint Wizard bronze trophy
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    2,673
    Mentioned
    10 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by alteredskate View Post
    Thanks for the reply.
    I should clear up that I'm not worried about losing business to this person. I'm pretty new to the game ( New business wise. I've been making websites for over 10 years), but things are picking up. I charge quite a bit more than this competitor, do much better work, and my clients have been happy so far.

    This concerns me at a community level, and a moral level. Either all of these sites have been hacked, or there is a designer that is adding spammy code to all their client sites. I feel like I either need to contact the designer and ask what's up with the links, or inform their clients. It seems like a slippery slope. I don't want to start some kind of war. I just want people to get good websites.
    That's actually why I offered that advice - I don't think you can really go around town telling all his clients that their sites are spammy, especially if it turns out he's well connected in the community, so the better option is to just out-compete the guy so all the clients with poorly performing sites choose to jump ship to the developer who everyone is talking about as the 'go to guy' for local web development (i.e. you).

    I mean, you could go round trying to convince everyone their sites suck, but how are you going to do that without coming across pretty poorly yourself? It is a slippery slope. And it's very very hard trying to sell something to someone who doesn't really want to buy, especially if they think you are telling them horror stories about their site purely to scare them into a sale.

  5. #5
    SitePoint Zealot
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Posts
    153
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I definitely agree that going to the clients is a risky approach. You're dead on when you say that many of them are happy with their sites.

    I asked around for advice elsewhere, and one suggestion that came back was to contact the designer and let them know. That's more inline with what I was thinking.

    In a strange turn of events, an hour ago I received an email from the very person I'm speaking of. They introduced themselves quite politely. It's kind of a "Hey, I'm a web designer too" type greeting. Looks like a great opening to bring this issue up.


  6. #6
    SitePoint Enthusiast seanuk's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    30
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    If you consider you and your product better than his, then ignore him, move on and aim higher.

    If he's doing spammy things with his clients websites, he's going to get what's coming to him especially with all the current Google SEO algoryhtmn changes, etc. His clients' websites will start getting penalised, etc.

    Keep on focusing on you doing a good job and things will work out in the long term.

    I have a number of competitors in my hometown that often come up when pitching to new clients, and many times when I first lose a client to them, 6 months later they come knocking on my door.

    Take it as an advantage that one of your competitors is actually doing a sh!t job

  7. #7
    SitePoint Enthusiast
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Posts
    48
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    What happens is brand name, for a small town business, brand name is also considered very important point and you have flexibility to build brand name. You can take help of on-line as well as off-line marketing.

    If your competitor is lazy or adopting spamming methods of marketing then you can win the competition very easily if you focus on brand name and on some other aspects like quality, pricing, communications etc.

  8. #8
    Life is not a malfunction gold trophysilver trophybronze trophy
    TechnoBear's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Argyll, Scotland
    Posts
    6,177
    Mentioned
    264 Post(s)
    Tagged
    5 Thread(s)
    Please read the thread carefully before replying.

    The OP is not asking how to win business for himself, but whether he is obligated to take action over the unethical practices he has discovered in his competitor. Please keep replies on-topic, or they will be removed as fluff.

  9. #9
    Life is short. Be happy today! silver trophybronze trophy Sagewing's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Denver, Phang-Nga, Thailand
    Posts
    4,379
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Ignore the competitor, and focus on your own work unless you have decided to be an activist instead of a business
    The fewer our wants, the nearer we resemble the gods. Socrates

    SAGEWING LLC - QUALITY WEB AND MOBILE APPS. PREMIUM OUTSOURCING SERVICES.
    Twitter | LinkedIn | Facebook | Google+


Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •