We were recently contacted by a client who had found a number of occurrences of search engine SPAM. What made this SPAM a problem is that they were targeting the clients business name and coming up in some of the top 10 rankings! The pages were littered with the company name, and appeared to have been created by a bot (which the majority of SPAM pages are).
The question we were presented with was: “These sites keep popping up, they are blatantly using our company name as an SEO landing page, do i have any recourse?”
If it is a serious issue that is causing significant problems, the option of pursuing legal action is always there, but this can be a lengthy and very costly option that in most cases may not be worth it. The big 3, Google, Yahoo, and MSN, have methods for submitting SPAM, and this is likely the most probable way to see these listings removed. Here are those methods:
Google: Visit http://www.google.com/contact/spamreport.html
MSN: Perform the search that displays the offending site, then click on the link at the bottom of the results page that reads “Didn’t get the results you expected? Help us improve.” Select “Found SPAM” in the “Type of Feedback box”, and explain your situation.
You may also want to consider contacting the sites webmaster directly. While this may likely turn up no response, it certainly cant hurt. If the site does not have any contact information, you may have to check the WHOIS data for the site. With any luck you may find a valid email address, however, because these are SPAM sites there is a good chance the email will not work, and if it does, they wont care.
If you have encountered this or a similar problem and found another way to resolve the issues, or had no luck at all, I would love to hear your story. Please drop me a note at firstname.lastname@example.org