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How is Pissedconsumer.com Unfairly Affecting Your Company’s Online Reputation?

For Many Businesses, Pissedconsumer.com is Negatively Affecting Online Reputation Management Strategies by Dominating Google SERPs. Is Pissedconsumer.com a Legit Customer Review Website or Blackhat SEO Link Farm?

If you do any sort of SEO (or PPC) work, you are probably familiar with www.pissedconsumer.com. Despite containing very little useful or valuable information, it has dominated Google’s search engine results pages since 2008. Sure, the site hosts tons of experiences and opinions from previous customers for almost every national brand in America, but is the content actually valuable?  Pissed Consumer hosts subdomain pages for thousands of companies, from Taco Bell to Best Buy, and everywhere in between.

So what are the true intentions of Pissed Consumer? Some folks feel it is a valuable resource for finding past consumer experiences from widely known companies. Others feel that the entire site is nothing more than a giant link farm containing countless subdomains interlinking between one another.

At TriMark Digital, one of our largest clients is a nationally franchised company, serving over 200 locations across the country. When the name brand of this company is searched, Pissed Consumer shows up 3rd!? How could this be possible when our client has so few actual posts on Pissed Consumer?

What is Pissed Consumer doing to attain such high rankings in Google search results?

  • Interlinking between pages and domains. Because pissed consumer has SO MANY sub domains (your-company.pissedconsumer.com), they are able to internally link back and forth, creating a huge interwoven web of sites.
  • Constantly adding new content. Despite the fact that 75% of posts on pissedconsumer are people badmouthing other posters or posting otherwise generally useless content, the constant barrage of new posts are seen by search engines as “fresh content”. This was literally the first post I clicked on from the Target Department Store, and it is utterly worthless to anyone looking for an authentic Target Review: http://target.pissedconsumer.com/nice-try-but-a-forgery-20100614185777.html. I hate linking to this site, but people need to understand the sheer volume of useless content that Google is constantly indexing.
  • Targeting High Volume Brands as Keyword Searches. By constantly creating sub domains containing brand names such as K-Mart, Target, and McDonalds, pissed consumer is intentionally targeting (and optimizing) for those high volume keywords. If this wasn’t done on such a large, spammy scale, if may actually be considered white (or at least gray) hat.

So now that we know what Pissed Consumer is doing “right” to build and keep such high rankings, what are they doing that could be interpreted as blackhat?

  • Ignoring spam posts. Spend 2 minutes on the site and you will quickly discover that there are countless spammy comments posted on each review. Many are unrelated to the original post, are posted multiple times, or are identical copies of comments posted on other company reviews.
  • Allowing people to post under different profiles. Essentially, there is no way to determine which posts are real and which are fake. Users are allowed to created unlimited usernames and post under each one. Someone could theoretically have an entire conversation or argument with themselves using different names. This decreases the likelihood that all content will be quality and useful to consumers who are looking for actual, legitimate reviews.
  • Not deleting useless posts. Whether a post is submitted 4 times or simply consists of swear words and name calling, Pissed Consumer allows it. Because these types of reviews and comments are in no way, shape, or form useful to the end user, you would think Google would realize that Pissed Consumer may not deserve the rankings it has.
  • Having essentially zero real content on the site. 99.999999% of all content on Pissed Consumer consists of user reviews and comments. This sounds positive, but they are not moderated, and often not valuable in any way. Pissed Consumer simply relies on user driven content to constantly get reindexed into search engines and improve their own search results.

How is Pissed Consumer really affecting online reputations for businesses?

Unfortunately for many small and medium (and even some large) sized companies, Pissed Consumer is dominating search engine results. When a potential customer types in a company’s brand name and the 3rd result is a Pissed Consumer spot, they are often very likely to read these negative reviews, and not purchase from the company.

Many small business owners feel like Pissed Consumer (and similar sites) are literally destroying their business by unfairly monopolizing the SERPs for their specific company brand name. There was an AWESOME post on Moz that I stumbled upon which sparked my ideas for this post. Despite the article being written in 2008, many of the same concerns still exist. If this topic interests you, I would definitely recommend checking it out here: http://www.seomoz.org/ugc/pissedconsumer-link-farm-dominating-google-serps.

So what are your thoughts on www.pissedconsumer.com? Have you had any overwhelmingly positive or negative experiences with them? Please share them here, we’d love to hear how your stories!

Lastly, if you are having trouble with your business’ online reputation management, please contact us to learn what we can do to help!

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4 Comments

4 Responses to “How is Pissedconsumer.com Unfairly Affecting Your Company’s Online Reputation?”

  1. Jj

    They make money on advertising. This is against Google guidelines, yet they won’t take them down. Something fishy here actually. I got an e-mail from Google after someone posted. Today, it really effects your online rep with Google and the general public. I understand that scams exist, because I just fell victim to one. I knew I got scammed, because I got nothing in return for my purchase and no refund, no contact info either. Some people are drawn to negativity and don’t care how it can effect others. The real issue with pissedconsumer is no manual editing. Now we got trouble. Regulate it or get rid of it. Allow people to change or delete their post, then you have a sincere attempt to warn the general public about fraud. Fraud is not a customer deciding an item is defective and threaten to get a full refund when there is nothing wrong with the item and they just lost their job…You know when you have been scammed…it’s like someone stealing your wallet after too many drinks. Many innocent companies getting burned in a bad economy.

    Reply
  2. Dylan Benton

    Hello Fdhill,

    I think you are right on point. If there was some sort of validation process for posting these “reviews” on these types of sites, I think they would prove much more valuable. Unfortunately these posts do add content for Google to index and rank. And for the time being, there doesn’t seem to be a good way to stop Google from doing just that.

    Reply
  3. Fdhill

    Dylan,
    They are one of the sites online that totally abuses the CDA 230 immunity. The site is total garbage, as is complaintnow, complaintsboard, my3cents, iRipoff, scam.com, ripoffreport, scamraiders, scamfound etc etc. I am sure there are genuine reports on some of these sites. Howevwr, I am absolutely convinced that they all just take feeds from each other and repost the complaints. Have you seen the pattern, report goes on one of these sites within 24 hours its on all of them. Some of the poster names look computer generated, and the people talking to themselves look computer generated too just to create more content to rank the report higher. Pissed Consumer has no way of contacting them no matter how wrong, false, or slanderous the report is. These sites in my opinion add zero value to the results as you cannot believe a word on any of them, why Google ranks them I have no idea except that they are usually littered with Adwords. You will never see them rank for brands in Yahoo and Bing.

    Reply
    • Shaun mcinnis

      You guys are spot on! My small business has been crippled by an “anonymous person,who I know”( which is more often then not,the case)posted multiple nasty things to take me out of business.you want to finish someone off for good? Accuse them of doing creepy things around the customers children,that will work every time and it sure did.among other bogus postings,that one is the most damaging,personally and professionally .I went through the obvious drill contacting police RCMP ,hired a Laywer “cease and desist letters”even had the story posted in the ottawa citizen .goolge is well aware of the nature of these sites yet seemingly encourages them by ranking them right below the business name. There is a video on YouTube “rexfield ripoff report exposed”that suggests that Google may be getting kickbacks from them.other search engines do not support these sites and that already speaks volumes. I don’t want to use google anymore because of this practice , but thats about the only power I have left aside from trying to create some awareness.this is all because of section 230c communications decency act .Free speech yes,anonymous free speech ,absolutely not!
      Most people would hang me for saying what I am about to say ,but I would rather see the government control the internet then have this level of fraud and extortion happen right in my face.Most would strongly disagree,but if I have to pick privacy over my bread and butter,sorry guys ,
      I gotta eat! Shaun

      Reply

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