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 Linkfarm?
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 countless companies, from Taco Bell to Best Buy, and everywhere in between.
So what are the true intentions of pissedcosumer? Some folks feel it is a valuable resource of finding out past experiences from widely known companies. Others feel that the entire site is nothing more than a giant link farm containing countless sub domains 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?
So what is pissed consumer doing to create such high rankings in Google?
• 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 pissedconsumer is doing “right” to build and keep such high ranks, 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 names 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 websurfers 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, pissedconsumer allows it. Because these types of reviews and comments are in no way, shape, or from useful to the end user, you would think Google would realize that pissedcomsumer may not deserve the rankings it has.
• Having essentially 0 real content on the site. 99.999999% of all content on pissedconsumer.com consists of user reviews and comments. This sounds positive, but they are not moderated, and often not valuable in any way. Pissedconsumer simply relies on user driven content to constantly get reindexed into search engines, and continue to improve search results.
How is pissedconsumer negatively effecting online reputations for businesses?
Unfortunately for many small and medium (and even some large) sized companies, pissedconsumer.com 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 pissedconsumer (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 seomoz.com that I stumbled upon which sparked me to create 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!