Despite what any SEO guru will tell you, links are still extremely important to search engines. Actually, they’re THE most important factor. How they work, the context they’re used, and the power of the site they’re coming from has indeed changed, but at the end of the day links matter.
People know this and they cheat. Cheaters often prosper. When you were a kid your parents probably told you that cheating was bad and that cheaters never win. Well, that’s BS. Cheaters win all the time; that’s why they cheat!
Beating the cheater
In MANY niches it is quite simple to beat a cheater. Most of the cheats spam the Internet with crummy links. some great links will outweigh their links with no problem. This is a case where quality trumps quantity.
Also, in many cases, the cheater’s days are numbered. This depends though- I have seen people cheating in search and winning for years on end. But if they are blatantly spamming the web they will likely be penalized by an algorithm change at some point.
The power of the cheater also matters. Did they just spam some forums or are they paying off reporters at Forbes to link to them? High authority links like that are going to be practically impossible to get unless you cheat as well. In cases like this the cheater is often of a fixed mindset and wants to rank for one single term. This is where you can beat them with a TON of content. Let them have their 1 search term. Chances are, there are 1,000 they missed.
Can’t I just report the cheater?
No. You can, but, Google basically uses these reports for their engineers to tweak the future algorithms. A webspam report does nothing else. They will not go investigate and issue a manual penalty just because you turned the cheater in.
If you need assistance beating a cheater feel free to email us today and we’ll take a close look at things.