Outdoors Industry Big Companies/ Bad Actors
I struggled on whether or not to write this article. It isn’t really about hunting and fishing or the outdoors, but more about how some of the bigger companies selling to sportsmen are completely without morals and a sense of decency.
As a small company, advertising costs can be high. We pride ourselves in having the hands-down best hunting scents and fishing attractants in the industry. I personally worked very hard developing and testing every product we sell. Many others are testing these products themselves and we are thankful to our prostaff team for doing it. Word of mouth has been great. However, to really bring in customers without spending a large amount of nonexistent cash, we need people to find us on Google.
I have talked a bit about the Big Scent Companies and just how poor their products are. Synthetic deer scents that contain 3 ingredients aren’t helping anyone. In fact, they also hurt us because hunters and fisherman think we follow that same mold; we don’t and never will. But they get replacement customers because they can spend a lot of cash getting new ones. Facebook ads, SEO companies, Twitter campaigns and other marketing campaigns with famous industry personas touting these products keep sales high. They are in Walmart and other big box stores. They have huge advertising budgets. And you know what? None of those marketing methods really bother me.
For some big companies, this advantage just isn’t enough. The don’t just have teams of SEO people and ad dollars to spend on Google, they have procedures they use to ATTACK small companies like mine. I work hard to improve my SEO rankings in Google though natural methods of acquiring traffic. And over time, I have greatly increased that traffic. While doing this, I have monitored my successes and my failures. Despite gaining traffic and doing the hard work, one trend has become more obvious. No matter how hard we try to increase our Domain Authority (one measure of how well we may rank in Google), it has tended to instead drift down. We have followed the rules and done the work to gain good quality back links. Yet we are being penalized for a bunch of very SPAM-laden links we didn’t create. How are they getting there? One or more of the BIG COMPANIES is buying domains anonymously and setting up websites mostly posing as “clip art” sites. These sites are full of ads and new, terrible domains and fake, unrelated keywords. They use copies of our images and link to our sites. Due to the SPAMMY nature of such a site, these links are counted against us as if we are cheating to get better position on Google. This is intentional and these big companies do it so we cannot compete in the one area we should be able to, free Google traffic. I must say, this is terrible business and I wish I could prove which companies are doing it.
It is hard to say who it is. Anonymous domain registration prevents me from finding out. But one thing I can see is that most are from one company. This isn’t cheap so they obviously have the money it takes to create these sites to attack us little guys.
If you read through my gripe, I do appreciate it. I would also ask that you give some of us smaller companies a try, and when you see the quality of our products, please recommend them to your friends. Instead of buying cheap scents from these unscrupulous big companies, help give the little guy a leg up. Word of mouth would really help us out. And we appreciate it!