Why pretend to be something different?

Business /

I was helping a Redditor with a problem they recently faced. Essentially they were confused about their competitor using Fake Websites.

Okay this is probably the weirdest thing I’ve seen. I’ll be honest I’m kind of procrastinating so I’ve spent a lot more time looking at this then I should have.

Okay so first of we got two domains 1) travxp.com 2) travel-expert.org The first has US contact details while the second has UK details. Other than that they are almost exactly the same. If their domains were .com and .uk I would understand but for some reason they didn’t get a UK one (it’s possible they don’t have a company in the UK and can’t buy .uk domain). Heck both websites even have the same about us page with the owners picture along with 5 other staff members.

I actually went to wayback machine and put both domains in. Only a couple of years ago they had totally different designs (but similar content still). For some reason they’ve made both designs the same.

I would guess that they were doing it for SEO reasons or something else but I have no idea why.

There is another funny thing also on the footer of both sites they say their part of the Ensemble Travel Group which is coalition of travel agents that actually looks legit. The travelxp domain actually does have a listing but the other doesn’t. This makes me think that it may be a legitimate company but they don’t really have a UK presence. It’s possible ensemble made the first website (design) they claim they’ve made the second.

My conclusion is that they are based in the US and are pretending to be in the UK (or maybe have one or two staff their). They probably gave their website to a contractor and don’t really understand what is happening with it. The contractor may even be playing around and manipulating the sites as a test.

SEMrush doesn’t really provide any insight download report. I think http://travel-expert.org/ is blocking bots (it’s redirecting to the home page when I try to check… something that I’ve never heard of before) either that or they don’t have a robots.txt file :S.

What makes you think they are on adwords? I couldn’t find any of their ads on SEMrsuh and would be really interested to see any data.

As for your issue If they are a legitimate company and are not doing anything dodgy then they might be okay. It’s possible that they are somehow trying to get an unfair advantage see abuse of network or misrepresent themselves. I would call up adwords and say that you wanted clarification on their policies. Then describe this mobs set-up and ask if that’s allowed. If so, then there is nothing you can do but if it isn’t allowed then say that you got the idea from your opposition and if there is anyway to report them directly.

Honestly though, this setup is quite elaborate and does them a disservice. It would be easier having one website (or link to both arms of the operation) that admits that they’re mainly based online and tailor for only certain markets (i.e US & UK).