How Competitors May Be Harming Your SEO
Now more than ever, an immense amount of competition in the digital world is making it difficult to obtain – let alone maintain – visibility. With search engines being the most natural platform through which people find specific products, services or solutions they need, having a great and visible presence in key search engine results page is crucial.
As more and more competitors fight for the same finite amount of digital real estate, pressures can mount and brands must bring their best efforts to ensure success. Unfortunately, some competitors may respond in negative or even destructive ways in the hopes of harming their competitors’ performances in search.
Today, we’ll look at the most common ways that competitors engage in SEO warfare so that you can be aware of any potential attacks.
Easily the most common tactic used by brands to harm their competitors is shoddy link buying practices. Buying links is both easy and cheap: purchasing thousands or even millions of low-quality backlinks can be done for less than a couple hundred dollars in many situations. While this practice doesn’t result in high-quality links and is shunned by search engines, that is the prime benefit of using this tactic against competitors.
Once these services start pinging links from low-quality sources back to search engines, the effects can be perceived as an attempt to game the system. In turn, search engines will make your content less visible or even de-index it altogether. Congratulations: your competitor has managed to completely neuter your influence in search results with just a bit of money and a few minutes of time!
Leaving Bad Reviews
Another common, easy and cheap method for competitors to mess with you involves leaving bad or negative reviews across a variety of platforms. While the exact role that reviews play in SEO hasn’t been disclosed by search engine algorithms, it is known that plenty of bad reviews can harm your visibility (particularly if your brand provides products or services to the public).
Whether these reviews are left directly via search engines like Google or on the most popular review websites, competitors can easily purchase services where reviews are left (positive or negative). Since it is generally easier to criticize than it is to compliment, places that sell reviews by the bundle are all too willing to help deploy dozens or even hundreds of negative reviews against a business or brand for the right price.
Last but not least, submitting requests for link removal is a sneaky and dangerous tactic that can harm your SEO potential. Think about all the time you spent earning backlinks and cultivating traffic: isn’t it terrifying to know that someone can email these websites posing as you, asking for the links to be removed?
If suddenly you notice that multiple high-quality backlinks from different websites have disappeared, then that is an indicator that a competitor may be impersonating you and having the links removed.
Whether it’s pinging links that are of the lowest quality, convincing brands to remove legitimate links or leaving bad reviews, there are plenty of effective tactics that competitors use to undermine other brands. By being aware of these, you can now be more proactive in identifying these situations if they ever happen to you.