The company website receives the majority of attention (and rightfully so) when a company implements a search engine optimization campaign, whether it is carried out in-house or outsourced to an SEO firm. The company will have to observe how its website does versus all the other websites out there, regardless of whether those other websites are utilising ethical SEO strategies or not, after it is out into the open, so this is the one area where there is a sense of control.
The presumption is frequently that the company Online Learning Center and, if it is utilising one, its SEO firm, has no control over what shows in search engine results aside from modifications made to the corporate website. This is not typically the case, though. By keeping an eye on your competitors’ websites and alerting the major search engines when their use of SEO tactics veers off the path of what is commonly referred to as ethical SEO, you or your SEO service can frequently have a direct impact on search engine results. (Please note that even though I think the term “ethical” is overused, I use the term “ethical SEO” throughout the essay to describe white hat approaches because it has become the accepted term.)
Let’s begin by defining competitors. The Image submission sites businesses that sell the same goods and services, are of a comparable size, and so on are almost always considered to be a company’s key competitors. Whether these competitors are employing unethical SEO practises or not, it is critical to routinely monitor their SEO efforts (or lack thereof). You may rest easy knowing that for the time being, this channel is yours to use if they haven’t begun conducting SEO in-house or haven’t hired their own SEO provider. By analysing the keyphrases that your competitors target when they start an SEO campaign, whether or not they use an outside SEO provider, you can learn a lot about their sales and marketing strategies. Additionally, you can look into their campaign’s use of ethical SEO techniques.
Your rivals on the Internet
It’s crucial to remember that it’s doubtful that searchers would choose simply between you and the top rivals you’ve listed. Any business that appears for their search keyword and fulfils their specific demands will be taken into consideration. This is why you should widen your definition of a rival on the web to include any business that provides similar goods or services to yours and outranks you for any of your targeted keyphrases. You can often spot future-looking competitors that you were previously unaware of—your top rivals of today—if your internal team or your SEO provider continuously checks your search engine rankings as well as the businesses that show up above you in search results.
This brings up the important topic of moral SEO. For the majority of businesses, search engine optimization is still a pretty new notion. Even the most reputable businesses can err in this area, either by selecting the incorrect SEO provider or by attempting to forego employing an SEO agency entirely by handling it in-house with well-meaning but underqualified staff. For instance, the German version of BMW’s website was recently momentarily removed from the Google index due to the use of doorway pages, which is not regarded as a morally acceptable SEO technique. It makes sense that your rivals are likewise subject to violations.
There are many well-known instances of otherwise intelligent and well-established businesses using an SEO service that left them worse off than they were before they pursued SEO, for instance by having their website banned from major search engines for breaking the terms of service of the search engine. In a recently known case, the vast majority of a Las Vegas SEO company’s customers were penalised. Nearly all of the clients alleged that they were unaware of the firm’s unethical SEO practises and that this put them at risk.
The two categories of SEO companies are typically known as “White Hats” (those that employ ethical SEO techniques and will never knowingly breach a search engine’s terms of service) and “Black Hats” (those that do not use ethical SEO practises and that will attempt to unravel the latest algorithms and exploit any loopholes to achieve rankings at any cost). Both strategies are acceptable because breaking a search engine’s terms of service is not illegal. Black hat methods can also be very successful. The strategies are hazardous, though, thus anyone considering using an SEO firm that employs unethical SEO techniques and wears a black hat should be made aware of this risk in advance.
When businesses attempt to execute SEO in-house to avoid employing an SEO firm, the responsibility nearly often falls to an already overworked IT department. The issue with tackling SEO from a purely technical perspective is that the tactics used, such as the keyphrases targeted, may not always be in line with the objectives of the marketing and sales departments. Additionally, an IT resource may frequently approach SEO from a strictly technical perspective without being aware of ethical SEO standards, which might cause problems. Penalties are a very real threat, and if your site has been taken down, it is challenging to get back onto an index.
A good SEO agency will keep track of both the sites that rank higher than you for any of your chosen search phrases as well as the few competitors you consider to be important. This might be a little contentious, especially for any SEO company or webmaster who employs techniques that are against the terms of service of the search engines. However, many white hat SEO service providers believe it is their duty to regularly check the websites of any rivals they find using search engine results to make sure they are employing ethical SEO practises.
Every major search engine offers a method for reporting websites that utilise unethical SEO techniques and that break the terms of service so that these websites can then be punished or removed. Spam filters are unable to detect all infractions without also blocking a significant portion of useful websites. Search engines depend on individuals to assist them in keeping their indexes clear and devoid of websites adopting unethical SEO techniques. There are far too many ways to spam an engine to mention them all. However, a professional SEO provider is able to accurately report these strategies to the engine by not only being aware of them all but also being able to spot them when they are used.
The Final Product
Since business is business, your interests frequently conflict with those of your rivals. It is quite possible that a website that is not employing ethical SEO will be taken down if you report it. As a result, you no longer have to worry about one company in the online market for the time being. With the caveat that you are using ethical SEO methods and abstaining from violations yourself, of course, or you risk being reported by a competitor of yours or its SEO service, you also get the added benefit of seeing your rankings improve as the violating pages are removed if the site in question outranked yours.
Users who report violations help the engine too. Since there may be pages appearing for specific search terms that are not genuinely relevant to those terms, search engines do not like people trying to deceive their indexes. Search engines undoubtedly recognise this advantage because they would not offer a reporting system if they believed they could eliminate all spam on their own. After all, maintaining such a system is not free. The offending pages must be visited by actual engine employees to establish that unethical SEO practises are being used.