Whenever a company undertakes a search engine optimization program, whether it is performed in-house or outsourced to an SEO service, the majority of the attention (and rightly so) is dedicated to the company website. This is the one aspect where there's a sense of control--once an internet site is released in to the wild, the organization will have to observe its site fares against the rest of the websites on the market, whether another sites are utilizing ethical SEO tactics or not.
Besides changes made to the company website, the assumption is frequently that the business and, when it is using one, its SEO service, has zero control over what appears in search engine results. However, this is simply not usually the case. Often, you or your SEO service can have a primary influence on search engine results by monitoring your competitors and reporting them to the major search engines when the SEO techniques applied to their site fall outside what is popularly referred to as ethical SEO. (Please note that while I feel that the phrase "ethical" is tossed around too often, "ethical SEO" has become the standard phrase to describe white hat techniques, and therefore it is the phrase I use through the article.)
To begin with, let's define competitors. Virtually every company has at least a number of other programs so it considers to be primary competitors--the ones that sell exactly the same products and services, that are of similar size, and so on. It is essential that the SEO efforts (or lack thereof) of the competitors, whether they're using ethical SEO techniques or not, be monitored on a routine basis. If they have not hired an SEO service of their very own, or if they have not started doing SEO in-house at all, you will have reassurance realizing that the usage of this channel, for the moment, is yours. If your competitors begin an SEO campaign, with or with no outside SEO service, you can learn much about their sales and marketing tactics by evaluating the keyphrases they target. And you can also investigate whether they're using ethical SEO practices inside their campaign.
It's important to remember that it's unlikely that searchers are going to decide only between you and the principal competitors you've listed. They are going to consider any organization that matches their particular needs and that appears due to their search term. For seo marketing this reason your criteria for a competitor online should broaden to encompass any organization that offers products or services like yours that outranks you for all of your targeted keyphrases. If your in-house staff or your SEO service not merely continually monitors your se positions but additionally analyzes the businesses that appear above you browsing results, you are able to often identify forward-looking competitors that you had been previously unaware--your primary competitors of tomorrow.
This brings us to the key problem of ethical SEO. Se optimization is still a really new concept to most companies. Even probably the most respected companies can make mistakes in this arena, either by choosing the incorrect SEO service, or by trying to prevent hiring an SEO service altogether by bringing it in house with well-intentioned but unqualified people. For example, BMW's German site was recently removed temporarily from the Google index for using seo marketing
doorway pages--something that is not considered an ethical SEO practice. It stands to reason that your competitors may also be not immune to violations. You can find very notable examples of otherwise smart and established companies hiring an SEO service that put them in a worse situation than before they pursued SEO--by getting their site taken from major search engines for violating the engine's terms of service, for example. Not long ago, there clearly was a well-publicized example where a lot of the clients of a Las Vegas SEO service were penalized. Almost all of the clients claimed that these were not informed that the firm was not practicing ethical SEO and that they were therefore at risk.