Nov 17, 2008

SEO Shortcuts, or Plagarism

Only in college are we required to reinvent the wheel. What am I talking about? In this case SEO. For someone new like me, there's a strong inclination to scour competitor websites for keywords and phrases. Hit SpyFu with their url so I can get a little info on what the industry keywords are.

At times I feel guilty. But at other times, I recall the lessons I learned in business. A long time ago a boss told me, "someone already plowed this ground, why not take advantage?"

Which is powerful. Less powerful if you're lazy, because all you'll never come up with something on your own, or use your wits to refine something to perfection. A lot more powerful if you see it as a safe place to start and go on to develop better.

I bring this up because I saw this on mining the competition at Marketing Pilgrim:

SEOs will generally kick-off an optimization campaign by examining analytics, performing keyword research, checking on-page elements, analyzing links, and so on and so forth. However, there exists an extremely useful tactic that is often underutilized or left out completely from the SEO’s arsenal. What am I talking about? Ladies and gentleman, I present to you… Competitive intelligence.

What is competitive intelligence? As it relates to search marketing, I would define it as the process of performing research to gather information about your competitors’ websites and analyzing that data for the purpose of extracting methods used and formulating strategies that you may use to optimize your own website.

Competitive intelligence can open your eyes to many things, including:

  • What your competitors are doing.
  • How you compare to your competitors.
  • Predict what your competitors will be doing.
The article goes to look at keywords and link analysis as well.

So I don't feel so bad wanting to look at what the competitor is doing, as long as I'm going to use it as a base to improve. However, my college professors would have called it plagarizing.

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