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Unethical Ways to Destroy Your Competitor’s Search Rankings

Online marketing information can change quickly This article is 15 years and 227 days old, and the facts and opinions contained in it may be out of date.

I don’t like violence, Tom. I’m a businessman; blood is a big expense.

  • -Sollozzo
  • Disclaimer: I’ve never engaged in any of these practices, nor will I ever engage in these practices. I don’t think anyone else should either. They are unethical, and downright wrong. Even the mob knows that wars are “bad for business”. The Google TOS state there is “almost nothing” a competitor can do to harm your rankings. I’d just like to be prepared for not being that low percentage statistic.

    The purpose of this post is also to demonstrate that you shouldn’t place the fate of your business in the hands of your natural search engine rankings alone. Be prepared to hedge your bets with alternative traffic sources if something like these were to ever happend to you. Don’t believe everything that you hear from a search engine rep.

    Don’t be OVERLY paranoid, just an open-minded skeptic. Be prepared, enjoy the ride, and start a good PPC campaign. Even exceptional SEO’s don’t have control over all the circumstantial variables – a good SEO just uses as many of those variables to their advantage as possible, very similar to the way a sports bettor knows all the angles in a game.

    I would imagine Google’s view on the subject goes something like this – You’re not ever gonna stop ALL the evil folks, so just let them gun for each other in industries like pharmaceuticals, travel, mortgages, loans, and real estate where we’ll just hand edit the top results. Of course this would be “off the record”, and eventually all their base will belong to us anyways. I think the search engines are all working quite hard in this area to keep the collateral damage of fighting spammers low.

    Things Your Competitor Can do to Tank Your Rank

    • Google Bowling
    • Google Washingmore googlewashing
    • 302 hijack
    • Blog *ahem* signing on your behalf
    • Get you a crappy Yahoo directory listing?
    • Get you a crappy DMOZ directory listing (or keep submitting so they never get listed)
    • Send out a couple hundred thousand link requests on your behalf

    More reading:

    Disclaimer reiterated: I have never done any of this, and don’t think that you should either. The idea is to be prepared for unscrupulous competitors.

    More information about Todd Malicoat aka stuntdubl.

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