How do SEO scams work

9 Ethical Ways to Destroy Your Competitors SEO

The SEO landscape looks very different today than it was ten years ago.

When I started SEO, the internet was a novelty. There weren't that many rules back then either.

Black Hat SEO was normal back then, but today it's a scam.

People did really crazy things back then. You simply wrote your main keyword 100 times on the same page and then chose the same color as the background so that it would not be recognizable.

Back then, I also did more Black Hat SEO than I would like to admit with a clear conscience today. I was only 16 years old at the time and I hadn't thought about the consequences.

Besides, it was all totally normal back then.

Nowadays, of course, I no longer resort to such methods.

One of those forbidden techniques that was very popular back then is what is known as negative SEO.

Negative SEO is a black hat strategy used to destroy competitor rankings.

You attack your competitors' websites and hope that Google will penalize them.

That's pretty sneaky.

However, over time I have found that this strategy cannot be used to promote the growth of your own website, because instead of using your time and energy to improve the SEO of your own site, you spend your time To harm your competitors.

I quickly found that the effects of negative SEO don't last long.

If you want to get a lot of visitors to your website, you have to create something unique and negative SEO can't help you with that, so I always advise people to focus on creating exceptionally good content.

I know a few though ethical Methods to steal your competitors' place in search results without any black hat SEO.

With these strategies you can significantly increase the performance of your own website.

They are a serious combination of black hat and white hat SEO that you don't have to feel guilty about.

1. Spy on your competitors' keywords

This strategy is one of the most insidious ways to outperform the competition.

Let's just assume that your main keyword is “walnut tables”.

You have probably already analyzed your keyword and compared it with the keywords of your competitors, right?

You can find out the exact keywords of any website and then use them yourself.

To do this, open the Ubersuggest program, enter a competitor's URL and click on “Search”.

Then click on “Keywords”.

Now you will get a list with helpful data for each keyword, but we are particularly interested in keywords with high search volume that match our main keyword.

The overview shows the search volume and the organic traffic for each keyword of your competitors.

You can even download the list as a CSV file and save it on your PC.

I love this program because thanks to its great features I can get a very good impression of my competition's strategy and find out which keywords they are using.

2. Use local SEO to your advantage

Unfortunately, local SEO is often overlooked.

Most of the companies I work with always want to be ranked in search results for the most popular keywords, so they don't pay attention to local search terms.

But I'm always happy when I can convince them of the opposite.

Have you ever noticed that you get local results from your region when you search for a "plumber"?

That's because these companies make use of local SEO.

Local SEO covers many areas, but you should definitely familiarize yourself with the acronym NAP familiarize.

This does not mean the short nap on the sofa. The abbreviation stands for three terms: Name, A.address and location (English: P.lace).

You should put your NAP information on Google My Business (GMB) and the important pages of your website, e.g. B. on the home page and on your contact page.

You can even find the NAP information for this restaurant in the footer:

With local SEO you don't harm your competitors, but you improve the rankings of your own website.

But these are just the basics of local SEO. If you want to learn more about the topic, you should read this article.

3. Tell people about your side

Personal recommendations contribute to success.

Recommendations can even prevent potential SEO problems.

Does that sound strange? Let me explain this briefly using an example.

Let's just say you sell sweatshirts. Client X is looking for a website that sells great sweatshirts.

How good are the chances that this customer will land on your website of all places? For good or bad, there is no 100 percent guarantee.

You cannot guarantee that customer X will find your website.

Now let's assume that customer X asks a question on Quora.

If you answer this question, he'll notice your website and have a very high probability of visiting it.

Of course, you can't just advertise your website just about anywhere. You have to provide the potential customer with a helpful answer.

You can do that by providing a detailed answer:

You could also share your personal history or an interesting story about your company.

Don't just copy the link to your website into the answer and write a short sentence about it.

You have to help the user as best you can and answer their question honestly.

You don't have to limit yourself to Quora, because there are other suitable platforms and forums, e.g. B. Reddit or Yelp.

4. Build more backlinks

How many people are talking about your company? And how many people are talking about your competitors?

This is an important question to ask yourself.

The more popular your website is, the better it will rank in search results.

And the more popular yoursCompetitors are the better it gets your Website placed.

This is because Google considers the popularity of a website as a ranking factor.

This upper graphic contains the ranking factor "Link popularity“.

Google rates the popularity of a website based on the number of links that point to the page.

If you want to increase your rankings, you need a watertight backlink strategy, because if you gain more backlinks, your own page rises in the SERPs, while the pages of your competitors keep sliding down.

In order to get the most out of this strategy, you should primarily build backlinks from websites with high domain authority.

Incidentally, this is easier than you think. With this strategy you beat out your competitors.

First enter a keyword in Ubersuggest and hit the "Search" button.

Then click on “Content Ideas” in the left sidebar.

The program now creates a long list of websites whose content is displayed in the search results for the respective keyword.

Then narrow the results down further by only looking for the websites with high domain authority. Contact these websites and ask them for a link to one of their content. The more links you build, the higher your rankings will go.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/DC8LZx4zNKU

5. Correct the name of your competing company

Google always wants to offer its users the best possible user experience.

And do you know who might not realize that? Your competitor.

Many companies use dubious methods to gain an advantage on Google My Business. That is unfair and also prohibited.

The good news?Something can be done about this.

Many companies place redundant keywords on Google My Business on behalf of their business.

Here is an attorney who is obviously into keyword stuffing:

The term “IRS Tax Attorney Expert” is redundant as it is not part of the name.

If you're not sure if a company is keyword stuffing, you can find out by going to their website and looking up their official name.

This can usually be found in the footer, on the contact page or in the imprint.

So the official name of this law firm is different from the name on Google My Business.

This is clearly against the guidelines.

Even if you now feel like you are telling your competitors, that is not the case, because you are only helping Google to improve the user experience.

You don't even have to leave Google to do it. Just click on “Propose a change”.

Now you can make changes to the entry.

Click the pencil icon next to the name and enter the correct name.

Then click on “Send”.

Google will be notified of the proposal and may change the name accordingly. You will then receive an email telling you whether your change has been made successfully.

If the change was successful, your competitor will definitely lose rankings.

Companies that use keyword stuffing often rely on dubious strategies in order to generate traffic in the first place.

However, your own website rises inexorably in the search results because you refrain from such dubious methods yourself.

6. Correct your competitor's address

Here's another way to use Google for your own benefit.

There are addresses that also violate the guidelines:

The last sentence contains a lot of useful information.

If your competitors use a post box or a virtual office as their address, you can report this violation.

It's easy to see if a company is using a post box as an address. However, it is not that easy to find out if a company makes use of a virtual office.

To find out, you should check the address manually.

Sometimes you find that the address of the company is registered with the address of a virtual office provider, like this:

Of course, it's not always that simple.

But who knows, you might even find multiple companies sharing the same office. If too many companies are registered at the same address, then in all likelihood it is a virtual office.

Click on “Suggest a change” again. Under the company picture, you should see the option “Place is permanently closed or never existed”. Click on “Yes”.

In the pop-up you then select the option “Does not exist”.

If everything goes according to plan, Google will penalize the company for using an illegal address.

7. report spam

This strategy must be used carefully.

You can't report spam if it's not really spam. The method is seductive, but you can only use it in justified cases.

Open this page to report spam and click "Send Spam Report".

You can choose from nine categories.

This is a serious matter. You have to be absolutely sure that it is real spam.

Most violations fall into the following categories:

  • Paid links
  • Other Google products
  • Rich snippets

Sometimes you come across a dubious phishing site, but it has become very rare.

Here are a few sources to help you identify spam:

8. Look for unnecessary keywords

When I started with search engine optimization back then, the usage was especially many Keywords quite normal. Sometimes one keyword per sentence, often more.

Keyword stuffing is still around today, but it's harder to spot.

Google shares a list of the different types of keyword stuffing. You can find it here.

The last example is relatively easy to spot.

The first two methods don't look like keyword stuffing at first glance, but they are.

Look at youthis website at. The company lists the cities for which it wants to appear in search results.

This is a perfect example of the second point in Google's redundant keyword guidelines.

You can report a violation by going to the spam report and clicking on “Report webspam”.

Then fill out and submit the form.

Use the 300 characters to describe the violation.

9. Find hidden keywords

There is another form of keyword stuffing that is even more deceptive and therefore deserves its own section.

Finding unnecessary keywords, as described above, is actually very easy.

But sometimes the keywords are very well hidden.

A website can look completely normal and still hide a dirty secret.

I'll show you now what I mean.

This site looks professional and trustworthy, doesn't it?

At least it doesn't look like a website that makes use of Black Hat SEO, because the site hides its redundant keywords in the source code.

You can check the source code of any website.

Press the right mouse pointer and select “Show page source”. (I use Google Chrome, so your text could be different.)

Most of the time, the unnecessary keywords are hidden in the meta name.

This is also the case here:

With these methods you can quickly uncover the rule violations of a website.

You can hide your keywords even more skillfully, says Google:

So always keep an eye out for hidden keywords.

Conclusion

You may be worried now that the strategies presented could still fall into the area of ​​"negative SEO", but this is not the case.

You can take advantage of negative SEO to your advantage without fear of the consequences.

If you use these methods, you will help users find the information they are looking for more quickly and thus also help Google to always offer the best possible user experience.

Search engines always want to provide the user with up-to-date information and there are always companies trying to find an abbreviation.

If you track down a scammer and report the scam, you will improve search results.

The third Newtonian principle applies here. Force equals opposing force: A force from body A to body B is always accompanied by an equally large but opposing force from body B to body A.

Your competitors' rankings go down, while your own rankings go up.

I've tried these nine methods myself and can confirm that all of them work perfectly and are legal.

Of course, you cannot rely solely on the SEO methods presented here, but you can use them to complement your SEO strategy.

I'll tell you a little secret now:Most of your competitors are unlikely to have a clue about SEO.

If you work hard and can implement a fantastic SEO strategy, you are already one step ahead of them.

Combine your solid SEO strategy with these nine methods to soar in search results at lightning speed.

Are you going to try any of these methods?

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