26 Sep 2012

Copying My Competitor’s Links = Avoiding Banned Tactics? (Weekly Q&A)

There’s an interesting discussion over at SEOchat Forums: Will I avoid spammy links by copying competitor’s link profile (which seems to work)?

Copy competitor's links

There’s some logic in that:

  • If my competitor’s rankings are good, his links must be working;
  • If my competitor’s rankings are stable, his links must be good and safe.

Right?


Wrong!

While competitor research is an essential step in researching your niche and getting inspired, boldly copying your competitors’ link is NOT a good idea.

Here are some points against that statement:

  1. You never know which of those links really worked and which can be spammy: Chances are you’ll copy the easiest ones first (which are most likely to be the weaker ones), so you’ll spam your link profile from the very start;
  2. Your more established competitor must have a good reputation (trust) with Google, so he can get away with some percentage of spammy links. Newer sites don’t have that prerogative.
  3. Last but not the least:

if you copy what a competitor is doing… the best thing you can do is tie. To better your competition…. your strategy and its implementation must be better than your competitor

What are your thoughts?