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How your competitors can sabotage your website rankings

High rankings on search engines can help you to get a lot of customers. If your website has high rankings on Google for a good keyword then your website will get a lot of attention.

Your competitors also know that and and some of them might not use ethical business practices. There are some things that your competitors might do to sabotage your search engine rankings:

1. Your competitors might create spam under your name

All major search engines use links to calculate the ranking of web pages. It's not only the number of links that counts but also the quality.

Your competitor might add your website to several spam linking schemes to hurt your site.

In addition, your competitor might use your website URL for spamming in online forums, social network sites and blog comments. Although it's not you who is spamming the websites, it will be hard to prove that you're innocent and social network sites might ban your website (which will have a negative effect on the link structure of your site).

2. Your competitors might peach on you

Did you buy links on other websites to improve your search engine rankings? Google doesn't like that at all. If your competitor finds out that you use paid links he might tell Google and your rankings might drop.

The same can happen if you use any unethical SEO method on your website (hidden text, cloaking, etc.). If your competitor finds out and informs Google then it's likely that it will affect your search engine rankings.

3. Your competitor might send a copyright complaint

If a search engine has been notified about a copyright infringement on your website then the search engine must remove the page from its index for 10 days. If your competitor files a copyright complaint against you then your website can be temporarily removed from the search results.

4. Your competitor might create duplicate content

Search engines don't like duplicate content. If more than one web page has the same content then search engines will pick one page and drop the rest.

If your competitor creates duplicates of your web page content then these duplicates might get better rankings than your own site. Of course, this can cause legal problems for the person who duplicates the content (as all methods mentioned in this article).

You cannot avoid that unethical competitors spam other sites with your name but you can avoid being banned for using spam techniques on your web pages. Only use ethical search engine optimization methods to get high rankings on Google and other major search engines.

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July 2007 search engine articles