What to Do When Your SEO Competitors Are Up to No Good

This week’s Ask An SEO question is from Fernanda in São Paulo:

“My new competitor is doing a black hat SEO strategy and it’s clearly working for him. He scaled up very quickly in Google rankings and I can see what he is doing through SEMrush platform. I tried to report to Google, but apparently, nothing happened. What else can I do?”

As an agency, we regularly hear from potential clients who believe that their competitors are up to no good.

Sometimes they are.

But more often than not, competitors rank higher because they are optimizing the right things.

And many times, even if the offending party is working in an off-white shade of SEO, we find the reason they are ranking has nothing to do with their relatively nefarious tactics.


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Focus on You

One of the biggest mistakes many companies make is focusing more on what their competitors are doing, rather than working to improve their own lot in life.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s important to know what your competitors are doing.

But watching your competition more closely than you watch your own results is a big mistake.

In many cases, your competitors don’t know what they are doing, and if you assume they do just because they are ranking ahead of you for a keyword, you very well could be mistaken.

And if you copy what your competitors are doing without understanding the full ramifications of their actions, frequently you will be dissatisfied with the results.


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The best thing you can do is spend the majority of your time and resources on making your search engine presence better rather than focusing on what your competitors are doing.

We all know that part of SEO is analyzing what is working

Apple stops selling headphones from competitors like Sonos and Bose

  • Apple has stopped selling headphones and speakers from third parties including Sonos and Bose.
  • Apple now only sells audio accessories which are either own-brand or Beats, which is owned by Apple.
  • Bloomberg reported Apple is clearing the decks ahead of announcing new audio products.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Apple has pulled all headphones and speakers from companies including Bose, Sonos, and Logitech from both its online and physical stores.

Bloomberg first reported the news.

Headphones and speakers from rival brands disappeared from Apple’s online store at the end of last month, and in Apple’s physical retail locations employees have been instructed to remove products for sale over the past few days, according to Bloomberg. 

Bose confirmed to Bloomberg that Apple will no longer sell its accessories, and wireless speaker company Ultimate Ears said it had been informed by Apple that: “They will no longer carry third-party speakers at retail from September onwards.” 

Sonos shares fell 5% after the news broke after trading hours on Monday, but then recovered slightly to a 3% drop overall.

Apple now only sells own-brand headphones and speakers along with products from its subsidiary Beats.

Bloomberg reports one exception on its store, a conference room speaker from Pioneer that plugs into an iPhone.

Apple told Bloomberg it regularly makes changes to the products it carries in response to new third-party accessory releases and customer demand.

Bloomberg reports booting rival products signals Apple preparing to launch new audio offerings including some long-rumored over-ear headphones.

This is a tactic it has deployed before when expanding into a market, in 2014 it pulled Fitbit wearable accessories from its online store ahead of launching the Apple Watch.

Apple was not immediately available for comment when contacted by Business Insider.

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Porter’s 5 Forces Mannequin And Internet Competitors

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