SEO Copying Pitfall #2: Taking It Beyond SEO Copying

Just like with school students, plagiarism reflects badly on a company.  Taking some title tags, keywords, or meta descriptions isn’t going to be noticed by the user, copying a competitor’s site and just changing the name, logo, and photos will.  A common pitfall people make when copying SEO is they don’t know where to draw the line.  This frequently happens when people try to match the competition but have no idea what to look for.  Rather than trial and error, research, or consulting they take everything for fear they’ll miss the key component.  After a few modest design changes, the site goes live.  This is a very bad idea.

Let’s set aside copyrights or lawsuits as a reason not to do this, though it  is a distinct possibility when stealing copy or design from another company.  Instead let’s focus on how the user reacts.  If you manage to pull this technique off and improve your rank to the same as your competitor you will likely be viewed one after the other.  Since your competitor has a leg up, in that they actually know what they are doing, it’s fair to assume they will always be placed a spot or two above you.  So your competitor is viewed, then you.  A mirror image of the site before, but probably with some flaws.  That’s not the way to present yourself on the web, a cheap knockoff of a competitor. 

By all means use competitive intelligence to your advantage but do it knowledgeably and ethically.  Anything else will either hurt your company or get you in to a lot of trouble.

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