Wednesday, July 27, 2011

SEO Strategy: How to Capitalize on Your Competitor’s Mistakes

If you aren’t the marker leader, sometimes the best time to grab traffic and customers from your competition is when they screw up. You may notice that when your competitor makes a big mistake they generally don’t want to address it publicly, or if they do they only want to talk about it in abbreviated terms, which, for a juicy story, may not be enough for the general public.
The big, recent example of this phenomenon is the “HackGate” scandal involving Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp, which hit the headlines at a fortuitous time for the Huffington Post (an AOL site that I work with).
HuffingtonPost UK launched on July 6 of this year, a date had been selected at least partly due to the following day being the anniversary of the 7/7 terror attacks, and therefore a newsworthy day that we could plan content for. But when the launch date came, the big story was the phone hacking scandal involving The News of the World and its former editor Rebekah Brooks.
Britain’s biggest newspaper – The Sun (a News Corp. paper) – had one small article on their website relating to the scandal that barely addressed the issues that had been uncovered. This meant that there was more traffic around for everyone else, including a brand new news website that had done a fairly large marketing campaign around the launch that day.
As the week went on, News Corp. papers started to talk more about the scandal, both online and offline, but, based on the UK traffic data that I’ve seen, the damage was done, and a nice chunk of the UK public were reading about the scandal on other sites such as the Huffington Post UK.
In 2009 ESPN intern Brooke Hundley outed married ESPN anchor Steve Phillips as having an affair with her. The AOL site FanHouse (no longer a standalone site) jumped straight on the story, posting articles about the events as they unfurled, along with pictures of the intern, of Steve Phillips, and of his wife. ESPN failed to leap on the initial story (although they did post some wire stories after the story had already garnered national attention), which meant that FanHouse was able to jump to the top of the rankings on a story about ESPN, and pull in that traffic.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for your comment and very good tips there. SEO is the most important stratege of all.

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