• Rae Alton

    I’ve had that conversation sooo many times.

    This is a great post and I couldn’t agree with you more. I would also like to add that checking out your competitor’s linking strategy and copying them is only one part of your research. Brainstorming and coming up with your own ideas within your vertical can launch you way further than your competitors, which is exactly where you want to be.

  • briand

    Thanks for the comment Rae, I’m glad you could relate!

    That’s a great point. Just checking out your competitor’s linking strategy is only half the battle, as there are surely some great ideas they haven’t thought of yet. Plus, the more new successful strategies you come up with, the more time your competitors have to spend trying to keep up with you.

  • Jeff Bronson

    Conversations like “I want to rank in 30 days for ‘popular widget’ on page 1, can you guarantee that?” are frustrating to say the least.

    As Rae ways, working on vertical specific content is extremely important. Chances are your competitor isn’t thinking about what informational content their niche could use and are using the same tired SEO tactics.

  • briand

    Thanks for the comment Jeff!

    True, plenty of your competitors will be using the same tired SEO tactics or black-hat tactics. Of course you won’t want to copy everything, just the strategies that work, but it’s still good to know what they’re doing. Plus, seeing a competitor using sketchy tactics just gets me more fired up to beat them.

  • Cody Baird


    Good luck with the new job! You picked an amazing company to start your SEO career with.

  • Sunny

    Brian – Your Brain is awesome ! This is daily dilemma for any SEO agency, they need to explain this to client on daily basis. :) You gave some water to fire with this post.

  • Darren

    Brian, I totally hear you on seeing the competition’s spammy techniques and getting excited. I was looking at a company ranking above us for our targeted term and it was a lot of garbage links and Russian sites. I felt the nerdy rush of accomplishment knowing we can overtake them!

  • briand

    Thanks Cody, I’m definitely learning a lot with this company!

  • briand

    My brain is awesome? Haha thank you very much, Sunny! One of the main points I’ve heard again and again is about setting appropriate expectations for the client.

  • briand

    Thanks Darren, glad you can relate. It’s always nice when the “good guys” win