There is a lot of weight in linking with people in the same line of business and google likes it also.
I have around 40 other web designers and web hosts on my links page.
Here is my comment on the topic…
Message number 8
I have my own website for advertising my holiday home.
If I have links to other similar websites then surely there is less chance that somebody who wants to rent will choose a competitors whose is (a) cheaper, (b) in a better location or (c) has more facilities or (d) just has better descriptions than my site and that is enough to sway the choice?
Maybe Google would increase my PR or something but i wouldn't get as many clients?
So you think this is correct?
Maybe you have seen the film "Miracle on 34th Street". The story about the man who claims to be Santa Claus.
He worked for a department store and told any parent where to buy the toys their children wished for the best price. The department store made more christmas turnover than ever like that as they put the clients above short term profit.
Personally I would not link to my main competitors but why not linking to a someone in the same field if this helps your visitors.
So why not linking to a source where your visitors find more information about homes in the same area and at the same time telling them why your house is better than others and why they will come back to you if they are looking for the best house in your field.
Nice comments. At the moment I have very little traffic and cringe at the thought of showing my potential clients other properties that may well be better than mine (price or location). As I am reasonably intelligent(!?) I know that I would be grateful to any site that offers me the chance of a better deal elsewhere - I know that there are others who are desperate to let their properties. I knwo where you are coming from though and as long as my property is one of the lowest cost and in a good location then I shoudl get enough clients.....but is it?
This is one to ponder on for a while.
I would do it. I'd of course check to see if they had decent pagerank, and insist that they give the link back to me as much prominence as I give to theirs.
But really, if there are 3 players in a small market and 2 swap links, it should be easier for a search engine to determine that the 2 that link to each other are related and more likely to be on-topic / authoritative.
Competition is a tired old concept. As much as possible, I try to have a unique service. There's room enough for all of us if we are the least bit creative :)
>Swapping Links with Competitor
I link to most of my competitors whether they want to swap or not. If they want to swap great, if not, then even better, and link to them anyway.
You should expect your prospects to be intelligent enough to "shop around". In my business if they are not intelligent enough to shop around I probably don't want that prospect.
Given I expect the good prospects to shop around, why make it hard for them? Give them the links to competitors, make life easy for them, let them decide who was the most open, forthcoming, honest and made available the best offering.
I've gained dozens of clients simply because of the straightforward approach to competition. ;)
I suggest linking to competitors if they give a reciprocal link. I do this on my site as part of an overall directory to the general industry my company is a part of. I see it as another way to make my website more user friendly and win customers through good old fashioned customer service.
percentages, what business are you in? Your strategy sounds like a good one, but is probably dependent on the type of business.
Any authorative opinions on whether using your (or their) keywords in outbound link text is worth enough for YOU to give THEM that added relevance (above and beyond just linking using random text or www.theirdomain.com)?
As others mentioned, linking to competitors can gain credibility with the reader, and I suspect may soon gain further credibility with a certain SE.
If a competitor is far ahead of you, does it make sense to give them a link from your site while you're trying to catch up?
Anyone had success catching a competitor by linking to a lot of 2nd and 3rd page results?
Google may assume that a site that lists other competiter sites may have more value. That may be one way the determine a if a site is an authority. They assume that a business won't do this or they don't want to list business that don't.
My first post! -
To me it shouldnt take a genius to work out that a site that doesnt have any outbound links is not as useful as one that does.
That means that if some competitors link to each other they will be at an advantage over the others.
If this is not true now it may well in the future.
Progressive Insurance has based their business on this concept. They provide the potential customer with the rates of other companies so they can make an informed decision.
I imagine they do get some sort of referral fee if the customer decides to go with the "other guy" but I don't know that for sure.
If you don't exchange links with your competitors, why not join their affiliate programs (if available)? That way if your visitor decides to go with the other company you will at least get a referral fee for the link. You are providing your visitor with the service of finding your competitors (so they don't have to) and offering them the option to compare products before they buy. If they buy from you or the other site, you still make money.