arikgub - 7:57 am on May 10, 2011 (gmt 0)
I have lately experimented with 15-20 new sites that targeted long tail traffic with an exact long tail match in the domain name. All had a few pages of cheap low quality (but unique) content. The sites were spammy by nature, but I didn't really care, cause it was merely an experiment I was running to understand why exact match domain names are ranking so well.
To get the experiment started (to get the sites indexed) the URLs were tweeted once each. The URLs were shortened via bit.ly.
- Within a few weeks most sites were ranking on the 1st page with 0 backlinks
- After about 1 month, I picked 5-7 sites and built only a few (3-5) backlinks to each. The backlinks were low quality: blog comments, forum posts. After 1-2 weeks the sites with low quality sites dropped out of the first 100 results. The rest (with 0 backlinks) are still ranking just because of the domain.
Asking whether you can harm a competitor's new site? I would say yes, you can :) Probably a short-term damage though ....