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Linking to competitors

How to convince big companies to link to competitors

     
9:25 am on Aug 4, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Hi there

We are preparing a new resources directory for one of our Clients. As the company is a big brand they will not be willing to link to their competitors even if they are operating in different countries not being real competitors to them.

Can someone point me to some threads (I have read before and cannot find them), where this is being discussed.

I would like to point my Clients to discussion about this matter.

Regards

Voyteck

5:49 pm on Aug 4, 2004 (gmt 0)

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There is no valid reason to link to a competitor (aside from possibly popping up in the serps for their name).

If during the course of building the resources directory it is helpful to link to a government site or a website that talks about standards, or sells a related product, or a review site, etc. then go ahead and do that. It will be helpful for the directory. As far as becoming relevant for industry whatever, there is no reason to link to a non-competing competitor, even one who is in a different country.

There are probably other strategic reasons for linking to a competitor, but I wouldn't do recommend it for building relevance.

6:44 pm on Aug 4, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Actually, Jakob Nielson has noted that outbound links communicate confidence and can add to a site's perceived value by visitors.

Dominic Jones recently published an article
"Why outbound links are GOOD" on IR webreport and is good reading. google it to find it.

Granted, the focus is for Investor relations, but many of the points hold true for other websites.

Since you can't hold anyone captive on the web, why not be a good citizen and offer links to others?

My .02

6:48 pm on Aug 4, 2004 (gmt 0)

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I'd agree with MB, in a "resources directory" there'd be no benefit in linking to a competitor.

On the other hand, if you were compiling some informational pages on your sector, there very well might.

6:50 pm on Aug 4, 2004 (gmt 0)

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There are probably other strategic reasons for linking to a competitor, but I wouldn't do recommend it for building relevance.

I've not found any valid reasons for linking to a competitor when it comes to building relevance.

I remember all those topics about providing links to your competitors. I stayed away from those because it was clearly an attempt at manipulating PageRank and relevance. I don't know where that suggestion started but I can only assume that it was started due to Google's ranking factors. I believe it was due to on-topic links that people thought it was a good idea to start linking out to their competitors. From a marketing standpoint, I personally don't find that to be a good idea.

lol, try doing that in a traditional marketing environment.

P.S. I always get a good laugh when I find an SEO site that has a page linking out to their competitors or those who have participated in your standard link exchange program. What a tacky move that is. :)

3:19 pm on Aug 5, 2004 (gmt 0)

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I agree that I don't see a reason for them to link to competitors. The only reason aside from possibly comparison (and even then, the name rarely appears linked) I've seen for linking to competitors is for link exchanges. But a big brand should have the budget to buy and the quality to get one way links without needing to recipricate. Linking out can be a good thing to do, but as MB said, you can always link to government sources and standards or organizations and not to competitors.
3:22 pm on Aug 5, 2004 (gmt 0)

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try doing that in a traditional marketing environment.

Pick a checkout line. Ours, or theirs.