Just Being Competitive on Google Can Be Devastating to Your Competition

Of course, you want to dominate your niche and monopolise the market. But did you know that you might rake in the profits just by rocking the boat?


It was 2013. I had a new client and my goal was to get my client’s company to rank #1 on Google for our primary keywords. We were starting out with a brand new website. (I know that sounds like a good thing but it actually means we had absolutely no web presence. That is, basically one step away from not existing at all.) I knew there was going to be a lot of work that was involved but I thought it could be done. And so, carefully and arduously, I started carving out our little spot on the World Wide Web. After all, that is what SEO is all about — using the right keywords and content to get attention from a worldwide audience.

Over time, the website started climbing the rankings. It took over a year of hard work to create a web presence from scratch, but soon those famous little Google bots were crawling all over our site and finding useful value-added content for readers and soon-to-be customers. We started rising in the rankings until we got to rank number…. #2.

Now, I don’t know about you, but if your anything like me, if I am not number #1, if I am not winning at everything I do, it doesn’t count. I had already put in a lot of time and energy by then to become #1 in our niche. That was the job I had agreed to do for my client. But as it turned out, that rank that I wanted so badly was taken by a business that had a huge budget, a whole team of people working on SEO and marketing, and a more authoritative domain than mine. It looked like my one-man show wasn’t going anywhere.

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As they say, there’s more than one way to skin a cat. While I was wondering how to get past the biggest player in the industry, a funny thing happened. They approached my client to buy the company out! This was less than 18 months from the time we had even started building a website. It turned out that our rank in second place was drawing away so much business from them that it was worth it to them to simply buy us out. Our CEO walked away with a six-figure lump sum in hand and the other company took over the website so that they could monopolise the market.

Which brings me to the three main points I took away from this experience:

  1. Being “unsuccessful” can be just as profitable as being “successful” — as long as you have the right mindset. Even if your business isn’t bringing in the profits you wanted, you can still make a killing if you cause enough damage to someone else’s profit.
  2. Don’t underestimate the power of a one-man show. Even if you aren’t starting out with the odds in your favour, you still have a chance, as long as you’re willing to put in the time and effort. And don’t underestimate the importance of building a solid network within your niche. All that time and trouble will eventually pay off.
  3. Think outside the box. Search engine optimisation is just a tool like any other tool. Finding creative ways to use it to bring you a profit is what online business is all about.

The ultimate goal of any business is to make a profit. Being flexible in how that happens allows you to make the most of a business opportunity instead of throwing it all away because you hit an obstacle. Especially where SEO is concerned, it’s easy to put that #1 Google ranking on a pedestal and think that’s the only way to win big. Thankfully, there are times when ranking #2 is more than enough.

Have you ever made a huge profit just by causing damage to the competition? I’d love to hear about your experiences. Please leave a comment!

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FYI: this article originally appeared on my website.

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