An SEO asked Google if they can rank in Google for a competitor’s keyword. John Mueller responded on Twitter saying, sure you can but why would you want to? I was a bit surprised by the why part of his response.
Here is the tweet:
— John ☆.o(≧▽≦)o.☆ (@JohnMu) April 15, 2017
Gary Illyes of Google followed up on that with a similar response, at least they are in sync here:
— Gary Illyes ᕕ( ᐛ )ᕗ (@methode) April 18, 2017
Why would you want to rank for competitors keywords?
Well, one example, recently, I was looking for a new chat support system for one of my businesses. So I searched for the chat software I use now and up came a result for a competitor in Google saying something like “Why switch for [competitor name] to [their name]” or something like that. The article showed the pros and cons, of course it was biased, but it was useful. I loved that Google let the competitor rank for the business name because I wanted to find alternatives for that software.
People are often frustrated with their current software and looking to leave and switch. Ranking for competitors names is useful in that case and many other cases.
Again, I am surprised by the Googlers responses here.
Forum discussion at Twitter.
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Author: firstname.lastname@example.org (Barry Schwartz)