In this episode (#102 by our count) of SEO 101, Brian Mark, David Brown and I discuss competitive intelligence and ways you can keep tabs on your competition as well as how to protect yourself and your company from snoopy people who are up to no good.
This episode is based on my liveblogging notes from the Competitive Intelligence session at PubCon Vegas 2007. There are a lot more details and links to resources in my write-up over at search engine roundtable, so I encourage you to pop over there and check it out. Our discussion veered a little more into protecting your stuff by making sure you’re not making it completely simple and easy for bad people to do bad things to you, which isn’t entirely SEO but I think it’s valid and important business stuff to know. My notes from the conference had more detailed information on gathering intel on your competitors via various tools that are available online.
Important Points Covered:
- Vendors are chatty. Make sure (1) that YOUR vendors are not chatty about YOU to your competitors and (2) that you take advantage of chatty vendors who have info about your competitors. If they’re not blabbing to you, they’ll just blab to someone else, you may as well benefit.
- Sometimes people aren’t entirely honest when they call. Make sure that you, your family, your employees, etc. know to not discuss business with “unauthorized” people. Loose lips sink ships.
- A google a day keeps the crisis away. Search the web regularly for info, media mentions, blog mentions, etc. about your competitors, their products, their key personnel, as well as YOUR company, YOU, YOUR key personnel, YOUR products, etc. You might be surprised by what you can google up.
- Shredding isn’t just good, it’s good for you! Sure shredding is fun, but did you know it’s also a great way to keep your account numbers and other sensitive personal information out of the hands of ne’er-do-wells? Invest in a decent cross cut shredder and use it often.
Fun Items to Listen For…
In this episode, I share an interesting story from Vegas about some of the… um… “people” who were… um… “working”… at the Wynn. I also manage to make a relatively not stupid sounding football reference after I mispronounce Brett Favre’s name, and I worked in a Star Wars reference for good measure.