In the same town, I have a client who had a competitor that went out of business a few months ago.
The competitor's defunct website is still ranking higher than the client's website in search results for the same keywords.
The client wanted to try to purchase their competitor's domain name and just use a 301 redirect to point to their website.
The competitor's domain name is splashed all over the place--on social media and legitimate directory pages (like yelp and a few locally-driven business listings).
Is this a legitimate technique, or will it hurt rankings in the long run?
It might be legitimate, but I'd consider it unethical. I know I wouldn't use any company that pulled a "bait and switch" like that.
From an outside perspective, I guess it would appear to be a little slimey. I didn't consider that aspect. The reason it didn't occur to me was that in advance of the closing was because there already was a relationship between the owners. The competitor sent all their customers to the client in preparation of the closing, and the client offered a short-term discount to customers for going with the client's company. They were more in the same industry rather than direct competitors.
In this case, would it be better to have a landing page notifying visitors that company x closed and company y was offering similar products/services?
That would be much better. Give the user the choice to move over to the new company rather than just automagically moving them.
Ok, that's what I think I'll recommend then. Thanks
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