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How To Win the Internet War: Spying Online

Spying Online

Are you constantly loosing ground to your online competitors?

Do they win all the sales, get all the great reviews and generally ooze success?

Well now it is time to fight back. Now it is time to really start competing online.

The funny thing is that not many businesses are actively competing online. Sure the big boys will always be in active competition. But take it down a few levels and you'll find that smaller web ventures just do not compete.

The first business in your industry to start actively competing online is going to come out a big winner.

This is one of the many "Playing Hard Ball" techniques. These are all high-powered methods we have discovered and proven through experience to really put you in front of the competition.

They are called Hard Ball because they are intended for the brave entrepreneur or web master. The entrepreneur that plays tough.

Some of the Hard Ball techniques may not be best business practice. With all of our Hard Ball tactics, we are just suggesting the idea and providing information. We don't claim to endorse or practice these techniques, nor can we be held responsible for any outcomes. You decide if and how you use it.

Using Online Tools to Snoop.

Each of the search engines can tell you who is linked to your competitors' web site.

This should give you an idea about how they are advertising, and where they have mentions such as reviews, articles and links. Make a note of this…these are the places where you should be too.

Different search engines require certain information in their search box to list links going into a site:

  • Altavista – In the search box type "link:competitor.com" where your competitor's domain is competitor.com.

  • Northern Light – In the search box type "competitor.com" without the "www".

  • Excite – In the search box type "www.competitor.com".

  • Infoseek – In the search box type "link:www.competitor.com".

  • Hotbot – In the search box type "http://www.competitor.com", then change the pull-down menu to "links to this URL".

You need to make the effort to be at least everywhere your competition is. If your competitor is featured on a particular site there is no reason why you shouldn't’t be featured too.

If a web site features a competitor's product, write to the webmaster to see if they would like to try your product. Bribe your way onto the site with free samples if you have to.

Search, infiltrate and destroy your competitions promotional territory.

Go to Dejanews (http://www.deja.com) and search for their company or product names through the newsgroups. This will give you a great idea about what people actually think about their products and of any problems or success they have experienced with your competitors.

You should also be able to find out where they are advertising…this can be tricky as there are a lot of possibilities. Check out the archives of e-zines and e-mail lists to see if you can spot them. A good place to find e-mail lists is at www.topica.com & www.liszt.com

You might even be able to find out what books your competitors have been buying. Take a look in at Amazon.com's purchase lists and see if your competitors company name is listed. From here you will be able to track what popular book titles have been purchased through your competitors. Check it out at: www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/subst/community/community.html

If your competitors have affiliate sales programs, assume a new internet identity and join up as a sales agent. From here you should have access to a range of their marketing and promotional material. As an affiliate you might also be sent regular e-mail from your competitor offering information such sales details and future directions.

The above article is only one of hundreds of original Internet Marketing ideas that can be found in Work the Medium.

The 200 + page book is divided into sections on:

What makes Work the Medium different from all the other marketing texts is our "Playing Hard Ball" features. These are all marketing techniques that go beyond standard business practise. They are for the web owner that plays it tough.


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