Today I found out that a company that I helped make thousands of dollars over the last few months has gone into business against me. They have duplicated some of the same types of content that I have on my site in an effort to promote themselves and other companies in nearly the exact same way as myself. Needless to say, I’m not very happy right now.
The web is an incredibly fast moving pace, and that’s part of why I love it. But the downside of being able to create a thriving business in a few months is that someone else can probably do the exact same thing. If they have more resources – more time, money, developers, designers, experience – Using your new business as a model, they can often duplicate your stuff quickly and efficiently.
Google is becoming fairly well known for this though they aren’t cannibalizing affiliates but entire websites. Witness what happens when you type in, “definition of…” whatever word and Google displays the results for you. This happens more and more with searches for the weather, your IP address, local businesses (with their map), and more and more things. Of course, it’s in their best interest to do this – they are offering a shortcut to the information. But there are businesses that suffer (think dicitonary.reference.com!), but it’s all part of the business cycle.
I guess I can’t be too upset. After all, I’m sure I’ve displaced a few people for top rankings for some keyword terms that they were shooting for. I hope to displace plenty more before all is said and done. It’s the art of war to stay a few clicks and a few lines of code ahead of the competition. I’m glad I caught this early so I can take preventative measures myself to keep pages like this ranking highly.
So much for taking the weekend off…