Are there any issues with an SEO company taking on clients which are competitors? Who will get ranked highest is strategic marketing info passed on to competitors?
An excellent question. Most “professional” SEO companies should be able to take on clients that are operating in the same niche – and are therefore essentially competitors – without there being a conflict of interest. I have done this on a number of occasions but are careful to let both clients know of the situation (and seek their acceptance) before taking on the second client. This could actually be beneficial to both clients as it may present opportunities to share resources and possibly even links, and help give them both a boost in relation to the rest of the market.
Any professional SEO should be able to compartmentalise each of the clients activities, and should not be “sharing” details of strategies or activities with any other clients anyway – whether or not they are competitors.
The client site that ranks highest would usually be the one that is prepared to put more effort into their optimisation strategies anyway.
Under certain circumstances – if for example it is a very tight or competitive niche, or if the clients are direct competitors, it would probably not be a good idea to take on both clients – but in these cases the original client would probably object to it anyway.
Ireckon Web Marketing
[Editor Note: It really is a personal choice. Some SEO clients will refuse to work with an SEO firm if their competitors are already being optimized by that firm. Others will seek out SEO companies that already have clients in a particular industry. Personally, I would never knowingly take on two companies that are in direct competition with each other. I also make sure I'm not performing SEO for companies that are targeting the same keywords and phrases as I think that's a blatant conflict of interest - Kalena.]