Talking about your competitors on your website is often a taboo subject with most companies. They don’t want to be seen promoting competitors, discussing them or even admitting their existence. You can understand the reasons for this in the business world, but in the world of SEO this is naive.
Google gauges the relevance of your website to your industry based on the content of your website, who you are linking to, who is linking to you and who you are talking about. If website ‘A’ talks about websites ‘B’ through ‘P’, links to them, mentions their names and the keywords they’re optimising for, website ‘A’ will be seen as a hub for that industry. It’s relevant to all of the websites so therefore will be classed by Google as a resource.
If website ‘B’ doesn’t mention website ‘A’, or websites ‘C’ through ‘P’ then it is cutting itself out of the loop. It’s not talking about the industry players, it’s not linking to them and it’s not relevant.
Consider the Internet as one giant networking function (after all, the ‘net’ by its very definition is a network). When you’re at a function you need to mingle with everyone, get your name out there. You need to speak to suppliers, customers and yes, even competitors. You don’t sit in the corner and wait for customers to come to you. The Internet is constructed on the same principle. By talking about your competitors you’re ensuring that your website is mentioned in the same breath as them, the same Google breath that is.
By cutting your website off from your competitors you’re putting up a wall between you and them, a wall that will see you left out in the cold.