While analysing the competitors website, backlinks and lots more, don’t click to the search results as that might reflect the motivation or objectives of the potential competitors in the web analytics of the incumbent company. And on the basis of that, incumbent companies may change their strategies on part of their product development, marketing, keywords listings etc. So, my point is that, copy the search link and paste it to the brouser. This might not be tracked to the analytics and could be counted as the direct viewership. A lenghty process indeed. However I am not sure whether the process works or not.
The above process is for the potential competitors. Then what for the incumbents?
Change the strategies on a regular basis, of course checking the log file. And going on to develop the newer products. Never give a chance to the potential conpetitors to get into your views. Things should be done so quickly and frequently that it will take a span of time to understand. And in the mean time, you will arrive with another product.