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Measuring Keyword Competition
Posted 23 January 2004 - 09:52 PM
Wordtracker's "competition search" doesn't really give you any idea of the level of competition. All it gives you is the total matches for an exact phrase search. A lot of those "competitors" aren't even trying.
To eliminate the "accidental competitors" and figure out who you're really competing with, try these instead:
First, the very least someone would do to optimize would be to include all the words in the page title. To find out how many there are, do an "allintitle:" search on Google. For a 3-word search phrase, your query on Google will look like this:
allintitle:keyword1 keyword2 keyword3
Second, you can narrow that search down to pages that have the exact search phrase in the title, as a phrase:
allintitle:"keyword1 keyword2 keyword3"
That tells you roughly how many are trying to compete with you. Now let's see how many are competing on "off page" factors as well. To do this, you want to know how many of the pages with the phrase in the title, also have the phrase in the text of inbound links:
intitle:"search phrase" inanchor:"search phrase"
Now, let's see how many incoming links the top ranked sites actually have. You may need to match their counts, or get higher quality links, in order to compete.
You can look at 'em with the Alexa toolbar installed, and it will show you, or you can do a "link:domain" search on Google. Don't just look at the links to the ranked page, because interior pages will show few links. It's also a good idea to look at their link popularity on other search engines.
Don't forget that the competition doesn't sit still. If you've installed the Alexa toolbar, check the traffic rankings of the top 10 sites while you're at it. If they're a lot busier than your site, consider the possibility that they may have more resources available for content development, link building, etc. You can also check Alexa rankings at http://www.alexaranking.com, but I have no idea if they got permission etc.
Posted 24 January 2004 - 06:35 PM
Cheers - BrianR
Posted 25 January 2004 - 05:55 PM
Posted 25 January 2004 - 06:27 PM
Posted 25 January 2004 - 07:02 PM
Posted 25 January 2004 - 07:09 PM
Very good advice, Dan. An excellent step-by-step method for working your way up to the real competitors.
Posted 25 January 2004 - 07:22 PM
Posted 25 January 2004 - 07:24 PM
My high school band teacher called me Qwerty, but I'm past it now...
Posted 25 January 2004 - 08:16 PM
The reason that I ask, it that I checked a couple of sites and found some strange (as in unexpected and difficult to believe) results.
Posted 26 January 2004 - 01:19 PM
You can find out more about how to get the Alexa traffic stats box (if that's what you're talking about) by checking out the Alexa website. You'll find the stuff you're looking for under Webmaster Services.
It's my understanding that the population of people who have the toolbar installed tends to be weighted toward webmaster-type people, so the results are sometimes skewed toward sites that are of interest to webmasters.
I'm also given to understand that if you install the toolbar yourself and make it a habit to visit your own page often enough (perhaps recruit a few friends to do the same) you can get a reasonably decent showing in Alexa without too much trouble. I haven't tried this myself, because I don't have the toolbar installed.
MHO, "abnormalities" you saw in the results would probably result either from the natural weighting toward webmaster-oriented sites, or from a deliberate campaign by somebody (sombodies) with the toolbar installed.
Posted 28 January 2004 - 11:02 AM
I just want to know how you guys seem to know exactly what I need to know and when I want to know it and then post it without any prompting from me. It's getting kinda spooky. I may have to go back and read that conspiracy theory thread again.
Posted 29 January 2004 - 12:48 AM
The only thing I could add is for anyone who does PPC. For instance, one can have a campaign with 30 different phrases at the same CPC. Some phrases will appear at an average of 3, some will appear at 12. The ones that appear at 12 "generally" have higher competition.
With that said, I suppose some people rely almost solely on PPC, and some people do not use it at all. This sure doesn't measure exact "natural" optimization, but it's another thing I keep in mind.
My opinion only,
Posted 30 January 2004 - 04:46 AM
Posted 03 February 2004 - 02:00 AM
In this post Torka writes:
The "KEI" numbers in WordTracker aren't really the best way to guage the level of competition...
As someone who fell into SEO accidently by using WordTracker and very successfully optimizing his personal site for a specific search phrase I'm very interested in how you view/weight the KEI-feedback at WordTracker.
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