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Measuring Keyword Competition

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175 replies to this topic

#61 Randy


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Posted 02 April 2004 - 08:20 AM

I second Qwerty's statement. It would be an interesting resource to add to the mix.

#62 Jill


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Posted 02 April 2004 - 08:26 AM

Welcome jaycee33! :applause:

No worries about being flamed around here. That doesn't happen.


#63 Sharon & Roy

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Posted 02 April 2004 - 01:36 PM

I just tried the allintitle search for a competitive 3 word phrase and although the initial search on Google showed 602,000 results, the allintitle for the phrase only showed 124!! BUT I was surprised that the top 10 for the allintitle search was NOT similar to the top 10 for the standard search on that phrase. There were only 3 results which were the same for both. I presume from this that the Title isn't that important to Google? I am fairly new to this, so no flames please!!

Hi Jaycee33,

Actually, the HTML Title Element (AKA Title Tag) is very important to Google when it comes to "On The Page" ranking criteria. In fact, words located there command the highest weight of all the page elements that receive additional weight.

The problem with "On The Page" ranking criteria is that they have a threshold. A limit to the amount of points they can acquire for any and all factors used.

This in turn creates an open door for the "Off The Page" ranking factors to be able to "OUT TRUMP" the "On The Page" ranking factors.

Therefore, you will occasionally see SERP (Search Engine Results Pages) as you have just described.

Jaycee33, when you see SERP like that, it is actually GOOD NEWS for you.

It means that you have a better than average opportunity to acquire a top 10 ranking.

Believe us when we say that 602,000 SERP for the default query is NOT at all that competitive.

SEO TIP: A quick way to determine (in most cases) if a particular keyword phrase is NOT all that competitive is to count the number of non-homepage pages in the top 10 SERP.

If the majority are intra-domain pages, then you have discovered a keyword phrase that is not all that competitive and quite likely a phrase that you SHOULD optimize for.

Conversely, if the majority are homepages, then you have discovered a keyword phrase that is competitive and quite likely a phrase that you COULD optimize for ... But keeping in mind that it will take much more effort and a good deal longer to obtain a top 10 ranking.

Just so that you will have a benchmark to compare YOUR numbers with, we will mention the following about a client. This client came to us with a 2 year old site that she managed to get ranked as high as page 5 (ranked in the low to mid 40's) well over a year ago (December 2002).

The competition level for the default query (a 2-word phrase) is 3,500,000.

The competition level for the intitle query (intitle:keyword1 intitle:keyword2) is 536,000.

The competition level for the intitle query (intitle:"keyword1 keyword2") is 533,000.

The top 10 SERP for ALL of the above queries results in ONLY homepages being listed.

The top SERP for the intitle query (intitle:"keyword1 keyword2") above results in all but 4 homepages being listed in the top 100 SERP, with only 2 homepages being listed in the top 90 SERP.

Such results are an IMMEDIATE indication that this keyword phrase is EXTREMELY COMPETITIVE.

Below is a quick look at the total number of non-homepages found in the top 100 SERP for the intitle query (intitle:"keyword1 keyword2").

1 in the top 20 SERP

1 in the top 60 SERP

2 in the top 70 SERP

2 in the top 90 SERP

4 in the top 100 SERP

We quickly informed our client of the level of competition and we enthusiastically advised our client to not be discouraged and explained that it would/could take a while to achieve a top 10 ranking but that it would be worth the time and effort, since the term receives over 6000 daily searches year round and even more so on various holidays.

Long story short, she was able to acquire a top 10 spot (at #10) on 01/05/04 and a few weeks later moved up to #6 and has been between #6 and #10 for the better part of the last 2 months.

We started consulting with our client on 12/04/02 and she acquired a top 10 ranking 13 months later. Our client could have accomplished a top 10 ranking sooner, but they took their time.

It is all a matter of how much time and effort YOU are willing to devote to the optimization process and all without attempting to use "tricks" (the so called shortcuts) but simply using search engine compliant techniques.

On a side note, you may be interested to learn that yes, the site did take a hit from the "Florida" Google Update of November 2003, but because the client's site was built upon a solid SEO foundation, even though it dropped and ranked well into the 60's and 70's (page 7 and page 8) after being in the top 20 (page 2) for a few months during the update, once the update was over, a gradual return was observed and eventually ending up ranked higher than ever before and currently still enjoying a top 10 (page 1) ranking.

Your Friends,

Sharon and Roy Montero

#64 awall19


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Posted 02 April 2004 - 08:36 PM

I think using allintitle, allinanchor, and then using the new SEO Guy tool can show the competition level rather quickly.

#65 DanThies


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Posted 03 April 2004 - 09:52 AM

the new SEO Guy tool

Do you rely on the toolbar PageRank much any more, though?

#66 plantboy


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Posted 08 April 2004 - 04:44 PM

Am I a horrible simpleton because my general method for checking keyword competition is to count the sponsored listings at overture.com?

Then I go over to inventory.overture.com to find last month's search count to see how popular particular searches are, and which are the best combinations.

It's all just a rule of thumb, though.

#67 DanThies


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Posted 08 April 2004 - 06:39 PM

An even simpler method, I suppose, would be to see how much the top few bids are for a search term. If it's competitive in paid listings, it's probably competitive in the 'organic' search listings too. We call this the "PPC metric."

#68 diana


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Posted 12 April 2004 - 09:34 PM

How safe is the Alexa Toolbar to use with regards to privacy issues? I read their policy but I'm not sure if they would be able to monitor such things like online banking.

Does anyone know?

#69 Jill


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Posted 12 April 2004 - 10:16 PM

We have another thread on it. Do a quick search and you should find it.

I certainly wouldn't use it.


#70 chappy


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Posted 08 June 2004 - 04:05 AM

great post dan , thx

#71 nimlet


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Posted 06 August 2004 - 08:39 AM


Doing a small bit of keyword research and read this thread tres useful. Only thing I thought a bit odd was that a search for allintitle:"keyword 1 keyword 2 keyword 3" gets a higher number of results than allintitle: kw1 kw2 kw3. The numbers vary by about 30 000. I have double checked with the first post in this thread to make sure I am typing in right and I am, but it just doesn't make sense - surely the phrase without quotes should be higher???

If it is just me being dappy on a friday afternoon I apologise in advance wacko.gif

#72 OldWelshGuy


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Posted 06 August 2004 - 09:43 AM

Nope Naomi, Google is messing about. Try in: rather than allin: 'intitle:' inanchor: etc

#73 nimlet


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Posted 06 August 2004 - 10:10 AM

A-ha tricksy google! I thought I was going doolally lol.gif The intitle etc looks much more sensible hurray! Thanks for putting me straight.

#74 Freelancer


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Posted 27 August 2004 - 06:53 AM

Thank you for this information, I'm going to check a few things out that you mentioned. :-)

#75 JamesW


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Posted 15 September 2004 - 11:47 AM

I like to use the Weighted Count factor. This equals relevancy times search count.

When calculating this amount I often have terms that are 30% relevant at the top because of the weighted count.

Would you a) remove all terms less than x% relevant or cool.gif change the way that the weighted count is calculated?



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