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Measuring Keyword Competition


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175 replies to this topic

#91 randfish

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Posted 21 February 2005 - 09:18 PM

Well, Dan - I have no illusions. Without your help, it wouldn't be nearly the resource it is. Thank you.

#92 Srvwiz

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Posted 21 February 2005 - 09:32 PM

Thanks Dan,

Now my I am really having the clear picture about my competetiors.

These things are very useful tools.

Thanks once again.

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Souravamant

#93 magicboxgifts

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Posted 01 March 2005 - 06:28 AM

Brilliant stuff Dan

Took me a while to get round to this article but now I have it explains most of what is going on with my targetted phrases (or the lack of... embarrassed.gif )

Many Thanks and good luck
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#94 vsa

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Posted 01 March 2005 - 07:21 AM

Thanks. Iam just starting my carrer as SEO and u have given nice suggessions which are very useful to me.

#95 Randy

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Posted 01 March 2005 - 07:35 AM

Welcome vsa ! hi.gif

#96 emilyquickfix

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Posted 02 March 2005 - 10:08 PM

Hello everybody,

I have been getting my head around how to measure keyword competition using various search techniques which has been great.

However I am still a little bit confused about a couple of them and wondered if anybody could spell a few things out for me.

Sorry if I am being a little dense...

What I basically need to know is what is the difference between the types of searches listed below..

allintitle: search phrase
allintitle: "search phrase"
intitle: search phrase
intitle: "search phrase"

Emily

#97 Randy

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Posted 02 March 2005 - 10:38 PM

allintitle: search phrase - will show you a ranking where all of the sites have the words "search" and "phrase" both in the title. However they do not necessarily have to be in that exact order. For instance, you may get some pages returned that have a title of Phrase Search or even Search Some More Words Phrase.

allintitle: "search phrase" - will show you pages that have those two words that appear exactly in that order and nothing inbetween.

intitle:search phrase (note there is no space between the command and the phrases) - is a bit of a strange one at first glance. It will show you pages which have a Title that have the word "search" in it, and also have the word "phrase" anywhere on the page. Whether it is in the title or not.

To get a return with both words in the title you could also use intitle:search intitle:phrase which is the same thing as allintitle: search phrase

intitle:"search phrase" (again, no space) will return basically the same thing as allintitle: "search phrase" where the words have to be connecting and both appear in the title.

#98 emilyquickfix

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Posted 02 March 2005 - 11:30 PM

Thanks so much Randy.

I think I just needed it spelt out like that.

All is now clear.

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#99 emilyquickfix

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Posted 07 March 2005 - 05:34 AM

Hello again,

I have been doing my intitle and inanchor searches using with great success. Now that I have a brief idea of the competition I want to start analysing the competing sites to see how good they are and how well they have been optimised with the aim of building a site that can beat thier ranking.

I have read previously that I should be trying to beat the first 10 - 20 on the S.E.R.P. which makes sense.

Is this the S.E.R.P. that is produced when I do my intitle:"search phrase" inachor:"search phrase" type searches or when I just enter the search phrase like anybody would doing a normal search? i.e search phrase

Emily

#100 Sharon & Roy

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Posted 07 March 2005 - 07:52 AM

QUOTE(emilyquickfix @ Mar 7 2005, 03:34 AM)
I have been doing my intitle and inanchor searches using with great success.


Hi Emily,

We just want to you fully understand that ultimately you are competing against just 10 pages when competing for a top 10 ranking.

Therefore, don't expect a keyword phrase that has 2,000 pages returned for your < intitle and inanchor > query to necessarily mean that it is easier to acheive a top 10 ranking for than a keyword phrase that has 20,000 pages returned for your < intitle and inanchor > query.

The < intitle and inanchor > query is just a quick way to be able to separate your various keyword phrases into various ordered lists meaning that if you have 100 keyword phrases to fully analyze the top 10 pages for, that you will start your analysis with those keywords with the least amount of competing pages for the < intitle and inanchor > query and not that you won't need to analyze them all.

It is just a way to order your list of keywords to determine which ones you'll analyze first and which ones you'll analyze last.

Once again DO NOT FORGET that ultimately the number of competing pages for a top 10 listing is 10.

QUOTE(emilyquickfix @ Mar 7 2005, 03:34 AM)
Is this the S.E.R.P. that is produced when I do my intitle:"search phrase" inachor:"search phrase" type searches or when I just enter the search phrase like anybody would doing a normal search? i.e search phrase


When analyzing the top 10 pages use the default search phrase (as you say, a normal search, i.e., search phrase).

Your Friends,

Sharon and Roy Montero

#101 emilyquickfix

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Posted 08 March 2005 - 04:09 AM

I get the bit about how I'm just competing with the first 10 pages for a top 10 ranking. I also understand now that it is the top 10 who appear when I do normal keyphrase search that I need to analyse closely. However, (and I apologise if I seem dense), I do not get the bit below...

QUOTE(Sharon & Roy @ Mar 7 2005, 08:52 AM)
The < intitle and inanchor > query is just a quick way to be able to separate your various keyword phrases into various ordered lists meaning that if you have 100 keyword phrases to fully analyze the top 10 pages for, that you will start your analysis with those keywords with the least amount of competing pages for the < intitle and inanchor > query and not that you won't need to analyze them all.

It is just a way to order your list of keywords to determine which ones you'll analyze first and which ones you'll analyze last.

View Post


I thought the main purpose of the intitle: inanchor: search was to sniff out your real competition on those who are trying extra hard to optimise for that certain keyphrase. I don't quite understand the reason that you have given above. So if you or anybody else could elaborate it would be greatly appreciated.

Emily

#102 Jill

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Posted 08 March 2005 - 08:08 AM

Hi Emily, no help here, I don't understand it either, sorry!

#103 DanThies

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Posted 08 March 2005 - 11:44 AM

QUOTE(Sharon & Roy @ Mar 7 2005, 06:52 AM)
We just want to you fully understand that ultimately you are competing against just 10 pages when competing for a top 10 ranking.
View Post

This is one of the most overused, trite, and useless cliches in the SEO business. Of course you are competing with more than 10 pages. To win a marathon, all you have to do is run faster than the guy in front, right?

But SEO isn't a marathon, it's more like a pinata exploding and dropping 10 pieces of candy on the floor. Whether there are 10 greedy kids trying to grab that candy, or 10,000 of them, makes a big difference in how difficult it will be to get a piece for yourself. This is especially true when a certain percentage of them will pull hair, bite ankles, and do anything they can to reach their goal.

On some search terms you are up against hundreds of full time professionals who have all the same tools that you do, on others you may be the only SEO pursuing it. There's a big difference, especially when you have a large number of competitors, because you will have a proportional number using short term tactics (like spamming or biting ankles) to gain space on the SERP.

#104 Jill

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Posted 08 March 2005 - 12:08 PM

Now THAT makes sense! Thanks, Dan.

#105 Sharon & Roy

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Posted 08 March 2005 - 11:22 PM

QUOTE(DanThies @ Mar 8 2005, 09:44 AM)
This is one of the most overused, trite, and useless cliches in the SEO business. Of course you are competing with more than 10 pages. To win a marathon, all you have to do is run faster than the guy in front, right?


Hi Dan,

Okay, obviously we weren't very clear in explaining to Emily what we wanted her to understand and keep in mind when she begins her analyzation process.

Yes, we certainly realize that her page is competing with more than just 10 pages, but not with more than just 10 pages for a top 10 ranking though, since the top 10 rankings have ALREADY been determined (at least for right now) and it is with those pages that Emily would need to start her analysis.

There would be no need for Emily to start analyzing pages that were ranked in the 100s or further down in the rankings even though those pages ARE competing for the same keyword phrase her page is, right?

Yes, this information BY ITSELF is one of the most overused, trite, and useless cliches in the SEO business and we are certainly the first ones to agree with you Dan, but the key in what we said was ... BY ITSELF ... and we did not make that statement by itself because we explained something in addition to it and before it.



We'll explain what we said in a more in-depth way and then it will make more sense.

There are two main points that we wanted Emily to understand and to keep in mind when doing her keyword research to determine which keyword phrases would be the easiest for her to optimize for when using the < intitle and inanchor > query.

For illustration purposes we will assume that Emily has already finished STEP 1, her keyword research with Wordtracker and based upon her OWN criteria, she has selected a list of 100 keyword phrases that she'd like to optimize her various pages for.

Now, what is STEP 2?

Well, it could be to start optimizing her various pages for her chosen keyword phrases ...

1.) In the order that she wrote them down.

2.) In the reverse order that she wrote them down.

3.) In ascending alphabetical order.

4.) In descending alphabetical order.

5.) In the order of how many words there are in the phrase.

6.) In the ascending order of how many daily searches Wordtracker displayed for each keyword phrase.

7.) In the descending order of how many daily searches Wordtracker displayed for each keyword phrase.

8.) In a random order.

9.) Etc., etc., etc.

As you can see, there are a variety of ways that Emily could choose to start her optimization process with her list of 100 keyword phrases, right?

Right.

So, which way will she start? Which way should she start?

Well, more than likely, we would guess that Emily would start just like most folks would and that would be to choose the keyword phrases that have the best KEI and/or the highest amount of daily searches, but in our opinion that "may" not be the most productive way in terms of ROI and in terms of her own frustration when her optimization process doesn't produce the results she initially anticipated.


Therefore, out of her initial list of 100 keyword phrases, which ones should she start optimizing for first?

Well, we would advise her to start with the keyword phrases that require the least amount of work to achieve a top 10 ranking for. In "many" instances these keyword phrases will be the ones with the least amount of competing pages but not in "all" instances.

This means that the keyword phrase with the most daily searches in Emily's list of 100 keyword phrases is more than likely NOT going to be the keyword phrase that Emily will start with (so to speak) because more than likely the keyword phrase with the most daily searches will be the keyword phrase with the most competing pages.



::: Main Point #1 :::

One of the two main points that we wanted Emily to understand and to keep in mind when doing her keyword research to determine which keyword phrases would be the easiest for her to optimize for when using the < intitle and inanchor > query is what we just mentioned. It bears repeating.

Well, we would advise her to start with the keyword phrases that requires the least amount of work to achieve a top 10 ranking for. In "most" instances these keyword phrases will be the ones with the least amount of competing pages.

But not in "all" instances.

Therefore, the second of the two main points that we wanted Emily to understand and to keep in mind when doing her keyword research to determine which keyword phrases would be the easiest for her to optimize for when using the < intitle and inanchor > query is as follows.



::: Main Point #2 :::

EVEN AFTER you have researched all 100 of your keyword phrases in your initial list, it doesn't necessarily mean that the keyword phrases with the least amount of competing pages will be the easiest to optimize for.

This IS the point we wanted Emily to understand and to keep in mind when we said ...

QUOTE(Sharon & Roy @ Mar 7 2005, 05:52 AM)
Hi Emily,

We just want you to fully understand that ultimately you are competing against just 10 pages when competing for a top 10 ranking.

Therefore, don't expect a keyword phrase that has 2,000 pages returned for your < intitle and inanchor > query to necessarily mean that it is easier to achieve a top 10 ranking for than a keyword phrase that has 20,000 pages returned for your < intitle and inanchor > query.

The < intitle and inanchor > query is just a quick way to be able to separate your various keyword phrases into various ordered lists meaning that if you have 100 keyword phrases to fully analyze the top 10 pages for, that you will start your analysis with those keywords with the least amount of competing pages for the < intitle and inanchor > query and not that you won't need to analyze them all.

It is just a way to order your list of keywords to determine which ones you'll analyze first and which ones you'll analyze last.

Once again DO NOT FORGET that ultimately the number of competing pages for a top 10 listing is 10.
When analyzing the top 10 pages use the default search phrase (as you say, a normal search, i.e., search phrase).


In other words, if Emily's findings for her < intitle and inanchor > query research showed the following ...

QUOTE
keyword phrase 1 = 2,000 competing pages
keyword phrase 2 = 5,000 competing pages
keyword phrase 3 = 10,000 competing pages
keyword phrase 4 = 15,000 competing pages
keyword phrase 5 = 20,000 competing pages


... Then all we are saying is that Emily should not mistake the above research to ALWAYS mean that "keyword phrase 1" is an easier term to optimize than "keyword phrase 5."

The ONLY way to know which of the two aforementioned keyword phrases (1 or 5) is ACTUALLY easier to optimize is to analyze the top 10 pages for those keyword phrases because those are the only pages that really count as your competition for a top 10 ranking AT THIS TIME.

Of course, in the future other pages may enter the top 10 and once they do then Emily should analyze those pages, but FOR NOW we are saying that Emily only needs to analyze the top 10 competing pages and not all of the competing pages to know just how easy or difficult it would be to acquire a top 10 ranking for the specific keyword phrase.

Sure, Emily is also competing with another 19,990 pages for "keyword phrase 5" and another 1,990 pages for "keyword phrase 1" but all that we wanted to point out to Emily was that she shouldn't assume that "keyword phrase 1" is an easier term to optimize than "keyword phrase 5" but to continue her keyword research to the NEXT STEP and analyze the individual pages that make up the top 10 results for each term and to then compare those numbers to give her the best numbers possible to determine which is the easier term to optimize for.

That's all that we were sharing ... Nothing more and nothing less.

We also mentioned that once Emily has all the numbers for the competing pages for each of her 100 keyword phrases that she can then order that list from the least amount of competing pages to the most amount of competing pages and start her analysis of the top 10 pages for each phrase in a specific order that will allow her to find the easiest phrases to optimize for in the quickest way possible.

Dan, we hope you understand now what we were actually saying and what we were not actually saying when you replied to our quote?

QUOTE(emilyquickfix @ Mar 8 2005, 02:09 AM)
I thought the main purpose of the intitle: inanchor: search was to sniff out your real competition on those who are trying extra hard to optimise for that certain keyphrase. I don't quite understand the reason that you have given above. So if you or anybody else could elaborate it would be greatly appreciated.


Emily, the main purpose (in our humble opinion) to conduct the < intitle and inanchor > query research is to take your INITIAL list of 100 (or 1,000 or whatever number of keyword phrases your initial keyword list has) keyword phrases and to QUICKLY IDENTIFY the amount of competing pages for them all.

Once you have identified the amount of competing pages for all of your keyword phrases, then the next step is to analyze the top 10 pages for each keyword phrase.

The ORDER in which you should analyze the top 10 pages for your INITIAL list of keyword phrases (in our humble opinion) is in the order of keyword phrases with the LEAST amount of competing pages to the keyword phrases with the MOST amount of competing pages.

Using this order will allow you to quickly identify the easiest terms to optimize for.

In other words, you won't have to go through the entire list of 100 (or 1,000 or whatever number of keyword phrases your initial keyword list has) keyword phrases to identify the easiest terms to optimize for.

For example, you may only have to analyze 20 pages to come with up your easiest keyword phrases to optimize for.

We realize that not everyone will do their keyword research and analyze their competition in the same way that we advise, but nonetheless we would still like to provide our advice for those who may choose to use it ... And whether you, Emily or anyone else will ever use it or not is never the issue with us.

Because of the way we read your statement we "assumed" that you were going to base your FINAL decision on just your < intitle and inanchor > query research, so we just wanted to point out that you could take it one step further to more accurately identify those keyword phrases that would be the easiest to optimize because you may not be able to identify them as accurately if you only used the < intitle and inanchor > query research.

In other words, since SEO is not an exact science, the "more accurately" you can identify those factors that will help you "the most" in making the wisest decisions possible to optimize for the "most productive" keyword phrases you can while also optimizing for the keyword phrases that are the "easiest and the quickest" to see results for, is what everyone should strive for (in our humble opinion, of course) and that is all that we were pointing out to you in the way we did.

Unfortunately, our post was a bit confusing for you Emily, but we hope that this post will now be easier for you to understand what we were attempting to help you to "see" and to help you to keep in mind when doing your keyword research.

If you need further clarification, please don't hesitate to ask.

Also, Emily, just so that we will know ... Did our post help you at all? Was it useful for you? Did you learn anything new?

Or did our post just confuse you and do you wish that we wouldn't have posted at all.

Please be honest and let us know because your feedback will be most useful and appreciative for us and don't worry about hurting our feelings, because we decided a long time ago that we were going to check our ego's at the door before entering into any public forums.

Your Friends,

Sharon and Roy Montero




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