How To REALLY Analyze The Competition For A Keyword Phrase

Keyword CompetitionMy last post talked about how to estimate the Adsense earning potential for a keyword phrase. However, if you have no hope of ranking anywhere near number 1 in a Google search for that keyword, then the estimated income is completely hypothetical!

Therefore we need to assess the search engine competition for the keyword. I’ve seen a number of articles and ebooks on search engine optimisation (SEO) recommending you look at the total number of results for an “in quotes” search, or an “all in title” search, or some other special search.

However, I don’t use these types of search. There is only one thing I am concerned about, and that is the top ten websites that show up for a Google search (NOT in quotes) for my keyword phrase. The top 10 sites are my REAL competition, and the way I assess these sites is to look at their Google Page Rank (PR).

Now I have read alot of opinions on the internet that PR is no longer an accurate measure of the importance of a website. However I can tell you that the PR method I am about to explain has been working pretty well for me – and that is all that matters as far as I am concerned.

So how exactly do I use the PR of the top ten sites to determine the competition?

I use a couple of rules which look at the PR values of the TOP 4 ranking sites for a Google search for my keyword phrase:

  1. All 4 sites must have a PR of 3 or less.
  2. At least ONE of the sites must have a PR of 2 or less.

Here are a couple of examples of applying those rules:

  • If the PR values of the top 4 sites are 3, 0, 4, 1 – FAIL (violates rule 1).
  • If the PR values of the top 4 sites are 1, 0, 3, 3 – PASS
  • If the PR values of the top 4 sites are 3, 2, 2, 1 – PASS

SEOQuakeThere are a number ways to get the PR values of web sites, for example:

  1. Install the Google Toolbar into your web browser. Then do a Google search and then manually click on each of the top 4 search results and read the PR of each site from the toolbar.
  2. Install the SEOQuake Firefox plugin. You can set this up so it automatically shows the PR of each search result – see the image to the right.
  3. Install the Cherry Picker software. This easy to use software gives you PR values and other information including the number of backlinks. For a description of how to use this software see pages 6 and 7 of my Advanced Auto Blogging Blueprint.


So let us look at our example keyword phrase “hand held gps”. When I do a Google search for “hand held gps” the PR values of the top 4 search results are: 4, 3, 2 and 6. This is a FAIL, because even though it passes rule 2 (one site with PR 2 or less), it fails rule one as two of the sites have PR values higher than 3.

Therefore, while the keyword phrase “hand held gps” has good Adsense earning potential, the competition is too high to realise those earnings without substantial effort.

By now you may be thinking that it is alot of work to properly assess the earning potential and search engine competition for keyword phrases – and you would be right! That is why keyword assessment is often reduced down to a couple of simple metrics.

What if there was a an effective, quick way of doing these assessments? It would pay off because more of your sites would turn out to be good earners, and you would waste less time creating dud sites that earn little or nothing.

Well folks, hold on, because in my next post I will show you a way to get your hands on literally hundreds of great keyword phrases –  good earning potential, not too competitive – for next to nothing!

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February 1, 2011|Comments (0)
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